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The Michelle Stafford Interview – The Young and the Restless & The Stafford Project

Photo Credti: Ray Kachatorian

Photo Credit: Duffimages.com

This past Friday, fans and viewers of The Young and the Restless were dealt a real blow when two-time Daytime Emmy winner, and one of the series leading characters, exited the series!  We are speaking of the one and only Michelle Stafford … and … the one and only Phyllis Summers Newman!  After almost 16 years with the CBS soap, Stafford’s Phyllis was put in a coma, and needed to be transferred to a facility in Georgia, which keeps her close to her son, Daniel (Michael Graziadei, who returned to the series to help facilitate Stafford’s exit).  While many are unhappy of the way Phyllis has been written off, it leaves the door open … if Michelle Stafford was to ever decide to return, or if the powers-that-be at Y&R decide to recast.  But as one chapter closes, another chapter begins in life, and that next chapter has started for one of the most extraordinary actresses in this medium, or any other!

Today, Michelle launched her new web series, The Stafford Project,which in many ways mirrors moments in Stafford’s own life, but with a twist, in this reality/comedy hybrid which was born out of Michelle’s real life struggles to have a child, which she ultimately did via surrogacy … and thus gave us one of The Stafford Project’s most precious co-stars, Michelle’s daughter, Natalia!  Plus, The Stafford Project, whose lead character is an actress named “Michelle” who appears on a soap opera, will also look at juggling aspects of life and the dating scene by “doing it as single chick”, as is Michelle Stafford’s mantra in her new website www.michellestafford.com, which features blogs about: parenting, men, dating, style, fitness and more! (You can also access The Stafford Project there too!)

On-Air On-Soaps chatted with Michelle, just as fans were seeing her final airdate on Y&R, to get her reaction on her decision to depart the series, and the way Phyllis was written-out, and how The Stafford Project became its own reality.  Next, we take a look back at some of the key on-screen relationships for Genoa City’s fiery Phyllis, including: Sharon, Jack, Summer, Ronan, and Nick!  And in true soap opera fashion, there are several cliffhangers for Michelle Stafford and her fans: Will we see her on another soap? Will she land her own primetime sitcom?  Will The Stafford Project become one of the most viewed and personally minted web series of them all?  While we wait for those answers to unfold, enjoy our conversation with Michelle, or shall we say, the coolest chick we know!

MICHAEL:

Last Friday was your final airdate on The Young and the Restless!  How do you feel about that when it actually came to pass?  Did you watch the episode?  Was it at all emotional for you?

MICHELLE:

Courtesy/CBS

I saw a bit of it, and she is very calm and comatose.  Phyllis is very asleep. (Laughs)  I don’t have an emotional tie to the character, I just don’t.  I have an emotional tie to the fans though, but not to the character, because I am an actress, and I want to play a bunch of different things.  And, that is what we do as actors … we create a bunch of different characters.  I am connected to what the fans care about.  It is very important to me how they feel.  That is why I did “Phyllis Friday” on Twitter and answered some questions.  I am on Twitter a lot promoting The Stafford Project, and it on the web, so you want to touch people already on the web.  I care about what they think, and a lot of them are upset about me leaving.  And, I am sure there are some that are not upset. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Your fans have been so upset about your departing Y&R, but support you on your new ventures, and the new opportunities that will arise for you.  At On-Air On-Soaps on the posts concerning your exit, many have written such touching words, and many telling you how sad they are that you have left the show.  How does it feel to have such a strong and passionate fan base?

MICHELLE:

It is so nice.  It was sad when I saw part of Friday’s episode.  And if you were really a fan of that character, it would be really upsetting.  I have watched soaps growing up, and I remember I watched Ryan’s Hope, and I loved Delia (originally played by Ilene Kristen) so much, and when she left the show that was it for me.  Actually, that wasn’t it.  They recast the role with another actress, and so I said, “Nope!”  And I was done.  I was really was way too young to be watching soaps at the time, but I just loved the character so much, and so it was upsetting for me.  Also on Y&R, Phyllis is in a hospital, and she is in a coma, and you want to hear from her.  You want to hear Phyllis yell at people, and fight back, and she is not doing that.  I think that would be upsetting for fans of the character.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Duffimages.com

So after Sharon and Phyllis’s war of words, Phyllis falls down the stairs.  And since that point, literally scene after scene, you were just lying in a hospital bed … just lying there!  Was that ridiculous to you?  Or, did you say to yourself, “I am doing my job…etc”?

MICHELLE:

I am doing the job … and the job is for me to lay here, right? (Laughs)  I do understand that viewpoint and people have told me that on Twitter that they were very mad that I was lying there, but you know, Y&R wanted to put the character in a coma, and it was actually a pretty nice gesture on their part.  They just wanted to make it so the role is still there, if I ever was to change my mind and come back.  I don’t feel like they should be blamed.  Of course, they could have had the character leave town too, or lose her mind and leave town…

MICHAEL:

But having Phyllis exit this way provided a secret for the other characters, and kept story going, so you can see why Y&R chose to do something like that.

MICHELLE:
Yeah.  It provides more story for the people remaining on the show, and that’s true.  Also, it also provided no one knowing about what really happened …. no one knows except Phyllis.  Sharon was looking through the window and Phyllis freaked out and then that was it … and then I had my massive seizure! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

How was you last day at The Young and the Restless?

MICHELLE:

I was nervous.  It was not an overnight decision, and there were a lot of personal reasons, that of course I am going to keep to myself.  Even if I told everyone all the reasons, they would still speculate. (Laughs)   I felt like this is it.   I went to work and I was on instagram doing a whole countdown on it, and I felt nervous like, “Am I going to lose it?”  And, I didn’t.  It was very sweet, and people were lovely.  They all wished me well, and Y&R writers Brent Boyd and Josh Griffith came to the party, and CBS Daytime’s Margo Wain came to the party.  Everybody was really cool.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credti: Ray Kachatorian

Did you feel when you walked out of the studio (after nearly 16 years of playing this one-of-a-kind character) that you had done everything you could have done with Phyllis?

MICHELLE:

For me, I feel that way.  I am sure if they choose to bring the character back and have somebody else play her, there is a whole new thing they could do, just because there is another actor.  They bring something different to the role.  It’s a tough character, and usually villains who turn nice it’s a tougher character to write for, because you are always sort of walking the line between good and bad.  I felt like that was it for me with that character.  I think that sometimes you want to do something in your life, and life presents itself, and you go, “This is the time for me to do something,” and that is how it kind of all worked out.  This is not to be taken at all that I did not want to work on the show because of the new EP, Jill Farren Phelps, and head writer, Josh Griffith.  I am a big fan of Josh’s and he was on the show before, and it was great.  I think that my sister getting sick, and the contract coming up a few months after made me realize that there is a time in an actor’s career that sometimes you think, “If I don’t jump off the cliff right now, I may never do it.”  I don’t look at the job at Y&R as being stuck, I don’t, but there were so many things that I desire to do as an actor, and so many goals that I had, that I just thought maybe now is the time to jump.  And that is mainly it.  It all sort of came together at one time, and I was like, “You know what?  Let’s just jump off, now!”   And so, I did!

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Ray Kachatorian

In your lifetime, you have been thrown so many things to deal with, and to overcome, and so many obstacles, and the fights you have had to fight.  So, when I saw your new web series, The Stafford Project, it made me smile, because knowing you as I do, there was a realism to the ridiculousness of the real life situations that happened to you.  I thought it was well done!  You were playing a version of yourself within these real-life moments that happened to you!

MICHELLE:

The whole situation was so intense and so insane trying to have a kid, and the doctor’s appointments and the surgeries, which I had documented and filmed in my real life.  It was so crazy, and every time I turned around it was so oppressive. Then when Natalia was born new things occurred, and I thought this was also nuts, being a single working mom to this kid, and going out and dating.  Then I talked to my friend Paige, who is one of the producers on the Stafford Project, and I said to her, “Let me pitch this to you!”  I said, “I really want to write a comedy web series in the vain of The Larry Sanders Show, where he is trying to keep it all together with the crazies around him.  I want it to be that she is just trying to keep it together, and every time she jumps off, she meets a crazy.”  Paige thought it was awesome, and wanted to get her writing partner in on it, Paige Long.  We just jumped in, and Paige and Paige’s comedy is just awesome!  I did the scenarios and I have very specific lines I wanted to use.  So I said, “These lines have to be in it, and it has to go like this…”  That is why all three of us are writers on the series. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

And then … who knew?  Your daughter, Natalia was a scene-stealer!

MICHELLE:

Well, I did of course! (Laughs)  She was so professional.  She did not whine, or bitch, or do anything.  In the second episode of The Stafford Project, Natalia is totally improving with me.  I am like, “Geez, look at this kid!”  I have an actress on my hands.  If she wants to go down that path, I am going to have her originate it; I am not going to push it.  But if she says to me, “Hey, I want to do this acting thing,” I just feel if your child excels, or is gifted in an area, you should cultivate that.   I do see an actress in my kid … and it is tormenting to say! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/TheStaffordProject

In the first episode of The Stafford Project, I loved when the reality show producer popped up in the backseat of the car with the “mulatto” line,  while “Michelle” is trying to explain about her surrogate, who was actually mixed-race or bi-racial!

MICHELLE:

Did you not almost die? (Laughs) You know all those comments that he made are comments that were truly said to me like, “Well, your kid is going to be mulatto!” I said, “Well no, it’s my egg.”  And they would go, “Oh no, well he or she will still be black!”… and other various racial comments.  And as the show continues on, the third episode is a flashback episode of what I went through, and it’s pretty cool.  As we go along, we enter more into her job and the shenanigans at the show she works at.  It’s Michelle Stafford, and she is on a soap, but we never mention the name of the show. It’s not Y&R. And, the character she plays is named “Francis”.  I make it very clear we not goofing on soap operas; we are goofing on actors, which is completely fine! (Laughs).  So we are goofing on actors, and the human condition.  There is a surprise guest in episode four, and the person is awesome and amazing, and people are totally going to dig it.  We have shot four episodes thus far, and we are going to keep doing them until people say, “Please stop doing it!” (Laughs)  I think we are going to release them every three weeks, and you are talking to the main producer here! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Do you think it’s hard in Hollywood for a soap actress to be considered for primetime or motion pictures roles?  Is there still the stigma?

MICHELLE:

I think it’s very hard for a soap opera actress to be many times viewed as a serious actor. There is just an idea out there … there just is!  It’s wrong, but you have to break through it like with anything, and be funny, and that is one thing I know I am.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Would you love to have a sitcom?  Remember, when Judith Light went from doing Karen Wolek and her stunning courtroom confession on One Life to Live to becoming Angela Bowers on Who’s The Boss?

MICHELLE:

Well, yeah you could make a lot of money! (Laughs)  I loved Judith on One Life to Live.

MICHAEL:

Your new website is also very clever, and has great branding to it, especially the tag line, “Doing it as a single chick”!

MICHELLE:

I came up with that hash tag on instagram and people started using it like crazy.   People would say, “I’m doing it as a single chick too,” and others would say, “I am married and I am doing it as a single chick!” (Laughs)  Listen, I found there is such a large group of women who are on the web who are working their asses off.  They are either single mothers, or married and handling the entire household and working, and the ones who are still single are out there still dating.  It’s a lot to juggle, man.  Back in the day, just taking care of the kids in the house was your only job, and that was a huge job in itself.  That is a lot of hats to wear, but my take on it is: I am doing the same thing, but I am just making it funny.  And, the blogs will be funny on the website, and it will be a portal into my life at how I am being a hot bitch in my forties getting my groove on, and taking care of my kid, and being a mom at the same time.

MICHAEL:

The blog piece you wrote on men on your website, that actually men get a bad rap, I thought was terrific. We all hate on guys a lot, and they don’t deserve it … well, not all the time!

MICHELLE:

I wanted it to be very gay friendly, too.  That can apply to my boys too, and it can apply to a lesbian too… it is all of us out there.  The guys do get shit on.  Sometimes I read these blogs, and they are so linear, and it is just for a mom who is married with a husband and has everything taken care of for her.  And I think, “Wow, you are not even writing for a chick who is single, and who works and who is trying to live her life, and you are not writing for a woman who is celebrating how hot she is!” (Laughs)  I love making women feel like they are important.  I love making people feel important.  It is a tough gig out there in life.  Everybody is just trying to do the best job they can.  I really want to give to people, and make them feel validated, and make them laugh.  I am really excited about the site.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Alison Sweeney (Sami) of Days of our Lives has been extremely successful building her brand from first: her soap career, to hosting Biggest Loser, to her website, to all her other projects.  What do you think of how she cultivated her audience, and how she speaks to women?

MICHELLE:

Alison is a smart girl, and an ambitious gal, and she got it.  I also think she had something to say.  I think she understood, and that would attract women who had a problem with their weight too, and that is a huge thing. The blog I have on my website on weight, that is the most asked question; “How do I keep my body in such good shape?”  It’s an interesting thing that body image is so on the forefront of women’s minds.

MICHAEL:

You also talk about dating experiences in The Stafford Project, and on your website.  How is dating going for you now that Natalia is a three-year old?

MICHELLE:

I was dating this guy recently and he started spending the night, and I was really like, “Oh, my God, I am a filthy whore!” (Laughs)  I was like, “You can’t be here when my daughter’s here!  You cannot be here!”  So my mom takes my daughter every Friday.  So I suppose whoever wants to have sex with me, it’s only going to happen on Friday or Saturday when my mom has Natalia! (Laughs)  But it’s going to be really good; it’s going to be a Mardi Gras! (Laughs)  It is very legitimate question you ask.   I think I am better about it now! (Laughs)

Courtesy/CBS

MICHAEL:

As a wrap-up to your time on The Young and the Restless, let’s take a look at some of the key relationships you have had on the show.  You and Sharon Case (Sharon) have this long standing rivalry as Sharon and Phyllis.   How do you feel that relationship played out on-air?

MICHELLE:

I wish that we had more of it.  I liked it.  I think it worked.  It was really great with Sharon Case and me, because we really understand the viewpoints of our characters. When we did the scenes both of us actors knew how we felt going on into the scene and about each other.  So there is never any fear of  “I don’t want to be mean to you” because some actor will pull back with those emotions.  She and I never did that.  I am not Phyllis, you know?  I am OK screaming at you, because I am just playing a role.  I don’t mean anything by it.  Sometimes actors will back off of each other, and Sharon and I never did that to one another, and I think that showed.  It was very real to people that these two women had such jealousy of each other, and there was so much emotion born from the death of a child, and the husband leaving.  It was such a great real story.  I loved Sharon and Phyllis’ relationship.  It was vicious and very real.

MICHAEL:

How did you feel when they told you that they were going to SORAS your on-screen daughter, Summer, to 18?  And, how Hunter King (Summer) has done in the role? She has done an amazing job over the last few months!  She has an Emmy reel for next year, for sure.

MICHELLE:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Well, they aged Summer before Hunter, and they kept aging her.  And, so we had a baby, then we had a two-year-old, then we had a five-year-old, then we had an 8-year-old, and then an 18-year-old, and Hunter.  Hunter is great, and such a little doll, and I love her.  She has a great career ahead of her.  I miss my little Hunter.  I cannot say enough nice things about her.

MICHAEL:

At the end of your run on Y&R, Phyllis was once again paired with Jack (Peter Bergman).  What were your thoughts on this duo getting back together?

MICHELLE:

Peter Bergman and I had worked together off and on so many times, and so I was like, “What can we do new with this?”  I was like we have been together more years than anyone else, or probably equal with Nick, and I wanted to find something new in it, and probably would have had I stayed on.  Of course, I love Peter Bergman.  He is a lovely and beautiful human being.

MICHAEL:

I think we all loved you most with Joshua Morrow (Nick Newman)!

MICHELLE:

I know.  It was just clearly what these two actors had in a scene together, and it was so interesting to see.  We just had so much chemistry, and they weren’t really telling sexual type of stories on Y&R then.  They were never doing things where people were just ripping off each other’s clothes.  We started writing every scene like that! (Laughs)  It was very dynamic, and I loved working with Josh.  Josh and I literally just had to say the words and it really, really worked.  It was a huge spike in ratings, too.  I am really proud of that time on Y&R.  I think it was really great.

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

MICHAEL:

Jeff Branson (Ronan) and you also had some serious chemistry going on.  What did you think of Ronan and Phyllis?  And how ultimately, Jeff was written-off the show?

MICHELLE:

I thought their relationship was really interesting, but when they ended it, I guess they had him come back on, and he was totally in love with Phyllis.  I was not sure about that, but Jeff was great.  I am never a fan when they write a man totally heartbroken over a woman; I am just not a personal fan of seeing a man be like that.  I like to see men be strong.  I don’t like seeing them be desperate, and Jeff played it great.  He is a great actor, and he was let-go when Jill and Josh came in.  I said, “Jeff, you are great.  Just go do your gig and go be a star,” and he is working a lot.

MICHAEL:

Christian LeBlanc (Michael, Y&R) is your buddy.  Is it weird that he is there at Y&R, and you’re not?

MICHELLE:

I know he is sad, because it was first losing Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor) and now me … two main actors on the show.  Listen, Christian and I will always know each other, and know each other when we are 108!

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

 … And you will always hijack each others interview? (Laughs)

MICHELLE:

Yes, and I will always be funnier, and he will always remind me he has three Emmys and I have two.  (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

What is the last word you would like to say to your fans?

MICHELLE:

I hope they watch The Stafford Project like 25 times each, and backwards.  If we get 50, 000 to 100,000 hits in the first week that is great, and means it’s successful.  If they are sad about Phyllis not being around, just watch The Stafford Project.

 

 

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I watched The Stafford Project this eve and loved it. Its going to do well I think.

I watched The Stafford Project last night and thought it was wonderful.

OMG…the “mulatto” comments! lol. Viewers could tell this was ripped right from Michelle Stafford’s own experiences. What some people will say! I love that Michelle sees the humor in the ridiculous, and that she shares it so sublimely 🙂

My only other comment is that I think an episode release every three weeks is much to slow…not only because I would like to see episodes more frequently, but I think the series will lose forward momentum with viewers. Just too slow a pace for interested viewers. Just my opinion.

Love it, though.

Nice shout out to Delia on Ryan’s Hope! I can actually see that character may have influenced Stafford’s early Phyllis who was desperate for the security of Danny by having his son, just as Delia was desperate for the security of Pat (and had an adversary in Kate Mulgrew’s Mary who was disgusted by her, just as Cricket was disgusted by Phyllis.)

I haven’t watched Project yet, but I will.

I just have a comment…that top picture of Michelle is SO wierd to me…very un-Phyllis like. Never in a million years would Phyllis be caught in a princess dress like that!

She’s Michelle Stafford, not Phyllis

Thank you so much for letting Michelle clear it up once and for all that she and Sharon Case enjoyed working together and do not hate each other I was so sick of that story being told. I think she has a flair for comedy so good luck. The show is so different now that I think she was right to move on.

OMG what cave am I living in? If not for you, Michael, and this interview I’d be wondering how long Phyllis was going to be gone lol. Great interview!!! Happy for her and wish her continued success. SO SAD for us Y & R fans. Show will not the same without her!!!!! I’m going to start my mourning process now.
Thank God I have cookies in my cupboard 🙂

I wished they did not get rid of Phyllis. I loved her on the show and gonna miss her. I hope she comes back and get Sharon.

i hope that phylis comes back and sets things right with the sharon thing,i wish you success on your new adventure, but you will be so missed on my favorite soap..i have watched this show from the beginning, love it.

I smiled all the way through! Great job! I can’t wait to see more.

I watched the Stafford Project and I completely loved it. It was so very funny, which really fits Michelle well. She is such a great actress and I’m sad that she left Y&R but I am loving seeing her in this project of hers. Keep up the great work and I look forward to a lot more!

Michelle Stafford’s future is just beginning. I look forward to
Her star becoming bigger and brighter everyday.

I watched The Stafford Project It was funny and I wished Michelle would had stayed on Y&R ,Phylliss would had kicked ass and loved itwhen she battled Sharon and Christine Blair> I can’t wait until she does a primetime sitcom do 2 & a half men she would be funny with Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cyrer or Mike and Molly

Oh yes! Great idea

I would love to see Michelle team up with Colleen Zenk (Barbara) and Kim Zimmer (Reva) the 3 of them could do a sitcom together

Not everybody liked Phyllis with Nick.

Loved Nick and Phyllis together, show will not be the same without Phyllis. I wish Michelle well and will be tuning in on her show

She left because of Scientology. She refused to work with Michael (Murphy), because he came to his senses years ago and left the cult. She is doing a web series now, with all Scientology members. Talk about mind control.

I heard that to but he is never on could not figure out how that could be who knows. You have any idea how much money you put into this thing I call it a Pyramid cult. Lol

Scientology is her belief, who are we to judge. She is missed on Y&R – she’s an amazing actress, but I love that she’s got balls and isn’t afraid of doing what she wants. I didn’t want to like the stafford project because i was upset that she left Y&R – ha! how egotistical is that!? but i love it, she and the show is hilarious. and incredibly well produced

Michelle what can I say, I hate to see you leave the Y&R but if that’s your wish, I wish you the best of luck. May you prosper in all you do; God bless you and your beautiful, little girl.

I love Michelle on Y&R . Hope she return if only to get Sharon lie straight. I pray your success in whatever you want to do . I know that you would be good at it.

Does anyone know if Michelle is married in real life?

So Phelps fired Jeff Branson too. This witch just loves to kick actors out on the street. She’s a witch.

Interviews

Trevor St. John Chats On His Latest Film ‘A Good Enough Day’, His Y&R Leading Ladies and the Loss of Kamar de los Reyes

The Young and the Restless multi-talented Trevor St. John (Tucker McCall) most recent film dropped last week on Amazon Prime, AppleTV+ and Tubi. Not only does St. John star in it, but he directed and co-wrote the feature, as well.

A Good Enough Day features St. John as Tyler Hamilton, a terminally ill photographer who has been saddled with enormous grief over a loss in his life for over 10 years, while trying to tie up loose ends before his death. Wanting to right his fractured relationships, Tyler interacts with his sister, and his daughter via phone calls in two haunting and moving moments in the film. St. John shot all of the scenes in the movie in his home state of Washington.

During a recent livestream conversation on You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel, Trevor spoke on the character he portrayed, the making of the film, the poignant phone calls and the takeaway he hopes lingers in audiences’ hearts and minds. In addition, Trevor shared his thoughts on his experience thus far on Y&R, and being in story with two strong leading ladies, Eileen Davidson (Ashley) and Zuleyka Silver (Audra).

Photo: AGoodEnoughDay

Many fans recall Trevor’s stellar performances as One Life to Live’s Walker Laurence/Todd Manning/Victor Lord Jr.  Recently, he and many other members of the OLTL family, suffered the loss of actor Kamar de los Reyes (ex-Antonio Vega). St. John takes a moment to share his thoughts on losing one of his dear friends. Coincidently, Reyes’ wife, Sherri Saum (ex-Keri, OLTL, ex-Vanessa, Sunset Beach), also appears in A Good Enough Day.

Speaking on embodying A Good Enough Day’s Tyler Hamilton, and what the journey he is going through during the film, Trevor shared, “We did our best to make this man, not all one thing or the other. If you heard the other end of those phone calls he was on, you think this guy’s a real piece of work. But then you realize he really suffered. He didn’t choose the grief, and maybe he made some choices out of that grief. Maybe he did not do enough to resist being all consumed by it. But as you pointed out, how can anyone know what that’s like to go through what he did?”

Photo: A Good Enough Day

As fans of St. John’s may know by now, when Tyler speaks to those on his phone, it all seemed so raw and real. Trevor gave us the secret as to why it worked so movingly and effectively. He explained,”The calls were shot and performed in a really unique way. We gave each character a very detailed biography. In particular, the detail of their relationship with Tyler, and their particular family life in the present day. But, we didn’t tell them anything else. So, none of those actors were ever told or were given the full material. We just said, ‘Here’s what you know about this man. Here’s in great detail what’s happened in the past 10 years and maybe even before. That’s all we are going to tell you. He’s gonna call you and you answer the phone as if this is all you know.'” Trevor added, “It was very risky, but once we shot that first scene I thought, ‘I think we might be able to get away with this.'”

Photo: A Good Enough Day

The beauty of A Good Enough Day is that it requires the viewers to think, interpret and go along on Tyler’s journey without hitting you over the head of exactly what is happening. However, by the final moments in the film, and we mean after the credits roll, you know everything you need to know. Trevor shared on laying out the movie: “You have to, you have to reveal everything. By the end, everything must be revealed. The question is the timing. The question is the intensity with which you peel layers away of information. The goal is to have the audience thinking, ‘I’m not sure I know precisely what’s going on here but man, I can’t really look away. I wanna see what happens next.'”

Photo: JPI

On The Young and the Restless, St. John has been in a red hot storyline with two-time Daytime Emmy winner, Eileen Davidson (Ashley Abbott), where Ashley’s sanity is now completely in question., Trevor expressed on sharing scenes with Eileen,”She’s terrific. She’s such a dear person.” St. John is also quite impressed with her recent work, “She’s become so open to the unexpected and the unknown, and that’s where you want to be. She’s a wonderful playmate and a really great person, supportive, and just super talented. I’m very lucky to be working with her.”

The CBS daytime drama currently has the relationship between Tucker and Audra taking several turns. St. John shares he is not sure where it’s ultimately leading,”That’s very difficult to say. When I get these scripts, I’m surprised as the audience. So I’m intrigued. Tucker has definitely some legitimately strong feelings for Audra.  She’s his best friend. She might be his only friend. The connection with Audra is profound. Whether he can communicate it, whether she can communicate, is another matter. But there’s something inherent there, something built up over years.”

Photo: JPI

So, just how is working with Audra’s portrayer, Zuleka Silver? Trevor remarked, “I just adore her. I light up when I’m around her. She’s just a lovely person and talented and we have great fun together. I like to tease her a little bit, but she’s also open to the unexpected, which for me, if you’re any good, you gotta be prepared for curve balls, you know, because as a human being you don’t know what’s gonna happen next. If you’re a good actor, you’re receptive to all of that, and she’s like that. ”

Photo: JPI

Back on Christmas Eve of 2023, Trevor’s former One Life to Live castmate, Kamar de los Reyes (ex-Antonio), passed away after his battle with cancer at the age of 56.  St. John opened up on this personal loss, explaining, “That was hard. He was a good friend of mine, a dear friend. I miss him. I miss him terribly. It still hasn’t even penetrated completely that he’s gone. It’s just that stage where you don’t believe it. He was a beautiful man. I saw Sherrie recently and she’s doing okay, all things considered. She’s got a nice support system. My heart breaks for her, and his family, and his boys. I appreciate you asking. It’s been very difficult.”

Photo: JPI

In case you missed it, watch the full interview with Trevor below, followed by the trailer for A Good Enough Day. 

Now let us know, if and when you watch Trevor’s film what was your reaction to it? Then, who do you want Tucker to end up with on Y&R? Audra, Ashley or someone else? Let us know in the comment section.

 

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Interviews

Kristen Alderson Talks on Her First TV Performance in 9 Years in Lifetime’s ‘The Man In The Guesthouse’, Her New Baby Girl & the Loss of Members of the OLTL Family

Daytime Emmy-winner Kristen Alderson will star on the Sunday night, February 18th premiere of the Lifetime TV movie The Man in the Guesthouse marking her first television role in nine years!

Fans are excited to see the former One Life to Live and General Hospital favorite (ex-Starr Manning, ex-Kiki Jerome, respectively) when The Man in the Guesthouse airs tonight 8 pm ET and will stream the next day.

In it, Alderson plays opposite Ignacyo Matynia as Ashley and Brandon, a youn who decide they need to rent out their guesthouse for additional income, only their renter turns out be much more than they bargained for in this thriller. Another familiar face to soap audiences also appears in the movie when former Passions and Y&R star, James Hyde (ex-Sam, ex-Jeremy, respectively), shows up.

Courtesy/Lifetime

As well as her role in The Man in the Guesthouse, this has been an exciting time in Alderson’s personal life, as she and her fiancé Taylor Crousore just welcomed their first child, their baby girl, Kiera, just a few weeks ago on January 29th.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Kristen to talk about bringing Kiera into the world, what to expect from her first Lifetime movie, and her experience filming it, and the recent deaths of One Life to Live family and extended family members, Kamar de los Reyes (ex-Antonio) and Erika Slezak’s (ex-Viki) daughter, Amanda Davies.

Photo: KAldersonIG

Kristen recalled on the birth of Kiera, “I was in labor for like two days and by the second night I ended up having to get a C-section. I was really scared to get a C-section, but the nurses and the staff was just unreal. They were the nicest. We had a very fun c-section. It sounds so weird, but we had the best time. Taylor was in the room with me. My mom and my dad, and Eddie (ex-Matthew, OLTL) were at the hospital, but you’re only allowed to bring one person into the operating room with you. I had two other nurses before the original nurse, and they were just the most incredible nurses ever! I was so emotionally attached to each one of them. I didn’t want them to leave. So, each time I was like, ‘Oh no! A new nurse is coming.’ But then I would be like, ‘Oh, wait, I love you too.”‘ (Laughs)

Photo: KAldersonIG

When the moment came for Kristen to meet her daughter for the first time, it was more emotional than she had originally thought it might be, sharing, “Right before the C-section, they numb you from the waist down so you can’t feel anything during the surgery. I was talking to Taylor the whole time. They said, ‘We’re 10 minutes to baby.’ I go, ‘Taylor, I don’t think I’m gonna cry. I think I’m gonna be so excited to meet her that I’m not even going to be able to be emotional.’  Literally, they’re like, ‘Here she comes!’ And, all of a sudden, we just heard a cry. We busted out crying. I was like, ‘Oh, my God! We made a human. That’s our baby.’ Li it was so surreal. We are just so in love with her.”

Kristen’s worlds collided last year when she was filming The Man in the Guesthouse and learned she was expecting at the same time. As she explains, “I had found out five days into filming that I was pregnant. This is my first television in role in 9 years!”

Alderson revealed on the premise of her Lifetime movie, “Ashley and Brandon have been married for 10 years and they decide to renovate their guest house in their backyard. They need the extra money, the extra income. They just start having like, Airbnb people in. And that’s not going really well because they are short term rentals, which was annoying. So, they decide, ‘Let’s get someone that’s going to be in here for a while.’ Ashley’s best friend helps her find someone online. She finds someone that seems to be the perfect tenant … until they’re not!”

Photo: IMDb

It wouldn’t be a Lifetime thriller without things going awry! Kristen confirmed this won’t be any different, sharing, “Bad things happen to everybody and very strange things happen too. At first, they’re like, they can excuse this or that, but then all of a sudden, they can’t excuse something that happens and then it’s how do you get him out? That’s the hardest part. Allen Williamson is the actor playing the renter. He is this good-looking guy, very unassuming young man, so you would never think he is a bad guy.” Addressing her part in the film, Alderson teases, “We think I’m a good girl.”

Clicking with your new leading man can be a challenge for any actress, so Kristen was intrigued to see how she and co-star, Ignacyo Matynia would get along. Kristen explained, “We met up, a day or two before we started working together to introduce ourselves, because we had to have like 10 years of marriage chemistry by day one, you know?  We clicked because our personalities were so fun and goofy together. Then, I’m thinking, ‘I hope he is a good actor’. When we ran a scene I got really nervous, because he was so amazing! I was like, ‘Oh, my God!  Am I good enough to be in the scenes with him?’ I haven’t seen the movie yet. So, I am looking forward to seeing the chemistry that we created when it airs.”

Photo: IMDb

Comparing her years acting on a soap with working on the set of a Lifetime thriller, Alderson spk the differences, and what in some ways felt the same. Kristen shared, “You’re filming the same scene 10 times, sometimes, depending on how big the scene is. That was something to get used to. And then, it’s a thriller, so you’re like hyperventilating, crying and running, and everything’s shot out of sequence. You kind of don’t know what scene comes after what. I give ‘Lifetime’ actors the most kudos. Like a soap opera, they film it so fast. It’s the soap opera of movies.”

Photos: ABC

The One Life to Live family has suffered great loss over the past year. More recently, Kamar de los Reyes passed away from cancer at 56. Kristen remembered this beloved co-star. “I’ve known him for years and years. He was always so sweet. Obviously, you know, we didn’t have many scenes together and there’s a huge age difference. We didn’t spend a ton of time together, but at the same time, everyone at One Life was such a family and everyone hung out in the hair and makeup room,” she shared. “When we had a little One Life to Live reunion in LA, I would say seven years ago, Kamar was there and we all got to see each other and catch up. He sat and talked with my mom the entire time.”

Photo: ABC

In addition, Kristen was devastated to also learn the heartbreaking news of Erika Slezak’s daughter Amanda Davies passing away at just 4 2-years-old.”I was friends with her on Facebook and she was always just so insanely proud of her mom,” Alderson said. “I was just so sad. She was so young.”

One Life to Live fans remember the chemistry between Trevor St. John (ex-Todd Manning/Victor Lord Jr., now Tucker, Y&R) and Alderson as father/daughter during her time on the ABC soap opera.  She had high praise for Trevor’s new film and his performance in A Good Enough Day. “He’s so insanely talented and he was always one of my absolute favorite people that I’ve ever worked with,” reflected Alderson. “I felt the most in the moment out of anyone I acted with at One Life.  You never knew what he was going to do, which some actors are scared of but not me. I love it. That’s why we just worked so well together. Not too many people know that Trevor’s like the funniest person I think I’ve ever met. He would just crack me up on set all the time. I got in trouble so many times because he would just make me laugh.”

Photo: JPI

One of the profound moments in St. John’s film, is when his terminally ill character of Tyler Hamilton, reaches out to his sister on a phone call. The scene made a great impact on Alderson,when she revealed, “The first phone call with his sister hooks you into the movie so deeply. That was Lisa Fuller as the sister, who is Dan Gauthier’s (ex-Kevin Buchanan) wife, and my best friend growing up was their son, Cole. It was cool to hear her act like that. I knew that she was an actress, but it was just an incredible performance just over a phone call. ”

Photo: jklphoto

Kristen also gave us a “tune-in alert” teaser of what to expect when The Man in the Guesthouse debuts, stating, “I will say that there’s like a really fun twist at the end. So, just when you think that the movie is going to go a certain way, it goes a different way. I love a good twist at the end of a movie. So, if you’re not watching it for Kristen, watch it for the twist.”

The popular actress also has been deeply moved by the fans response so far and the movie hasn’t even aired! She explained, “I’ve gotten so many incredible responses from the fans and everyone’s like ‘My DVR is set. I can’t wait. I got my popcorn. I’m watching.’  They’re all really excited for the movie. I’m hoping that Lifetime sees how the soap fans really come out to support their actors and that hopefully I’ll be in more to come.”

So, are you looking forward to seeing Kristen in her first TV movie role and performance in 9 years? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GH’s Brighton Hertford Opens Up on Reprising B.J. for Bobbie Spencer’s Memorial, The Gift Jackie Zeman Left Her, and Meeting Kirsten Storms

It was two and half weeks ago that General Hospital fans received a beautiful surprise twist during Bobbie Spencer’s memorial episodes when Angela, the reporter from the Associated Press in Amsterdam turned out to be a grown-up B.J. Jones visiting Port Charles from Heaven.

In real-life, GH brought back Brighton Hertford who was last on the show back in 1994, when her character, a very young B.J. Jones was killed-off in school bus accident, and B.J.’s heart when to Maxie to save her life. That storyline is one of the most iconic in soap opera history and certainly in the stories 60-year history of General Hospital.

Brighton’s on-screen mother was played by the late Jackie Zeman mwho passed away at 70 following a short bout with cancer in May of 2023.  When GH finally was able to move forward with how to finish Bobbie’s storyline and pay proper tribute to Zeman, the show called Hertford to come back and reprise the role. Brighton lives in Utah and has a whole other career in the tech industry at this juncture of her life making this all the more special.

Photo: ABC

Last week, speaking with the Michael Fairman Channel for an exclusive livestream interview, an emotional Hertford shared her journey of coming back to the set of the ABC daytime drama series some 29 years later to help send-off Bobbie and to honor Jackie.

During her visit, Hertford met the grown-up Maxie Jones for the first time in GH fan favorite Kirsten Storms, and expressed, “I can’t say enough about Kirsten, and how wonderful she was. I had never met her, right? I was so jazzed because I loved Zenon Girl of the 21st Century.  She was just so welcoming, and offered to run lines with me in the Green Room because it is very fast paced and high octane and wanted to make sure that I felt comfortable. We exchanged phone numbers. She was like, ‘Let’s go out for lunch next time you’re in Los Angeles.” Kirsten is just a wonderful, wonderful.”

Photo: ABC

When Brighton was only 8 and killed-off the show, on her last day she received a special gift from Jackie Zeman that she has to this day. Hertford elaborated, “Jackie gave me a butterfly ring that has an opal in it. We had this really special moment where she gave it to me and she talked to me about the significance of butterflies in her life. She told me that in order to make sure that the opals never crack, that I’m supposed to take my pinky and rub it on the inside of my nose, where your natural body oils collect and and rub it on the opal. It’s always been a very, very special keepsake of mine. And to this day, none of those opal have cracked. Anytime, I see people who have opal jewelry, I’m like, ‘Oh, you have to remember to keep like this.‘ Jackie gave it to me as a way of saying goodbye.”

Coming back to ABC Prospect Studios where GH is taped, Brighton was astonished at how no one had aged! “They must sleep in Tupperware, because everyone looked exactly the same,” she expressed. “I saw Lynn (Herring) and I touched her on the shoulder and I said, “Hey, Lynn. I don’t know if this is going to be spooky, but it’s Brighton. It’s B.J.  Her face just lit up. She was like, ‘Oh, my gosh. Of course it’s you!’ Kristina Wagner (Felicia) was there, and Maurice Benard (Sonny) was there too, and we had a wild trip down memory lane.”

Photo: JPI

Part of Bobbie’s final story paid homage to the fact that a younger Bobbie was prostitute, and in the end was helping other women who were the victims of human trafficking. Brighton shared while she didn’t understand Bobbie’s past as an 8-year-old, she did late on. “I will say, in my direct experience, my lived experience, I think GH has always done a good job of things like that,” she elaborated. “I’ll call back really quickly to when I was in the coma, and the show promoting the importance of being an organ donor, because that’s what that whole storyline was about. B.J. was lifeless, aside from being kept alive by machines, and because she was able to donate her heart Maxie lived on, and this too can happen for other people. The message was, ‘So please become an organ donor now.”‘

As to how GH connected the dots of the difficult life Bobbie led in her death, Brighton said, “I thought that what GH did was really beautiful by doing a great job of encapsulating Bobby … the character as a whole person with a journey. I think there’s so much beauty in telling the whole of the story and not just saying, ‘Oh yeah, they were perfect,’ and then move on. Because they have past, because they have histories, it makes who they are all the more beautiful, not in spite of it.”

You can watch the full livestream conversation with Brighton below.

Were you touched by seeing Brighton back on GH to honor Jackie Zeman and the character of Bobbie. What do you think of the sentiments she shared about Kirsten Storms, returning to the set as a woman after being a child actor on the show, and the beautiful gift Jackie gave to her when she was killed-off the show? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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Peter Reckell returns for a second visit with Michael Fairman following the wrap-up of his recent run as Bo Brady on Days of our Lives.Leave A Comment

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