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The Michael Muhney Interview – The Young and the Restless

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Where does one even begin when compiling a list of the cold, calculated, vengeful machinations perpetuated by Y&R’s most dastardly of villains, Adam Wilson?  Try this: Gaslighting Ashley and making her believe she was pregnant, all the while knowing he caused her miscarriage, after dressing up like his father’s ex-wife Sabrina to spook the then Mrs. Newman.  Next, to cover his tracks, doing the ultimate in soap opera baby switcheroos, by giving poor Sharon Newman’s new born baby girl to Ashley, and telling Sharon her baby died.  Let’s not forget sleeping with his lawyer Rafe to keep him from finding incriminating evidence of his deeds, while at the same time sleeping with Heather Stevens.  Then, there’s framing your father multiple times, faking your own death, kidnapping, blackmail, and playing severe mind games with the psychotic Patty Williams, and then brilliantly masterminding it to look as if she is the prime suspect in the Richard Hightower murder investigation.  The list of deeds goes on and on.

But is the gig finally up for Adam?  This week on Y&R, as witnesses testify in a court of law to all his devious plots, Adam could finally be brought to justice… but not if his sharp and smarmy lawyer Vance Abrams (Eric Roberts) has anything to do with it.  And, tomorrow and Monday are also the airdates marking the return of Signy Coleman as Adam’s deceased mother, Hope. When the news spread of her brief visit, many are hoping it’s to shed some light on Adam’s past, but will it?  Or, could it be something else that comes to light?

For the last 14 months, actor Michael Muhney (Adam) has managed to navigate through playing this bad boy, yet giving the audience glimpses of humanity and complexities seldom seen in the daytime genre.  Muhney, a true renegade who marches to his own beat, spoke with On-Air On-Soaps for an in-depth look into his alter-ego, Adam Wilson (aka Victor Newman Jr.) plus his thoughts on this role of a lifetime, and for a preview of Friday’s pivotal episode which will in turn cause new shockwaves for the folks in Genoa City for some time to come!

MICHAEL:

To begin, what did you think of Sharon shooting Adam, and not accusing her of having “intent to kill”? Was this another way for audience members to see this as the beginning of Adam’s road to redemption?

MICHAEL MUHNEY:

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This word that is being used so frequently: “redemption”… I feel that it’s a tricky word.  I know there are audience members who don’t want redemption.  They think, “Phooey.” But, what is interesting is if you do “non-redemption redemption”.  So what you get in exchange is the “greying” of a character.  There are historical things and pain in Adam’s past that make him tick.  They are things that may never be righted from the wrong.  So, you have to always wonder, what is his decision going to be at the moment with this person?  The not knowing is what is great, because if you redeem him, then he is supposed to be really good.  Then everyone would know five steps ahead what he is going to do.  However, with a  “non-redemption redemption” you’ve got him doing morally ambiguous things, and making some right choices.  Other times, he is doing things out of spite, or revenge, anger, or pain. There is a mixture there that is a recipe for success and character longevity.  And for him, standing up and doing the right thing for Sharon isn’t a heroic move, rather it’s a side of Adam that does exist that is speaking.  But on any other day, he might make a different choice in regards to another character on the canvas.  It’s an interesting balance.

MICHAEL:

Adam has done some of the most heinous things ever in the history of soap!  It is a hard pill for many fans to swallow.  Everyone should have plugged the guy multiple times for being the biggest sonofabitch!  How do you view his “payback”?

MICHAEL MUHNEY:

What you have is fireworks, and that explosion potential.  I actually don’t mind having people calling for Adam’s head.  And also, let’s say they want to make this character a Victor 2.0.  You can’t lock him up in jail for the rest of his life, or take him off the show for five years.  You don’t really kill him off – but you have to make him “pay” for certain things.  So you have to drag him through the mud, and tie him to your rear bumper, and drive him around town and let him get all skidded up, and have everyone pointing and laughing.  So he is not paying in the traditional way. 

MICHAEL:

Right, because then you can’t keep him around.  So, do you think at this point in the story Adam is getting his just desserts?

MICHAEL MUHNEY:

The unrequited love of Sharon and being torn away from someone he really loves is certainly some sort of payback. He has also been the most hated man in town. There is a lot he has gotten away with, but in the end, he hasn’t gotten away with it.  I think this is indicative of real life where everyone is not brought to an exact finite justice, but you’re paying for things that you have done.

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MICHAEL:

Quite obviously, he has major issues with all his parents that caused this seismic shift in his personality, and we are all waiting with bated breath to find out what more could have happened to him in his past.

MICHAEL MUHNEY:

A thing I like to play with Victor and Eric Braeden (Victor) is something so deep.  All three closest people in his life lied to him, and that is part of what made Adam decide that truth and lies apparently don’t matter.  All in one fell swoop, within a day, your mother is dying any minute and this is your hero.  She has been your mom and your dad for all these years.  She has been the person who has kept you grounded.  Your father, who passed away when you were really young, lied to you, too. And surprise, your real biological father, he has been lying to you by never having showed up.  It was like the big joke was on him.  They all manipulated a whole situation to control his circumstances, and there is such fallout for that for Adam.

MICHAEL:

Clearly, he has issues with men!

MICHAEL MUHNEY:

There ya go!  There is a father issue and there are some serious issues, such as Adam thinking: why would my mother not even give me the choice to have a relationship with my real father?  Then he thought about Victor: “I don’t care what my mom told you to do. You should have fought that tooth and nail.”  So as a man there was that feeling of: “Was I rejected by my father, because he did not feel I would measure up to the Newman standards?  And that I could potentially be born blind and I was seen as damaged goods?” These are residual issues for Adam that carry through to this day.

MICHAEL:

Signy Coleman (Hope) returns on Friday for two highly touted episodes. Chris Engen portrayed Adam when Hope died on-screen a few years back.  How was working with Signy?  And, will these scenes be the tipping point for the audience to start caring about Adam?

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MICHAEL MUHNEY:

Signy is great, giving, and available as an actress.  She is committed to every moment and scene.  As to the upcoming scenes, with viewers then having more understanding about Adam, I read that interview that Signy gave to TV Guide Magazine. I think what she gave was a subjective comment.  The reason I say that is, because I have been realizing over time that there is a contingent of the audience out there who are open minded and can go with the flow. They will roll with it, and there are others that are not having it.

MICHAEL:

So there is not a: “Oh, my God! This is why he is such a terror” moment.

MICHAEL MUHNEY:

When I read Signy’s interview I cringed.  I went, “Oh gosh. I know there are some people now thinking there will be some massive big reveal.”   I feel like the way it’s been handled is subtle and circumstantial, and it leaves things up for question.  I like the ambiguity of wondering, “Was Adam sexually molested when he was 8?”

MICHAEL:

So as the decision of the trial comes in, Hope appears to Adam?

MICHAEL MUHNEY:

The judgment comes down on Friday’s episode.  The real meat to chew on with Adam and Hope are tied into that episode.  I certainly hope it plays out for the fans as well as I had imagined.

MICHAEL:

OK.  There is been major confusion on this trial for some viewers.  To clarify, what crime or crimes is Adam actually in court for?  Shall I give you the laundry list? (Laughs)

MICHAEL MUHNEY:

With Adam there is a myriad of crimes, but the heart and soul of it is the Richard Hightower murder.  That is what he is out on bail for at the moment, having originally been arrested for murder.  The judge is deciding right now if he should send Adam to trial for conspiracy to commit murder.  Everyone is unsure if there is enough evidence to do so. All of his crimes are sort of rolled into one on Friday’s episode, when the judge hands down his decision.

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MICHAEL:

Will Adam have to take the stand in coming episodes, or have a meltdown on the witness stand?

MICHAEL MUHNEY:

I did it already, actually… Adam realizing he had no way out but to have the judge rule that he is not fit to stand trial, but once that got reversed; it’s like the OJ Simpson case.  It is similar in this way:  a lot of people said, “No, I don’t care what is being said.  I know he is guilty.”  Or, “I don’t care what is being said.  He is innocent.”  In cases like that, the main attraction does not often get on the stand and plead their own case.

MICHAEL:

What was your initial reaction when the Y&R powers-that-be said to you, “Hey Michael, Eric Roberts is going to play your attorney!”

MICHAEL MUHNEY:

I was in my car and picking up Chinese food for dinner, and I remember taking a brief pause, going, “Man, this is going to be good.”  I was thrilled and I had a smile on face, and it was met with the reality of meeting Eric.  I enjoy his charisma.  There is a magnetic quality about him that makes you just want to watch him.  He and I have powerful chemistry – whether that translates on screen I don’t know.  He and I really click, and really get along.  I have appreciated all the adoration he has shown me in the press.   The man even tracked me down in my dressing room one day.  I was completely naked, my door was not locked, and I was in the middle of a costume change.  I hear a knock on my door and I go, “Who is it?”  And I hear, “A friend!”  So I get some clothes on and Eric comes in and says, “I just have to tell you kid, you are phenomenal! You have it.  I have done some checking on past episodes that you have done, and I am usually not impressed with people.”   From that moment to know that you have someone to work with in a storyline who respects your acting choices, you can’t help but be open to them.

MICHAEL:

With Eric Roberts, Sean Young, and Y&R’s stunt casting, how do you think these actors fare on daytime when they have been working in film and primetime for a long time?  Eric has not worked on daytime since Another World, and that was decades ago.

MICHAEL MUHNEY:

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To throw him in with the wolves and have him do the legal jargon page after page, that is hard enough to do for even a veteran because it’s like Shakespeare.  It’s stilted language.   To then move at the pace of daytime, I was sympathetic to his case.  I remember my first two days at Y&R, where I had massive monologues one after another.  It can be overwhelming, but what I noticed about Eric is he kept a great sense of humor about the fact that he has so much to do right away.  That guy rolls with the punches.

MICHAEL:

Will Eric return after finishing his stint in Dr. Drew’s, Celebrity rehab?

MICHAL MUHNEY:

I believe so.  I found out about Celeb Rehab like most people online, and since then, I have not asked any questions such as if he is coming back or not.  But my guess is he would be back because they really like his work on the show, as do I.

MICHAEL:

So maybe there can be a Y&R spin-off… The Vance and Adam Show?

MICHAEL MUHNEY:

Yes. We had Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello and now, Vance and Adam.

MICHAEL:

Vance is a very intriguing attorney.  Sharon Case (Sharon) said in a recent interview that Eric plays him brilliantly, maneuvering his witnesses just right.

MICHAEL MUHNEY:

When I read the part before he was cast, I thought to myself, “They are going to have to have someone who is going to have to really bring it.  You are going to have to find someone who is believable as a hot shot and a hot profile-case attorney.”  You have to have someone who can play someone who can lure the witnesses in, but then be powerful and aggressive when he needs to, but at the same time, have a charm that can command the jury who would hang on to his every word.  I think Eric does it brilliantly.

MICHAEL:

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What about the “kangaroo court” cabin scenes where the entire clan railroaded a deserving Adam, including: Victor, Nikki, Jack, Ashley, Sharon, Nick, etc?

MICHAEL MUHNEY:

I enjoyed it.  What you had was people taking the law into their own hands, and people thinking they are above the law.  These people came together so they can call their shots, and to corner Adam.  For him, he had to endure that situation where in the same room, at the same time, people were calling you out at what you’ve done at the same time, or haven’t done.  It was quite cathartic for Sharon and Ashley to endure some of that.  I was happy with that because these characters all had to get on the page sometime.  To see them do it in a way where it was informal, and then in a courtroom, they all got their turn with him.  So now you have got folks who tampered with justice.  Did they ruin the case against Adam because of their tampering?  And, in the eye of the jury pool they could be guilty as well and short sighted on their opinion of Adam.  To condemn him the way they did, creates more problems.  Soap operas can’t solve people’s problems; they have to create more problems.

MICHAEL:

Does Adam really love Sharon?  Or, is he just desperately looking for someone or something to hold on to, because in his mind she is this one beautiful thing in his dark and nasty world?

MICHAEL MUHNEY:

I think Adam knows that deep down in his heart that his pursuance of Sharon is not futile, and it’s not an obsession.  It’s also not a delusion, because he has been given enough from Sharon to know he is not imagining this in his head.  He knows things would have been a lot different if he had not taken her child to give to Ashley, which he feels terrible about.  He is caught in this situation where he has found true love, and when a deed got exposed everything got turned upside down.

MICHAEL:

Adam did everything he could to make sure Sharon was not going to be backed in to the corner on the stand, while Skye wanted Vance to quash her to pieces.  At this point, where is Adam with his relationship with Skye?

MICHAEL MUHNEY:

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The meddling that Skye is doing is starting to eat away at Adam, and from the minute that Skye basically blackmailed him into this marriage of convenience, he has been resenting it.  Adam doesn’t respect the fact that she is using these opportunities on him.  He is well aware that he has used opportunities and people, and a bit of it is Karma, and it happens to all of us.   He put his foot down with regards to Sharon, of what he will or won’t let Skye do.  He is an Alpha and an aggressor, and that is why Victor may have some problems with Victor Jr., because he looks at him and he sees a young reflection of himself.

MICHAEL:

With Sharon on the stand, Adam is increasingly getting more and more upset.

MICHAEL MUHNEY:

His theme with Sharon is: “You do your thing girl.”  He said to her, “I will not have my lawyer stop you.  I will not let him attack you, and do not feel fearful that he will attack you.  I will not allow it.”  There are things Sharon and Ashley say up on the stand that were hard for Adam, because it made him relive memories of things he has done. 

MICHAEL:

Do you think “legal eagle” Rafe, ever truly got payback for Adam duping him into a sexual relationship, and lying to him about his sexuality?

MICHAEL MUHNEY:

At the risk of taking Adam’s side, I think Rafe did get his payback.  Any two people that start to hook up, and one of them is lying for whatever reasons, you find out your being lied to or your being dumped.  And so you think, “You’re a jerk.  I am going to move on.  I am outta here.”   That happens everyday all over the world.  There is a relationship and one person is not being so forthcoming as to the reasons they are in that relationship.   That is my opinion.  Maybe it’s because it was same-sex that there was a lot of extra hype to it, but it’s the same scenario.

MICHAEL:

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But I think what made it twice as bad was that Adam preyed on this innocent gay man by seducing him, when he is not really gay after all, and that kind of duplicity really is not tolerated well by heterosexual or homosexual parts of society.

MICHAEL MUHNEY:

I think in my beliefs; there is nothing different to me in a man messing around with one woman, and then messing around with another woman on the side.  It’s the, “Who do you think you are?”  Playing the same-sex side of a relationship is inconsequential in the long run, I think.  For Adam, he thought, “Whether I sway that way personally… hey look, it was a job to do… an undercover sting operation.  I have to get inside this guy’s head, and play this part up to the hilt.  But, I am not bothered by it enough not to do it.”

MICHAEL:

You and I first talked over a year ago, when you just replaced Chris Engen. With every twist and turn that has happened since you took over the role as Adam, does it feel like it’s been that long, or like yesterday?

MICHAEL MUHNEY:

Sometimes it feels like a few weeks ago, and sometimes it feels a lifetime has passed in my heart since I picked up this part.  I have learned so much.  I hope there is a day in the future for both Chris and me, that his name is not brought up anymore.  For me, I feel I have embodied and created a character now, along with Maria Bell’s (Y&R’s, head writer and co-executive producer) writing and guidance that developed him into an entirely different character.  Certainly like a new breed of Victor Newman, and to have done that and shed this skin of the preliminary blueprint phase of Adam that was played by Chris, I am proud.  And for Chris’ sake, that hopefully over time people will let it go and get past the situation that ensued with him.  To this day, I never met the guy.  I tried to stay out of what went down, and I have to respect decisions on all sides of things.  My dad said something to me years ago, “One man’s trash is another ones treasure.”  And so, I’ve just stepped into this and tried to make it a treasure.

MICHAEL:

Are you worried about the extinction of soap operas that many fear is just right around the corner?

MICHAEL MUHNEY:

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I have talked to a lot people on the inside and researched into the decline of soaps.  I have to say, I am not worried about the final few soaps that will be the dinosaurs.  I think the internet will help change things for better and worse, and breathe new life into the soaps.  I think it will then level out for a while on network television, and years down the line more will spring from that.  Soaps are far from dead… certainly not when I walk around anywhere outside of L.A.   I come to realize how many people stop me, and how many people are involved in their soap operas.  I expected someone to throw a drink on me, or someone to scold me from afar, but it has not happened!  I have been blown away how 100% of every single person has said amazing things, such as, “Boy, are you bad!  But I love it.  I’ve got to tune-in the next day, and the next.”  If you want drama, mischief, and to see the dark side of people, then you like and relish tuning into soap operas.

MICHAEL:

You are very close with Stacy Haiduk (Ex-Patty/Emily) and the scenes between Adam and Patty were some of the most delicious to watch.  How do you feel about her departure from the show?

MICHAEL MUHNEY:

I love Stacy.  I am fond of her… She is a doll.   Her portrayal of Patty was phenomenal and she was so dedicated to it.  I don’t think it’s a slam on Stacy, or her character, that it came to an end for her.  I think that everybody from the top brass to anyone who she worked with would say she did that character justice.

MICHAEL:

How many air vents did you crawl through as Adam, particularly to get to Patty? (Laughs)

MICHAEL MUHNEY:

Apparently, one too many times! (Laughs)  I feel like Adam has to find his ending by crawling through so much hell, both literally and figuratively, to come out on top in order to come out on the other side.   The necessary function was for him to mess with Patty, as Adam wanted to take the heat off of himself for being the main suspect in killing Richard Hightower.  At the same time for me, I was sad that Patty’s departure from Genoa City was a result of Adam; as he was the one to send her off.  I was both honored to do that and be with her at that last moment.  I think I gave her a long hug after our last scene. 

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MICHAEL:

Your one-year contract was up awhile back and there were some tenuous times when the audience did not know whether you were returning, or what the show had planned.  But to me, it seemed like all along you were coming back.  What went down with the contract negotiations that you can clarify?

MICHAEL MUHNEY:

After my one-year contract was up, I knew there was talk about the new contract.  There was always a plan that Adam would, in theory, come back.  I knew what the show wanted from me, and negotiations can be dropped and go the other way at any time. I had emotionally said goodbye to the show.  I had said my goodbyes and had received parting gifts from cast members of the show, and things that they did for me were so touching.  When the formal talks began, for a little window of time there, I walked away.  And, then I went to have a talk with Maria.  My goal was to sit down with her, and in the end say, “Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to breathe life into this character, and I respect you.”  And within an hour and half time, I stood up and said, “Ok, let’s do this. Let’s go to work.”  She worked her magic.  She and Sharon Case both were working on me a couple weeks up to that meeting with Maria.  After that meeting I said I am just going to look long-term with this character.  It’s one of those ultimate roles for an actor that I am getting the chance to play.

MICHAEL:

I want to throw out the names of some of your co-stars and get your immediate thoughts on them.  Let’s start with Sharon Case.

MICHAEL MUHNEY:

Sharon is stoic and strong.  She is seriously witty, and she is also really an understanding, forgiving, and tolerant person who I have grown to respect as a woman.

MICHAEL:

You seem to be smattered all over the press dancing together in Vegas.  Is Sharon a good dancer?

MICHAEL MUHNEY:

She is a goofy dancer!  And you can’t help but laugh and have a good time.

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MICHAEL:

Ok, next up. Laura Stone (Skye)?

MICHAEL MUHNEY:

Very classy, and a true Canadian at heart, and a kind person.

MICHAEL:

Joshua Morrow (Nick)?

MICHAEL MUHNEY:

I am surprised at myself how much I like the guy.  He is a sweetheart and as funny as you can be.  He has been really generous with me.

MICHAEL:

Eric Braeden?

MICHAEL MUHNEY:

Turned into a friend… to a degree, has been a father figure, and a mentor, and a peer of mine.  We really enjoy talking with each other about the behind-the-scenes stuff, and breaking things down, and what we think about storyline and our characters.

MICHAEL

What did you think of the news that ATWT’s Maura West is coming to Y&R as Diane Jenkins?  Would you like to play in the Genoa City Sandbox with this two-time Daytime Emmy winner?  I kind of would love to see that!

MICHAEL MUHNEY:

I am game for Adam mixing it up with anybody.  I say “congrats” to her from moving from one big soap to another, and moving into a role that is going to cause some media friction for the folks in Genoa City.  I am not sure our paths will ever cross, though.  I am glad most times for anybody to get work, period.   People don’t realize how tough it is for actors.  When fans so flippantly say, “I hope they write off that character.  That character needs to die.”  They are actually wishing a human being is put out of work, and in this environment, you cannot wish that on anybody.

MICHAEL:

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In closing, what should we say to everyone to get ready for; when Friday’s big Adam episode is aired?

MICHAEL MUHNEY:

I would say, be ready to take in every moment because you cannot miss a beat with this upcoming episode.  There is so much subtlety, innuendo and nuanced things that are going to shed just enough light to make your question marks, even bigger question marks… and more powerful ones.  The only answers you will get are within yourself and the judgments you make from watching that episode.  I sent an email to Maria after I read this particular script.  I said, “I have two words for you: inspired and haunting.”

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Amy
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Amy

You always do the best interviews, Michael F. I loved the interview with Michael M., he’s such a class act.

..ally..
Guest
..ally..

Amazing interview! Makes me love Michael Muhney even more now! 🙂

Helene
Guest
Helene

I just love Michael to death and I’m so glad he renewed his contract. We were really missing him it was like you lost your best friend when he died. I hope he stays with the show and I would really love for him and Sharon to get back together after the trial. I’ve got an interesting question that I’ve been noticing on the intro of the show Why don’t they have Adam(Michaels) pictures he’s so handsome and really deserves to have a spot in the intro! Keep up the great work Michael!

Debra
Guest
Debra

Ummm this guy has TOO MUCH EGO! It’s ridiculous! He’s a terrible actor and he is OVERRATED! The character of Adumb is a disgusting, vile TROLL! The next time his contract is up i hope he LEAVES!

FREE SHARON!

Rose
Guest
Rose

You are the real troll!
M.M. is the best!
Now go back to playing in your sandbox!

Doe
Guest
Doe

Hey, Michael. This is the best Michael Muhney interview yet. I don’ believe this junk about redemption. Adam needs to pay for his crimes and stop blaming everyone in his family. He has affected so many lives on Y&R, that it’s almost impossible anyone could be so maniacal. I have a funny feeling about the way this trial appears to be going. I can’t wait for tomorrows’ show. But, I have to say, I have a weird Karma that doesn’t feel right. So, we will see who is right………….

Anna
Guest
Anna

A redemption can be the most interesting arc in a storyline if the writing is here and the acting is good. So for the acting don’t worry : Michael Muhney is the break out star on this soap with Billy Miller (though he was already really good in his prime time work..and after he enjoys well enough his part as Adam Newman if this regime gives him some good character-writing stories in order to explore more Adam’s psyche i hope to see him again in prime time tv as a lead this time) but i am more worry about these… Read more »

Janet Bailey
Guest
Janet Bailey

Michael, you are my favorite actor and your intelligence and thoughtfulness adds greatly to this interview. I will not miss tomorrow’s show, no matter what! You have me so intrigued about the future of Adam as well as Y&R. And last week’s kiss with Sharon was the hottest thing this year…..

Lana J. Dethrow
Guest
Lana J. Dethrow

Great interview! MM is brilliant as Adam. I love Adam and Sharon together, their love story has completely entranced me. I look forward to watching everyday.

Sandra
Guest
Sandra

WOW he’s full of himself. That ego is pathetic. I almost feel embarrassed for him. How does he walk around with a head that big? Use to like him, until I read this interview and his last. He needs to be replaced asap. MM isn’t the only “phenomenal” actor out there. He’s too one dimensional for me. I don’t feel sorry for his character because of the smug way the actor plays him.

I hope he isn’t paired with SC, let them throw somebody else under the bus for this guy. Leave Sharon alone!

J Willis
Guest
J Willis

Oh puhleeze, give it a rest. MM has shown himself to be a great actor and genuine person that has never been aloof to the fans of either Veronica Mars or Y&R. This is a wonderful and entertaining interview.

Your comments are really sad. Sandra, try reality sometimes, you might drop your nastiness.

DebTina
Guest
DebTina

Thank you. Geeze

Sandra
Guest
Sandra

Oooh, I think you just made me change my mind! *Poof* all of MM’s interviews and arrogent comments have been removed from my memory–I love the man now! Three cheers for the greatest actor that ever acted. *eyeroll*.

His squee-ing fangurls can say and do whatever they want, it’s not going to change my opinion, or the opinions of other people who feel the same way. The proof’s in his Daytime Confidential podcast.
Keep Sharon Case away from this narcissistic pompous guy.

J Willis
Guest
J Willis

Sandra, take your hate and swallow it. You are nasty and full of hateful venom.

Elle
Guest
Elle

If I inferred correctly, MM is of the opinion that Adam used the sexuality between himself and Rafe to Adam’s advantage, not that Adam used Rafe’s homosexuality to Rafe’s disadvantage. It didn’t occur to Adam that Rafe’s homosexuality was a negative, only that Rafe’s attraction to Adam was a positive. He saw an opportunity and ran with it – had the other person been a straight woman I think that Adam’s actions and subsequent reactions would have been generally the same. Not sure if that makes sense! Anyway, it appears to me that MM plays Adam as an equal opportunity… Read more »

DebTina
Guest
DebTina

I love MM and Adam is one of the best Soap characters ever. MM is an intelligent and gracious man. I don’t understand the insanity of some saying he has an ego. The man is confident with his work. I love how he praises the people he works with. As for some claiming SC, Sharon, is being thrown under the bus for MM, Adam, please get a clue. SC loves working with MM and has made it clear she is happy with his return to the show. She may have even been part of the reason he returned. Some of… Read more »

Nelly
Guest
Nelly

Sharon Case loves working with everybody. She’s a sweet person. Just last year she was saying how much she enjoyed working with Billy Miller and wanted to work with him. Too bad the writers didn’t go that direction.

If you lurrrve Adam and MM so much, great. Just keep him away from SC and there won’t be a problem. Lets see how much attention he gets being paired with somebody else–say, the New Heather? Or Mac?

DebTina
Guest
DebTina

Some of you people really do need to get a reality check. It is not yours or mine say so in who Sharon Case works with. She not only LOVES working with MM, she was instrumental in encouraging him to come back to the show; and the producers or Y and R love having MM on their show working with Sharon; so it would seem you need to deal with it or stop watching the show. MM is an excellent performer who does not need anyone to get attention. He has already made a name for himself before he came… Read more »

Lisa
Guest
Lisa

Michael Muhney is a terrific actor. I have very much enjoyed his interpretation and portrayal of Adam. While I do think Adam is horrendous, it’s the kind of evil you love to hate. Furthermore, Adam and Sharon are an incredibly sexy couple. I really hope that they end up together; the actors have set a new standard of sensuality.

GailM
Guest
GailM

I love MM and am so glad he is in this part. He seems to be very intelligent and thoughtful about his role and the roles of those he works with. He is an actor’s actor all the way. Although he has played a horrendously bad character, I too hope he gets together with Sharon – they work so well together. It doesn’t mean they will get so smarmy that they are boring, just that they have a relationship. Really looking forward to seeing the Friday show – I now watch on the net rather than TV. Sounds like it… Read more »

John Woods
Guest
John Woods

I think that show is good for t.v. day and night time thank u

Pat
Guest
Pat

I love MM in the role of Adam,being truthful i only watch when MM ,E.B and J.C is on ,and when you put M.M and E.B in the same scene you gat a awesome episode,

David Lightfoot
Guest
David Lightfoot

Face it, you guys, Shadam is the real thing, and it’s going to be very hot in the coming weeks. To all you Shick fans, you will notice that in Sharon Case’s interviews as of late, she has been speaking about working with Michael Muhney, and she doesn’t speak about a reunion with Nick nearly as much, but more about a Shadam pairing. I have read other message boards, and it seems many loyal Sharon “fans” are jumping ship, calling her weak and stupid and needy (gee, NOW you figure this out…. LOL!) for staying with Adam. That just shows… Read more »

DebTina
Guest
DebTina

Ummmm I think Shadam is a go also and hate the mess Shick turned into after Nick slept with his grandmother Phyllis. I love how some see fit to call Sharon a slut but are diehard old Red fans. Please, Phyllis is the granny of sluts she just don’t have that many men after her. I am sure she will sleep with Deacon at some point but Ronan seems to have the very YOUNG Chloe on his mind. He is not as dumb as Nick who would chase after a woman old enough to be his mother. How many men… Read more »

Julia
Guest
Julia

You are maybe a Sharon hater/Shick hater and a Phyllis lover but i am a Sharon lover, i don’t think she is a weak character (but yes she is often badly written but not weak IMO, these last years she showed flaws and it made her character finally more interesting) and i liked for a while Shick (like i also liked Phick, IMO JM has great chemistry with these two actresses however his acting is too wooden and they overpower him in almost all their scenes) however we can agree about something lol : yes Shadam is the way to… Read more »

Mandel
Guest
Mandel

Michael, the interview with Michael Muhney was great. It brought out the real idea of the charactor. You sure know how to get the actor to talk about the interesting things. I really enjoy your interviews.

Elle
Guest
Elle

I agree – Michael Fairman is my favorite interviewer. I love his easy interview style as well as the depth of his questioning.

He also has a fantastic sense of humor, as I have found out viewing his video interviews.

Excellent all the way around!

toptim
Guest
toptim

I love Michael Muhney and after reading this interview I love him even more. He is so smart and intelligent. It’s great the way he talks about this character of Adam, and working with Eric Roberts and Signy Coleman. I also have to say to Michael Fairman, this is one of the best interviews I have read on MM.

Deehoney
Guest
Deehoney

I LOVE M.M. HE IS A GREAT ACTOR. I LOVE SHARON CASE, SHE IS GREAT. I HATE PHYLISS WITH A PASSION, SHE WHINES ABOUT NICK AND SHARON, BUT THE HAG CONVIENIENTLY FORGEYS SHE SLEPT WITH NICK WHEN HE WAS MARRIED TO SHARON. I CAN’T STAND THE BITCH. DEE

Jolene Beth Morgan
Guest
Jolene Beth Morgan

I think that Michael is a wonderful actor, and I love the scenes with Eric Braeden. Together they create pure magic,they do have great chemistry together, one would think that they were really father and son. I wonder if they ever speak german together since Michael speaks german also. In my opinion Eric Braeden is one of the greatest actors of all time, period, so Michael Muhney is extremely lucky to have Mr. Braeden as a mentor and a friend. Whatever “it” was that Brando had, Mr. Braeden has “it” as well, one can never stop watching him when he… Read more »

Brenda Lee
Guest
Brenda Lee

I would like to meet micheal muhney as adam on the young and the restless and also milissa as chelsea.

meme
Guest
meme

I will miss adam, he gave Victor a run for it. I only hope that they will recast him. what ever happened leave it behind and leave us with michael muhney. I really wish they would quit getting rid of the characters. they could not help Ms. Chancellor leaving but billy and now adam. What about Phyllis (red), give us her back so Jack can help her recover and give sharon a run for her money. I could really write some epsidoes with all the characters. Love you Adam and Billy and will dealy miss you both.

General Hospital

GH’s Finola Hughes, Marcus Coloma & Josh Swickard Talk On 15,000th Episode Milestone

The juggernaut that is ABC’s General Hospital, is marking yet another accomplishment in its storied 59-year-history.  The iconic soap opera is set to air on Wednesday, June 22nd (unless preempted), its 15,000th episode.

As part of the celebration, General Hospital’s Finola Hughes (Anna Devane), Marcus Coloma (Nikolas Cassadine) and Josh Swickard (Chase), who all appear in the standalone episode, chat with Michael Fairman to mark the occasion.

During the conversation now on You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel, Finola and Marcus, and later Josh, who logged on later while at Disneyland, discuss: their beginnings on GH from landing their respective roles, who in the cast perhaps most intimated them, at first, and what it has meant to be part of the legacy of General Hospital.  In addition, Finola, Marcus, and Josh reveal some of their more challenging storylines, and more.

Photo: ABC

Later, the trio each gives us a tease of what’s to come now that Nikolas has slept with Esme (Avery Pohl), what lies ahead for Anna and her love-interest Valentin (James Patrick Stuart), and Josh talks on working with his on-screen love-interest, Amanda Setton (Brook Lynn Quartermaine).

Watch for a special appearance by GH’s Maurice Benard (Sonny Corinthos) within the interview, as we do a deep-dive of being part of the ensemble cast.

We also take a moment to send out our condolences to Kristina (Felicia) and Jack Wagner (Ex-Frisco) on the passing of their son, Harrison, and how you can donate to the scholarship fund in his honor.

Check out our GH 15K interview with Finola, Marcus, and Josh below, and make sure to ‘subscribe’ to the Michael Fairman Channel for more upcoming features, interviews, and upcoming Daytime Emmy red carpet coverage.

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Interviews

Sean Kanan Talks On The New Season of His Streaming Series ‘Studio City’ and The Life and Times of B&B’s Deacon Sharpe

The second season of the Emmy-Award winning, digital streaming series, Studio City is now available on Amazon Prime. The six latest episodes bring us back into the series of an aging actor, Sam Stevens, played by soap vet, Sean Kanan, who is one of the stars of the soap opera, Hearts on Fire, in the role of Dr. Pierce Hartley.

Throughout Studio City, viewers go on the journey of Sam’s foibles through life off-camera juxtaposed with his life on-screen. A sundry of delicious characters enhances the premise of the series portrayed by the likes of: Carolyn Hennesy, Anna Maria Horsford, Justin Torkildsen, Lilly Melgar, Tristan Rogers and more, all names familiar to soap fans.

While Sean is busy promoting the latest season of Studio City, and his book Way of the Cobra, he is also continuing to appear on The Bold and the Beautiful as bad boy – trying to straighten out his life after years in prison – Deacon Sharpe.  Since his return last year, Sean has been mixing it up in stories with the likes of Kimberlin Brown (Sheila) and Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke).

 

In this chat with Michael Fairman TV, Sean weighs-in on: what could be next for B&B’s Deacon, the struggles and the joys of continuing his streaming series, and the homage Studio City is to the soap genre and much more. Check out what he had to share below.

Courtesy/StudioCity

How challenging was it to shoot this season of Studio City?

SEAN:  When we do this thing on a shoestring, everything needs to fall into place in order for it to happen properly.  We know that everybody involved with the show was going to potentially get other projects, or do other things   One of the biggest issues we have, is that a lot of times, we didn’t know what locations we had because Studio City is the real world, and then it’s the show within a show (Hearts on Fire).  So, with the show within a show, those actors aren’t in the ‘real world’. For instance, Tristan Rogers (Doc), is only in the ‘real word’, so, if we have a location that isn’t for the ‘real world’, we can’t shoot Tristan because he doesn’t exist there.  We would have to literally decide what we were writing (sometimes the night before) based on the locations we could get.  It was just an enormous challenge.

Sarah Brown (Laurie) was not a part of the newest six episodes as well as some others cast members. Will she and others be back at some point?

SEAN:  Sarah was directing a podcast, and we kind of had to look at who was available to us, and what stories we needed to tie-up, and hopefully we are going to wind up doing another five episodes to finish up this season.  Then, hopefully we are able to get the actors who weren’t able to do the first six to come back and do the second five.

What I liked about the new six episodes is that I thought you built-in some really solid scenes for the actors.  How did you feel about the outcome?

SEAN:  We make the best show that we can make with the resources and time that we have.  I was glad that we got to develop the story a little more with Delilah (Juliet Vega), Sam’s would-be-daughter.  We always try to do something that’s socially responsive, and diversity is certainly and important issue in Hollywood, without a doubt, but I also think that you need to see the comedic side of everything.  I thought there was some really funny stuff about that with Sam doing the podcast and the scene with Anna Maria Horsford (Jolene) and Will Roberts (Dennis), where she comes in, and she’s like, “The production is too white.”  I thought that was some funny stuff there.  I loved the monologue my wife, Michele, wrote for Carolyn Hennesy (Gloria) about the soaps – that thing about how all of the soaps are dead, and Carolyn just railed in support of the soaps, about the soaps being this dependable thing.  For a lot of people, soaps are their point of emotional contact.

Photo: StudioCity

I talk to fans all of the time and for many times soaps are their lifeline.  Your character, Sam, lands a part in action-adventure film and screws that all up while on set. Where did that plot point come from?

SEAN: It came from a couple different places.  I think that there is not a male actor alive, who some part of him doesn’t harken back to when he was a little boy and doesn’t want to be an action star.  I think the funny thing about it is, of course, Sam is right on the precipice of being over the hill for it, and he’s not going to let that stop him.  Natalie Burn (Shelby Brock) is a legit action star.  She’s a terrific martial artist.  Our director, Timothy Woodward Jr. has done some action movies.  So, we sort of said, “Okay, we’ve set this thing up where Sam wants to get this film.  Let’s give him the film and have him struggle abysmally.”  Marching orders for Studio City are always to keep as much mishigas on Sam’s shoulders as we can.  You never want to see the lead of your show succeeding wildly because that diffuses all of the conflict.  I do think I’ve had some really great dramatic stuff.  I really liked the scenes that I had with Delilah in the sixth episode, and I loved the stuff with Tristan, and I loved the stuff with Lilly Melgar (Becky).  I thought it was really funny.  Lilly killed it and so did Justin Torkildsen (Jacob).  I thought Justin was great.

Courtesy/StudioCity

I thought when you utilized on-camera testimonials from the cast and the EP, that was really a hilarious piece to add to the story.

SEAN:  That was great.  I’d love to take credit for that, but it was Tim’s idea, and it was a really great idea from a production standpoint, because you can do one of two things.  You can either do a whole show where you’re using those, or you can chop them up and use them throughout different shows. From a production standpoint, we had to build some things into the show to insert those when we needed.

Courtesy/StudioCity

You also cast celebrity publicist, Anthony Turk, as a network executive in the series.

SEAN:  Yes. Way back when I created Studio City, there was a part for a publicist, and I had talked to Anthony about doing it.  We had eliminated the publicist part until Lilly became the publicist; which ended up in a completely different plot point.  I always knew I wanted to put Anthony in the series, because I think he’s a good actor. I was like, “You know, I didn’t write this part for you, but I think you can do it,” and I was really happy with how he did it.

 

Courtesy/StudioCity

I also liked the scene with Anna Maria Horsford’s Jolene where she tells Sam to keep his mouth shut while he is working on set. 

SEAN:  She is so fabulous.  I love that woman.  She is such a talent, and I was so happy when she got nominated for a Daytime Emmy last year.  I have such an affection for everybody on our show, because they really put their heart and soul in it, and it just means so much that they show up, and they support, and they do great work.

What I noticed is that the way Timothy Woodward Jr. captures you as an actor.  There is so much going on in the reaction in your eyes of what is happening to Sam.  He realizes the, “Oh, my God,” of each situation as he realizes what he just stepped into, or he finds the humor in it, or when he lets out his frustration, as he did with his daughter in the sixth episode.

SEAN:  That was one of my favorite scenes.  I wrote that one.   It was great because it’s my real-life stepdaughter, and I thought she really stepped up, and I was so proud of her.

For the first time in the realignment by the television academies, Studio City will now be competing at the Primetime Emmys instead of the Daytime Emmys, if the series receives nominations.  How do you feel about that?

SEAN: We are really excited to be competing with the big dogs now at the Primetime Emmys, and rather than being intimidated by it, we are saying, “This is the universe opening up and saying, ‘this is what you need to do,’ and so let’s embrace it.”  It’s going to be exciting.  In my 35 years in the business, I’ve never been to the Primetime Emmys.  So, we shall see.

Photo: StudioCity

Justin Torkildsen’s role greatly expanded this season.  In story, do you see Jacob attempting to thwart his Aunt Gloria and take control of Hearts on Fire as the EP? 

SEAN:  I don’t know if the goal is for him to take over for Gloria.  It certainly was a lot of fun to see what happened when he got just a little taste of power.  He’s got his own agenda, and I also love that he wants the love from his Aunt Gloria.  He’s not just a young guy trying to ascend the power ladder of the show.  He really does want his aunt to be proud of him and to love him, and she’s a tough nut to crack.

There was scene after the network executive tells Gloria, “You’re out, if you don’t fix the show.”  Doesn’t Jacob gloat in it for a minute?  Doesn’t he want payback for how she treats him?

SEAN:  I don’t know if he does.  I think he certainly does like to see when Gloria gets her little comeuppances, but when push comes to shove, I think he’s really got her back, I do.  Justin is so naturally funny.  He’s a great guy to have on set.  He’s got a great attitude, and he’s a very good actor.  I was really struck by a moment in season one where he’s coming up the stairs, and he had this abject fear of interrupting Gloria, and Justin didn’t have any lines.  He just played it beautifully with no dialogue.  I was like, “We’ve got to give Justin more to do,” and for me, it was nostalgic to work with him again because the very first scene I had on The Bold and the Beautiful was with Justin.

Photo: JPI

What can you say about Carolyn Hennesy; who often is the quintessential scene-stealer in Studio City when she appears on-screen?  Does she go with the script or ad-lib parts of the dialog?

SEAN:  She’s a gorgeous, red-haired, flaming beast.  She definitely did some wonderful ad-libbing to elevate what was on the page, and she made it her own, and that’s one of the things that I love the most about her.  I love that I can write a 20-page scene and give it to, for example, Tristan Rogers, 20 minutes before and know that he’s going to nail it.  That’s one of the things that I love about working with Daytime actors.   Say what you want, but when the chips are down, and your back is against the wall, a Daytime actor is going to be the one who can take the dialogue, digest it quickly, and give you a good performance.  With the way that we are run and gun in our style of shooting, you have to move really quickly.  I’ve worked on a lot of films, and with people who are recognizable in the business, and sometimes they get overwhelmed when they have more than a couple of pages in a day … and you know what we do in Daytime.

Courtesy/StudioCity

When you were writing the new season with Michele and Tim, was it laid out pretty definitively, or did it evolve?

SEAN:  We laid out some large arcs.  We knew the storyline that we wanted to do with Natalie and with Will.  Natalie, actually joined us as a co-executive producer.  She is Ukrainian and has family there.  So, she had a lot going on.  I just feel like she really stepped up.  She really helped the production both as an actress and as a Co-EP, and we were very fortunate to have her, and have her at a time when it would be completely understandable when her ability to even act would have been compromised, yet alone have the facility to Co-EP.  In addition, we knew we wanted to deepen the relationship between Sam and Delilah.  We had a different idea with what we wanted to do with Doc, and we wound up doing something another way than what we had originally discussed.  Sometimes, you have to make these decisions that are sort of production-based and you have to alter storyline.  Of course, we knew we wanted to continue to create the storyline that like a lot of soaps, Hearts on Fire was potentially on the chopping block.  At the same time, we really wanted to illustrate that the soaps are full of people who are talented, gifted actors, who love what they do, they work really hard, and they don’t always get the respect that they deserve.

Courtesy/StudioCity

It looks like Doc might be having a change of heart?  Will he begin chemo to save his life?

SEAN:  That’s what we are thinking, and we are hoping to bring Patrika Darbo back in, and finding out where she’s been and having some really nice scenes between, she and Doc.  I think things are going to develop between Dennis, who is the producer, and my character, Sam, and we are going to learn that all has not been revealed of who Dennis really is.

Courtesy/StudioCity

What did you think when you saw your performances in the latest six of Studio City?

SEAN:  I’m always super critical of myself.  I like the stuff with the podcast because I thought it was really organic, and I thought it was funny.  I loved the stuff with Lilly.  I always see things that I could fix and do better, but I also saw stuff that I liked, and I really liked a lot of what was going on with Juliet.  We had another take where Sam really breaks down, and unfortunately, we had a sound problem with that one, and we couldn’t use it.  That was really crushing to me, but again, you make the show that you can make. Michele and I always joke and say, “Making a 50-million-dollar movie is easy.  You want to really produce something?  Produce it when you have no money.”

Photo: JPI

What did your wife, Michele, say about how she thought the latest season of Studio City turned out? 

SEAN:  I do have to say that Michelle really stepped up this season of Studio City.  She ran the show.  She is an executive producer, but she was also the supervising producer, in charge, responsible for crewing up.  She amazes me to no end.  I couldn’t be prouder of her, and I’m so honored that she and I were able to both win out at the Daytime Emmys.  We have very different skillsets, which is great.  There are not a lot of areas where we overlap, but we compliment, and that’s why I love working with her.

Photo: JPI

You are also busy with The Bold and the Beautiful.  How has this most recent return been for you as Deacon Sharpe?

SEAN:  Oh, my God, it’s been fantastic.  The Bold and the Beautiful consistently ranks as one of the best professional experiences that I have ever had.  I love the people I work with.  I love the creative freedom that I have on the show.  I love what they write for me.  It’s just great.  Listen, I’ve done four Daytime shows, and by far and away, this has been the best experience.   It’s a great role.  I’m the only guy who has ever played Deacon, so I’m fiercely protective of the character.  I know I’m coming into a really big storyline right now, which is very exciting.  I can’t say anything about it yet, but I’m going to be working with a character who I haven’t worked with very much before, which is very exciting.

Photo: JPI

What did you think about Kimberlin Brown receiving an Outstanding Supporting Actress Daytime Emmy nomination? I believe you are in some of her submitted scenes.

SEAN:  I think it’s incredibly well-deserved. She just brought so much to it, and I’m just honored that I was able to be a part of what she did.

People are saying you’re going to get all wrapped-up in the Li (Naomi Matsuda) Sheila, and Finn (Tanner Novlan) storyline.

SEAN:  Well, I guess I already am to a certain extent.  I like to think that in his infinite wisdom, Brad Bell (head writer and executive producer, B&B) knew that Kimberlin and I would find humor in an eccentric relationship; rather than just being two kinds of ‘baddies’.  Deacon is not nearly as bad as Sheila, but rather than be two people with somewhat aligned wants and needs, I think hopefully Brad was like, “I think they’re going to come up with something interesting,” and I think we did.   The fight that Deacon had with Ridge (Thorsten Kaye), that is not something that you see on Daytime all the time.  That was really exciting and fun.

Photo: JPI

I love that Deacon’s home-away-from-home is the supply closet!

SEAN:  I was teasing Brad.  I said, “If I get a raise, do I get a Swiffer?”  I love it.  In terms of Sheila and Deacon, I didn’t know if we were going to wind up in the sack together or not, and I thought, you know, if that happens, that would be interesting, too.  By my calculations, Deacon has now been out of jail for how long, and he has not gotten any action.  No action for a guy who just got out of prison for 5 years.  So, I don’t know what’s going on in that broom closet. (Laughs)

What was it like working with Katherine Kelly Lang during the whole ‘New Year’s Eve drunken night with Brooke’ story?

SEAN:  You know, Kelly and I really were able to capture lightening in a bottle many years ago, and I think it was wonderful.  I always wondered, what was going to happen all this time later if we worked together again?  Are we going to be able to come up with something great?  I love working with her.  Poor Kelly, just broke her ankle, which is terrible, but she is a champ.

Photo: JPI

Do you think there is still chemistry between Brooke and Deacon?

SEAN:  Yeah, I do.  I try to create chemistry with anyone I work with, men or women, but don’t we do that in life?  We always want to be interesting and sexy with anyone we talk to.  Ultimately, what we are trying to do on some level, is we are always seducing as human beings.  That’s where I come from as an actor.  You’ve got a goal.  You’ve got a series of actions that you use to get the goal.  You usually fail a couple times in the scene, so you change the actions, and you try to overcome the obstacles.

Right, and seduce people …

SEAN: … And seduce.  Deacon is a very adept seducer.  I think a lot of it was from being a conman.  I think now, Deacon is finding that he can be seductive by being authentic.  I think that’s new to him.  I think ultimately, when you’re authentic, that’s a way more powerful brand of seduction than something that is some sort of a manufactured, fabricated, external seduction.

Photo: JPI

So, what would say in a tease of what’s coming up for Deacon on B&B?

SEAN:  All I can say is that I’ve been told that I’ll have an exciting story coming up, and I’m looking forward to it.  I always like when I get the ball, and you never know what another actor is going to bring out of you.  Whenever I work with someone who I haven’t worked with, I hope that they are going to allow me to tap into a part of myself that maybe I haven’t demonstrated before.  That’s what I look for, and that’s what keeps me enthused in this job.  We do have to give the same information a lot in Daytime.  That’s just the nature of the beast.  The challenge is, “How do I do this in a way that is not only interesting for the audience but allows me to stay engaged as an actor?”  If you start getting apathetic as an actor, you start doing bad work, and I can’t do that.

Have you checked out the latest six episodes of Studio City? What do you hope happens next for Deacon on The Bold and the Beautiful? Share your thoughts and theories in the comment section below.

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General Hospital

General Hospital’s Nancy Lee Grahn Chats On Her Daytime Emmy-Nominated Performance and Its Significance

When the nominations were revealed for the 49th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, General Hospital mainstay, Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis Davis), was recognized for her stunning work in the Alexis-centric standalone episode which honored her 25th anniversary with the ABC daytime drama series.

Grahn, is already a two-time Daytime Emmy winner.  She won back in 1989 in a tie for Outstanding Supporting Actress for her work as Julia Wainwright on Santa Barbara along with All My Children’s Debbi Morgan, and again received the honors in that category in 2012 for her work on General Hospital.

Now. she is vying for the gold in 2022 in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series category against other formidable actresses including: B&B’s Kimberlin Brown, DAYS Stacy Haiduk, Y&R’s Melissa Ordway, and her GH castmate, Kelly Thiebaud.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Nancy to talk about her decision to enter the Emmy race this year, her powerful and moving scenes, why this nomination is significant and important to her, and her take on some very important social issues of our time.

Always candid, insightful, combined with great humor and wit, here’s what Nancy had to share below, and make sure to check out GH this week when sparks fly between Alexis and Gregory (Gregory Harrison). Will he turn out to be the new beau in Alexis’ life? Stay tuned.

Courtesy/ABC

Congratulations on the Emmy nomination.  How do you feel about being in the running again, especially with the material from your 25th anniversary episode?

NANCY:  You know, I don’t submit myself if I don’t think I have something, and I didn’t last year.  This year, I had the one show, and the first reason I submitted myself was I had the episode that was worthy of the competition. These judges have to sit, and watch this stuff, and very often, it’s hard to watch soap opera scenes.  It really is, unless you’re in it.  It’s a different kind of material that most primetime people aren’t used to watching.  So, it’s tricky business.  I don’t want to put them through anything too awful. I don’t want to torture them and I’ve judged before. It can be a bit tedious. So, for me to submit myself, I thought, it has to be something that isn’t going to torture another human being. The second thing is, older women get marginalized the older they get, and they get diminished very often, and every time we get nominated, it means something different to me.  This time, to me, I want it to somehow be symbolic, or a shoutout to women who are still producing, who have been doing their job for a long time and are still doing it good enough, and that it’s still worthy of respect and recognition.

When we were at the GH Convention back in March, I played the scene on-stage for the fans in attendance of when Alexis goes over to the corner of Kevin’s office and heals her younger self.  You saw the reaction just from the fans.  It’s such a beautiful moment within the story.  What did you think about how the standalone episode was crafted?

NANCY:  It was a different experience for me because GH co-head writers Chris Van Etten and Dan O’Connor, and script writer, Scott Sickles gave it the attention, but even more to that, they allowed me to participate in the creation of it.  They allowed the director, Phideaux Xavier, to participate.  We all sat in a room.  They said, “You know what?  Make it how you’re comfortable with it.”  There were so many people who gave it time and effort, and Phideaux gets a lot of credit because he came up with a lot of ideas.  So, the little girl in the therapy room wasn’t initially a part of it.  That was Phideaux’s idea, and they let us alter things, and they allowed me to write some words that meant something to me with the character.  Our producers, Michelle Henry and M.K Weir, who I both adore, were also a part of this.

Courtesy/ABC

That is great to hear that you were involved in the collaborative process of the creation of the episode.

NANCY:  We read through the whole script, and we worked it like you would on primetime. We went through it like, “Does this moment work?  Does that moment work?  Does this make sense?  Does that make sense?”  We never do that in soaps.  We don’t get to that.  So, it was a gift to me.  It really was. Chris and Dan, and Scott and Phideaux, and the two producers, generosity in gifting me that experience and making sure that it was to everybody’s liking, was really very special to me, and it meant a lot.

Did you come up with the key lines which summarized Alexis as a person and her journey: “I’m Alexis Davis, and I’m a fighter, and an idealist and an advocate?”

NANCY:  No. They designed it, but we were allowed to enhance and contribute creatively to it, and, we don’t normally have the time to do that.  They don’t have the time to – and you can’t allow people to do that with every episode, to be creatively participating, because it would turn into madness with everybody.

Then, when it came down to choosing the scenes from your anniversary episode to include for your Emmy submission, was that a challenging process of which moments to go with?

NANCY:  I just told a little story with it with the time that I had, and so, I edited it with a friend of mine.  I did a sort of pre-edit on it, I’m good at that, and handed the timeline to our editor, who nicely put it together. It took very little effort.

In my humble opinion, I think that episode featured one of your all-time best performances.

NANCY: Thank you. There was a nice effort from everybody, from the lighting to everybody else, and all the effort Phideaux put into it.  He worked so hard on that!  It was fun for us.  It was like the old days where you really got to work something out.

Photo: ABC

It truly harkened back to everything we knew up to that point about Alexis and her past as well, and included a montage of scenes over the years.

NANCY:  I think it was M.K. who put that together, but when you’re working at the pace we’re working now, to have to sit and put together a montage of twenty-five years, that’s not an easy feat.  Nobody has time for that anymore, but they did it, and like I said, it was really, really appreciated.  My only thought with it is that I wanted it to be relatable to other people.  I didn’t want it to just be some, you know, self-indulgent Alexis episode. I knew that by bringing in the little girl and talking about people being hurt in their childhood and how that makes somebody feel that it was probably relatable to many people, and so it became meaningful to other people and not just me.

Do you think you’ll attend the Daytime Emmys? I know the last time you won you were not present.

NANCY:  Yeah, I’m planning on it.  I mean, barring anything happening! (Laughs)

Does it feel nice to be recognized by your peers?

NANCY:  Of course, it does.  It always does, and way too often, women who are still producing well in their jobs, don’t get the respect and the acknowledgment for it.  So, that’s why I’m saying, this is no small thing, and that I want other women to know that I know that, and that I wish for them the same thing.

What was the reaction of your daughter, Kate and your fiancé, Richard, when you told them you were Emmy-nominated?

NANCY:  Richie goes, “What is this?  Your 18th nomination?” (Laughs). You know what I mean?  It was just kind of like, “Yeah, sure, why wouldn’t you be?” It wasn’t like, “Oh, my God!”  It was like they kind of expected that.  That was nice!  I’m glad they feel that way.  I’m glad they weren’t surprised.  They were like, “Sure!  Of course, you would be.  Why wouldn’t you be?”  I said, “You know, it doesn’t always work like that!”

Photo: JPI

Now comes the part of having to find a dress and all that goes with it for the red carpet.  Do you enjoy that part?

NANCY:  No, I hate that part.  That is my… oh ‘boohoo’, you know?  I mean, I have to find something to wear.  Also, the older you get, that becomes so much less important, and the more makeup, and the more hair, and the more foofy, the more ridiculous I look. I start looking like Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.  You’ve just got to keep it simple.

You were talking about women and ageism.  Do you not feel that also exists for men?

NANCY:  It exists for men, but it’s not at all on the same par as women.  I mean, men still get paid more than women, and men still are valued more than women.  I mean, there are exceptions, but if you look in any place of employment, even the soaps, you will typically find the men making more money than the women, and the older the women get, the less they get.  Life’s not fair right now.  It’s fairer than it was, but still the equality game is not won yet.

Photo: JPI

I know how much all of this means to you in terms of equality for women, and people being run out of their jobs because of their age.

NANCY:  It’s just a reality.  It’s not something that I’m hopeless about, but I have a story to tell.  I’ll tell it when the time is right.  It’s life!  It happens in every field everywhere.  When my mom was 70, she was still producing the exact same way she was producing when she was 30, and she got run out, and was replaced by a man who was 40 or something, and there was no particular reason for it.  It was just, “You’re done.  We decided you’re done,” but like I said, it happens everywhere, in every line of work, and that’s why I just wanted to give a shout-out, when you still, after 36 years, can be recognized or shown respect or acknowledgment for what your do.  It’s a very big deal that I am appreciative of and grateful for.

So, rooting for Nancy to win the Outstanding Supporting Actress prize? Happy she was nominated for her work in the the milestone episode devoted to Alexis? Share your thoughts in the comment section below, and to tune-in to the 49th annual Daytime Emmy Awards on CBS and streaming on Paramount+ on Friday night, June 24th.

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