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The Michael Park Interview – As The World Turns

Photo Credit: JPI Studios
Michael-Park-200x300

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

On As the World Turns, it’s finally “Michael’s Turn”. After languishing on the back burner for quite some time, actor Michael Park has gotten the story of his soap opera lifetime. Michael’s endearing and sturdy portrayal of everyman Jack Snyder has made him one of daytime’s most treasured performers. CBS and ATWT heavily promoted and revealed that Brad Snyder (played by Austin Peck) would be killed off, and with that huge payoffs and stories would explode. And they did, and it did not disappoint critics or viewers. If anyone had caught each episode of ATWT since Jack accidentally shot and killed his brother, you have witnessed must see daytime television. But to On-Air On-Soaps, the standout is Park’s heartbreaking star turn as a man racked with guilt for shooting his brother and how it literally spins his whole life out of control.

Now with the shows Never Surrender Tour in full force, which features Jack hitting the road after the tragic event and ATWT visiting cities around the US in a huge promotional boost for the soap, viewers are getting the chance to see a cast of characters that have been off the canvas for quite some time. But of all the returns, the most highly anticipated was that of Carly, played by the returning Maura West. And that means that Carly and Jack, long-time star-crossed lovers, may yet get another chance at love, or will they?

In this On-Air On-Soaps interview Park talks openly about his new storyline, the exit of Austin Peck, ATWT’s cancellation rumors, and re-teaming with Daytime Emmy winner, West.

MICHAEL:

Since the episode where Jack accidentally shot and killed his brother Brad, As the World Turns fans have been watching you give the performance of your career!

MICHAEL PARK:

Let me start this off by saying the performances across the board have been outstanding. Terri Colombino (Katie), and Austin Peck (Brad)…I mean, I don’t think Austin has done better. He has hit every mark perfectly, and I love this ghost story. I think it’s really something else because I think he and Trent Dawson (Henry) work really well off each other. The writing has been spot on and I think Chris Goutman (exec prod ATWT) has come up with a perfect story arc. It is a perfect storm of good soap opera, period.

MICHAEL:

What went through your mind when you found out the show was planning on killing off Brad, and thus Austin would then be leaving the show, which would then propel Jack into major story?

Brad dies.MICHAEL PARK:

I immediately said, “Please tell Austin it was not anything that I wanted. Tell him it was not my fault.” There has been all this hoopla on how the two of us did not get along. I think it was more hype than anything else. Regardless, he has been doing phenomenal work and I was proud of it. I am happy for the show, and the bottom line is people are talking about As the World Turns and that is what we needed, and at that point we did not even have Maura West (Carly) back yet. What a great set-up for her return to the show.

MICHAEL:

Jack’s journey: from the scenes when Brad died and he felt so guilty, to dealing with his family; Janet and Liberty and his son, Parker, of what he had done were such gut-wrenching moments. Were they tough for you to play?

MICHAEL PARK:

You know it’s crazy, I was thinking of that myself. I have an older brother… and keep in mind on ATWT Brad is younger than Jack. But I do have a brother in real life, and I am thinking while Austin is laying there, “If that was my brother…” and the feeling comes up and the subject matter is heavy, and this also meant… Austin is leaving. I drew from a lot of things. I had a sibling that past away. Did I draw from that? Yeah. And looking at Teri crying that alone will get you, and Terri was beside herself and it was just phenomenal.

MICHAEL:

What can you tell us about the reports that Austin was indeed, “fired”?

MICHAEL PARK:

Look, he did not get fired. We needed to facilitate Brad going away to facilitate story and unfortunately he was collateral damage. What a firestorm it started because the fans got very upset. But the story that happened because of that was so gorgeous, and so many people benefited from it. Most of all, I believe the fans did. And it’s not over yet, because the Christmas Eve show will knock your socks off! The Christmas Eve show is one of our most beautiful shows of the year, I think.

MICHAEL

Will we need hankies?

Michael and JanetMICHAEL PARK:

You might keep em’ nearby, for sure.

MICHAEL:

Jack is the everyman that we can all relate to, which is why he is so beloved. Question: Do you want me to pick out your Emmy reels for you now?

MICHAEL PARK:

Stop it! Don’t talk like that!

MICHAEL:

Your scenes with Mick Hazen as your son Parker, and Julie Pinson as Janet, were also poignant during Jack’s torment. How is working with Mick and Julie?

MICHAEL PARK:

Working with Mick is so easy. He is so present with me and we have a wonderful relationship outside the studio. We are very close and Julie Pinson is a pro.

MICHAEL:

You want to know what drove me up a wall? Janet harping to Jack, that he had two beers and had been drinking the night he shot Brad. She wouldn’t stop bringing it up!

ColumbinoMICHAEL PARK:

Look, Julie made it work and again it’s for more collateral damage. She had to do that in order to facilitate Jack feeling so rocked with guilt that he takes off, because no one is forgiving him. Katie is really the only one forgiving him. Katie! She has been giving Jack the gift of forgiveness, and she should be coming down on him the hardest. Jack living in the same house as Liberty, Brad’s daughter, and the fact she hates the sight of Jack at that moment, he just has to get out of there and is overwrought with guilt.

MICHAEL:

How was it going town-to-town on the Never Surrender Tour of Jack’s journey?

MICHAEL PARK:

Bringing the show to the fans was another one of Chris Goutman’s ideas. You know, it was busy! It was a lot of work! I visited those cities a few times in a couple months… first doing publicity there and then coming back to shoot the scenes. It was very taxing on the home life and Maura just had her fifth child in real life, and she is going everywhere with me. I believe out of it came wonderful story, if you put aside Carly teleporting to cities from Oakdale! (Laughs).

MICHAEL:

Jack visited with Mike, played by our favorite Mike, Mark Collier.

CollierMICHAEL PARK:

That was really special. For a couple years there ATWT was writing in characters and recasting them and rewriting the history along with those new characters. For example, with bringing Brad back, you had to rewrite the history of Jack and his mom and dad, too. Austin worked out that his Brad was this off the wall kooky guy. When they brought Mike on he was very serious, and keep in mind the relationship between Jack and Mike, Carly slept with Mike! So there was a lot of history set aside in order to tell story and it was great to see Mark Collier’s Mike. No slight to Jon Prescott. Now Peter Parros (Ben), the man is beautiful number one. He is rock flipping solid! I don’t know how old he is, and I don’t want to know. (Laughs) He is just a masterpiece, and seeing Lesli Kay (Molly) again, well she is another masterpiece, and to top it off, Paul Leyden (Simon) is back.

MICHAEL:

Now in the story, Jack wants Simon to come back to Oakdale. Why?

MICHAEL PARK:

Simon was involved in an art theft and Jack shows up and says, “You are needed by Katie. Now I don’t know why she loved you, but she did love you and now she is in trouble and you need to help her.” Jack has this stuck in his craw that he has to mend this broken heart of Katie. That is why he goes to see Mike, but Mike has a new wife and baby, so Mike steers him towards Simon. Jack is vehemently opposed to being in Simon’s orbit because of the history between Simon and Carly. As reluctant as he is, it may be the only other person that could help Katie and that is why he tracks down Simon. He can’t finish the job though, and thank God. Lo and behold, Carly shows up to help him out, because Carly knows Simon better than anyone (Laughs).

MICHAEL:

Now coming up next week, things get really upsetting around Thanksgiving for Jack.

Simon Jack and CarlyMICHAEL PARK:

Simon is a master of disappearing and that is pretty much what he does. Jack takes it really hard and thinks it’s his last shot at finding Katie any kind of happiness. So he goes on bender a little bit. He hits the bottle.

MICHAEL:

With a recovering alcoholic Carly nearby? What?

MICHAEL PARK:

And it’s really ‘lousey’, too, to get drunk in front of Carly who just got out of rehab. That’s basically what happens. The tease is Janet finally decides to go looking for Jack. There is a moment when Carly may be tempted to drink. There is a moment when Carly and Jack could end up hitting the sheets, and Jack does not remember what happens, and in that same moment Janet shows up.

MICHAEL:

The “super couple”, if you will, of ATWT as anyone knows is Carly and Jack. Why do you think it has clicked for you and Maura and for the fans?

Carly and JackMICHAEL PARK:

You say we are a “super couple”, but we have not been together for years now. No slight to Julie, no slight to Annie Parisse (Ex-Julia Lindsay), no slight to Sarah Brown (Ex- Julia Larrabee)….I have been blessed to work with all of these wonderful actresses and I don’t know why, I really don’t. Jack met Carly in late 1997 and we have garnered these wonderful crazy and fanatical fans, and they kept us going, really. Without a fan base, you don’t have a “super couple”, and it’s magic for me to work with her. We know each other so well and we pick each other up, and it’s been a great working relationship for over a decade.

MICHAEL:

When the two of you see the scripts where it feels like the same ol’ same ol’ of Jack and Carly splitting up and then getting back together again, does it feel like as actors, “Oh God, here we are again… been there, done that?”

MICHAEL PARK:

Isn’t that always the case, you recycle story. This reunion, if there is one, may be more of the same, but I hope it isn’t. There is a lot to overcome. Jack has to remain non-judgmental and has got to change, and he has not the right to judge anyone, says he. He has no right to judge a soul. He has taken a life!

Jack Shoots BradMICHAEL:

Do you think Jack will ever come to terms with what he has done?

MICHAEL PARK:

It’s a question of Jack forgiving himself, it really is. I don’t think it ever will be the same with Jack and Liberty again, and with his actions of what he did to Janet. I think there were some bridges burned between the two of them that I don’t think will ever be mended either. Because of who he is, and Janet being the good catholic girl she is…they try to stick together, and a lot not only happens on the road, but a lot happens back on the home front, too. So she is no angel in all of this.

MICHAEL:

Maura West’s Emmy reel last year, not only featured an outstanding performance by her but by you as well. In those episodes, Carly was trying to lure Jack back into her life and into her bed.

MICHAEL PARK:

In the past four or five years, I have submitted the same four or five reels as Maura. (Laughs).

MICHAEL:

How odd, right? You were excellent, too. Ah, the Emmy game! Maybe this year do not submit a scene with Maura in it or double check with what she is submitting. (Laughs) But the two of you are so good together. Were there a couple moments in the past where you felt that you and Maura rocked and were awesome as Carly and Jack?

MICHAEL PARK:

The break up scene when they broke up four years ago. That was a special time for both of us and the first time we really showed each other a different side of our characters. That is saying something since we have been working together for over a decade and again, I have said this before, the first time they fell in love in the cabin. It’s a special union that Jack and Carly have, and whenever they give each other those special glances and looks, it means something. When it is written really well for the two of us, it’s wonderful!

Maura WestMICHAEL:

So where else will we see Jack and Carly on the road?

MICHAEL PARK:

We have seen New York, Pittsburgh, South Carolina and then Jack and Carly go on a trip to Detroit..dot..dot…dot..

MICHAEL:

ATWT’s has had cancellation rumors swirling that the show is next on the chopping block since the demise of Guiding Light. You must be concerned?

MICHAEL PARK:

To comment on it makes it real. I lost a couple nights sleep there and I am not going to lie to you. What is happening with ABC switching All My Children to Los Angeles, and budgets are being cut across the board and every show is feeling what Guiding Light was feeling, and what As the World Turns and One Life to Live is feeling now. I have kids I have to feed, but I know I will be working, God willing.

MICHAEL:

Now two time Daytime Emmy Winner Tom Pelphrey (Mick) has started on ATWT. Have you even had a chance to work with him?

MICHAEL PARK:

NO!! I would love to work with him. There are other rumors that more people are coming and I love it.

MICHAEL:

Jack has been on the back burner for years now, until this huge, shall I say, shot in the arm. Was it tough just languishing for so long, when Jack is really one of the leads of the show?

Michael ParkMICHAEL PARK:

It was. I felt like for the first time I was working for my guarantee, and it was right around the time those rumors were coming out of the possible cancellation and so it was hard-core.  It was not like I had not been on the back-burner before, but this particular time was pretty stressful.  And everyone needs their turn, and if this is the payoff for being on the back burner, than boy, I am very fortunate and thankful.

MICHAEL:

You are also set to start in Martha Byrne’s new web series Gotham, which premieres next week on November 23rd at www.gothamtheseries.com.

MICHAEL PARK:

Yes. We shot three episodes, and it was fun. It’s great seeing all the people I used to work with at ATWT outside the studio. We shot it at Martha’s house, which is as much of a mansion as you can possibly get.

MICHAEL:

So you play Richard Manning, a very wealthy man?

MICHAEL PARK:

Of course I do! (Laughs) He is a playboy, and he is the most eligible bachelor of New York City, a JFK Jr. type, if you will. Richard manages a hedge fund and is in a bit of a jam, and we don’t know why. But, he has been married and in the process of getting a divorce. He has got two kids, and that is all we know of this guy. There is a bit of mystery about it. Back in high school, Richard and Catherine, Martha’s character, dated a bit and they are reunited at this St. Jude’s benefit, of course. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

How did your participation in the project come about? I am assuming Martha came to you and said, “Want to be in my webisodes?”

Michael ParkMICHAEL PARK:

Well, we went out to LA and talked to a bunch of people and found out the state of the union basically, and where daytime television may be going and what we can do to spark interest in certain shows. A person told us, “Take the project in your own hands and try to make some buzz with it on the Internet, because that is where the next wave of entertainment is going.”

MICHAEL:

Are you a partner on the project?

MICHAEL PARK:

Actually not, it’s all Martha Byrne’s and her amazing idea. I hear Kin Shriner could be involved now, and Anne Sayre and Lisa Brown, as had already been reported, are working on the show. I am very happy with it.

MICHAEL:

Will you continue on with Gotham?

MICHAEL PARK:

Sure, as long as Martha will have me, or until she kills my character off. (Laughs)

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Interviews

Eileen Davidson & Vincent Van Patten Talk ‘7 Days to Vegas’, Their Relationship and Y&R, DAYS & RHOBH

Today’s the day for the highly-anticipated film, 7 Days to Vegas which bows in selected theaters. The motion picture which stars Vincent Van Patten and his real-life wife, two-time Daytime Emmy winning actress Eileen Davidson (Y&R’s Ashley and former Kristen/Susan Banks, Days) is a comedic gambling romp, centering around the character of Duke (Van Patten), an out-of-work actor turned poker player who makes a prop bet that he walk from the San Fernando Valley in California to Sin City, Las Vegas in 7 days.

There are some catches to this bet that make it even more challenging  … Duke has to wear a suit the entire time in scorching heat.  The events in the movie are loosely based on Van Patten’s Hollywood Poker game nights.  7 Days to Vegas features a fictional gang of betting entertainment industry bigwigs, who are hardcore gamblers and of course, jealousy strikes.  Davidson plays Duke’s wife, KC.

Michael Fairman sat down with Eileen and Vincent at their home, and at their famed poker table for the Michael Fairman Channel, to chat about the making of the movie, their relationship and some intriguing tidbits for fans of Eileen’s work on The Young and the Restless, Days of our Lives and her time on Bravo’s hit reality franchise, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

In 7 Days to Vegas, Eileen says that Vincent fashioned her role of KC after their real-life relationship adding, “They are in it together. This is a lifestyle that they both enjoy.  That is what somebody does when there is a home game; you call people up, and make sure who is going to be there.  Van Patten said, “There is a host of the game, and that is her role in the movie.”

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As to the scenes where Duke is walking to Vegas, Van Patten shared, “We shot the film in Santa Clarita, California in the hills and the mountains and all of that, and then we out five days after with a second unit shoot and shot with drones in the desert.  So, I must have walked 10 miles a day, shooting, sweating, but you don’t feel it, because when it’s your baby, it’s a labor of love.”

When asked if she would go back to daytime, Eileen shared she would be back for more Ashley on Y&R: “I am supposed to go back to Y&R in a couple of more weeks. So I am popping in and out at this point.”  Davidson also shared she wishes nothing but the best to Stacy Haiduk who inherited her roles on Days of our Lives as Kristen DiMera and Susan Banks. Eileen said she does not watch the episodes of the show anymore, because it makes her feel sad.  The roles of Kristen and Susan were so close to Davidson’s heart.

In speaking of her time on RHOBH, Van Patten shared, “I think she (Eileen) did a great job. It went by real quick. I think she did like three years on it.  I was in the background carrying her purse, going, ‘Yes, yes, here I come.”  (Laughs)  Davidson expressed: “Listen, reality TV … it’s a crazy, wild, Wild West.”  When Michael asked about the time a drink was thrown in her face, Eileen explained:  “I think Brandi (Granville) felt she needed to be relevant to be on the show, and her role was to be a troublemaker. I understand more of it now.  At the time, I was a deer in the headlights for the first couple of years.”  Vincent shared, “People always ask if this stuff is scripted, and it’s actually not, but you can spice it up”   As to if ‘Housewives’ makes up the drama, Davidson elaborated, “Before the season starts they will ask, ‘What is going on in your life?’, and maybe there is some of that behind-the-scenes stuff.  It didn’t happen with me.  I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but it is a reality show, but it is also entertainment, and if all we did was sit around, how fun would that be?”

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Watch the full interview below with Eileen and Vincent and make sure to “subscribe” to The Michael Fairman Channel for more celebrity interview features.

Now let us know, will you be checking out 7 Days to Vegas, which will also be available on iTunes and VOD come September 24th? Do you hope there will be more Ashley on Y&R? Share your thoughts via the comment section.

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Interviews

Sharon Case Celebrates 25 Years On The Young and the Restless; Shares With Fans: “Thanks For Going On The Ride With Me”

Over the weekend, The Young and the Restless Sharon Case reached her 25-year milestone in Genoa City! For Case, who was the third actress to take on the role of Sharon Collins, and once believed she would only last six months on the top-rated CBS Daytime drama, has become an integral part throughout the years to the drama and the romance that happens on the canvas on Y&R.

To mark the occasion, Case sat-down with Michael Fairman on the set of Crimson Lights at CBS Television City where Y&R is taped; to take a stroll down memory lane, and to share her thoughts with her legions of fans on the life and times of Sharon Collins Newman.

Photo: CBS

From her character’s wrong-side-of-the-tracks beginning, to meeting Nick Newman, to many of the memorable storylines and moments that were among her very favorites including: when Nikki, Phyllis, Sharon and Victoria buried J.T., and of course, to her leading men through the years, Sharon reveals some backstage and on-camera Intel.   As viewers know, Sharon Newman had also had her share of catfights through the years in longstanding conflicts with both Phyllis (Michelle Stafford) and of course, Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott), and Sharon discusses those moments too.

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Sharon and Michael also relive when Cassie’s death, was first aired on the show, and the impact that story has had for decades on everyone who worked on and has watched Y&R over the years.  In addition, Sharon discusses how she felt the night she won the Daytime Emmy as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series back in 1999.

At the end of the interview Sharon relates this message to the fans of Y&R: “I have always felt like these 25 years wasn’t just working here and playing Sharon … or working here with all the wonderful people … it’s just as much about going through it with all of you, especially because of social media, but even when we didn’t have it, we always knew that you were there and we were partners with you … because it really is sort of a partnership.  I really have felt like we have been in this together the whole time.  We don’t have a studio audience, but we know you’re there, and we love hearing from you.  It really was just as much about you – this journey I have gone on, than it was anything else, so ‘thank you’ for being there and watching the show, and being faithful to the show, and thanks for going on the ride with me.”

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Now below, watch Sharon’s 25th anniversary from the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube.  For more feature interviews on the channel make sure to “subscribe”.

Then, let us know what has been your favorite storyline of Sharon’s through the years?  Comment below.

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Interviews

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: MFTV Inc

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

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

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

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Video du Jour

Y&&’s Eileen Davidson and her husband Vincent Van Patten chat with Michael Fairman about their new film “7 Days to Vegas”, her time on Y&R, DAYS, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and their relationship. Leave A Comment

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