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The Michelle Stafford Interview – The Young and the Restless

Photo Credit: Kathie Hutchins

Photo Credit: Denice Duff

On The Young and the Restless, Phyllis Summers Newman has dealt with many an issue and conquered many a problem head on over the years, or in some cases, been pretty sneaky in the way she went about it.  But nothing has prepared her for this latest familial drama!  In recent months, on the number one CBS soap, the powers-that-be have been delving into the background of Phyllis’ family with the introduction of her sister, Avery, and with a return now of her dear old dad George, who Phyllis has no love lost. (And that’s putting it mildly.)  The corrupt and nefarious father figure is now on his deathbed at a hospice center, and Phyllis decides she will try to go see him to get some resolution to her tormented past due to her father’s misdeeds.  When she arrives, he insists to his daughter that she falsely accused him of stealing money from his investors, and of his crimes.  However, Phyllis demands the truth, and things take a dramatic turn from there!

On-Air On-Soaps chatted with Daytime Award wining actress Michelle Stafford, to get her take on Phyllis’s daddy issues, the expansion of her on-screen family, and of course, the men in Phyllis’ life.  Will we finally have that “Phick” reunion that many Y&R fans are longing for?  Michelle fills us in!   Plus, she reveals what it has been like to work with Jessica Collins (Avery), Ken Howard (George), Joshua Morrow (Nick), and one of her new favorite co-stars, Jeff Branson (Ronan), who unfortunately has left the show!

Michelle, who is never one to mince words, cuts right to the heart of the matter on a myriad of subjects during our chat.  But one thing is for certain; this gal knows and understands how to act!  Through performance after performance, no one could refute that Michelle Stafford continues to be an acting force to be reckoned with, which always leaves daytime fans clamoring for.  Who can’t wait to see how Michelle serves up the delicious on-screen life of Ms. Newman every day?  We can’t!  So, here is our conversation with the one and only Michelle!

MICHAEL:

All of a sudden members of Phyllis’s family are sprouting up.  First up was her sister Avery.  And now with this recent storyline, Y&R is bringing back up the sins of the father, with Phyllis and Avery’s dad George, in the picture for just a brief time.  How is it for you as an established character when they bring in more of your family clan? (Although, we have seen the character of George before on Y&R!)

MICHELLE:

Photo Credit: Getty images

When they bring in a family member, I am always like, “Oh no,” for a second.  I get nervous, because I already created something for myself.  They actually created something that goes against something we had already played, and so we had to kind of do some shifting.  We have already seen the character of George, her father, and she had already had conversations with him, and we already had seen her mother, Lydia.

MICHAEL:

How was working with Ken Howard as your dad, in these pivotal scenes?

MICHELLE:

He is great, and as you know he is an Emmy and Tony Award winning actor!

MICHAEL:

… And he is the President of SAG!

MICHELLE:

And the President of SAG … and I talked to him about my insurance! (Laughs) We had a good conversation about my insurance.  (Laughs)  Ken had a great attitude and he is a great guy.  He knew he was there to serve a purpose for the story and he did that.  He knew the character was dying.  I actually wished we were playing lighter scenes!  We laughed a lot, and you know I can get people going! (Laughs)  He was awesome, though.

MICHAEL:

In story, Phyllis did not want to go see her dad in the hospice facility, even though he may not make it.  Why didn’t she want to go and try to make peace with him?

MICHELLE:

Photo Credit: Kathie Hutchins

He is an asshole!  Why do you want to go see an ass?  He iced her from the family.  He is a criminal, and then turned it around and made it look like Phyllis was lying.  He made her the crazy one, and so she left!

MICHAEL:

Do you think this huge issue with her father is what made Phyllis such a damaged person?  She has shown great resiliency in her life, but she has also done some very bad and questionable things along the way.

MICHELLE:

I think every soap opera character is pretty damaged.  (Laughs)  There is not anybody who is not.  I think Phyllis is looking for something she decided must exist in life that maybe doesn’t.  She is looking for something she never had, which is a family unit and real love.  She is looking for that and she is thinking that it should be a certain way, because it is not what she had.  In truth, that thing that she is looking for might not even exist.  But she is trying to find it.

MICHAEL:

Do you think because of her relationship with her father, this has been a cause of many of the issues Phyllis has with the men in her life? 

MICHELLE:

I would say that makes some sense.  I would say she is looking for them to be something she never had.  That is why I say it may not exist, because she is looking for something that she decided must be, because she did not have it.  I will tell you a personal story.  Years ago, I had a lot of friends who were married.  I saw the loveliness of their relationships and how their husbands would do all these things.  I thought, “Wow!  The boyfriend I had at the time doesn’t do those things, so he must be a prick.”  I would end the relationship to find out that they had the same issues in their relationships, but they weren’t letting me see it.  Those kind of relationships that all of us “chicks” look for only exists in movies and TV, really.  In reality, there are differences in life and people have differences, and the key is how you make it work.  Things don’t just magically work. You are making compromises, and that is why relationships work.

MICHAEL:

There was a recent scene between you and Joshua Morrow (Nick) at the Crimson Lights Coffee Shop.  It was just a simple little exchange between the two characters, but you could tell they still really love each other!

Courtesy/CBS

MICHELLE:

Yeah, they do, but I hated that scene! (Laughs)  He gave me the peace sign, is what he did.  As Phyllis in the scene, I was going, “What are you giving me the peace sign for?” So I gave it back to him and I kind of made a face like, “What the hell is that?”  Look in relationships and in your marriage a guy will go, “Hey Dude”.  Dude?  So, it was kind of a real moment, but Phyllis’s reaction to it was, “What? What is this?”  But, Phyllis and Nick do love each other.

MICHAEL:

Why can’t these two get it together?

MICHELLE:

I think because she can’t really trust him and because he has given her reason not to trust him.  Also, I don’t think he trusts him! (Laughs)  I think Nick knows he can be a dog.  He is trying to win her back but she is not really going for it.  Nick is trying and he has his own issues and own demons where women are concerned, and where Sharon and where Avery are concerned, too.

MICHAEL:

I cannot believe that Phyllis would ever go back now to Nick after sleeping with her sister, Avery!  And then of course, there is the whole Sharon debacle!

MICHELLE:

Yeah, I know.   The cool thing is they are not having them jump back in together.  They realize we can’t have Phyllis this desperate for his love, although she is kind of desperate for his love, she really is.  She is not Zen when it comes to him or level headed when it comes to him.  It’s all based on emotion, her love for Nick.  She really, really loves him.  He really cares for her and he brings out a part of her that is seldom seen by others.  He sees her sweetness and a love that is a true part of her.

Photo Credit: Kathie Hutchins

MICHAEL:

She has been vulnerable with Nick, and that has been hard on her.  Would you say she was vulnerable with Jack?

MICHELLE:

With Jack she did, and she didn’t.  He saw the tough Phyllis, and so she had to be kind of tough with him in the later years.  She always felt she was trying to one-up Jack, and she does not feel that way with Nick.  It’s a different relationship, although her relationship with Jack is very solid and beautiful, too.  She was in love with him, but there is just too much water under the bridge there.

MICHAEL:

I like how Phyllis visited Jack in the hospital the other day, since he is dealing with being paralyzed.  She seemed to care for him and be there to support him.

MICHELLE:

She is a good person for him when he is in trouble.  She will be tough for him.  He will be falling apart and she will be there, and that is their relationship.  Jack would do the same for her.

MICHAEL:

How was working with Jeff Branson (Ronan)?  The sparks really flew on-air with Ronan and Phyllis.  I think that’s putting it mildly! (Laughs)

MICHELLE:

Courtesy/IMDB

I love Jeff Branson so much, I cannot even tell you.  I really loved working with him! You know those scenes where we were making out and we were naked together, sometimes the guys can be pricky, although in my case I have never had that.  Joshua and Peter have always been gentlemen, but it can be an awkward situation for a woman, but it’s not awkward for me because I love to make out … seriously.  It can be weird when someone shuts himself off.  I am talking about when you are so naked with someone and so emotionally naked with somebody, they will put up some walls.  And that is normal; a lot of actors will put up walls.  It’s like, “Don’t get too close.”  Jeff and I did not do that with each other.  We talked about it before, and other actors do that, because they either have a wife at home or a girlfriend or a boyfriend, and they will get flack from them. Or personally, they will feel awkward.  So they will put up some walls.  I said to Jeff, “Let’s not do that.  Let’s be totally enveloped in this thing that we have together. Let’s just trust each other.”   I am not thinking, “You are going to make a move on me.”  We knew that we were not going to do that with each other and it was going to be a very open and vulnerable working situation where we trusted each other as actors.  It was really great.  It was so much fun, and that is what acting is about.

MICHAEL:

So you were aware that viewers thought it looked like you and Jeff were really going at it on air?

MICHELLE:

A lot of people thought we were banging each other.  They told me that!  I know it looked like I was banging Jeff.  I could see where people would think that because we were so open with each other.  A couple of fans said, “It’s so real.  I feel like I am watching you, too.”  And basically, they were watching us.  And that is the beauty and the cool thing about acting.  It’s just being so trusting to be there with that person and make it real and make it truthful.  And so, I loved, loved working with him.

MICHAEL:

Do you think Ronan and Phyllis would have been a good couple, if it could have lasted longer?

MICHELLE:

Yeah, I think they were a good couple. Ronan was really special to Phyllis because he treated her well.  Nick was bad to her, and she really was falling in love with Ronan and then he ended things with her so abruptly, but she did not believe him. She felt like he was just doing that to not get close, and because she was falling for him, she understood. At the end, she knew what he was doing.  I thought it would have been a really great triangle, but Jeff left the show.  I was bummed out that it was going to end, but Jeff wants to do film and I love him as a friend.  So I support anything he wants to do.  I think he is a really great actor.  I want really great things to happen for him.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathie Hutchins

What do you think about the sister rivalry between Phyllis and Avery?

MICHELLE:

Jessica Collins and I are still working it out.  It’s interesting the relationship between the two sisters.  We had some scenes we taped recently where we wanted to make it a very complex and odd relationship, and even the scenes where we are at the facility with the dad at the end of the story arc are really interesting.  What I like about those scenes, and how they play out, is that nothing has been resolved.  Phyllis went there for some sort of answer to her life, and some sort of resolution for her life and nothing is resolved.  I think that is really cool.  I think it is very real.  I don’t think that is necessarily what the writers were going for, but I think that’s what turned out.  I think the group of writers we have are very cool.  They are not militant.  It’s not like “No, this is my writing; you have to say it like this.”  They are always in to seeing how something works out.  There is a bit of a soft spot that Phyllis feels for Avery after their father dies, but I think we are going to see this kind of go away and it’s going to go back and forth.  Phyllis is actually going to have a soft spot for her, because it’s her own guilt for not being there for her sister, and leaving her with those freaks!  She has her own guilt, and at the same time, Avery, does things to her that are wrong!

MICHAEL:

Really wrong!

MICHELLE:

It also reminds her of her parents.  Avery is just kind of a symbol to Phyllis of her horrible parents.  Every time Avery talks, Phyllis just hears her dad.

MICHAEL:

How is working with Jessica Collins?

MICHELLE:

Photo Credit: PR Photo

Jessica is amazing.  She is so professional and so great.  She is so willing to work scenes out.  We had this scene in the prison and it went on for a long time.  It was an eight or ten minute scene.  So we worked on deciding what is really going on in the scene besides our dialog.  We will sit down and work it out.  We talk about what we are to each other and the relationship. Again, it’s nice that someone is willing in a female/female relationship, to be there for each other emotionally, and asking, “What do you need?”  Let me tell you, Jessica is so great and amazing in these scenes coming up with the dad.

MICHAEL:

Do you think Phyllis is resentful of Avery in that she became a lawyer, while Phyllis had bounced around a bit to find herself and a career?

MICHELLE:

Yeah, I think Phyllis is jealous.  In this scene where they are talking inside their father’s room, at one point the nurse comes out and says, “Avery, you should come in now.”  It was so great, because I was thinking as Phyllis, “What the hell?  Why Avery?  Why not me?”  I thought it was an interesting element.  So in the scene, I am a bit disturbed by why that bitch just came out and said,  “Avery!”  I think Phyllis is resentful that Avery was the golden child and is like, “Why am I the bad one, because I had some integrity?”  Avery was the untouched little sister that did not have to see any of the evil of this family.  I think there is a resentment that Phyllis had, because Avery didn’t have to see it.  And Phyllis is like, “Why did I have to see it and she didn’t have to?”  I think it’s more like Phyllis had to see this with these people and Avery got to live a life of ignorance.  There is jealousy of; why did I not get to live a life with rose-colored glasses?

MICHAEL:

Phyllis definitely came from the school of hard knocks, after all the things she went through growing up with her dysfunctional family.

MICHELLE:

Right!  Phyllis leaves and is like a street person, and Avery becomes this big attorney.  I feel that Phyllis is jealous of that and Avery’s life. That is something that is untouched in the writing, but it is something Jessica and I have created.  Jessica is just a complete doll.  I don’t feel any weird “chick” dynamic with her.

MICHAEL:

We touched earlier on Y&R bringing in family members to beef up Phyllis’s on-air story or back-story.  What did you feel when Jessica came on the show as your sister?

Photo Credit: Denice Duff

MICHELLE:

If they bring in a good actor, it’s great.  And Jessica is a great actor, and so it only aids the long-standing character.  It only aids it unless they stop writing for my character and start writing everything for her character.  Then I will be like, “Hey, what is going on here?” (Laughs)  We had a long talk about the ebb and flow of our characters now.  We created something interesting and I don’t know how it will play out.  It’s fun to work with someone who really cares, and with another woman where I don’t have to avoid slings and arrows! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Deep down, would you say the two sisters love each other, or would you not go that far?

MICHELLE:

Yes, they do love each other because they are sisters and there is that family bond.

MICHAEL:

Did you have any hand in the casting of Jessica as your on-screen sis?  I remember Jessica as Dinah Lee on Loving decades ago!  She was terrific.

MICHELLE:

No, no.  Michael Muhney (Adam, Y&R) actually read with her.  I remember Jessica on Loving years ago, too!

MICHAEL:

Where would you like to see Phyllis go now?  What would you like to see happen to her as a result of all that she has recently endured?

MICHELLE:

Photo Credit: Steven Bergman

I believe we need to see Phyllis unravel a bit.  There has been a lot lately with Lucy and the Daisy thing, and Avery releasing Daisy from Prison, and Nick and his shenanigans with Sharon and Avery, and then the father dying.  I think that does affect her.  I think all of this is too much for her and I think we need to see her snap a bit.

MICHAEL:

I would love to see that! 

MICHELLE:

I am trying to work that out!  But as an actor, you can actually weave that in to the writing.  I don’t have to go and pitch it to them, and it serves a purpose.

MICHAEL:

Do you think that we are over with Sharon being a constant issue and thorn in  Phyllis’ side?  They seem to have gotten away from that for a bit, but I suppose it could rear its head at any moment!

MICHELLE:

I don’t know.  I want to say probably not, because Sharon was married to Nick and it’s an ex-wife of Nick’s.  If she was connected to Nick, she will be connected to Sharon in someway, but I think if we do see that again, it needs to be different.  As actors we need to play it differently and they need to write it differently, because the audience does not want to see the same thing.

MICHAEL:

As a Daytime Emmy winner, and one who always supports her fellow actors, how are you feeling about the new Daytime Emmy pre-nomination process?  Do you think on paper, this system seems a fairer way to conduct the first round of voting?

MICHELLE:

Honestly, no system makes perfect sense. It’s an award and there are some people who are always going to think it’s unfair.  I will say, it’s the fairest thing in the world when you get nominated, and it’s the fairest thing in the world when you win, but when you don’t get nominated, it’s so unfair, it’s so unfair.  I mean, really.  It’s the greatest night in the world when you win, but it’s not so fun when you lose. That’s just the bottom line.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

Many actors feel that entering their name in competition for the Daytime Emmys is like playing a big game and trying to play it to win.  But so many talented performers have never won or have never had the opportunity to be nominated!

MICHELLE:

Just because somebody has three Emmys and somebody else has zero, in my eyes, it does not make that person a better actor.  It also doesn’t make the person who won, necessarily work a lot, or get a lot of storylines.  I judge and I don’t always pick the person who won.  It’s the way it is.   Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki, Y&R) and Eileen Davidson (Ashley, Y&R) have zero.  It’s silly.

MICHAEL:

You just recently received the Media Awareness Award from a wonderful organization, Project Cuddle!  I saw a picture with you and John Stamos from the event!

MICHELLE:

Yes, I did receive an award because of my work with the organization.  John Stamos is the National Spokesman for Project Cuddle.  Debbie Magnusen saves abandoned babies and I have been working with her for five years.  She is a wonderful person.  She started a hotline where if you want to abandon your baby, and don’t want it, she will take the baby no questions asked, and find a home for it.  And also, if you are having problems, and a lot of people cannot afford pre-natal care, she takes them in and gives them care while they are pregnant and then finds a home for their baby when they have it.   I have been working with her to help her get the project known for the last several years.

MICHAEL:

Congrats on that, and how was the night for you?  I saw you brought your posse with you, too! (Laughs)

Photo Credit: Kathie Hutchins

MICHELLE:

It was a dinner and we fundraised.  Christian LeBlanc (Michael, Y&R) came and Patty Denny, the Y&R make-up artist, and George Guzman, my friend Stacy Francis came who used to be on X-Factor, and some friends of hers.  Shannon Krause who does hair also came and I had my little entourage.  It was so awesome.

MICHAEL:

In closing, the scenes we will see play out on Monday’s upcoming episode, how do you think they turned out when all was said and done?

MICHELLE:

I never like judging myself, or will say, “I hit a home run.”  I will say, I thought Jessica was amazing because her whole world as Avery unravels before her eyes finding out her father was a liar.  I would definitely tune in to see how it all plays out though!

 

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Doe
Doe

Hey, Michael. Michelle is one gorgeous woman, plus being an outstanding actor. I loved her with Ronan. They were so hot! Too bad he left the show. I also like that Michelle is outspoken and tell it like it is. I thought she was excellant in trying to get her father to tell the truth about what nasty things he did way back that caused her to leave the family. Friday , after badgering him, she finally got him to tell the truth about money he stole. And with Avery hearing that, it should make a difference in their relationship. It will be interesting to see how that plays out. Good interview once again, Michael. I am looking forward to Monday’s episode….

delta24d
delta24d

Thanks Michael for the interview with Michelle, I am impressed as always by her honesty. She truly is one of the best actress on daytime. As a Phick fan i am waiting for the reunion. Not sure if it will happen, but I know alot of Phick fans would love it. And there is one thing we know, and it is that Nick and Phyllis loves each other.

So thank you again for highlighting her performance.

BETTYEJ
BETTYEJ

I didn’t read the entire article because I got bored with the part I did read. I have never like the character of Phyllis or Brooke on Bold and Beautiful. The only thing these two bimbo’s have in common with Nick and Ridge are sex. Neither of the bozo’s show any respect for them because they never had too. And Phyllis and Deacon dumpster drive was gross beyond words. Just as bad as Brooke’s wall banger with another daughter’s boyfriend. Both of these bimbo’s are way too old for this trashy behavior.

leslie
leslie

This is a great interview. Michelle Stafford is the most natural actress in daytime. She can make any actor look hot. It would have been great to see a triangle with Nick and Ronan. Too bad he had to leave. I love her with Joshua so I’m happy where their characters are heading right now. I can’t wait to see the scenes on Monday. Michelle is always so humble about her performance. It is just another reason she is easy to love.

Patty
Patty

I loved the interview. Michelle and Josh Morrow are pure magic! I’m so happy with the storyline for Phyllis and Phick! As usual, The Stafford is rocking her scenes. MS is such a class act!

Thanks for the great interview Michael!

JimTolkien
JimTolkien

Michael, once again you did it – GREAT JOB!!! What a beautiful interview with Michelle, my favourite actress!! I just love her and her candor…that is all.

She plays my favourite character so well and the reason why I enjoy watching Phyllis. She makes Phyllis so real to a lot of us, flawed and human. And she has such a wonderful take on her character – I always enjoy listening, or reading what she says about Phyllis.

Her onscreen chemistry with Jessica Collins is absolutely terrific and the Phyllis/Avery relationship has become one of my second favourite to watch, behind Phick. Though I didn’t like the Nick/Avery thing..bad move by the writers but it’s a soap lol.

I am going to disagree with Michelle on something though and this will be a first ever lol. I did not enjoy the relationship with Ronan at all…..it came out of nowhere and the relationship came off as self-gratification without any depth. If they were supposed to be falling in love, I sure as heck didn’t buy it or feel it. Yes, they had chemistry between the characters but heck I have chemistry with my shampoo. So that doesn’t really mean anything. For me, the relationship came off as extremely forced and not genuine, and appeared as if they were trying too hard. Onscreen it did not come off as organic but gluttonous in a sleazy way. There is something to be said about having scenes be genuine.

I love the Phick relationship just for the fact that they love each other and they can’t quite get it together but they are always trying to—that’s the beauty of it. I enjoy watching Michelle and Joshua play that very much. The genuineness of a scene that I mentioned earlier is always there with Phick even when the s/l stinks. So my Phick heart wants them to take a chance and try again………………BUT NOT YET. I love that the writers have Phyllis be wary of Nick…it is the right call.

And I am with Michelle on this one….I so want to see Phyllis snap a bit too LOL!!!

Thanks again for a wonderful interview!! 🙂

Shelia
Shelia

Your response was perfectly worded. I agree with everything you wrote here. I wish this was facebook so I could like your post.

1loveabcsoaps
1loveabcsoaps

Copy/Paste it and put it on Michael’s Facebook page and your’s.

Lorraine
Lorraine

What a great interview. Michelle is always so interesting and fun. Thank you.

Sauza
Sauza

Agree with your comments. I agree I did not see Phyllis & Ronan falling in love. Maybe scenes were cut, but I just saw Phyllis using Ronan to get over Nick & Ronan using Phyllis to get over Chloe.

I’ve can’t say I’m a die-hard Phick fan, but I love the complexity MS’s acting gives to that relationship. All the complexities & issues MS perceives in the Nick/Phyllis relationship really come through in her acting. Phyllis is such a soapy, interesting character, and that is SO much due to MS’s acting talents.

kay killgore
kay killgore

The only thing I am confused about is shenagians with Sharon? I beleive her character and Nick abandoned Sharon with Cassies death and Daniel in the middle of it so Ms. Stafford you are confused ! Personally I think she looks weak when she is paired with JM I don’t care I just wish Sharon would tell them all to go fish. And Ms. Stafford is much better on screen then stalking someone first Daniel, Michael and now Nick! Oh how I loved the days of her independence she was better suited with Jack.

Deltayvonne
Deltayvonne

I believe if I am reading the actress response and your confusion stems from how the “Phick ” pairing began over 6 years ago.

I think every fan knows the story by now, I think Michelle speaking for her character is of course wary and hesitant when it comes to the Nick/Sharon dynamics. He cheated on get with Sharon and got her pregnant, the same thing that happened with Sharon and Nick.

I personally enjoy the dynamics with Joshua and Michelle, the actors have great chemistry That leaps off the screen. I adore the “Phick relationship” because of it’s intensity and rawness.

I also enjoy the Jack pairing, I like them as Ex’s but bonded by their past.

Like Jim, I did not get the Ronan relationship, but it would have been interesting to see a triangle.

I don’t understand the stalking of Danny not “Daniel” comment, this happened over 15 years ago and she eventually paid for it by losing custody of her child and it would take years for a reunion. Phyllis and Michael a different story (?)

Stalking of Nick..this one is new. I never saw it..so I cannot comment.

I think Phyllis has always been independent she has been that and more. She has never played the lady of the Manor. She has always worked and supported self. Her weakness that some see is her because of get love for Nick we are finally seeing as we get her backstory from the story nuggets.

PhyllisFan1st
PhyllisFan1st

Sharon abandoned Nick first by having an emotional affair with Brad before Nick came home with Daniel in custody for Cassie’s death. Phyllis was not ever responsible for Sharon’s “peace of mind”, Nick and Sharon could not mourn Cassie together, by the time Nick came home Sharon was no longer mourning.

Phyllis and Nick (before Paris) completed each other, they were pure magic. MAB for me ruined that with the whole Paris debacle and the stupid carousel crap and the using of Cassie as foreplay for SHICK. I am no longer a Nick fan, and will not be until he admits to both Phyllis and Sharon that he was wrong for the SHICK affair and leaving Phyllis and Summer for a re-do on SHICK that sucked.

Phyllis never stalked Daniel, her son, if you mean Danny, she fell in love with him and wanted the best father possible for the baby she was carrying, the new information we have about “George” makes the whole “Danny” thing make more sense! The Phyllis and Michael relationship then is not the same as the relationship now, since MS was not playing Phyllis at the time, I get how she plays the relationship, it is a part of their past but it does not define them now. AS for “stalking” Nick, I think you have it backwards, Nick stalked Phyllis during the affair, after Nick and Sharon mutually decided to divorce it was Nick that stalked Phyllis and it was Nick that showed up at her penthouse with a rolling suitcase, not the other way around.

Never was a Phyllis and Jack fan, he can never love anyone more then he hates Victor.

RC
RC

Right. tricking someone with a baby is love alright. Phyllis is and has always been a lying, scheming strumpet and I really don’t know what to make of people who defend or minimize the bad things she’s done. She broke up Christine and Danny’s marriage with a lie. How do you excuse that? How do you justify it? “She wanted the best father possible for the baby she was carrying.” Really? So you trap a man because you’re in love with him? GMAFB!

Tess
Tess

I can totally appreciate when an actor has to sell their story and even defend the actions of their character, but I’m a bit disappointed in you Mr. Fairman that you don’t come out swinging a bit more. How about calling it like it is? None of this with Phyllis confronting her father makes sense. I respect that Ms. Stafford acknowledged that it is a total rewrite of her character’s history and that is why I have not enjoyed it at all. Why does it need to be rewritten? Is Phyllis being whitewashed for some purpose? To be better suited to Nick? Why can’t she just be an insecure woman with issues? It’s hypocritical of her character to blame all of her own criminal choices on the behavior of her father and it makes me cringe as I’m sure it did other fans. How would putting her own father in prison then result in her doing the things Phyllis had done? It makes no sense and has been a total fail for this character. I would agree with Ms. Stafford though that she had much better chemistry with Jeff Branson. Do I dare infer that she is diplomatically implying she herself is tired of it Phick too? Not all of the Phyllis fans enjoy phick. The romance with Ronan however seemed real and it could have been the first relationship she had that was all hers, something she desperately needs. It seemed real and I do believe his character is the better match for Phyllis. I would also disagree on the shenanigans comment regarding Sharon. Let’s not forget how phick started which is exactly why the relationship is bitter. Phyllis is second best with Nick and he’ll never commit 100% to either woman. Bring back Jeff Branson or a new man. Like Sharon, it’s time for Phyllis to move on from the immature waffling Nick.

PhyllisFan1st
PhyllisFan1st

what “whitewashing” Phyllis is still PHYLLIS, she knows what she has done in the past, I doubt she has forgotten about the attempt to mow down that dastardly inept bug! to me, that is the only so called “crime” I have SEEN Phyllis commit!

The PHICK affair last 3 months and was over for 5 months with absolutely no sex until after Nick and Sharon mutually decided to divorce. The PHICK relationship began that night Nick came knocking on her door with his rolling suitcase. And don’t forget Sharon was having wet dreams of a life with her lover BIL Brad at that time, she assumed as soon as she got rid of Nick, Brad would leave Victoria!

I will never say Phyllis was “second best” for Nick, she was the best thing for him and with him before MAB tried to channel her inner Bill Bell, which failed on all storyline fronts (JIll as Katherine’s daughter/not Katherine’s daughter, Victor and Ashley, Nikki and the bottle, the Silver Chipmunk, Michael’s father and new sister, and yes the SHICK re-do and the so called prophecy child.

Sauza
Sauza

I LOVE Michelle & Phyllis, but I don’t think she has much to worry about regarding people thinking she and Jeff Branson were actually “banging.” Michelle & Jeff are both beautiful & sexy, but those Ronan & Phyllis hook-ups were trying so hard to be sexy & real that they were anything but. That pairing was SO rushed & forced & TRY-hard that they were almost embarrassingly bad to me. I DON’T blame that on the actors but rather the cheesy, plot-point writing. Nonetheless–rest assured Michelle, I didn’t think from your scenes with JB’s Ronan that anything was going on with you guy’s in real life. Those scenes were just awkward.

I DO absolutely love how much thought MS puts into the motivation of her character. It really comes through in her acting (even when I may not agree with said motivation). And I love that she admits that sometimes the actors have to add motivation & inspiration into their characters when the writers haven’t. MS keeps Phyllis a viable, exciting soap character even when the writing fails her.

gina
gina

Michelle is amzing as always. I love her humility & straightforwardness. She is an asset to the show. Loved the interview! I also love the sister s/l. IMO though they ruined it with the quad. Avery is backburned now bc of it. Their relationship could’ve been more purely unraveled instead of having the character sleep with Nick only bc they wanted to try Phonan. I like JC but her character has weakend due to this quad.
As for Phick, they are constantly full of surprises. They are so controversial it’ s great to watch. Thats why they need no support from others, they do perfect on their own. Josh & Michelle bring a trmendous pairing on screen with Phick. They are the future of Y&R & they damn sure have proved it.

Deltayvonne
Deltayvonne

I wanted to thank you Michael for Michelle’s interview. Well done. I must tell you I giggled non stop at her banging reference. As always she is re-freshing and insightful. As a Phick fan I do hope I get that story.

I am enjoying the slow pace that is been taken with them.

(ignore my spelling errors typing on my blackberry is painful).

heidi
heidi

Great interview Michael… thanks! She is so talented and seems like a great person.

DeeDee
DeeDee

I love how honest MS always is in her interviews. She knows the character she plays, that is for sure. I cannot say I am a fan of blatant rewrites of a characters history but I will give it a go and see where this one takes me.

I am hoping Nick and Phyllis will utlimately get it together. I am enjoying where they are at right now as too much has happened. It needs to build. I love that Phyllis is hesitant.

Good read

sorelle
sorelle

Great interview Michael thanks ! Michelle Stafford is my favorite actress , i love how she portrayed Phyllis, you always feel Phyllis emotion. Phick is my Favorite Couple on daytime , Nick and Phyllis are Magic together i hope they do reunite this time , i love the chemistry Michelle Stafford share with Josh Morrow they are Phenomenal together . i also love the Phyllis Avery dynamic , i think Michelle Stafford and Jessica Collins chemistry is absolutely one of the best i have ever see

Lacey
Lacey

Great interview! Phyllis and Ronan are my favorite Phyllis pairing. In fact, they are my favorite pairing ever on Y&R. In the short amount of time they were together, they slayed. Jeff Branson brought out so much in Michelle. Usually, it’s all about what Michelle brings out of other actors but with “Phonan”, they were both at their best and made the other even more incredible. I have never seen a couple that fit every criteria as amazingly as they did. They connected sexually, emotionally, visually, acting-wise. Just an awesome duo. I love that Michelle continues to state the obvious: that Phyllis was in love with Ronan. That is definitely how it played on screen. Phyllis never glowed as much as she did with Ronan. Michelle was lit from inside when she was around Ronan. I love them and I will be ecstatic if Jeff returns so Phyllis can be that way again. Love, love, love how they created such a remarkable pairing and really collaborated to make it so special. Kudos. 🙂

Terri
Terri

What an awesome interview. Thanks Michael. She is so warm and sincere and so funny. Michelle is my fave actor on Y&R and Phyllis is my all time fave character ever.. she has it all. I loved Phick in the beginning but hated how MAB destroyed the, then I totally fell for Phonan but now JB is gone and I am sad.,.. not feeling phick again.. Nick still has way too much making up to do.

Racheebee
Racheebee

There was zero evidence to back up the claim that Phyllis or Ronan were falling in love with each other. It was nothing more than sleazy random forced trashy bootycalls cause she was pissed at Nick and he got the brushoff from Chloe. The only falling they did was on the top of a desk, floor, or a bed. There was a no chance of this brief fling ending up being something real for many reasons but most of all Phyllis will never stop loving Nick. The entire thing was based on sex with a young horny man who needed a distraction from the murder case and a older angry woman who only went to him cause of something Nick did with Avery that ticked her off.

C hris
C hris

I totally agree with most of this statement,Racheebee, I saw absolutely no way that they would have stayed together, Phyliss is a user, she even said so to Nick ,she called Ronan a diversion, is that what she calls falling for him , Putting Ronan with her was a major major mistake, Love Jeff though ,hope he does come back ,but not to be with Phyliss . She is a great actress though. If JB does come back don’t put him with her. More back story needs to be told with him,and a connection with Nina,even he wanted that.

serena
serena

Great interviews Michael. i love Michelle Stafford she is my favorite actress on daytime tv. Phick is my favorite couple on daytime tv , i hope they do reunite this time ,they light up my screen everytime they are on

Lorraine
Lorraine

What a great interview. I just love Michelle. She is always interesting and fun. And I just adore Phick. Looking forward to their reunion. But I love any story Michelle is in. She is so talented. Y&R would never be the same without her.

kay killgore
kay killgore

I have just watched the episodes and I hate MAB no way would the Phyllis we know have issues over a Fathers ponzzi scheme when she was just a kid! And now we are gearing up for killing Daisy who cares Blah,Blah,Blah. Why do these women need men to make their life she MAB has ruined the character of Sharon and now Phyllis. And fellow readers I am discussing the characters not attacking the actors. You got that!!!

gloria
gloria

Has anyone else noticed that Phyllis repeats her lines at least twice & sometimes 3 or 4 times & a lot of times repeats back the lines of the actor she is speaking to? This drives me nuts. Yesterday during a scene with Daniel he said “I am an adult”-she said “if you are such an adult, an adult, such an adult” “if you are such an adult” She’ll say, “wait” 4 or 5 times & for example Nick could say “I just saw Sharon” she’ll say “you just saw Sharon, Sharon, you just saw Sharon, I can’t believe you just saw Sharon” & on & on. To Daisy-“do you know how to be a mother, do you know how to be a mother” like she is just stuck or something. I do not like this at all & wonder if they write her that way or is this just something she does thinking WHAT? Very annoying.

1MALLOYFAN
1MALLOYFAN

love Michelle Stafford! She is sooo awesome in this role, I don’t care if she is being sneaky or up front (as Phyliss) she is one character that I will root for no matter what. Loved her with JB but since he left, I think Phyliss should get a new guy with not ties to anyone in GC! Great interview Mr. Fairman!

Lisa
Lisa

great interview but WTF with this ‘banging’ business ? Hey Michelle Stafford..people can watch porn if they want to watch actors banging each others on-screen..what about great acting and deep connection about emotional issues between the characters ? geeezzz i mean i am not prude but come on banging is not acting otherwise porn stars would have oscars right now..lol no wonder soaps are mocked for their so called soft porn scenes..reality check it is not interesting guys and can be gross when forced with a no real chemistry ‘we try too hard to be sexy together’ kind of way and it happens often on daytime soaps..
Michelle, talk to your writers to write interesting character-driven scenes for you not some silly nasty ‘banging’ scenes..lol

2Much
2Much

I wish the writers would just leave Phick dead and buried once and for all. They were not a believeable couple “in love” from the start and I still don’t see it. I think Nick just looks like a tool when he’s in scenes with Phyllis. I think the writers just need to let Phyllis and Nick move on and just co-parent Summer. That’s all. Sorry, but I just don’t like anything about Phyllis and her self-serving, self-absorbed, self-righteous attitutde. The character is eating the show and she’s making it unwatcheable for me. JMO.

Cherokeegirl226 (Steph)
Cherokeegirl226 (Steph)

This is a GREAT interview. I’m glad I stumbled upon it. I follow Michelle and Michael on twitter. 🙂

Interviews

Mishael Morgan Talks on Her Return to Y&R and Tackling the New Role of Amanda Sinclair

So, just how did The Young and the Restless lure back one of the series most powerhouse actresses to take on a brand-new role? Mishael Morgan, who earlier this year was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her gut-wrenching final performances as Hilary Curtis, reveals in a new interview with Michael Fairman TV, what went down to bring her back to the CBS Daytime drama.

As fans know thus far, after appearing as ‘Ghost Hilary” through the late spring and summer, Y&R’s creatives worked behind the scenes to get Morgan back on screen without tainting Hilary’s ultimate demise.  That is when they came up with the role of the sexy yet tough lawyer, Amanda Sinclair.

So, enter Mishael in a new wig and style that defines Amanda as her own character.  Question is, since Amanda is a dead-ringer for the late Hilary, are they related? And, what will ultimately be proven to be in her DNA?  In story, Amanda entered the scene as the often-mentioned Chance Chancellor’s attorney.  She shows up in Genoa City to contest the legitimacy of the late great Katherine Chancellor’s will and the fortune she left to Devon (Bryton James).  With Devon directly in Amanda’s line of fire it sets the stage for potential fireworks down the line.

We sat down with Mishael backstage at Y&R for this informative and entertaining chat as we officially welcome back this truly kick-ass performer.  Here’s what Mishael shared below.

Photo: JPI

What transpired behind the scenes to make it possible for you to come back to Y&R?

MISHAEL:  Tony Morina (executive producer, Y&R) kind of gave me a little bit of a heads up.  They called me back to come in and do the ghost episodes as Hilary, and it happened really quickly.  It was like, “Hey, Mishael, do you think you can do this?  Yeah?  Okay.  We’ll work it out with your team.  Alright.  We’ll see you tomorrow.” (Laughs) It was really, really fast.  I was hesitant for a second about the whole Hilary ‘ghost thing’, because I felt good about how we wrapped up Hilary’s storyline.  I’d only left for a couple of months, and I still felt funny about it, but I was like, “I’ll do it.  She’s a ghost … so she hasn’t returned from the dead.  So, it’s fine.”

Originally, I was concerned that they were going to have you as Hilary keep popping up as a ghost to Devon for an indefinite amount of time; when the show has already done that with Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman) and his father, John (Jerry Douglas).  Because of your previous performances, and Emmy-nominated performance for the final arc of Hilary’s story, I thought, in the end, it might detract from that.

MISHAEL:  Yes, and I think that’s how I felt too, but I agreed to do it because they said that it was going to be a max of seven episodes.  So, while I was doing that, Tony was on set watching the scenes.  Next, he just called me up and said, “Well, how do you feel about coming back?”  I was like, “Coming back?  Hilary is dead.  Like, Hilary is dead-dead.  Is this going to be an alternate universe?” (Laughs) He said, “Well, no.  You’d be coming back as a different character.”  That was really intriguing to me, because one of the reasons why I left was because I felt like creatively I’d played a character from beginning to end, and it felt like it would just be nice to go off and play somebody new.  I never in a million years thought that I could come back to Y&R and actually play someone new!  That was weird to wrap my head around when they said, “You’d play a new character,” but then when they said she was going to me a lawyer, my ears really perked up! I’ve always wanted to play a lawyer, because I have the background where I wanted to be a lawyer in real life.  So, then I’m like, “OK. Now I get to play a lawyer on TV.”  They really got their hooks in to me with that … and just hooked me in from there.  Then, I got open to the idea and the story that Josh Griffith (head writer, Y&R) wanted to tell.

Photo: JPI

Once you learned the idea of the story from Josh, it seemed that things happened very quickly!  We all found out about your return via a social media post where you got to tell the fans yourself that you were coming back … but as a new character.

MISHAEL:  It happened relatively quickly in terms of me tentatively coming back, but then they still had to write the story.  So, everything wasn’t really confirmed until a couple of weeks before I started taping again.  We were in talks for about two months, and we worked it all out.  I said, “I’d do it,” and then it was 100% confirmed around August of this year, and I was airing in September.  It was kept was very, very quiet.

Are you still figuring out what Amanda’s back-story is?

MISHAEL:  I am.  I feel like every writer is a little different, and I feel like Josh likes to keep things very close and tight to his chest so that you kind of don’t know what’s happening.  Josh gives you enough information to play a little bit of something that is coming down the pike, but he doesn’t really disclose everything.   I’ve gotten little hints, and I kind of know where we are going, but I still don’t know the whole back-story of Amanda.  I’m still trying to figure her out.  If she’d been the polar opposite of Hilary, I think it might have been easier, but if you read her description, she’s very much like Hilary: A-type, strong, driven, all of those things.  Hilary had this very malicious, unscrupulous side to her, but I don’t know if Amanda has that.  In terms of the general description of the character, they’re very similar, which I was happy about just because I like playing strong women on TV.  If they had said, “We’re bringing on this character, and she is homeless” … or somebody who was super quiet… that would pose a different set of things for me as an actress.  I think seeing strong women of all different colors, shapes, and sizes is so important right now on TV, and it is very relevant.  I am happy to be a part of that.

Photo: JPI

What was it like playing all of these entrance scenes as Amanda where your former and current scene partners had to suspend belief? There’s Bryton James, Christel Khalil, Daniel Goddard, Jess Walton, and you, and Amanda walks in like, “Hey there!” (Laughs)

MISHAEL:  We just laughed about it.  It’s one of those things that is so funny, and it can only happen in the world of soaps.  A lot of the fans said, “This is weird,” in the beginning, but the fans love the show, and they accept it, and they do suspend their disbelief, and then it becomes normal.   We just had fun with it.

You’re like, “Hi, do you like my new hair?” (Laughs)

MISHAEL:  That was the thing too.  (Laughs) I don’t even think Christel even saw my hair until she came to set, and she was like, “Oh wow! I like your new hair.”

Photo: JPI

What happened when you and Christel taped the scenes where Lily sees Amanda for the first time, after the former contentious relationship of Lily and Hilary that ultimately changed the course of both their lives?

MISHAEL:  For me, it was super fun and easy because I don’t know any of the Hilary/Lily back-story.  I just play very oblivious like,“Hi, I’m just here.” (Laughs)  So, it’s very easy for me, but I almost envy a lot of the other characters who have to play all of these layers because Lily does have that back-story because she was charged for Hilary’s death, and the guilt associated with doing something like that, and also the hate that she had for Hilary.  Then overcoming that hate, and then going on that entire beautiful journey that they had together as women.  But now having that as a layer, and adding on top of it this woman who looks exactly like Hilary, but is a completely different person, is really interesting. Even for Bryton, I feel like he has a golden opportunity as well, because to have that love of your life, and then a new love of your life there in Elena, and then see a woman who looks just like your ex-wife is, I’m sure, really difficult.  Your mind would just be exploding!

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How did Bryton find out that you were coming back, and what was his reaction to the news?

MISHAEL:   Well, I came in for the ghost episodes, and I just couldn’t hold it in any longer.  I told him before we finalized this new deal.  He’s a friend of mine.  I wanted to get his opinion, and he was like, “You should do it!”  I was like, “Really?  It feels so weird because I just left a year ago, and I was so happy and content with leaving, so it feels weird to come back.”  He was like, “No, it will be fine.”  He’s like, “The fans will love you either way.  They’ll want you back.”   I was worried about how the fans would feel because it is such a quick return.

Photo: JPI

What is the feedback you’re getting from the fans thus far on your transformation from Hilary to now Amanda?

MISHAEL:  I feel like it’s pretty positive for the most part.  There are always going to be a couple of fans who are skeptical … or who don’t like the storyline … and even if they don’t like it they say, “This is kind of weird to bring her back as a different character.  We miss Hilary, but we love that Mishael Morgan is back, so, that kind of makes it all OK.”

The story that brings Amanda to Genoa City revolves around the legitimacy of Katherine Chancellor’s (the late Jeanne Cooper) will, and she comes in and says there was a counterfeit will etc.  She’s the messenger at this point and her client is Chance, correct?

MISHAEL:  Yes, Amanda’s client is Chance.

Isn’t she starting to question the legitimacy of her client?

MISHAEL:  Yes, but I think she still believes that it was Chance.  She’s kind of wondering now … because she even accuses Jill (Jess Walton).  She’s like, “It’s your grandson.  He’s all out to lunch.  He’s not getting back to anybody.”  Jill is very much in the headspace where she is like, “Well, this is probably not my grandson.”  Amanda is like, “I’m pretty sure it is.”  So, I think Amanda still thinks that it is Chance, even if he is a criminal, and even if he is doing something tricky.

Photo: JPI

How did Amanda get contacted by Chance in the first place to take this case?

MISHAEL:  It was an email, and then Amanda spoke to him on the phone …  or at least to who she believed was Chance.  He signed the papers, he scanned them over, and he forwarded Amanda the retainer. She had no reason not to believe that it was him.

So, when Amanda came to see Devon and company, she had no idea that there was this lookalike of her that was intertwined with this family?

MISHAEL:  No, but then after Devon tells Amanda about all of this, she sees pictures of Hilary online, but this is all done off-camera.

Does Amanda now suspect that she could be a twin? 

MISHAEL:  I think so.  I’m kind of playing that or keeping that there.  I’m kind of playing that as part of the reason why I want to stay in town because Amanda is intrigued by this other person who looks like her.  This could possibly be family.  I think it adds an extra layer as to why she wants to stay on Genoa City.  It is not just because she likes this person, or that person.  I think it is because she wants to figure out her connection to this person who looks just like her.

Photo JPI

We’ve seen Amanda be a little shifty.

MISHAEL:  Maybe a little bit. (Laughs)

What do you think we, as the audience, should be feeling at this point about Amanda?

MISHAEL:  I think we just have to wait and see.  Hilary had a lot going on before I left, and this is a new character who is slowly building.

I think that one of the things that daytime shows often have done wrong is that when they bring in a new character, they shove them down the audience’s throats too fast that they get sick of them.  I don’t know if that’s the tactic for the emergence of Amanda, more of a slow burn?

MISHAEL:  I feel like they are definitely doing a good job of building her character slowly and adding layers.  It’s not all coming out right away.  I feel like people should be feeling excited to try and figure out who this woman is because that is what it is eventually going to be leading to.  Right now, we are all just together in trying to figure out who she is.  I feel like everybody is really excited (and I am too) to get going, but even when Hilary came to Genoa City, it took about a year for her to catch her stride.  I think it’s going to take a while to really understand the meat of this character and how she fits into everyone’s lives.

Photo: JPI

Do you think Amanda feels badly about what is going on with Cane and Devon with the will, and how it would change both their lives forever?

MISHAEL:  Yes.  I definitely think that she feels badly about that.  In the beginning, it was very much her job.  I think when Devon is contemplating giving over his fortune, it makes Amanda see him in a different light, and her empathy for him starts to increase because she sees that he is a good guy, and that there wasn’t anything that he did that was malicious.

I think there is an attraction brewing here between Devon and Amanda.

MISHAEL:  Possibly.  I mean … Devon was attracted to someone who looked like Amanda.

Photo: JPI

Will she like him if he has no money, though?

MISHAEL:  I don’t know… I mean, Hilary definitely wouldn’t. (Laughs)

What do you think about working with Brytni Sarpy (Elena)? I see a triangle or quadrangle brewing and I see catfights in your future!

MISHAEL:  I love Brytni.  I definitely see that because Elena is definitely in the state of mind where she can’t stand this Amanda character.  The second she walked through the door, she couldn’t stand her.  I’m sure there are going to be some catfights coming.  I’m sure that it is going to be very entertaining for everybody! We’ll see.

Because you were considering being a lawyer … wait until you get into the courtroom set for some scenes!

MISHAEL:  I know, I’m excited for that!

Christian LeBlanc (Michael) always loves the courtroom monologues because he says it’s like doing a stage play.  Will you be up for that?

MISHAEL:  I think it’ll be ready for it.  I had a little one already to kind of warm up.  I won’t tell you what it was about.  I was like, “I can do this,” and I think it would have been even more fulfilling if there were an actual jury there where it feels like you’re performing.

Photo: JPI

What kind of lawyer is Amanda?  Does anyone know? (Laughs)

MISHAEL:  Well, right now she specializes in estates and trusts, but the one thing that I do know about attorneys is that technically with your license you can kind of do anything.  It is just that your experience will be in a specific area.  So, certain people may not want you to defend them, because you’ve never defended people in these cases.  I feel like it is not the same as a surgeon.  A surgeon specializes in the heart, and they don’t really do anything else, but as an attorney, you can kind of do anything.  You can defend anyone if the price is right and you feel confident.

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When you were thinking of being a lawyer, did you think of the kind of lawyer you wanted to be?

MISHAEL:  Well, when I wanted to be a lawyer, I wanted to be an international human rights lawyer.  So, something very different.  I wanted to save the world.

You know what they should do?  Maybe Amanda could have a courtroom show.  Instead of Judge Judy, it could be called Judge “Mandy”!

MISHAEL:  Put people in their places.

That’s if Amanda doesn’t get a talk show gig on the side, like Hilary did with GC Buzz! (Laughs)

MISHAEL:  With the courtroom cases, and the talk show, that would be a lot.

Photo: JPI

We talked about Hilary and taking her through everything she had gone through, and it really was the perfect ending when she passed.   Do you look back on that time and that work which we all loved so much?

MISHAEL:  Yes, I do.  I still look back on it, and I feel so blessed to have gone through that journey with her and to have created such a great character.  There are times when I’m like, “Yeah, coming back as Hilary would have been a lot of fun,” because I read the lines, and I know how Hilary would say everything, and now I have to figure out how Amanda says it – and it never feels the same, because I got so used to this being Hilary’s home.  I feel like Amanda is a little more like me, so there is a little less playfulness happening.

You want more of that which is reminiscent of Hilary, or not as much with Amanda?

MISHAEL:  I feel like naturally there is not as much now with Amanda, but I do want more of the playfulness to happen. It’s fun to play that on camera.  I feel that’s the fun of acting and pretending in that you get to be less of yourself, and more like a character.  Hilary was so different from me that it was just so fun to play her.  I feel like I’ve got to find those things in Amanda that make her unique and different that I can indulge in.

Photo: MMorganInstagram

In real-life you’re now a mom of two.  When you leave your kids to come to work, is it hard for you?

MISHAEL:  It is, but it’s okay because my husband stays at home with them.  We bounce back and forth.  He doesn’t work when I am working, and the days when I am not working, I am at home, and I get to enjoy time with them.  Then, when I am working, he stays home, and he gets to enjoy time with them.  It sucks to leave them, but at the same time it’s great to know that they are getting to spend time with their father, and I’m getting some ‘me time’.  I think that is necessary, because being a stay at home mom was a lot harder than I thought.  It is exhausting, and you are always on call.  You feel like you’re a surgeon.  It is just too much at times.

You always have the best Instagram photos with your kids and their outfits.  Are you going to have them dressed for Halloween?

MISHAEL:  Oh, yes.  They are going to dress up.   My son is going to be a firefighter, and I am going to be the fire, and my husband is going to be the fire hydrant, and my daughter is going to be the fire dog, the little Dalmatian!

Were you thrilled that you had a daughter this time, after previously having a son?

MISHAEL:  Yes.  At the time, I was okay with whatever the gender turned out to be.  I know everybody says it, but as long as they’re healthy, that is the most important thing.  I even thought about if I did have another boy, there would be that brother bond.  I grew up with sisters so to give him a brother would have been great, too.  Everybody always wants to have one of each because you want to be able to see what a boy would look like, and what a girl would look like, and their temperaments and all of that.  So, it’s nice that we got one of each.  We are happy.  We are good.  No more kids in my future.  (Laughs)  I shouldn’t say that too much because what if I do get pregnant, and my kid is like, “I was definitely an accident, Mom?” (Laughs)

We don’t know who Amanda has ties to at this point, but would you like to see her in another romantic relationship with some guy who is not Devon?

MISHAEL:  I would like to see that just because it would be something that kind of defines her as her own kind of person with her own journey and her own likes and her own dislikes.  I even feel that if she just ends up with Devon, it would be kind of weird.  We don’t know if Hilary and Amanda are related, but if they are related somehow, you would not have the same experiences, you would not have the same connections as this person.  As far as who I would want to work with, I don’t know.  I don’t know how to judge.  Well, Sean Dominic (Nate) has been awesome.  It would be kind of cool to be with Sean character-wise, because if Amanda ends up with Nate, that’s a relative of Devon, so Devon would have to see that all of the time … so that’s interesting.

Photo JPI

How is working with Sean?

MISHAEL:  Lots of fun.  He actually has the same birthday as my dad.  He’s a really cool guy, and we get along great.  That is half the battle because every now and again (and you rarely hear about it) you can’t stand the person you’re working with, and every time you get into scene work with another character, you’re always wondering, “Am I going to get along with this person?”  I love Bryton because we definitely have a special connection when we are on camera and when we are working together.  We’ve known each other for so long, and we’ve done so many amazing scenes together, and I think there is a lot of trust there.  It’s easy to just work with him.  That being said, the challenge of working with another character would be great as well.  We’ll just see where the chips fall.  Either way; I’m going to have a blast.

So, Camryn Grimes (Mariah) and you obviously have this great relationship together on-screen.  Mariah was Hilary’s dear friend.  Did you ever see her performance after Hilary died and her heartbreaking monologue on the set of GC Buzz?

MISHAEL:  Yes, I did.  It was amazing.  She’s an amazing actress.  She’s an amazing person.  I was so happy to work with her, and I am so happy to be back, because we are such good friends.  My first day back on set when I walked in, Camryn was the first person I saw.

Photo: JPI

Did Camryn know you were coming back to the show as Amanda?

MISHAEL:  Yes, she knew I was coming back.  We had a big hug and everything like that, and we were laughing about the fact that she’d come back to Y&R too as a whole different character.  So, I was like, “What pointers can you give me?” I would really love to figure out how Amanda and Mariah can work together.

The big question … I wonder if Amanda will have friends in Genoa City? (Laughs)

MISHAEL:  I think she would.  I mean, I know she is a little uptight, but I think she’ll have friends.  I hope so.  I don’t know who though. Guess everyone will have to stay tuned to see.

So, are you happy to see Mishael back at The Young and the Restless? What do you think of the character of Amanda Sinclair thus far? Do you want to see her with Nate, Devon, or someone else on the canvas romantically?  Do you think it will turn out that Hilary and Amanda were twins? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Interviews

B&B’s Matthew Atkinson Talks On Thomas’ Vendetta With Brooke & Playing The Manipulative Bad Boy Of The Forrester Clan

Since coming to The Bold and the Beautiful earlier this year, Matthew Atkinson is making his mark in the role of Taylor (Hunter Tylo) and Ridge’s (Thorsten Kaye) son, Thomas Forrester.  But while Matthew was a recast for his predecessor Pierson Fodé, his Thomas is quite different.  The new Thomas is a bad boy capable of horrific manipulations to get what he wants, and a young man who has caused so much suffering already for the Logans, Spencers, and the Forresters  But is there a heart underneath that often volatile exterior?

After all, Thomas went to great lengths to keep Hope (Annika Noelle) in a relationship with him and for her to be a “mother” to his son, following the death of Caroline.  So, what did he do? He covered-up and blackmailed many people to keep their mouths shut to the truth – that his sister Steffy’s (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) little girl, Phoebe, was actually baby Beth, the child Hope and Liam (Scott Clifton) believed had died at birth!

Following the big reveal, and getting a bit of comeuppance, Thomas landed in the hospital with a questionable push from Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) after a fall.  After promising to change his ways, looks like Thomas is back to scheming and conniving – this time to make sure Brooke gets payback and that her marriage to his father blows up to smithereens.  Meanwhile, Thomas needs to be a better father to his little boy, Douglas (Henry Joseph Samiri), but will the Logans and the Spencers come between father and son?

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Matthew Atkinson to get his take on: the emotional make-up of his incarnation of Thomas Forrester, what his ultimate takedown of Brooke would be, and how he thinks Thomas can find a way back into the family good graces, and more.  Here’s what Matthew had to say about it all.

Photo: JPI

Thomas really has a vendetta with Brooke.  The scene where Brooke slaps him illustrated just how deep-rooted his issues apparently are with her. What did you think about what Thomas said to Brooke that came to a boiling point with the slap, and what was it like performing the material with Katherine Kelly Lang?

MATTHEW:  Katherine rocks every chance I get to be around her.  She is such a sweet human being and so fun to work with and takes her job seriously and puts a lot of work in, and I think it shows.  As far as the scene goes, every chance that I get to work with her is fun.  She’s just a great actress.  Brooke basically had this vendetta against Thomas for a while now, and she was the one who unjustifiably went a little crazy about Thomas before anybody knew Thomas was off the rails.  So, it’s kind of this interesting culmination of having that where she has built herself up to hating Thomas at this point, and she is just scared of him and what he could possibly do.  Then you have Thomas, who has hated Brooke ever since she came in and destroyed his family.  There is so much emotion there and so many levels to it.  It’s just so much fun to play around with, and in those scenes especially, it is kind of like neither one of them really has a filter.  They are both just going at each other.

He is punctuating his plan by telling Brooke that she may, “Have his father tied around her slutty little finger, but her reign of terror ends with him!”  I was just like, “Uh-oh.” (Laughs)

MATTHEW:  Yeah, and that’s how Thomas sees Brooke.  He sees her as this slutty woman who came in and kind of giggles her way into his dad’s life and flirted with him and destroyed his entire family.  Thomas sees her and all of her sisters as these air-headed women who are kind of just family-destroying kind of people.  They come in, they do whatever they can to get what they want, and he doesn’t care about them at all.  I think he has kind of gotten to this point, especially with Brooke … considering what happened with Hope and that he has this genuine love for Hope.  Brooke won’t even accept that, or think about that as a possibility with how she views him.   It’s that crazy dynamic and those scenes were definitely an emotional peak for both of them.

Photo: JPI

Thomas seems to become obsessed, and laser-focused on people like Hope, and now Brooke.  What has happened to him?  How are you playing this behavior pattern of his that we are seeing established?

MATTHEW:  Some of the most successful people in the world are people who obsess over things.  I think Thomas is like that, but I think that since Caroline’s death, his obsessive nature has been so focused on things other than fashion.  They aren’t his job and what his talents are, which is where he should focus all of that energy, but instead it’s been on his son needing a mother.  So, getting Hope in his life was key to him, and with Brooke, it’s a woman who has destroyed his entire family.  He wants his dad to be better off.  He wants his entire family to be better off.  He honestly feels that they would be better off without Brooke in their lives, and so that is what he is focused on.  I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad attribute to have when it is focused in the right direction, but for Thomas, since the death of Caroline, his focus has been on things that are a little abstract and are not necessarily objectively sound decisions.

Photo: JPI

What was interesting was that I did not know how they were going to be able to save the character of Thomas on the B&B canvas after all that he has perpetrated.  But then, there were scenes in the hospital where he is recovering from his “fall”, and Thomas is having big emotional scenes with Ridge and Steffy.  In those moments as the viewer, you say to yourself: “Oh, they’re going to redeem him,” but then they don’t.  He goes right back to a new vendetta.  What did you think of those plot twists?

MATTHEW:  The interesting thing about this character is that I don’t think this guy is a bad guy.  I think he is a guy who is doing a lot of bad things, but I think a lot of people can relate to him and the struggles that he is dealing with: being a single father and having a rough childhood with his family being broken up.  This is a guy who wants his father to approve of him and respect him and he has never really felt that way.  I think a lot of people out there know what it’s like to have a parent who they just want approval from but can’t get it … couple that with the fact that he let his sister down.  Everybody knows what it is like to think that they are making the right decision and end up making the wrong decision and possibly hurting someone in the process … and the kind of shame that you feel from doing something like that.  I think this makes Thomas an interesting character where viewers could say, “Well, he is doing bad things, and I don’t agree with anything that he is doing, but I can relate to him, and I want him to be better, and I want him to get better and become the good person we all know he can be.”  Yet, Thomas just keeps making all of the wrong decisions.

Photo: JPI

I predict that in short order, Thomas will be in cahoots with Shauna (Denise Richards)!

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MATTHEW:  Okay, we shall see.  (Laughs)  They have aligned interests; especially at the moment, when it comes to removing Brooke from that situation.  I think with Shauna, it’s fun that Denise Richards has come into this role and what she has done with this character.

Denise Richards is doing a great job in the role.

MATTHEW:  She’s amazing, but I think that behind the thought process she has is this woman, Shauna, who is not so dissimilar from Thomas, and is willing to blur the lines of what is acceptable and morally sound to make sure that she gets what she wants.

Photo: JPI

When you were taping those emotional hospital scenes where Thomas admits he has lost his way, and reaching out to his dad to try to find forgiveness, how were playing those scenes with Thorsten Kaye?

MATTHEW:  I respect Thorsten a lot as an actor.  I just love having scenes with him because I feel like we play off of each together so well.  When we enter a scene together, we are both in it.  When you are both in it, something real happens from that, and those real moments are kind of magical in a way, and it makes you feel great about the work that you do.  Thorsten shows up, and he’s prepared, he knows what he is doing, and at the same time, there is this connection between father and son.   I think Thorsten and I have definitely done that as father and son, and Jacqui and I have done that as brother and sister.

Since the show usually has you shirtless or sneering in scenes (laughs), I was so happy that they finally let you have some crying scenes.  It was at the point that the audience was able to see you bring another emotional level and dimension to the character.

MATTHEW:  I think he is not a guy who breaks down and cries very often.  It takes something very serious (especially for him) to get to that point.  For Thomas, the most important thing in the world is family, and he has kind of destroyed his relationship with his own family with what he has done, and I think that from the inside out is what breaks him.

Photo: JPI

Speaking of shirtless scenes; in a short amount of time you have been with the show, I think you may have set a record there.

MATTHEW:  (Laughs) Yep.  It’s all the time because the wardrobe sends me mostly pants – no shirts (Laughs).

Obviously, there is the issue of Thomas’s son, Douglas … and will he lose him because Hope and Liam want to gain custody of him. Brooke wants Thomas out of Douglas’ life for good.   This poses a major obstacle for Thomas moving forward. Agree?

MATTHEW:  Sure.  However, Brooke has no legal right to stand on.  You can’t just take a guy’s son.  There’s no legal way to do that, but they can try their hardest to either sign adoption papers or sign over custody, or something like that, but there’s not a legal way they can go and just take his son.  There are a lot of people who I understandably think Douglas would be better off with being raised by Hope and Liam, but I think Thomas has a point of view too, and just because he is going through a bad part of his life at this time, doesn’t mean that he is unfit to be a father.  I think Thomas will prove that he is fit to be father and all the while, a great force to be reckoned with,

Photo JPI

But, Thomas hasn’t been so great to Douglas, either.  Hasn’t he yelled at his son, manipulated him for his own gain, etc?

MATTHEW: Right, this was kind of right before the truth about Beth came out, and Thomas was on this massive downward swirl where he wasn’t thinking clearly; he wasn’t himself. I  think in reality, you have a person who went off the rails, he wasn’t being himself, he found the person he wasn’t, and I think that the “accident” of Brooke pushing him off a cliff, the slip, kind of clarified his intention in life to be a good, standup person from here on out.  So, I think his priorities are straight now, and I think he is thinking clearly.  I don’t think he is in the same mental state that he was before, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he won’t be manipulative and that he won’t get what he wants, because he will.  There was a time that he went through a headspace when nothing was really clear for a minute, and he didn’t really have any moral backbone, but I don’t think that moving forward you’re going to see a Thomas Forrester that would hurt his son.  You’re going to see a Thomas Forrester who will stop at nothing to protect his son.

How does Thomas feel about Hope now, especially since Hope wants to raise Douglas? 

MATTHEW:  Well, here is what I will say; I think that Thomas has always had a love for Hope. I think he respects her as a person, I think he has seen her be a mother to his child, and that is undeniable … how much of a connection that she has to Douglas, and she is incredibly important to him.  Thomas can basically discard any Logan except Hope.  Hope is kind of his kryptonite.  So, going forward, I think you’ll maybe see a guy who wants to discard Hope as a person who he cares for (her and the rest of the Logans), but he may not be able to do that, because she has got a place in his heart that he can’t compartmentalize and leave behind.

Photo: JPI

What can you say about working with Annika Noelle, because you as Thomas had been terrorizing Hope for many months?

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MATTHEW:  Well, she’s a sweetheart, but also, secondly, she is a badass.  She could kick my butt any day of the week.  So, I just had to make sure that in between takes I said, “You understand that I wouldn’t do this to you.”  She’s so sweet, and she was actually one of the first people to talk to me about taking over a role on the show, because she had been one of the most recent people to take over a role, and that was something that was really hard for me.  Coming into a character that has already been there for 30 years, you have a lot to live up to.  She was amazing from the beginning just helping me through that process.

On that note, what did you think of the epic fight scene on the rooftop opposite Scott Clifton; right before all the truth came out to Hope that Beth is alive and Thomas was lying to Hope and up to no good?

MATTHEW:  So much fun.  The shots they got were incredible.  Shooting those fight scenes was so much fun and I love Scott to death.  So, every time we get to work together it’s fun, but just getting outside and literally pretending to beat the crap out of each other is a blast.  We got to go out to Malibu, and I got to fall over a cliff.  What else can you say about that? (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

There is another interesting relationship Thomas has on B&B, and that is with his friend, Vinny.  How has it been creating the on-screen dynamic with Joe LoCicero (Vinny) as these two scheming dudes?

MATTHEW:  I like it, and I love Joe.  This dynamic between these two guys is really funny because you have this shrewd, alpha male, Thomas Forrester, who is extremely driven, and insanely smart, but also very manipulative and he has got a thousand things going on.  On the flipside, you’ve got Vinny, who is just this guy who he has been friends with for a really, really long time, who just kind of lives life.  He is living in his apartment in Venice, he sells some not so legal substances just to his friends, and he’s a decent guy.  It’s just fun when we have these scenes together, because essentially you’ve got him looking at me like I’m an alien creature, and thinking, “I don’t understand this guy.  I don’t know why he is acting this way, but who cares; I’m going to eat my Chinese food.”  (Laughs) I think it kind of grounds some of those scenes especially when you see Thomas going off that rails, and his friend doesn’t even seem to notice. (Laughs)

I know! (Laughs) Thomas has got his own sidekick.

MATTHEW: I think Vinny wants to give sound advice, but he gives all the worst advice.  He’s like, “Well, the way you described it Thomas, it sounds like a good idea, so yeah, go ahead with that,” but maybe doing a little behavioral cognitive therapy and questioning would be good for Vinny.  He just kind of goes, “okay,” (laughs) but I think that’s what makes those scenes so much fun.

Photo: JPI

Having appeared on The Young and the Restless previously you know how soaps go.  There is always this fear of: “Will they kill me off if my character has gone too far?” Did at any point in Thomas’ storyline, and as you got the scripts and read all the terrible things Thomas was doing, that the character might get murdered, kicking off a murder mystery, and you’d have to make an exit?

MATTHEW:  I’d had discussions with Brad Bell (executive producer and head writer, B&B) and I kind of knew where the character was going, so I kind of knew that he was going down a rabbit hole, but that Thomas wasn’t a lost cause.  I knew that he would at least be present for the upcoming short future that I know of, that Thomas wasn’t going to find his demise, which was very nice of Brad to give me that insight into the character to not only know what was coming up, but also know where his head is at by this point.  It helps me with the character work that I do for each scene and prep for each day; because I know where Thomas’ head is going to be at two weeks from now.

Photo: JPI

Have you had any interactions with fans, or are you checking out on social media what the viewers are saying about Thomas?  Do they love him?  Hate him?  Is there a great debate going on?  What is your take on where Thomas sits with the audience?

MATTHEW:  Oh, yeah.  I definitely pay attention.  The fans are the reason I have the job that I have.  All the feedback that I have seen is positive, and by positive, I mean that it is emotionally effective.  Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that people are happy with Thomas because most people are not happy with Thomas.  They don’t like what he is doing, and that obviously gets them angry or sad or whatever, but that is kind of the point of the show.  If you’re watching a bunch of characters who are all great people and who all do nice things, then it wouldn’t be that much fun to watch.  You’d be watching 40 Liam’s talk to each other, and it would be like, “Yeah, it’s just another day in Happy World.”  (Laughs)  I think that Thomas especially has been such a driving force in the last couple of months and caused a lot of drama.  I think there are a lot of storylines that people have connected to in the past that are really making people enjoy the drama happening now. You have the people who hated Ridge getting together with Brooke in the beginning that are happy with what Thomas is doing now.  You have the people who are pro – Liam and Steffy.  Thomas has been a big advocate of that since the beginning.  There are some people who just can’t stand Thomas and don’t like him, and he makes them mad, but the reality of it is that there is a thin line between love and hate.  So, as long as they love me or hate me, I’m happy.

So, have you been enjoying Matthew’s portrayal of Thomas? Do you think he will rip Brooke and Ridge apart for good and succeed in his plans? Do you think he should somehow pay for his manipulations? Share your thoughts on the current B&B storyline involving Thomas via the comment section below.

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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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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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