Connect with us

Interviews

The Morgan Fairchild & Friends Interview – The Bold and the Beautiful

morganJudges.jpg

This week on special episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful soap fans are being treated to some unusual suspects!  First, Morgan Fairchild turns up as Beverly Hills socialite Dottie who has a brilliant idea for her charity to stage a dueling fashion show competition between Forrester Creations and Jackie M!  Dottie seeks out her old friend Stephanie Forrester, and well let’s just say… this brilliant idea does not come off without a hitch.

Enter, Melissa Rivers, Alan Thicke and Jim J Bullock. This notorious threesome play the three judges who decide the fate of the fashion showdown.  Alan and Jim have appeared on “B&B” previously, while Melissa is a first-time soap rookie.  With a few long arduous days of tapings, the group really got a taste of what it takes to put on a fashion show, BOLD style.

On-Air On-Soaps first caught up with Morgan Fairchild who talked about her appearance on the show, and her legendary career.  Very outspoken, Morgan gives some insight into the inner-workings of her daytime and primetime experiences.  Then, we chatted one-on-one with Jim, Alan, and Melissa. This hilarious trio tells us about the perils of judging, working on a soap, and makes us laugh.  We bring you Morgan Fairchild and friends!

Listen to the audio:

[display_podcast]

MICHAEL:

How was your experience at “B&B” during your special week?

MORGAN:

It’s so funny.  I know so many people from this show. John McCook (Eric) was a neighbor, and I used to chat with him when he used to walk his dog.  I played Jenna Wade with Patrick Duffy (Stephen) on Dallas, and I saw Hunter Tylo (Taylor) at my gym, but I did not want to bother her because she was working out hard with a trainer. Lesley-Anne Down (Jackie) and I had done North and South together…all the versions (She laughs).  Jack Wagner (Nick) and I have been seated in a plane across from each other cross country.  He seemed like a nice down to earth guy, and after working with him…I still think so! (She laughs)  I have to say everybody was helpful and nice. The entire cast was here for the fashion show episodes. So we would talk with each other in hair and make-up during all the frenzy of getting made up.

MICHAEL

What is your character Dottie’s (short for Dorothy) objective on the show?

fashionChallenge.jpgMORGAN:

Well Dorothy’s objective is to get this fashion show in place because she thinks it going to be a great sale for her charity.  She wants to do a big charity fundraiser and listen, I live out here in California and we all have seen people in Beverly Hills who are throwing events, and trying to find something new and novel that you can sell tickets on.  So she gets the idea of getting these two acrimonious rivals to do a fashion showdown.  I kept calling it a ‘smackdown’, but they would not go for it.  Basically, she knows that this big face-off will sell tickets, and then I am the recipient of others peoples duplicities.

MICHAEL:

How did it come about that you ended up on “B&B”?

MORGAN:

My agent just called and said, “This is what they wanted to do,” and I thought it sounded like fun.  I knew many people that worked on the show, and I thought it would be fun to do the glam fashion stuff.  “B&B” seems like a show that is always looking for something fun and innovative.  They have been here and a hit for so long, and it’s not because they don’t know what they are doing!

MICHAEL:

How was working in scenes with Susan Flannery (Stephanie)?

morganSusanFlannery.jpgMORGAN:

Oh, just great.  She is such a hoot.  We got along like a house- a- fire and we are both very irreverent.  Susan is a legend in this, and it’s a thrill for me to work with her.  She is a fine actress, and if you are an artist you always want to work with good people. That’s what you live for…a chance to work with really good and talented people.

MICHAEL:

You were on many daytime soap operas in your career: including Search for Tomorrow (Jennifer Pace) and The City (Sydney Chase). Do you see any difference to the soaps?  Or, is it the same to you now as it was to you back then?

MORGAN:

There are a lot of differences. When I stared on “SFT” in 1973, it was half hour show, and it was live to tape.  Unless the set fell in on you, you were not stopping.  I learned a few tricks that the older actors showed me.  You learn more tricks, and that is where it was great for a kid starting out.  I had grown up in the theatre.  This was the first time I got to do television. The older actors back then, and especially in New York… everybody seemed to come from the theatre.  So you were working with seasoned pros. Larry Haines (Stu) was on there… and Mary Stuart (Jo) and had been on forever.  She had been a legend for that time period. John Cunningham (Wade), Michael Nouri, and Kevin Kline were also on. Kevin just got out of Julliard with my sister.  So you are working with really good actors.  So everybody is kind of winging it and learning.  I told John McCook when I was doing “SFT” in New York, I would go into the control room on our lunch break everyday, and I would watch our show. “Y&R” came on just before or after that.  I felt I knew John from playing Lance Prentiss.  Some of the other actors on “SFT” would make fun of me and go, “Why are you watching the show?” I would watch what I did wrong.  I learned so much by doing that.  By the time I did The City things were a bit different in the way they shot.

MICHAEL:

The City was for its time was trying to be innovative with the film look for daytime.

MORGAN:

Well they tried to do that.  They had great ambitions but quickly ran into reality of shooting a location in New York.  The first six weeks were really great, but I just didn’t think they thought it through.  In retrospect, I bitch.jpgwish they would have sat down and talked to me before they did that.  I feel I could have given them some ways to save time and money on that. I think they got a little burned on that, and went back to a traditional soap format.  At “B&B”, they shoot very fast.  To their credit, let me say, The City would shoot everything on my set for four or five scripts at one chunk.  So, I would have 18-25 scenes a day and 70 pages or so of dialog.  It’s very hard.  If you don’t have actors who are serious about it, that’s a killer.  There were a couple of kids on the show I had to take aside and say, “When you work with me, you will show up on time, and you will know your lines.  We are on take 12 for you, and you are going to go home and go straight to bed because you came here straight from the clubs.  And I am going to be here till 10 o’clock at night and so is the crew. They are not going to see their families or their kids, and it’s not fair.”  I have been doing this since I was 10-years-old.  I have no patience for people who don’t take this seriously. I would tell the kids, “I don’t care what you are doing with your private life, but when you work with me you get this done, and we all go home and we can all have a life…not just you! “(She laughs).

MICHAEL:

What did you think of the fashions in the dueling fashion show challenge?

MORGAN:

The girls look great.  I don’t want to spoil the surprise about Lesley-Anne’s outfit.  I was yelling, “Berlin 38”!  Everyone looked gorgeous and is dressed to the gills.  You sit around and admire everyone, and the fashions are lovely.

MICHAEL:

Were you able to keep your concentrate?  The “B&B” tape days when they do a special fashion show are known to be extremely long.

MORGAN:

Well, I sat a lot and then I walked and talked.  On the show, Dottie is in the audience and then I have my speeches.  I remember I forgot one of them because I was so tired I almost lost consciousness… because we had a very long night. (She laughs)

MICHAEL:

Did you pattern Dottie after anybody?

MORGAN:

Not anybody in particular, but I have dealt with people like that in Beverly Hills so many times.  You know they say, “You have got to do this event. If you don’t, children will die!” (She laughs)  They are pushy broads, and it usually works.  Guilt is a wonderful tool.

MICHAEL:

How big is fashion in your life for you? How do you dress normally?

MORGAN:

Two of the outfits I wear on these episodes are mine. They are both Ralph Lauren.  At home, I am such a bum.  I am always running around in my gym clothes.  I run around in Reeboks all the time.

morganRedCarpet.jpgMICHAEL:

Is dressing up for an event such as: a fashion show or an award show, something you like or dread as Morgan?

MORGAN:

I have been doing it for so long.  I have become a lazy bitch in my old age.  It’s not something I am dying to do because it’s work, but you get into it.  First of all, I don’t go to many, because I went to so many for so long.  My boyfriend also does not get into that type of thing.  Sometimes, I go to a friends opening or work related event.  Then you think, “Oh God. What can I get into?”  I sort of buy defensively and pull something together.  For this show, I wore a gold Ralph Lauren suit.   It was hard to find some shoes to wear with it, but I had two-year-old Christian Louboutin shoes that were right.  But at that time, I felt very guilty for spending a lot of money to buy them.  But now I get to wear them on “B&B”.  So, I feel not so guilty.  This is my excuse. (She laughs)

MICHAEL:

On soaps, you have gotten to play and are often typecast as the vixen or the troublemaker.  Why do you think that is?

MORGAN:

I always thought it was my nose.  I have a pointy nose, and it makes everybody think you are a bitch.  They don’t even give you a chance.  I honestly thought I was going to play ingénues my whole life.  Suddenly I get to New York and get on the soaps and it’s instant bitchdom.  I was talking to Don Diamont (Bill), and it’s more fun to play the bad guy because you are always the catalyst.  The way I have always done it is, I throw in a lot of one-liners.  I take a lot of one dimensional bad girl parts and make them fun and kind of jump.  Larry Hagman (JR) did it on Dallas, and Joan Collins (Alexis) did it on Dynasty.  The thing was, none of us were supposed to be the stars of the show, but we are wise-asses, and we would throw it out there.  Those are the characters that jump off the screen.

MICHAEL:

What do you think of the ‘cougar’ storyline on “B&B” between Owen and Jackie?   Even Susan Lucci (Erica) has a ‘cougar’ storyline beginning on “AMC”!

cougarMorgan.jpgMORGAN:

I think older woman/younger guy is great. I think the term ‘cougar’ is demeaning.  No offense to this show.  Just as a woman, I find it demeaning.  What is reciprocal one for a guy… letch? (She laughs)  I think the whole concept of women not being limited to someone older than they are is great.  The way it was before, a woman used to be married to someone at least five years old than she was.  I think that’s great that those set of norms have become passé.  On the other hand, you look at some of these woman and wonder, “What do you talk to him about?  He does not look that bright!”  It’s sort of the same thing you think when you see older guys and dim blondes. “What do they talk about?”

MICHAEL:

You did a very interesting first on television on the old sitcom Roseanne.  How did that come about?

MORGAN:

They called me up in 1992 and they called and offered me this part.  I jumped at it.  My agent said, “Are you sure you want to do this?”  I knew it was groundbreaking, because I was the first lipstick lesbian on a sitcom playing Sandra Bernhardt’s girlfriend.  I thought it was going to be a hoot.  Sandra talks about her new girlfriend through the whole show and the last person anybody was going to expect to walk through that door was Morgan Fairchild. It was fun, and you like to do things that catch people off-guard.  I have been in the business so long that you can keep doing the same stuff forever.  So it’s always fun when they let you do something different.  Another one was playing Chandler’s mom on Friends. When they called and offered me that, a lot of my girlfriends called and said, “You are too young to do that part as the boy’s mother.”  I had played the mother of teenagers before, but never a grown son.  I have this theory; that to stay in this business you have to reintroduce yourself to a new audience every five years.  So, when they offered me the Old Navy gig, I thought that was great.  I told my friends, “You know the target demographic for the clothes is 13-year-old boys. You know what? The network demographic is 13-year-old boys.”  I have little kids in airports doing the Old Navy dance and they don’t know a thing about me from Flamingo Road or Falcon Crest. They know me as the ‘Old Navy lady’.  Friends was the same thing.  You want to place yourself where you are seen with an audience that you want to cultivate.  So, on Friends she was the vixen mom when all he wanted was Donna Reed.  She was very funny and they wrote great material.

morganMain.jpgMICHAEL:

You have had amazing opportunities in your career to work with some of Hollywood’s legends.  What has all of that been like and meant for you?

MORGAN:

I got to work with Bette Davis, Jane Wyman, Eve Arden, Natalie Wood, and Cesar Romero. All the people I had grown up.  I was very lucky to be able to do that when I got out to LA.  You treasure those moments.  The great thing about the old stars is that they were great raconteurs.  They had such good stories, and they would dish.  I mean, you would know who shot who, who was sleeping with who, and where a body was buried under what dam.  It was a hoot.  I actually took the pilot of Hotel because I always have these motives. (She laughs) My motive was, I wanted to work with Bette Davis, but then she had her stroke and she was not able to the series.  However, we became great friends and she kind of adopted me.  It was a hoot.

JIM J BULLOCK

MICHAEL:

Sergei has come back to “B&B”! You play a wedding planner.

jimjbullock.jpgJJB:

Sergei has come back and resurfaced.  How many “ss’ can I put in… ‘Sergei surfaces’! (He laughs)

MICHAEL:

So in this scenario you are a judge for the fashion challenge.  How were the tape days?

JJB:

It was long and fun.  Alan and Melissa and I, we were sitting there on our asses at a table.  How hard was that?  It was a long day, but I think everyone made the most of it. No one acted like the Queen Bee.  So it was good.

MICHAEL:

Sergei takes a bribe on the plane that could sway the outcome of the fashion show!

JJB:

We do get bought on the plane.  But, my subtext for my character was I would have voted for Jackie M anyway, because I go for the glitz.  The other fashion house was more subtle.  So, it made Sergei feel better because he would have voted for Jackie M anyway, even though he was bought out and swayed.

MICHAEL:

How is doing a soap?

planeRide.jpgJJB:

You know, at this point in my career I am so grateful for the work.  Here, there is a family that forms.  You get a place to go everyday and that is so rare in this business.  It’s great to come here and the cast remembered me from my last appearance in 2004!

MICHAEL:

Were you always innately funny?

JJB:

I am just queer.  I don’t mean that in a gay way.  I was peculiar and odd at a young age, and so I made people laugh.  I never set out to be a comic. It just sort of happened.

MICHAEL:

Have you ever really judged anything as a real judge?

JJB:

As a matter of fact, yes.  I was a judge for the Miss Teen USA pageant, somewhere in Louisiana when a hurricane hit in the early 90’s.  It was the only pageant that I knew of that they crowned two queens.  That is because they had to pre-tape it, and they did not want it to leak to the press.  So they gave it to Miss Wyoming and stopped taping, and made her give her back her crown and get back in line!  Then they crowned Miss Missouri.  So when the judges left, no one had known who had won… Miss Wyoming or Miss Missouri… but we found out that night when it aired.

ALAN THICKE

alanthick.jpgMICHAEL

So you have come back for another visit to “B&B” as Rich Ginger!

ALAN:

Yes, occasionally they let me do that here.  Rich is a talk show host.  What he usually does is move other people’s storylines along.  They will come sit on the panel on his talk show and Rich will say, “When last we saw of Brooke Logan and Ridge they were … ,” and then you full in the blanks.  I have been utilitarian till now.  Rich is integrated in this storyline.  Now he seems to be influenced, somewhat.

MICHAEL:

Is he a slimy talk show host?

ALAN:

He has all the potential to be a slime ball and a real sleazy guy. They blackmail him on the plane.  They know his vulnerability and it turns out for a yacht trip, and a free bit of swag, it makes him cast his vote in the right direction.

MICHAEL:

How were the long tape days during the fashion show episodes?

alanJudges.jpgALAN:

We were at the studio all day and night and could have brought us a tent! (He laughs) They treated us well.  I did see the fashion show, and from my perspective I thought they looked great.

MICHAEL:

Have you worked before with Jim and Melissa?

ALAN:

I have known Jim for 25 years from when I started my own talk show in Canada.  Melissa, I last saw when we both played hockey in a charity exposition game.

MICHAEL:

Did you check her?

ALAN:

I did not cross-check her into the boards or anything but…I checked her out! (He laughs)

MELISSA RIVERS

MICHAEL:

How was your experience at “B&B?”

melissaRivers.jpgMELISSA:

It was fun. Normally, I work in such chaotic conditions.  I am used to working live on red carpets with everything swirling around in my ear peace, and watching a monitor, and trying to prep for an interview in ten minutes.  For me, to have that kind of quiet where you have to focus, that is the hardest for me.  I can focus in complete chaos.  But it’s creepy to me when everyone is so quiet!

MICHAEL:

Why do a daytime soap?

MELISSA:

I am one of those people who like to collect experiences.  I have never done any time on a daytime set so that was great.  It’s a new animal for me.  I have always had respect for the genre, and how much dialog these actors can memorize!

MICHAEL:

What’s next for Melissa?

MELISSA:

I love what I do.  I want to keep producing, and hosting, and being a good mom.  I am working on my book that comes out in January.  It’s called, “Life Lessons from the Red Carpet”.

MICHAEL:

I always thought when I am doing the red carpet events and interviewing the stars that I want to poke my eyes with a fork.  One is more gorgeous then the next.  Do you feel that way when you do the red carpet?

MELISSA:

Always!  These people are not human.  You just want to go home and cry or eat…because there is no point. There is no point anymore. (She laughs)

MICHAEL:

Speaking of the red carpet, was their ever a moment that sticks out to you as being a really screwed-up interview?

MELISSA:

Every single time there is a moment where I want the earth to open up and swallow me. My book talks about that, and handling those things.  It’s drawing a metaphor to the fact; that the idea of the red carpet is anytime the focus and the attention is on you.  You don’t have to be on a red carpet.  It’s how to handle yourself in those types of situations.

MICHAEL:

And on “B&B” you are the only one of the judges playing yourself!

judging.jpgMELISSA:

Yes, and that is always a little challenging when they write dialog for me and you have to play yourself.  I would not say it was Emmy time, but it was fun.

MICHAEL:

Did you ever judge anything before?

MELISSA:

I think I did Miss Teen USA one year, and that was kind of fun.  As much as you want to be silly and campy, the contestants take it very, very seriously.  You get wrapped up in the moment, and that’s what makes it so good.

Interviews

B&B’s Matthew Atkinson Weighs-In On Daytime’s Wildest Storyline, The Hope Mannequin & What’s Really Going On With Thomas

If you think you’ve seen it all on daytime soap operas, think again! Over the past several weeks viewers of CBS Daytime’s The Bold and the Beautiful have been witness to fashion designer Thomas Forrester’s (Matthew Atkinson) descent into madness, or is it?

In B&B’s thriller-esque storyline, complete with tight close-ups and tilted angles of Thomas and his co-star, the Hope Mannequin – yup, you read that right, the series is taking the audience on one wild ride, something we have not seen the likes of since back in the hey day of the late head writer, James Reilly, during his tenure on Days of our Lives or Passions.

Photo: JPI

Inspired by, believe it or not, true life events, B&B’s head writer and executive producer, Brad Bell and his creative team have served up a story generated off all of the buzz the show was receiving for using mannequins as scene partners for the actors in intimate moments to adhere to Covid-19 safety protocols.  B&B was the first American show back in production amid the pandemic.

 

Within this twisted tale, Thomas has the life-like version of Hope Logan Spencer (Annika Noelle) at home with him.  Those who have stumbled upon him with the mannequin, well, he has been able to explain that away by saying that having the doll with him is helping him create some of the best designs of his career.

The problem is the mannequin is talking to Thomas, it’s eyes have often turned devil-red, and on Friday’s episode it walked!  It’s objective is to get Thomas to kill Liam (Scott Clifton) and to get Hope back to be his one and only. Throughout many of the scenes in the storyline, Thomas suffers from what appears to be severe headaches.  All of this leading the audience to believe either … he has a brain tumor … he is being drugged … he is suffering from a severe mental break and disorder, or something else.

Photo: JPI

In a very candid and often humorous conversation with Michael Fairman for the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube, Thomas’ portrayer, Matthew Atkinson, discusses some of the craziest scenes to shoot thus far including Thomas having dinner with the mannequin!  In addition, Atkinson reveals how he and Annika Noelle tape the scenes where she is the voice of the Hope mannequin while adhering to safety protocols,  and how Liam is the only one, apparently, thinking something is off with Thomas, and so much more.

Photo: Gilles Toucas

One thing is for certain, Matthew Atkinson is sinking his teeth into the material and making it must-see daytime drama through his performances while we all wait to see what the possessed mannequin does next.

Check out the full interview with Matthew below. 

Then let us know, what do you think is happening or wrong with Thomas? Are you getting a kick out of the Hope Mannequin storyline? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below.

 

 

Continue Reading

Interviews

Eric Nelsen Talks Latest Film, Becoming a Tony-Nominated Producer, ‘The Bay’, and His Elizabeth Gillies & Ariana Grande Connection

You can catch All My Children reboot alum, Eric Nelsen (Ex-AJ Chandler), just about everywhere this month, and that’s hard to do given that we are all living in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, this Daytime Emmy-winning actor has his hands in a myriad of projects of late including: appearing on season six of The Bay (new episodes every Tuesday on Popstar! TV) where he continues to play Daniel’s journey after the character has come to terms with his sexuality and finds love, plus his comedic turn in the film, 1 Night in San Diego, and recently becoming a Tony-nominated producer along with his wife Sainty for the critically-acclaimed, and now 11 times nominated Broadway play, The Inheritance.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Eric to get the lowdown on his busy professional life, and we were in for some surprises along the way including: what the producers of AMC had in mind for the character of AJ that ultimately did not happen, and that Eric starred on Broadway with Elizabeth Gillies (Fallon, Dynasty) and Pop superstar, Ariana Grande – and there’s more to that story below.

 

What makes Nelsen so good at what he does on-screen is that he is a like a chameleon; adept at playing the quirky, to the troubled bad boys, to the emotional heart-tugging anti-hero. So here’s what Eric had to say in this fascinating conversation.

Photo: : Metropolitan Entertainment,

Your latest film appearance in 1 Night in San Diego is out this week on multiple streaming on-demand platforms from: Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, and more. Tell me about the movie and when did you film this?

ERIC:  We filmed it near San Diego, not this past February, but last February, and it’s hilarious.  It’s a female-driven comedy.  The cast is incredible.  Alexandra Daddario, who is just epic, and Jenna Ushkowitz, and Laura Ashley Samuels, they truly bring it in this powerhouse comedy, and it’s just one of those make-you -laugh movies from beginning to end, just silly, stupid stuff happening the whole time.  General Hospital’s Mark Lawson (Dustin) is also in the film.  While we don’t work in scenes together, I did get a chance to meet him and he’s a really great guy.  I play this off-the-wall character, named Gordo, who is a real burn-out, think Matthew McConaughey meets space cadet, which was a lot of fun to play.  Gordo is a great role.  I had more fun with this part than I’ve had in a long time.  So, it was cool to throw a comedy into all of the drama I have been playing in my other projects.

How does Gordo know the girls in the film?

ERIC:  One of the girls knew him back in the day, so they were in town looking to reconnect, and she’s like, “Oh, we want to party and let’s hit up Gordo,” and they do.  He has just gone completely off the rails, off the deep end with spirituality and kind of in his own world. They find themselves in quite a predicament when they come visit what they didn’t know was a commune, basically.  Gordo creates this hippie commune for a bunch of outcast musicians, (laughs) and I don’t want to give too much away, but a lot of interesting stuff happens there.

Photo: InheritancePlay

 

In addition, you are now a Tony-nominated producer for the play The Inheritance!

ERIC: That was crazy, because it’s always been a dream of mine to produce for Broadway.  That was how I got into the world of film and TV acting, which was through the theatre.  That’s where I started.  I was lucky enough to star on Broadway when I was 16 and 17, in a musical called, 13.  I started with Ariana Grande! It was so fun.

Wait, what?

ERIC:  Yeah, that was her first big show, and Elizabeth Gillies’.

Photo: AP

I think Elizabeth Gillies is terrific in Dynasty.

ERIC:  Oh yeah, and you know she and I dated for two and a half years during the whole run of the show 13.  Elizabeth is very talented.   She is amazing.  The funny part of it is, we were dating forever, and kind of had a bad breakup, and then Sainty, my wife, gets cast in her show Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, in the pilot to play Liz’s best friend on the series.  So, all of the sudden, I’m like, “Wait, wait, wait, out of all the shows, all of the things, this is who you have to get cast as best friends with?” and so they actually became really, really, close friends.  So, I’d actually come home from work or filming, and Liz would be on my couch sitting there giggling with Sainty.  I’m like, “This is just becoming too much.  This is a full-circle moment here.  I can’t deal.” (Laughs)

Now, you and Elizabeth are broken up at this point?

ERIC:  Yes.  We had been broken up at this point.  Sainty and I were actually together.  I started dating Sainty in New York and the pilot she was shooting was in New York, and she gets cast as Liz’s best friend, and I was like, “Oh, of course.”

Photo JPI

But Sainty knew you’d dated Elizabeth?

ERIC:  Yes, she did.

You must have been dying.

ERIC:  Yes, so dying.  Dying.   You know, it’s just one of those things that in a million years, you would never expect this to happen, and of course, Sainty and her had to become best friends in real life because they’re both great girls, and naturally, they would be friends, but now, I’m like this guy stuck in the middle who can’t believe what’s happening, and thought that was one chapter, and this is a different chapter, and now the chapters are combining.  It’s kind of a comedy act.

Photo: JPI

Since Ariana Grande was on Broadway with you and Liz, what was she like back then before her meteoric rise to fame?

ERIC:  Ariana was literally the sweetest, most innocent, and cutest – like my little sister.   To me, it was like, Liz and I were dating, and Ari was kind of like the little sister.  All of a sudden the show ended. Ariana got a Nickelodeon show, and after that, she became the most famous person in the world and was like this sex icon, and I couldn’t get over it.   She’s always had that talent with her voice and in 13 she was an ensemble member.  She wasn’t even one of the leads, but her voice was so incredible, even then as a young teenager.  I thought she was going to go on to have this great Broadway career as an actress and do musicals her whole life just because of her voice.  Then, all of the sudden, right after the musical, we all auditioned for the same Nickelodeon show.  I ended up going to the finals for the boyfriend role, Liz got the girlfriend role, and Ari got the funny friend on the show role.  That kind of catapulted them into the TV world, and Ari got a spinoff because of her character on that show for another Nickelodeon show, called Sam and Cat, and then after Sam and Cat, she went from this innocent, sweet, little Nickelodeon girl that I knew to being the biggest star.  It was unbelievable to me.

Photo: Broadway World

So, you started on Broadway as a teenager, and you found you always wanted to produce for the Great White Way? 

ERIC:  Yes, I did the Broadway thing, and then I got into film and TV, and then I got into film and TV producing.  As an actor, there are a lot of ups, a lot of downs.  So, in between the ups, I wanted to fill my time, so I got into producing, and I loved it.  I loved creating.  As an actor, we just show up, and everything is already done.  All we have to do is say our lines.  We get pampered, and we go home, but I wanted to know how it got to that point, like what happens before that.  So, I started producing film and found some success doing that, and it was so much fun for me.  Sainty’s and my first love, and what feels like home, is theatre.  So, I wanted to take it full circle and produce a Broadway show.  I just thought that would be such an incredible moment, and so that’s what I did.  I started emailing all of the Broadway producers who I had worked with as an actor, letting them know what I had been doing, kind of the success I had gotten from producing The Bay and some of these other things. Different shows came across my desk that I didn’t quite bite the bullet on, a couple of which I wish I would have, Dear Evan Hansen being one of them.  I would have been so rich by now!  (Laughs)

I just want to clarify for people who might not know, the word “producer” can mean different things.  There are “producers” who are putting money in … they’re backing projects or shows.  There are other people who are “producers” on the creative side of projects.  So, when you’re talking about producing a Broadway show, it is as an investor?

ERIC:  So for theatre, unless you’re the head producer who kind of gets creative control, every other producer listed in the credits is basically helping raise finances and is also very heavily involved in the process of everything else along the way, which is also what makes it special.  So finally, The Inheritance came across our desk, and it checked every single box.  It was just an epic play.  It’s a two-part play, and it’s just hours and hours and hours long.  You see it in multiple days or in multiple shows.  I remember reading the script and not stopping until I finished.  I was like, “This is amazing,” and it had just come off of a huge commercial successful run in London.  It won the Olivier Award for “Best New Play” and just about every other award you could win, and so I was like, “This is the one.  This is incredible.  I love the piece, love the message, and pulled the trigger,” and I would have done it all over again if we could.

Photo: Broadway World

The Inheritance is a generational piece centering on gay men during the AIDS crisis.  What can you say about it to those who don’t know about it, or have not seen it yet?

ERIC:  It takes place in the past, and then it fasts forward to the future.  You see two generations of gay men in New York City, and it’s all about the AIDS crisis, and so you’re bawling crying, and then you’re laughing throughout it.  It’s just one of those epic plays that pulls at every single emotion and you feel like you’re watching a movie.

It seems reminiscent of Angels In America, but different.   

ERIC:  Yes.  It’s definitely its own thing.  It’s actually an adaptation of Howard’s End, the novel by Forster, definitely different from Angels in America, but the two-part show is kind of what I was meaning by that.  People have said it is kind of our generation’s Angel’s in America in tone and subject matter.  It was just a dream come true, and like all other theatre that was open during our season, it had to close because of the pandemic, and it will have life after Broadway.  We are already slated for the Geffen Playhouse in LA, so I’m very excited for all of my LA friends and the public to get to see it.

Courtesy/ENelsen

And you get nominated in the year that the coronavirus pandemic shut down live theatre! But it is my understanding we still do not have a date for handing out this year’s Tony Awards.

ERIC:  No, we do not.  They finally announced that they were going to announce nominations, and for a while we didn’t even know that they were going to do that.  We received 11 nominations, which is incredible.  We were so excited.  I truly thought the American Theatre Wing and the Tony committee were not going to do the Tonys at all, and so we were just like, “I can’t believe the one year we pull the trigger on the show, this isn’t going to happen for us,” but then thank God, they came to their senses.  There were plenty of shows that opened and needed to be recognized.

How long was it open on Broadway?

ERIC:  We were open from September 2019 through February or March.  So, as long as your submission was open on Broadway before Covid-19 and had at least all of its previews and an opening night before Covid-19 hit, then you could qualify, and then in the play category, there were like 10 plays that had opened last year that were contenders.  So, that was definitely the hardest category.   It will be interesting to see what happens after all of this.  The only good thing I know that is going to come from this is the amount of creatives who have had so much time sitting at home to create and write, that there will be so many new scripts and plays and musicals that are going to come from this.  I think it’s’ going to be the biggest boom that we’ve probably ever seen in theatre, just because there’s been so much time to develop stuff.  At the same time, it’s piggybacking on the darkest time that theatre has ever seen.

Throughout the pandemic, I always stream all of the Broadway Actor’s Fund events.  It’s really sad.  It’s just a difficult time, those in the arts are struggling and especially in the live theatre and also musicians who can’t tour or play gigs in front of an audience. I know they said Broadway is closed through May 31, 2021.

ERIC:  It is really hard.  I’m happy that we are able to find other ways like streaming shows.  I’m actually producing a big benefit for Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS that will be airing on World AIDS Day, December 1st.  It’s a show called Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens.  The cast we have is everybody from Nathan Lane, to Academy Award winner J. K. Simmons.  It’s insane.  It will be streaming online on the Broadway HD network.  It is a huge list of Broadway stars and a lot of movie and TV stars as well that are participating.  We’ve got people from all over the map.

And … Ariana Grande? (Laughs)

ERIC:  (Laughs)  Ari is not in it, actually!

Photo: Prospect Park

So, in this week’s latest episode of The Bay, your character of Daniel Garrett makes his final choice for love between Caleb (Mike Manning) and Matthew (Randy Wayne).  When you came to the show, did you know that this part was going to wind-up being a gay character?

ERIC:  No, I did not.  I think I dropped a bird in Gregori Martin’s (creator, The Bay) ear by telling him that before All My Children ended, they were going to have my character of AJ Chandler have a storyline where he is gay.  The producers sat me down and talked through an entire storyline arc with me.  Basically, Ginger Smith (ex-executive producer, All My Children) and Alison, our casting director, and one other person from the show, took me to lunch in New York. They pitched me what they wanted to do for my character, and asked me if I would be comfortable with it, and they wanted my opinion, everything.  It was really cool how they approached it, and I was like, “100% completely.”  I look at what Chandler Massey (Ex-Will Horton) did on Days and where that brought him and his storyline, and I thought, “Yes, there’s going to be so much more depth and stuff to play than just being this fun little rich kid.”  At the time, there really wasn’t much depth to AJ.  So, I was like, “Yes.  I will be all over it.  Absolutely.”  So, I told Gregori that, and I don’t know if he already had something in his mind or not, or if that influenced it at all, but maybe he just figured that was something that would work well, and up till that point, I guess they didn’t really have that on the show.  Regardless, no, I wasn’t aware that that was the direction it was going in, but I was really happy with my storyline and it’s grown a lot since then, and in this current season especially.  It’s really given me an arc to play, which I’ve enjoyed.

Photo: LANYEntertainment

So for those who may not know let’s do a re-set.  Where is the character of Daniel at? It seems like he is at crossroads, and is making some important decisions, or trying to.

ERIC:  So Daniel was a wild party boy in the beginning, just head in the clouds, lives life with thinking there’s no repercussions and just doing what you want to do all of the time, and that got him into a lot of trouble with drugs and alcohol. Then, we realize why Daniel has been the way he is, and why he acts out, and why he has been so all over the place, and it’s because he hasn’t been able to come to terms with who he is.  Then, he admits it to himself and for the first time to somebody else – who happens to be his priest in a catholic church, ironically –  that he is gay and this is what he has been battling with.  For the first time (and I don’t know where on television it has depicted it this way), but the catholic priest looks at Daniel, and he’s like, “What’s your sin?  You haven’t sinned.  This is perfectly fine.”  So, I love that Gregori made that the outlet for which Daniel was able to basically come to terms with who he was, because he grew up in the church, and so he was always told that it was wrong.  Obviously, it’s not wrong, or obviously the church needs to change their mindset, but on The Bay, he chose that to be the outlet through which he came out, which I thought was really powerful.  Through that, Daniel experimented with other boys and such to figure out where he wanted to land, and then in this newest season, I can’t say much that gives anything away, but for the first time, we really see Daniel’s growth, and he’s making decisions, and the most mature we’ve ever seen him, and it’s been really cool to see that come full circle.  He’s making commitments to himself.

Photo: LANY Entertaiment

In story, Daniel chooses Caleb.  Why so?

ERIC:  Obviously, that’s who it works with,  Caleb is a teacher and a great guy.

… And Matthew is not a great guy?

ERIC:  He is… he’s just not the great guy for him.

Photo: LANY Entertaiment

This season of The Bay is heavily steeped with social issues of our time.  Covid-19 has come to Bay City and the Black Lives Matter movement also plays prominently.

ERIC:  Yes.  It’s kind of the beginning of the pandemic in The Bay and within all of the intense drama that Daniel has been having, he is still, for all intent and purposes the comedic relief of the show, and so there is a funny scene where I’m carrying like 28,000 rolls of toilet paper like, “Come on, guys.  We’ve got to stock up!”  We all remember those days, don’t we?

Photo: JPI

How do you feel about this season of the show and your work in it? You’ve previously won a Daytime Emmy for your performances on The Bay.

ERIC:  This season is more cemented in a character that has truly grounded himself.  So, the first Emmy I won was for a storyline of coming out and uncertainty and struggle and pain, whereas this season Daniel knows what he wants and is going for it.  There is much more passion and love in this season for Daniel, as opposed to struggle and heartache.

The cast and crew of The Bay all went away and quarantined at this ranch this past summer to get the new season completed.  What was that like?

ERIC:  We were actually in Santa Barbara, and filmed on this epic ranch up there.  It’s like this 500-acre ranch that we all quarantined on.  We had to do the testing, and temperatures three times a day, and the whole thing.  So, it was really structured, tough to pull off, but we were all so grateful that we were able to do this.  Luckily, we had this incredible kind of bubble of a ranch to live and work on while we were shooting.  They were really good about block shooting it all, so we’d kind of shoot one person’s character, then the next, so we wouldn’t have to ever be leaving the ranch before we were done.

Courtesy/ENelsen

Finally, how is being a dad?

ERIC:  Oh, it’s amazing.  I just can’t believe how fast the time is flying by because of it.  We just had Molly’s first birthday on October 1st, and I feel like yesterday she was born.  I sound like my parents when I say this, but it’s like the time keeps getting faster, but it’s so true.  She’s awesome.  We play Broadway musical soundtracks to her all day, and she sings.  She sits at the piano with me when I play, and she kind of plunks notes out next to me.  She loves music, and we’ve introduced it to her from day one.  We always joke that she won’t be able to watch any of daddy’s stuff until she’s 18 probably, but Sainty is a voice-over actress.  She has done parts for animated films and TV shows such as Trolls, and Barbie, and Boss Baby, so everything from the first part of my daughter’s life is all going to be Mommy’s stuff, and then, in the later part of life she can start watching Daddy’s stuff.

Right, she can’t watch anything that you do!  (Laughs) So, basically forget that!

ERIC:  (Laughs) Yep!

Check out the trailer for 1 Night in San Diego below.  Then share your thoughts on Eric’s current role on The Bay, if you hope he wins a Tony to go with his Daytime Emmy, the six degrees of separation between him, Elizabeth Gillies and his wife, and that the All My Children reboot considered making the character of AJ Chandler gay via the comment section below.

Continue Reading

Days Of Our Lives

Peter Reckell Reflects On His Time As DAYS Iconic Bo Brady, Life In New Zealand & Christmas Music Project

Last week, Days of our Lives  turned 55-years young, and the historic long-running NBC daytime drama series has been home to some of the most memorable stars and characters of the soap opera genre, perhaps none more so than anti-hero Bo Brady played by Peter Reckell.

Reckell who appeared on the show for several runs that lasted over four decades, premiered as Bo back in 1983.  He then stayed through 1987, came back from 1990 to 1992, again from 1995 to 2012, and back again in 2015 during DAYS 50th anniversary and to wrap his run as Bo, when the character was killed-off, after Reckell made it clear that he wanted to give the audience closure for the character.  He later made another return in 2016 to help the character of Hope (Kristian Alfonso) move on with her life.  Hard to believe for all of those heart-tugging performances, Peter was nominated only once for a Daytime Emmy.

Photo: JPI

In this candid, deeply personal and enlightening new interview for the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube, Reckell opens up as to: what led to many of the decisions he made throughout his time as Bo, how he helped craft the role from the start, the accident that almost took his life, how he handled all the fame that came his way as part of the Bo and Hope supercouple pairing, and how two women in the cast; the late Frances Reid (Alice) and Peggy McCay (Caroline) made lasting impressions on him that he will carrying with him for the rest of his life.

Photo: JPI

What would Peter say if somehow DAYS wanted him back and Bo was actually alive and well?  Find out as Peter weighs-in and wishes his former show a happy anniversary  In addition, he even shares how he felt when Robert Kelker-Kelly took over the role of Bo when he decided to leave the show at one point, and his time playing Johnny on primetime’s Knots Landing.

Photo: JPI

Reckell has moved his family to New Zealand, and this conversation was conducted from his home.  Peter is married to singer/songwriter/producer Kelly Moneymaker and the couple have a daughter, Loden.   It was not wanting to miss the moments of his daughter’s life growing up that has been much of the impetus for some of Peter’s career choices.

Photo: BlueAeris

With Christmastime approaching, Kelly and Peter are part of a brand new Christmas LP entitled Joy.  The album is now available for download on Spotify, Apple Music and major music streaming platforms.

In an exclusive during the interview, we give fans a sneak peek of Peter’s new music video for “Under the Mistletoe”, the song he sings that appears on Joy, which was written by his wife.  For more on the album project visit BlueAegis.com

Photo: BlueAegis

Now, check out the interview with Peter direct from New Zealand below! Then share your thoughts on Peter, Bo, and more via the comment section.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Video du Jour

B&B’s Matthew Atkinson chats with Michael Fairman about the wild ride of the Thomas/Hope Mamnequin storyline currently on The Bold and the Beautiful.Leave A Comment

The Michael Channel

Recent Comments

Advertisement

Power Performance

William deVry as Julian

General Hospital

Airdate: 11-20-2020

Advertisement

Popular