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Interviews

THE RAYA MEDDINE INTERVIEW – THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS

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Listen to the audio:

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TV SOAP:
How did the taping day go, with the wedding nuptials between Victor and Sabrina?  Usually soap weddings take forever to tape.

RAYA:
Honesty, it went very smoothly.  We were all shocked that we were out by 9PM.  We had a joke that day between actors and that was, “Did you bring your sleeping bag?  What color is your sleeping bag? “  We thought we would be staying up really late.  The hardest part for the actors, when you are shooting a wedding, is the vows.  You want them to look natural and real, and not fake.  Once Eric Braeden (Victor) and I got the vows out of the way, the rest was really fun.

TV SOAP:
What is Sabrina’s agenda?  Does she really love Victor Newman?

RAYA:
Something will be coming up, but the truth is Sabrina fell in love with this man.  The last thing she expected was to fall in love with her best friend’s dad.   She wanted to get over her ex- boyfriend, and she wanted to meet someone her own age or older, but definitely not Victor Newman.  So, it hit Sabrina on the head.  It happened, and that’s what love does.  You can’t plan it.  So, Sabrina did fall in love with him.  The nice thing about Victor and Sabrina is that she sees a side of him that other people don’t see.

TV SOAP:
Now, Sabrina’s selfish mom, Zara, pops up on the scene. What’s that been like?

RAYA:
I thought it was fun for me to play.  It’s nice, and it adds conflict and vulnerability for the character to have with her mom.   A mother is usually about unconditional love, but this mother is all about herself and her ego, and she puts Sabrina down.

TV SOAP:
Did you pick out the wedding gown for Sabrina?

RAYA:
I picked it out with the “Y&R” costume designer.  The gown was a Monique Lhuillier gown.  I wanted Sabrina’s wedding dress to be classy and subtle and nothing too over the top.  I didn’t want anything ‘fancy schmancy’, and that is why I picked it.  The wedding was in a barn, so it was supposed to be more earthy and simpler. And personally, I am not so into the whole cliché of weddings that are cultural.  Society always loves to emphasize that a girl spends her life dreaming about her wedding.  And, that’s the day she’s got to be a princess, and it’s the most beautiful day of your life.  I kind of despise that a tiny bit.  I am happily married and I adore my husband.  Marrying him was one of the best things I ever did in my life, but I kind of despised the idea of women feeling that everything revolves around that special day.  I think it’s demeaning for a woman to put all their hopes and dreams into a wedding.  When I was a kid I never dreamt of my wedding.  My life was rich enough, and I knew at sometime I would marry someone I loved, and that was important to me.  It’s not about being a princess.  I am not a feminist, but that’s just me.

Audio

TV SOAP:
Did you like the written vows to Victor?

RAYA:
I loved them!  I felt it was very heartfelt, because at the end of the day, the vows are what it is all about.  You don’t want to use some cheesy fabricated formulas that have been used over and over again.
Sabrina told Victor, “I traveled all over the world looking for a home because I never had that home.  I was lonely, and all of sudden you are it.  You represent my home and my security, my protection and my unconditional love.  Just being with you, and being in your presence, is all I need.”  That is the truth, and why their  bond is so misunderstood by everybody in Genoa City.  The citizens cannot fathom why a young European girl is falling in love with this  rich older man.  They think it must only be for the money and the power. They cannot see what she sees.

Audio

TV SOAP:
But, did you say vows in your own real-life wedding?

RAYA:
My wedding with my husband was different.  We were in Lebanon, and in Lebanon you can’t do civil marriage.  There is no such thing.  You can only get married religiously.  In the Middle East it’s all the same.  In Israel, Palestine, the Arab world, you can be married in a church or a mosque, but not in a civil marriage.  Since we are not religious, but from two different religions, we don’t believe or have religion rule our marital life.  So, we eloped to Cyprus, and got married there in the municipality.  We were in jeans and white tank tops and we had a blast!

TV SOAP:
Fans are always asking, what is your nationality?

RAYA:
I am Lebanese.  I am from Lebanon.  My dad was a diplomat and I was raised all over.  I was born in New York, raised in Italy, France, Canada, North Africa, Lebanon, The Arab Peninsula, Tunisia, and Yemen.  It has been an amazing life!

TV SOAP:
Is it true that “Y&R” incorporated your real-life history into the character of Sabrina?

RAYA:
“Y&R” head-writer, Maria Bell, and  executive producer, Josh Griffith, got that from me and thought it was good, and they wanted to make it evolve.  They got that my dad is a diplomat, and that I do speak languages.  It’s incorporated into my identity.  I loved that they used that.

TV SOAP:
What is it like working with Adam, Chris Engen?

RAYA:
It’s really great!  I love it.  It’s interesting, and I have fun, too.  Chris is a very talented actor, because he has a mystery about him, and so does his character, Adam.  He will be saying something and you always feel like there is something going on with him, underneath. You can’t get to the bottom of it and you try to understand.

TV SOAP:
You seem to improvise in some of your scenes with Chris.

RAYA:
I love improvising because, obviously, we stick to the text and we don’t change the storyline (She laughs), and Chris plays along.  I can throw something at him and use it, and he will throw something fun at me, and I will go along with it.

TV SOAP:
Who showed you the ropes your first day at “Y&R”?  Was it Eric Braeden?

RAYA:
Definitely Eric.  As an actor, he had that fatherly influence on me, and making sure I was safe, secure, and happy on set.  We really hit it off instantly.  From the first time we spoke at the audition, I felt like I had known him from a past life.  I really do, and I told him that.

Audio

TV SOAP:
Now, what about what Sabrina did, by sleeping with and marrying her best friend’s dad? Did you think it was odd?

RAYA:
Of course it’s odd.  The problem is not being clear up front.  If, God forbid, I were in a situation where I fell in love with my best friend’s dad, or started having an affair with him, I would go and talk to her right off the bat.  I would make sure she knows and try to get her blessing!  What is important is to try to be as honest or as transparent as possible.
Also, you need to live your life, and you need to honor your feelings and be true to yourself.   It’s not as if Victor and Nikki were together, they were divorced.  So, it’s not as if you went and wrecked a home as a mistress.

Audio

TV SOAP:
If you could write a story for Sabrina, what would you love to see happen to her?

RAYA:
It would become primetime and rated R.  Is that OK? (She laughs)17:05  I would like her to have a secret past; where at night she can be a psychopathic spy who is into leather and S&M… a real dominatrix.  Then, during the day, she is a very sweet housewife to Victor Newman and bakes cookies! (She laughs)

TV SOAP:
Does Sabrina even know how to bake?

RAYA:
She has help to bake it, but if Victor insists, she would do anything for him. (She laughs)

TV SOAP:
What can we tell fans of “Y&R” to look forward to from Sabrina?

RAYA:
We can look forward to Sabrina being anything but what you expected.

Interviews

Y&R’s Sharon Case, Mark Grossman & Jordi Vilasuso Talk Love and Betrayal in the Rey/Sharon/Adam Triangle

This week on The Young and the Restless, Sharon (Sharon Case) and Adam’s (Mark Grossman) kiss took centerstage and went viral when a photo of the passionate moment was seen by Sharon’s husband, Rey (Jordi Vilasuso), and fiancée Chelsea (Melissa Claire Egan), and many more citizens of Genoa City!

That moment looks to be a game-changer.  Now what will Rey do? Will he continue to try to salvage his marriage to Sharon? Will wheelchair bound Chelsea, hatch a plan to payback Adam and Sharon? Will Adam and Sharon meet up for some dangerous liaisons? There’s so much to this story left to play out.

Photo: JPI

In a new interview on The Michael Fairman Channel, Sharon Case, Mark Grossman and Jordi Vilasuso chatted candidly about their on-screen love triangle and more including: what happened when Mark auditioned for the key role of Adam, the character of Sharon’s battle with breast cancer, and who Sharon feels is Sharon Newman’s true love, Nick (Joshua Morrow) or Adam? Plus, the trio share their reactions to the news that their castmate, Sasha Calle (Lola) was tapped as the first Latina ‘Supergirl’ in the upcoming DC Universe film, The Flash.

During the conversation, Vilasuso said Rey was not blindsided by Adam and Sharon’s ongoing attraction: “Rey’s known for a long time, c’mon!  I had somebody on Twitter post all the videos on how long I’ve known about Adam and Sharon. (Laughs)  I had still had a beard on the show back then!  What’s he going to do?  I think this Adam sickness, this addiction, this pathology that he has, I think Rey hopes he can just arrest him and he will just go away for ever.  That’s playing in the back of my mind, like, ‘there’s no way Adam can keep up this behavior for much longer’.  Rey is crazy about Sharon. T here’s also some ego involved here, too of, ‘I got to be the guy here.  I can’t lose to this guy’.  But man, does Rey have a threshold for dealing with this stuff.  Remember, his (ex) wife had sex with his brother, and then she did it again, and now they are having a child together… and Rey was still able to move on.”

Photo: JPI

Case clarified from her previous 25th anniversary interview with Fairman, just who is Sharon Newman’s ultimate love, Nick (Joshua Morrow) or Adam?  Case had stated Adam.  The actress explained:  “When you think about what the character’s have been through, the history of The Young and the Restless, how stories are usually told – and what I mean by all that is Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) and Victor (Eric Braeden) have always been the “It” couple of the history of Y&R and they are very different.  They actually remind me more of Adam and Sharon then Nick and Sharon.  Nick turned out more to be the good son, while Adam was more in the image of his father, and it would be the obvious choice to guess that Nick and Sharon would be endgame.  I think soaps try to not go in the obvious way.  The two men that she has been married to, and were the biggest loves of her life, and both Victor’s kids, choosing between those that is why I said what I said, and why I think that’s true.  Sharon and Adam don’t have all of the pain, that Sharon and Nick have had from multiple cheatings and a loss of a child which is very hard for a couple to ever get past that.   I also think that Sharon and Nick are sort of together now anyways as co-parents and are such good friends.  They have a new relationship – they are not together in a romantic way – but their relationship is really great now and very full for what it is.”

Photo: JPI

Grossman shared that knowing Chelsea has a history of being con-artist, that she could potentially pull some stunts on Adam and Sharon to keep them apart:  “That’s always in the back of his mind.  You know, maybe she will start to con Adam and maybe he might pick up on it, maybe he doesn’t pick up on it, but obviously it’s a really sad situation that Adam is in.  There’s a lot going on in Adam’s life. It’s unfortunate that Connor (his son) is not there as he is off to boarding school, and then Adam wasn’t there because he went to Sharon’s wedding to peek his head in, and Chelsea had her stroke.  So there’s a lot of guilt there.  I think it’s really frustrating to him that he can’t have a conversation with this woman – who is his fiancée – and this is his fault and he caused all this.  But there’s always the underlying pull from Sharon, and after they kiss there are a lot of conflicted feelings there.”

Watch the entire interview with Sharon, Mark and Jordi below.

Now weigh-in: Are you Team Rey or Team Adam? Who do you want Sharon to ultimately wind up with? Share your thoughts and theories in the comment section.

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Interviews

Catherine Hickland Talks On ‘ABC Daytime: Back on Broadway’, One Life to Live, and the Heartbreaking Deaths of Carrie Fisher & Debbie Reynolds

Former One Life to Live star, Catherine Hickland (Ex-Lindsay Rappaport) along with many of her former co-stars, and actors from All My Children and General Hospital, will be taking part in tonight’s ABC Daytime: Back on Broadway livestream benefiting Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS which begins at 8 pm EST.  You can watch it here.

Ahead of the event, Catherine chatted with Michael Fairman exclusively for the Michael Fairman Channel from her home in Las Vegas; where she discussed being part of the live musical benefit that was originally created back in 2005 and lasted till 2011 as a one night only live event called: ABC Daytime: Salutes Broadway Cares.  Now 10 years later, the actors will revisit their performances as their production numbers from the past are part of the 2021 livestream to help those in need that have been hardest hit during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Photo: ABC

During the conversation with Fairman, Hickland also talks on her lengthy soap opera career where she not only appeared on OLTL, but Loving/The City, Capitol, and Texas, as well. 

On a highlight, Catherine recalls playing One Life’s Lindsay and her ongoing on-screen feud with Nora Buchanan played by Hillary B. Smith.  She also speaks on her marriage to her former husband, Michael E. Knight (Ex-Tad, AMC, now Martin, GH) and working in the daytime genre and then at one time getting burnt out.

Hickland, who is now married to Todd Fisher, opened up about the devastating loss of her mother-in-law, Debbie Reynolds, and her sister-in-law, Carrie Fisher, just one day a part back in 2017, and how the couple dealt with this tragedy.  The real-life duo now host, “Cat and Todd Live” on Facebook each week.

Photo: JPI

In addition Catherine will be participating in ABC Daytime: Back on Broadway’s Virtual One-on-One Meet and Greets with the stars on Saturday, February 13th.  For info on how to participate click here.

To make a donation to Broadway Cares: Equity Fights AIDS click here.  With a screenshot of your donation, you can enter a chance to win either “Star Wars” or Debbie Reynolds memorabilia as detailed by Catherine in this interview.

Watch Catherine’s conversation below.

Then let us know, if you loved the Lindsay/Nora feud on One Life? If you watched the livestream of ABC Daytime: Back on Broadway? And, what was your favorite part of the interview with Catherine via the comment section.

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Days Of Our Lives

Linda Dano Talks Taking On DAYS Vivian, Heartfelt Memories of Another World & Felicia Gallant, One Life to Live, Winning a Daytime Emmy & More

Currently, daytime fans are getting to see one of the most beloved actress in the history of the soap genre, Linda Dano, on NBC’s Days of our Lives in the role of the villainess Vivian Alamain.

Dano is taking on the part originally made soap-famous by Louise Sorel, and last played by Robin Strasser. Now it’s Dano’s turn to bring her own style to the role as viewers have witnessed that Vivian has kidnapped Eli (Lamon Archey) and Lani’s (Sal Stowers) twins, thanks to Viv’s sidekick, Ivan (Ivan G’Vera), and the story and all the drama continues this week.

Photo: JPI

In a very special conversation on You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel, Linda chats with Michael about the challenges she faced stepping into Vivian’s shoes, and working with the cast and crew at DAYS.

 

Linda also shares her sorrow over the heartbreaking cancellation, and then taping final episode of Another World, where she played her signature soap role of Felicia Gallant for 18 years.  During her run, Dano won the Outstanding Lead Actress Daytime Emmy in 1993 for Felicia’s battle with alcoholism, which as she reveals she is still stopped on the street about to this day.

Photo:NATAS

Soap fans will recall that Dano is the only actress to crossover to all of the ABC daytime dramas when she returned to One Life to Live, (following her time on Another World), in the part of Gretel “Rae” Cummings, and we learned that Rae was the bio-mother of Skye Chandler, played by Robin Christopher.

Photo: NBC

Throughout her career, Dano also appeared on Guiding Light and As the World Turns, hosted the talk show, Attitudes and is known as one of the fashionable people in the business.  Linda formerly helped dress many of your favorite soap stars, wrote a book on having just the right look, and is always on the cutting edge of the fashion world.

As you will see, the conversation was poignant, humorous, and candid, but what else would you expect from the one and only Linda Dano?  You can watch the full chat below.

What have you thought of Linda’s portrayal of DAYS Vivian thus far? Was your favorite soap role of Linda’s … that of AW’s Felicia Gallant? What story that she shared in the conversation did you enjoy hearing about the most?  Let us know via the comment section.

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