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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)

General Hospital

GH’s Chloe Lanier Talks On Nelle’s Twisted Plots, Her Co-Stars & That Cliffhanger “Ending”

Recently on ABC’s General Hospital, Chloe Lanier’s Nelle Benson created even more havoc for Carly (Laura Wright), Michael (Chad Duell), Julian (William deVry), Brook Lynn (Briana Lane), and of course, her son, Wiley.

However, is Nelle really gone after her ‘fall,’ which has left her MIA and Carly believing she is responsible for her sister’s ‘death’? But as we know with Nelle, she keeps secretly planning her next move and loves to slowly torture those who she believes have wronged her. There is also the ongoing mystery of just who is Nina’s (Cynthia Watros) daughter, especially since Nelle has the other half of the necklace so near and dear to Nina; leaving viewers pondering if it could mean they are mother and child, or is this all a red-herring?

One thing is for sure, Daytime Emmy winner, Chloe Lanier brings it each and every time she returns to GH. She gives always give the storylines a much needed injection of drama, drama and more drama. No one is quite like Lanier in the soaps either; she can play tough, vulnerable, manipulative, and street smart, like nobody’s business.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Chloe to get her answers to some of our burning questions for her and her portrayal of naughty Nelle, and how one of her co-stars helped her through a very difficult time in her life.  Here’s what she had to say about it all.

Courtesy/ABC

What did you think of the courtroom antics of Nelle during the custody hearing for Wiley?

CHLOE:  I mean, showing up in a wedding dress was her first mistake. Then antagonizing everyone in the room was probably her second. But she’s so wounded—so broken from her childhood. She doesn’t have the proper emotional tools to combat her self-destructive behavior.

Which showdown or confrontation between Nelle and Michael stands out to you?

CHLOE:  I particularly loved the scenes where Nelle, nine months pregnant, leaves Michael in the rigged car, hoping it would explode. It’s rare that you’re given comedic material on a soap, so that was particularly exciting for me. Also, Chad’s reactions always make me laugh. He’s great.

Photo: ABC

What is it like working with Chad Duell as feuding exes and parents of Wiley? 

CHLOE:  Chad is so easy to work with. He’s been doing the show for so long and is very technically gifted. The writers graced us with some meaty material that we were able to sink our teeth into.

Photo: JPI

What does Nelle think of Willow (Katelyn MacMullen)? She really hates her, huh?

CHLOE: I don’t believe she hates her. She’s envious. Willow is the exact opposite and oftentimes we’re afraid of what we don’t understand. Particularly someone like Nelle, who was raised by a con artist and taught to exploit and manipulate anyone she comes across. So when she sees someone so pure, so innocent, she immediately distrusts her because that behavior is so far outside the lines of how she operates.

What was it like taping the fight scenes between Carly and Nelle, where Nelle “Plummets” to her death?  

CHLOE:  Shout out to Amanda Hall and Heather Bonomo, our amazing stunt doubles for those scenes. They were fantastic.

Courtesy/ABC

When you and Laura Wright get the scripts; where Carly and Nelle are having a huge showdown, are you thrilled about getting the chance to play the emotional beats of those moments? What if it’s a fight scene?

CHLOE:  Those scenes were such a joy, because we got to explore some of the deep roots of Nelle’s trauma, and Carly explicitly said, “I believe you love your son.” That, for me, was important.  Because despite all of her failings, she truly did love her son—in her own warped, off kilter, way.

Photo: Paul Smith

Nelle has really been blackmailing Julian, until he turned the tables on her on the pier?  What has it been like acting opposite Will deVry in those scenes?

CHLOE:  I love Will. He and I actually have the same acting coach, so our prep and how we’re working is from a similar place. What I love about Will is the confidence he has in his stillness. He’s lovely on camera, so connected.

Photo: ABC

Nelle has the other half of the necklace belonging to Nina.  What do you think if it turns out that Nelle is Nina’s daughter?  It is quite possible, tho, that she is not, and it’s all a red herring. How has it been working with Cynthia Watros?

CHLOE:  Cynthia is one of the kindest human beings I’ve ever met, truly. We haven’t known each other for long, but earlier this year, and not many people know this other than my close friends, I was having glaring mental health issues stemming from unresolved trauma. I was going going going for so long that I couldn’t run away from it anymore. I had never dealt with any of it. She saw it and could tell I was silently struggling and reached out. You don’t forget kindness like that. So I’m very grateful for Cynthia—and of course, therapy. I would be flattered if they decided to make Nelle Nina’s daughter.

Photo:ABC

What do you think about how the writers have kept finding ways to have plot points that get all the other characters in trouble and make it look like they did something to Nelle, but she ultimately has her own diabolical plans for them with her actions? She is pretty smart!

CHLOE:  Nelle is the perfect victim, and her love language is sabotage. She’s also a narcissist, so she’s always going to think she’s the smartest person in the room. She’s basically a walking version of Taylor Swift’s song, Look What You Made Me Do. I love that the writers gifted me the opportunity work with almost everyone on the show. Josh (Swickard) and I always had a great time together. And Maurice (Benard)—god he’s hilarious. I would have loved to work with Briana Nicole Henry (Jordan) more though. I love watching her work. She’s going to have an amazing career.

Photo: ABC

Do you think Nelle can ever be redeemed at this point?

CHLOE:  Redemption is a weird one for me, because I don’t believe that people are inherently good or bad. We’re all human. We all have flaws, make mistakes, have regrets, experience shame. We have the ability to grow and we learn from our past. Nelle has done and felt all of those things, to a degree, but continued to do the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. A character either has to change or they die. So, I’ll say this—if Nelle is alive out there somewhere, I hope she’s going to therapy.

Photo: JPI

What has been the hardest scene for you to play emotionally in the time you have been playing Nelle?

CHLOE:  Probably the scene with the newborn, where Nelle runs into Brad on the side of the road. I had never held a newborn baby before, so I was TERRIFIED. I realized I was the only thing in that moment keeping that baby alive…a very bizarre and life altering feeling, I’ll say.

So, have you enjoyed Chloe’s performances? Do you think Nelle is plotting from afar?  What would you like to see happen in the storylines with  baby Wiley, Nina’s child, and more? Comment below.

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Days Of Our Lives

Chandler Massey & Freddie Smith Discuss Their Departure From DAYS, New Beginnings & WilSon’s Journey

This week, Days of our Lives viewers saw the highly-anticipated exit off the canvas, for now,  of Daytime Emmy-winners, Chandler Massey and Freddie Smith as Will and Sonny.

Tuesday marked their final airshow, while the actors found out they were being written-out of the show and had filmed their last six episodes over seven months ago, because at that time and before the pandemic, DAYS was taping far in advance of air.

Now with this leg of their journey complete as the popular Salem duo, Chandler and Freddie are embarking on new chapters of their lives, as Chandler details his move to Atlanta and Freddie in a few weeks to Florida.  But as they discuss in this very special conversation with Michael Fairman on You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel, they are not stopping acting either.

During this “farewell for now” interview with Michael, the two actors open up about their final scripts, their last tape day, how both characters helped many individuals come out and come to terms with who they are via watching Will’s coming out story, Will and Sonny’s on-screen relationship and more.

In addition, Freddie discusses what happened when he auditioned for the role of Sonny and what he thinks helped land him the gig; Chandler shares a story about a fan that is very moving, and that his biggest regret was not getting to play the wedding scenes between Will and Sonny (Guy Wilson at that time had stepped into the role of Will).   The duo also reveal their favorite and least favorite storylines they were involved in, and much more.

Watch the full interview below.

So, what do you think about what Freddie and Chandler had to share during our conversation? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Interviews

Y&R’s Melody Thomas Scott Talks Harrowing Childhood, Growing Up In Hollywood, Nikki’s Storylines

This week, The Young and the Restless’ iconic, Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki Newman) new memoir, Always Young & Restless: My Life on and Off off America’s #1 Daytime Drama,” from Diversion Books, is available everywhere.

For everyone that follows Melody, this book has been several years in the making with some starts and stops, but in it she does not hold back and reveals some very painful details and moments from her upbringing when she was raised by her unstable grandmother and more.

Courtesy/DiversionBooks

Melody also talks about reuniting with her estranged father when he suddenly awoke from his coma while she was by his side.  Throughout her lengthy career in Hollywood, Melody has worked with some of the greats including: Clint Eastwood, Brian DePalma and Alfred Hitchcock.

Now in a conversation with Michael Fairman on The Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube, Melody opens about her decision on the stories she told in the books, her favorite and least favorite storylines as Nikki on Y&R, working with Eric Braeden (Victor) and the entire company of the CBS daytime drama where she has been for over 40 years, and how she hopes her memoir might help others; including those stage moms and children considering life in front of the camera and more.

To watch the full interview with Melody, check it out below.

Then let us know, what have you been most surprised to learn about Melody this past week as her memoir has come out? What is your favorite or least favorite storylines of Nikki’s on Y&R over the years? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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B&B’s Heather Tom talks with Michael Fairman immediately following her record-tying win in the Lead Actress category during the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.  Heather and Erika now hold the most wins for an actress with 6! Leave A Comment

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