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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:

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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 Scott Clifton and Don Diamont Talk on the Plight of Liam & Bill and Their Cover-Up of Vinny’s Death

If you are watching current episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful then you know that Scott Clifton (Liam) and his on-screen father, Don Diamont (Bill Spencer) have been spending plenty of time together in scenes in very dramatic and intense fashion.

In story, Liam is guilt-ridden over running down Vinny Carter (Joe LoCicero) by accident when he was driving Bill’s car.  Since the moment that Vinny was killed, Bill leapt into action, destroying any evidence tying the two to the scene of the crime and continually demanding that Liam let this go and move on with his life, or the implications for the both of them could certainly be a long jail sentence, or worse.

Photo: JPI

Now as Liam is finally making headway in a reconciliation with Hope (remember his last secret – sleeping with Steffy – was quite the doozy), this new secret of what he has done, and hiding, could up the stakes even more and take him away from his family for good … or would Hope (Annika Noelle) after finding out what Liam did be the nail in his coffin that ends their relationship once and for all and kicks him to the curb?

Courtesy/CBS

Both, Scott Clifton and Don Diamont chatted virtually with Michael Fairman exclusively for You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel to offer up for viewers and fans of The Bold and the Beautiful: an inside look at what goes on when they tape their scenes, how they see their characters motivations, and they serve up a preview of what may lie ahead in this tangled web that Bill and Liam have unfortunately weaved.

Photo: JPI

Check out the humorous, candid, and enlightening conversation with two of the leads and mainstays of this CBS Daytime drama series below.

Then let us know; how do you think Liam and Bill can get out of the mess they find themselves in? Will Liam crumble and spill the beans? Will everyone in town get on to them and figure out the secret they have been keeping? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section after taking a look at the virtual conversation.

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Days Of Our Lives

Kevin Spirtas Talks ‘After Forever’s’ Digital Special ‘Riley’s Unforgettable School Project’, The Loss of Michael Slade, and a Chance to Reprise DAYS Craig Wesley

The coronavirus pandemic has put to the test many content creators on just how they would keep their projects moving forward in ways they never dreamed of. However, out of that situation has come some of the most compelling, unique series, specials, and features currently streaming for viewers. One of which is Riley’s Unforgettable School Project, brought to you by the team from the six-time Daytime Emmy Award-winning series, After Forever.

Former Days of our Lives star, Kevin Spirtas (Ex-Craig Wesley) has starred in and created the first two seasons of what has become the most honored Emmy-awarded LGBTQ-themed drama series on any platform.  Along with his ‘After Forever’ writing/producing partner, the late Michael Slade (DAYS, OLTL, Passions, Another World), the two also conceptualized and delivered this latest documentary-style offering now on Amazon Prime Video.

What makes Riley’s Unforgettable School Project so noteworthy is not just how they were able to execute the series based on fictional 11-year-old Riley’s virtual school project and utilize its cast, which includes: Spirtas, Cady Huffman, Jamison Stern, Lenny Wolpe, Erin Cherry, Anita Gillette, Christopher J. Hanke, and Finn Douglas, but that it was made while Slade was succumbing to his battle with cancer, and that this special marks the final script from this talented writer.

 

Michael Fairman TV spoke with Spirtas about making the special during Covid-19, how the death of Michael Slade has made a lasting impact on his life, what After Forever has personally meant to him, and how an official third season is still in the works, and … if he would consider a return to Salem and Days of our Lives, should they come a-calling.  Here’s what Kevin had to say about it all.

Photo: AfterForever

I think the entire story of this digital special has become even more meaningful with Michael Slade’s passing. What was the genesis of the concept? You wanted to continue the telling of the story of After Forever … but we are all in the middle of a pandemic?

KEVIN:  Yes and… when we filmed season 2, we had the scripts for season 3 already completed. It was our hope and desire to film them at the same time, back-to-back, so that we would have had all of our cast and crew together, and we could have gotten through it because we’ve always imagined this story being told in a trilogy so to speak – a beginning, middle, and end to Brian (Spirtas) and Jason, (Mitchell Anderson) and Brian’s healing or his steps towards healing through grief.  Schedules turned out that they couldn’t really work out for us to hold all the people and hold all of the sets for that amount of time.  So, we thought, “We’ve got the scripts for season 3 ready.  We’ll come back to it in the following year,” and that was always the intention, and then the pandemic hit.  So, it was shut down immediately that we weren’t going to do anything, but we wanted to stay current, and instead of going back in and telling the third installment of After Forever as a Covid-19 story as well, Michael and I sat down and looked at a way of staying relevant and current with a story within COVID, and there was born the idea to do this documentary style story/special about the characters of After Forever told through the lens of the character of Riley, the 11-year-old boy, who is now being homeschooled during the pandemic. He gets an assignment to do a project about the most unforgettable person he has ever met, and he, of course, chooses his best friend, the late Jason Adams, and he enlists all of Jason’s friends and family to join in.  Michael actually said, “What if we tell a story about Riley being homeschooled?” And, not only is Riley a technical genius at 11-years-old in the story, but Finn Douglas, who plays Riley, is a technical genius.

And didn’t Finn perform and write the song “Forever There” contained within the special?

KEVIN. Yes. He is this incredible musician.  Michael thought, “What would it be like if we asked to have the character of Finn sing a song for Jason?”  I said, “Well, what kind of song would we have him sing?”  Finn could play anything, I’m sure, because he’s self-taught, he plays by ear – guitar, piano, and drums.  Michael said, “What if we ask him to see if he could write a song?” and when we heard this song, we all called each other and we all got on Zoom and went, “Can you believe this song?  Can you believe this came out of this 11-year-old?”  It’s pretty incredible.  Michael did a gorgeous job of weaving the stories in and out and how they just sort of dove-tailed into each other, and then it was framed by Riley opening the project and ending the project.  During the Zoom reading we wanted to hear the song out loud.  We said to Finn, “Would you want to sing the song?”  We all just watched everybody on that Zoom call just fall apart.  It was just so beautiful. He’s an amazing talent.

Where is your character within this?

KEVIN:  I still stand in the center of the story of Jason because my character, Brian, was married to Jason, and it sort of connects us all, and through Riley’s understanding of how we all connect to Jason, is how we are all sort of spread out throughout the story.  Michael jokingly said, “You know, you’re not going to be the star of this special,” and I said, “I don’t think it’s about being the star.  It’s really about the storytelling.”  The beauty of Riley’s Unforgettable School Project is that we get to see moments of each person’s relationship with Jason, which Riley sets out to say, “Answer these three questions: What did you like most about Jason?  What did you like least about Jason? And what’s your favorite memory?”  Those three things, cut back and forth is where we all kind of fit in.  Nobody has more of a story than the next person, and it’s all telling honest portrayals of how they’re dealing with their loss of their good friend, or their child, or partner.

It’s a very inventive idea during Covid-19 to continue it in a way where you weren’t having to go shoot a full season of episodes.

KEVIN:  Well, we couldn’t. I have to say, Allison Vanore, who not only produced this special, but she also stepped up saying, “I’d love to direct this,” and I said, “Yes, please!”  She knows the characters.  She understands the story because she’s been a part of it for the last two seasons.  Allison also has this extraordinary amount of knowledge and expertise with the camera and what was needed for a remote shoot, and to also be able to organize filming 13 people in 2 different countries and 5 different cities… that’s just the technical side of it, but having that in our back pocket, knowing that it was a remote shoot, we had to send the camera, the computer, the ring light, and the microphone to each person’s house.  We had to location scout over Zoom.  We had to do wardrobe over Zoom.  It was all this big puzzle putting it together, and once you look at that board of storytelling and how we were going to do it, it kind of fell into place.  I feel blessed that a) we still had Michael with us, at that point, and b) Allison had the know-how to do this.  We all feel that at least this pandemic didn’t keep us from doing what we love.

Photo: AfterForever

In terms of the contribution of Michael Slade in this special, was it the construction of the story, and how was he able to work and write this during his illness?

KEVIN:  Michael’s contribution to the special was no less than the contribution to season 1 and season 2, and the future of season 3, because the scripts are written.  We did everything on Zoom, and we worked around his schedule of treatment.  We scheduled 2 people per day, and we spread them out over two weeks.  He was very present, and when there would be a day where he would say, “I’m going to be an hour late, let’s just push that call time,” I would ask, “Is this too much right now?  We can shelve it; we can stop it.” He’d then say, “Absolutely not, otherwise cancer will win.”  He was determined to stay focused and to stay active because it took his mind off of what was happening to him.

Photo: AfterForever

It would be lovely moment if you both were to win a Daytime Emmy for this project. 

KEVIN:  It’s our last collaboration together as a team, as I said, season 3 has been scripted, and it is on the calendar to get made.  We are just waiting for the COVID restrictions to lift a little bit and everyone to get vaccinated.  Michael was really hit hard with cancer – to stay healthy was so challenging for him.  Sadly, he didn’t make it to see the final edit of the special, and he died four days before we launched, but he had seen the cuts before that and was very approving of it, and had made some decisions, and offered some suggestions, and if God gives him an Emmy for this, it’s not because he died.  It’s because it’s great work.  It just happens to be that the work that was involved in this particular special was very tricky.  It brought up everything, like life itself to have to deal with.  Here we are dealing with the loss of a colleague, the loss of a friend, someone’s brother, someone’s son, this is life imitating art, imitating art imitating life. I can’t tell you the darkness that I went through just experiencing the need to stay focused on getting everything edited, and everything ready, and everything aligned for a release of this project that we had put into motion.  On top of it, our editor lost his mother just before Michael passed, and Allison’s mom was sick at the time, as well.  It took a lot of heavy deep breaths with Michael’s death, and the pandemic, and the loss has, for me, on a personal level, sent me back to really questioning my spiritual muscle and to help remind me that we have to come out of this better than we went into this.  I had many dark nights of the soul this last year, and December was probably the darkest.  I feel like I’m just kind of coming out of it now with the spring revealing itself.

Photo: AfterForever

It must have been extraordinarily difficult for you to also go to New York during a pandemic and also knowing Michael did not have much time left.

KEVIN:  I will say this: I am grateful that I was able to stay in touch with my heart and my instinct and go out to New York to let that be my remote location.  Yes, maybe there was some risk involved.  I wore my mask; I was Covid-19 negative, and I was determined to be fine.  Once I got to New York, I would visit him very protectively with our masks and our gloves, and I’d sit across the room, and then I’d go back to the house I was at.  It was a gift that I was able to see him at that time.  We had some good talks then about how he was feeling, and I think he was still being optimistic, and then once we got the project in the can there was maybe this psychic letting go. That’s when everything really started to reveal itself as this could be the end.  I did go back to see him when he was in hospice.  I think I was there the last two days that he really was able to really stay coherent.  He would close his eyes and be at peace and quiet for a minute, and he would finish a conversation and sort of close his eyes, not to sleep and not to go away, but I remember watching him going, “Look how peaceful he is,” and then he’d open his eyes and he’d remember that he is in this body that has been given a time limit of life, and he’s on his way out.  I’d watch the fear go back in his eyes.  At one point, he did say, “I’m so scared,” and I just held his hand, and I said, “I’m scared too.  Let’s be scared through this together.”  I don’t know how to navigate grief like that.  We are all going to be in a position at some point where we are going to be on the other side of the hand holding.  The wonderful thing is that we were able to have honest communication about our feelings.  I thanked him for everything that he has done for me and how he believed in my talent and creativity and our partnership.  I will always take that with me.  I waved my finger at him, and I said, “Listen.  Now, we wrote a series about a man talking to his deceased husband.  You’d better talk to me!”  So, we laughed about that.

Photo: AfterForever

You’ve done a lot of things in your career from Broadway to television, and of course, daytime fans know you best as Dr. Craig Wesley on DAYS.  How does the entire After Forever project stack up to you within all that you have done?

KEVIN:  Former DAYS casting director Fran Bascom, sought me out and offered me this 2-day role on Days of Our Lives, and those 2 days turned into 8 years, and unbeknownst to me at the time, the final 3 months of that contract of those 8 years, Michael Slade was brought in to write.  We didn’t cross paths at that point, but years later, when we did cross paths in New York, and then After Forever was born, that was that universal crossing point.  I am most proud of the fact that we were able create something fresh, and real, and personal to ourselves that we didn’t have to cater to any “powers that be” that had their vision and their tinkering, that they thought that it could be better in this way or that way.  Then for After Forever to gain such recognition, within the film festivals, and the Emmys, and then, just after Michael died, we won the GLAAD award for Special Recognition this year.  We don’t even fit into one of their categories!  They found a way to acknowledge this project.  If another Emmy happens again, that might be another one to put up on the shelf for After Forever that would be beautiful, and I couldn’t have done it without Michael.

For the Daytime Emmys this year, what category have you entered Riley’s Unforgettable School Project?

KEVIN:  We are not a series this year, we are a daytime fiction special, and the “Daytime Fiction Special” category is a special class.  It’s anything that’s digital in the construct of less than 40 minutes.  NATAS (National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) is being bombarded with so much content, they’re trying to find ways to put categories together.

Photo: JPI

So, now, when we last saw Days of Lives’ Dr. Craig Wesley, where was he? (Laughs)

KEVIN: (Laughs) He was in a flash from the past or something in the DOOL app’s Last Blast Reunion series. I had a fun time working with Patrika Darbo (Nancy) and Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe), once again.

So, if they were to want Craig to come back to DAYS, would you be all for it?

KEVIN:  Hell yes!

Photo: JPI

Now, what story would you want to be told involving Craig? 

KEVIN:  When Craig was first on the canvas in Salem, there was a lot of mustache twirling and a lot of hand wringing.  He was always plotting; most of the time with Nancy.  It was kind of this high drama, evil villain storyline being told, but when the writers created an opportunity for us to be on after those first three months by bringing on Chloe without a father, there was something real about it.  It may have been told under the construct of soap opera storytelling, but there was a reality-based story about, “You have a daughter, and we are just now finding out about it?”  Then, finding a cure to her health was another realistic story, and finding out that Craig was her real father.  Anything that’s reality based is what I’m getting to.  I would welcome any job that brings me back and gives me an opportunity to dive into something real.

Photo: JPI

Would you welcome the opportunity to play a gay character on daytime; in a medium where there are very few represented in storylines?

KEVIN:  I’d have no problem with that.  Do you know anybody who is starting that?  Let’s do it!  (Laughs) First of all, there’s nothing to hide anymore.  There’s nothing to pretend you’re not anymore.  I would think that bringing in a storyline that deals with anything outside the norm that we are used to seeing would be interesting.  How many times can you retell a story?  How many times can you set the same story up with another couple?  So, why not be diverse and have a stylized story being told through the lens of a gay person.

Photo: AfterForever

In closing, so many go through life without acknowledging people who had an impact them.  We don’t give pats on the back, often enough, and especially in Hollywood, where people can be very self-involved.  You have already paid tribute to Michael Slade in our discussion, but what gift from him is your personal takeaway?

KEVIN:  The gift that Michael really gave to me is to remember to be kind to myself and to others, and to acknowledge and salute the person who is in front of us, because we don’t know when we will have, or if we will have, another moment to do that.

Now below, check out the trailer for Riley’s Unforgettable School Project.  Then let us know, what do you think of its concept? Kevin’s thoughts on the passing of his collaborator on the project, Michael Slade? And, do you hope DAYS brings back Dr. Craig Wesley? Share your thoughts via the comment section.

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General Hospital

GH’s Kin Shriner Talks on Franco’s Demise, Scott’s Budding Romance with Obrecht, and His Enduring On-Screen Partnership with Genie Francis

One of the most beloved actors in the history of General Hospital, Kin Shriner, currently finds his alter-ego, Scott Baldwin, in a new budding on-screen romance with none other than Liesl Obrecht (Kathleen Gati).

This comes on the heels of Scott learning the devastating news that his son, Franco Baldwin was shot and killed, thus writing-off the ABC daytime drama series, for now, popular actor, Roger Howarth.

Photo: JPI

Throughout his now almost 44-year-run on the ABC daytime drama series, Kin Shriner has brought his unique acting chops that helped mold the character of legal eagle Scott Baldwin into the humorous, at times cutthroat, endearing and many times heartbreaking character we have all come to love.’

 

In a brand new exclusive virtual sit-down interview with Michael Fairman on You Tube’s The Michael Fairman Channel, Shriner opens up about his history with GH and the times he stepped away to take on roles on Texas and As the World Turns, and then back again to the town of Port Charles and GH.

Photo: ABC

As well, Kin reveals his reaction to learning the news that Roger Howarth would be exiting the show as his TV son and how he shot the key emotional scene where Laura (Genie Francis) tells Scott that Franco had died.  Shriner shares that he does not see how when Howarth returns to the show in as a yet-to-be-revealed character, that it would be a stretch if the two were some how related, but that he will miss working with the talented Howarth as a scene-partner.

Photo: JPI

As to the women in Scott’s life, Kin addresses each of them from: Lucy (Lynn Herring), Bobbie (Jackie Zeman), Dominque (Shell Danielson), Laura (Francis), Ava (Maura West) – to which the character could never get that close to – and now Liesl (Gati), and working opposite all the powerhouse actresses who portray them.

Photo: ABC

For fans of General Hospital who have watched the series for decades, Kin also shares memories of working with his late TV parents, Peter Hansen (Lee), Susan Brown (Gail) and his friend and former GH castmate John Reilly (Sean), plus backstage stories with his longtime scene partner, Genie Francis.

Watch the entire conversation with Kin below.

Now let us know, are you all for the Scott and Liesl romance? Will you miss scenes between Scott and Franco?  Would you ever want to see Scott and Laura reunite romantically? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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Y&R’s Joshua Morrow, Amelie Heinle, Mark Grossman, Hunter King and Melissa Ordway chat with Michael Fairman about being a part of and portraying the Newman Children as the show celebrates its 48th anniversary.Leave A Comment

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