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The Rick Hearst Interview – The Bold and the Beautiful

rickMain.jpg

Three-time Daytime Emmy winner, Rick Hearst, has had a tumultuous few months, but now has landed squarely on his two feet. This Friday, July 17th, Rick returns to the role of PR Wiz, Whip Jones, on CBS’s The Bold and the Beautiful, a character he last portrayed in 2002. As soap fans know, Rick was dumped to recurring status by his former show, General Hospital, where he played bad-boy Ric Lansing, the brother of Sonny Corinthos. After years of heavy story, Ric Lansing’s story stalled and the actor found himself in a precarious situation. With talks that Rick could bolt and go back to his old stomping ground, Guiding Light, where he played Alan-Michael before the show ends its CBS run, it was “B&B’s” head honcho (executive producer and head writer) Brad Bell, that lured Rick back to the fictional soap fashion world with one memorable phone call.

Now, with an exciting return and a new lease on his soap life, Rick Hearst is ready to stir up things at Forrester’s competing fashion house, Jackie M. In this candid interview, the talented Hearst tells On-Air On-Soaps that this time it’s a wide-open field romantically, for “B&B’s” Whip. (He was last wed to Brooke) This actor will certainly be the straw that stirs the drink upon his return to one of CBS’s top rated soaps. Here’s Rick.

Listen to the audio:

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MICHAEL:

Let’s go back to the beginning. We all know you were put on recurring status at General Hospital. Then how did the opportunity to come back to The Bold and the Beautiful happen?

RICK:

It kind of came out of nowhere. I had been placed on recurring status, and I had become a gun for hire at that point. I was two weeks on recurring status, and sitting here in my house on a day off and the phone rings. My wife answers it, and she is talking for a while, and I hear her say, “Brad, blah, blah, Brad.” I went, “Who’s Brad?” That’s it! I’m done! She has finally found somebody better. Oh, God! I get put on recurring status with General Hospital and it’s done. (He laughs) All joking aside, she comes down the stairs and she goes, “Honey, its Brad Bell.” So, it completely took me off my feet. I took the phone and said, “Brad¸ how are you? You know what I love about you? Here you come from a family of soap royalty. Here you come from a place where your father was mentored by Irna Phillips, and you guys have set the standard and the model for daytime. You would think you would be the most unapproachable person in the entire daytime world, and in television in general, and here you are calling me at my house. You are a class act, you know that?” So he goes, “So Rick, how are you?” We picked up where we left off and it was so great. Brad always kept me in mind, and we had always seen each other at the Emmy awards. The cool thing was that we kept in contact. He said, “I had heard you had been let out of your contract by “GH” and I just wanted you to know that I’ve been thinking about the character and bringing Whip back!” Brad then says to me, “We can even change his name!” I said, “No, Brad, its fine. Whip…Whipple… please. My name could be ‘Mud’ for all I care.” (He laughs)

bradmain.jpgMICHAEL:

What is the origin of the very unique and distinctive first name, Whipple?

rickWhip.jpgRICK:

From what I understand, it goes back years ago. The name Whipple came from a good friend of Brad’s, who he grew up with. I have never in my life known anyone named Whipple. I think it must be a name from a higher upbringing, and look, I am from Queens! (He laughs) “Whipple Jones” I used to laugh about it. I would say to Brad, “Whipple is such a unique name. What is his last name?” Brad would go, “Jones”, and I go, “Not Smith, not Johnson,” and I laughed. Out of respect for Brad, I said, “fine.” The character was so interesting back then in 2002, I knew it could only go up from there.

MICHAEL:

You were under utilized as Ric Lansing over the past year on “GH”, which left many fans disgruntled. Do you believe they just did not care about the character anymore?

RICK:

I don’t think there is a decision where it comes across in a writer’s mind at the production offices at “GH” where they say, “Let’s not come up with story for him.” It’s just sometimes you hit a wall and sometimes you don’t have a vision for a specific character the way the character had been utilized, and the focus is now somewhere else. I don’t fault Bob Guza (head writer, “GH”) for that. It’s the way it is. I am not in charge, and I am not steering the ship. There are so many avenues where I could have seen Ric going, but that was not really in their mind’s eye at this particularly point in time. Who knows how the world works? Who knew I would play six and half years on “GH” and then it would come to this point and time. Who knew that Brad Bell would think, “You know that character we started with Rick Hearst, we should really take some place.” Who knew the stars aligned and it was time it needed to happen?” I never look at things with animosity because it just gets you nowhere. I miss my “GH” family very much.

MICHAEL:

Speaking of your former “GH” family, what did they say when you said you were going to go back and revisit Whip on “B&B”?

sonnyRick.jpgRICK:

Truthfully, I would venture to say the majority of the cast and the production crew was thrilled for me. They were crazy about it and they were glad I was going to a place where I could be utilized fully. Had this not come about, would I have stayed on “GH” and on recurring status, and played the story that they provided, which I could help unfold? Absolutely, but then again, I was looking for other creative venues at the same time.

MICHAEL:

Were you ever going to entertain the thought of going back to Guiding Light to play Alan-Michael, for the end of its run?

RICK:

There was talk, actually, just as soon as this came about. Barbara Bloom, Senior Vice President of CBS Daytime and my agent were speaking about it. They were trying to come up with a plan for me to go back there for a four to six month stint before the cancellation came about. I would have loved to have done that, but at the same time it was finite, but I would love to have wrapped that up. It was such a great part of my family’s life and I grew up there as an actor.

rickEmmy.jpgMICHAEL:

And, you won your first Emmy!

RICK:

Yes, my first Emmy! It was the beginning of so many wonderful things in my life and it’s so sad to see it go. It’s sad to see it happen to the daytime community, and it takes vision. When you see decline in your world, whether it be professional or personal, and the conviction of what it can be, you try to go forward and it can be tough. But, I think we still have it in the networks and in daytime for those people who have the strength of character, and the strength of their own vision and their audience, to stay with it.

MICHAEL:

You exited “GH” last month, by Ric Lansing getting into an elevator- Sayonara!

RICK:

I shuffle off to Buffalo, and the door has been left open for Ric. I think this is a great time for me to be back on “B&B”, the canvas has shifted a bit. There are some great new people for me to work with. There is vibrancy in the cast, and not a lot of people have left the cast since I was here last time around.

MICHAEL:

Tell me about Whip Jones? I see him as a smarmy PR guy.

RICK:

He is a smarmy PR guy, and an opportunist. He does not try to get under your skin; he just calls it like he sees it, and he makes no excuses for himself. Is he out to hurt anybody? Absolutely not. He can be wildly bombastic and visionary in his own right, but he is a guy who knows how to pull the reigns back.

rickBlack.jpgMICHAEL:

I want to know why you are so good at playing these kinds of guys.

RICK:

People exist in their own world and from their perspectives, given what they have been through in their own lives and their circumstances. These guys say the things you wish you could say. I describe this guy at this point as the Ari Gold of the fashion world. I so respect Jeremy Piven of Entourage. Here is a guy who has taken an agent, who for a lot of us in the industry seem to be sometimes the slimiest people in life, but at the same time you have to look at the person behind it. He plays a guy who, regardless of anything, he cares and he loves his client. His methods may be off-center but he makes no excuses for it. Ultimately, it’s for the betterment of himself and his client. I look at Whip much the same way. He is looking to reap the benefits of what he is laying out there for his client.

MICHAEL:

Whip is being brought back into the show by Stephanie, correct?

RICK:

Yes. He is being brought in by Stephanie, who hadn’t decided whether she liked him or hated him, but she knew he was very effective with what he did. Now, Stephanie is over at Jackie M. Whip has been talked up by Stephanie, and he has hit the skids and needs a job like many people in this economy. Whip had gone through Forrester International and done very well. From what I surmise of the history, he had a falling out and got too big for his britches. He thought, “I want to do something more with PR and take it to the next level.” Whip knew that Forrester was very much a family company and they had their method of doing things. So, he goes to work for some other small independent fashion houses, and maybe they weren’t established enough, and maybe he left on his own accord from those two places. There is something that is burning inside of the guy to make him come back to Los Angeles. He knows he can’t go back to the Forresters, because he knows there is too much under the bridge there. Brooke is still there. He still has this thing in his heart for her and maybe he wasn’t able to put that completely to bed.

heatherTom.jpgMICHAEL:

Do you think they will rekindle Brooke and Whip? Because Heather Tom (Katie), told me in a recent interview, she would love to have the opportunity for Katie and Whip to mix it up.

RICK:

It would be fantastic! I will be honest with you; the canvas is wide open for him this time. It would take a lot for Whip to really go forward and allow himself to get involved in a situation where ultimately he could lose out to Ridge.

MICHAEL:

Anybody who comes on the show could eventually lose out to Ridge, in regards to Brooke.

RICK:

Right. It’s like with “GH”, if you are going to go up against Sonny Corinthos you are going to lose. If you want to find a way to exist in that environment, that’s great. In regards to Brooke and Whip, if she would turn around and say, “Hey, I made a mistake,” Whip would probably jump in a second. That being said, I am in agreement with Heather Tom. I so respect her as an actress. She is a phenomenally talented girl and a stunning looking girl. So, absolutely Katie, and Lesli Kay as Felicia, and there are so many ladies on the show!

MICHAEL:

Brad Bell told me to expect more comedy at Jackie M.

jackiem.jpgRICK:

Yes, and I am thrilled it’s more light-hearted stuff. I literally said, “If it’s cute and peppy for awhile, that’s great.” People have to get to know this guy again. If you bring Whip in with ulterior motives and what not, you will push the audience away. Brad is very smart that way. We want to see that Whip is a fun-loving guy and irreverent. Do you want to smack him someday? Sure. That is better than hating his guts. He is more the guy in the room who gets to say what he wants and gets away with it. That’s entertaining. I want this audience to feel that kind of love for him in the way that you would rather pinch his cheeks and smack him in the face for doing what he is doing, than want him dead. That’s the difference I see between Whip and the character of Ric Lansing. I was a bit concerned about that. I literally left one job and went to another in less than 24 hours. I was saying, “Goodbye” as Ric Lansing and saying, “Hello” as Whipple Jones III, closing the elevator door in Port Charles, and opening the door at Jackie M in LA. It’s comedy from the first time you see me. I was thankful when I opened that door. I literally said, “Please God. Do not let me open this door as Ric Lansing. Let me open this door as Whipple Jones III.”

sarahRick.jpgMICHAEL:

Speaking of your exit from Port Charles, many felt there was a missed opportunity between you and Sarah Brown (Claudia) on “GH,” as a couple. How did you feel about that?

RICK:

Sarah has always got her game, and I love and respect her so much. I will miss her and I think it was a missed opportunity that didn’t happen. There was not enough vision with the people that make the decisions to make their relationship go forward.

MICHAEL:

Where are your three Daytime Emmys?

RICK:

My Emmys are up on one shelf. My trifecta. I used to not predominately display them until a friend told me they were collecting dust, and I needed to have them in the front of the house. So now, thanks to my friend, I have my Emmys displayed with my son’s awards, and with my wife’s awards. They are now all together as everyone walks in our house, for everyone to say, “This family’s accomplishments are all even.” My son’s award for Best Supporting Actor within his theatre and school is just as predominately displayed as my Emmy, and so is my wife’s Best Choreography awards. My youngest son’s awards are there, too.

rickPortrait.jpgMICHAEL:

In closing, what can we look forward to from the return of Whip Jones on “B&B”?

RICK:

He will shock and amaze and awe-inspire. And whether you love em or you hate em, he is always going to be in your face, and don’t ever second-guess what he is ever going to do.

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I just read that B&B put Rick on recurring status, I was’t crazy about GH decsion to place him on recurring status and was equally as to see that B&B has followed suit I mean to waste a talent like Rick! what’s the soap world coming to. Since Guza out (GH) and there’s a change in the wind with S/L’s at GH is it possible that Rick will play Ric again? Just quoting the new head writer on board at GH (sorry can’t remember his name) “sometimes they come back” well I hope Rick Hearst is a comback player with… Read more »

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kim

I just read that B&B put Rick on recurring status, I wasn’t crazy about GH’s decision to place him on recurring status and was equally sad to see that B&B has followed suit I mean to waste a talent like Rick! what’s the soap world coming to. Since Guza’s out (GH) and there’s a change in the wind with S/L’s at GH is it possible that Rick will play Ric again? Just quoting the new head writer on board at GH (sorry can’t remember his name) “sometimes they come back” well I hope Rick Hearst is a comback player with… Read more »

Interviews

Eileen Davidson, Judith Chapman and Kim Waltrip Talk Plans & Launch Campaign To Make ‘Dial Emme For Murder’ into a Series

Two-time Daytime Emmy winner, and soap opera favorite Eileen Davidson (Ashley, Y&R and Ex-Kristen/Susan, Days) is bringing one of her soap opera mystery novels to life with a proposed six-part series for the soapy and hilarious mystery, Dial Emme For Murder.

Joining Eileen in the cast will be none other than Judith Chapman (Gloria, Y&R) , Knots Landing favorite, Donna Mills (Ex-Abby), and primetime TV and film actress, Nancy Valen.  More cast members will be announced in the future.

Photo: JPI

In Dial Emme for Murder, Davidson plays actress Emmanuelle “Emme” Peterson, a successful soap star who finds herself smack dab in the middle of a  whodunit.

Now, in conjunction with the Palm Springs Women in Film and Television (PSWIFT), and its president and director/producer, Kim Waltrip, Davidson is launching a fundraising campaign to get the series made.

Photo: EDavidson

In an exclusive interview on the Michael Fairman Channel, Eileen, Judith and Kim exclusive reveal key Intel on the project, campaign and working together.  The proposed series has also launched its official website here.

About PSWIFT:  PSWIFT (Palm Springs Women in Film & Television) is a non-profit organization, founded in 2001 dedicated to promoting our members, both men and women in the Entertainment, New Media Creative arts community. In 2020 Palm Springs Women in Film & Television created and launched a Filmmakers’ Lab to teach members how to make a film, by making a film, hands-on.

PSWIFT is currently seeking donations through their non-profit – which are 100% tax-deductible – to fund the Filmmakers’ Lab’s next venture Dial Emme for Murder.  You can find out more on the different perks and packages if you donate to the project here.

Watch the interview with Michael, Eileen, Judith, and Kim below.

Then let us know, if you think Dial Emme for Murder featuring powerhouse actress, Eileen Davidson, Judith Chapman and Donna Mills, will be a must-see for you via the comment section.

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General Hospital

GH’s Maurice Benard Chats On Mia St. John’s Powerful Interview on ‘State of Mind’, Winning the Daytime Emmy & Sonny’s Future If Carly & Jason Get Hitched

Since the launch of Maurice Benard’s You Tube series, State of Mind, he has welcomed numerous guests who have opened up and shared their struggles with different aspects of mental health.  But this Sunday, July 11th, Maurice will share for the first time his powerful and emotional sit-down interview with Mia St. John; one that he reveals was one of the most moving of his series thus far.

With Maurice being a huge boxing enthusiast throughout his life, having St. John, who is a boxer, herself, on as a guest was, of course, special. However, as soap fans know, Mia is also the former wife of the late Kristoff St. John (Ex-Neil Winters, Y&R) and they shared a son, Julian.  Both men died, tragically. Julian, suffered from a long-history of mental illness, and his death was ruled a suicide, and Kristoff was consumed with grief following his son’s death which ultimately set him on a downward spiral.  Kristoff’s death was ruled accidental caused by hypertrophic heart disease; which was exacerbated by alcohol use.  In the conversation with Benard, Mia opens about her own personal struggle with addiction and how she coped with these two devastating losses. (See an exclusive preview clip below within this interview)

It’s also been a whirlwind year for Maurice. He just took home his third Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series during the 48th annual Daytime Emmy Awards for his moving portrayal as GH’s Sonny Corinthos, as he goes through all the stages of a child watching his father, Mike Corbin (played by Emmy-winner Max Gail) slip away due to the ravages of Alzheimer’s Disease.  Since the Emmy broadcast was pre-taped due to Covid restrictions, except for revealing who the winners actually were, Benard shares what went down when his name was called watching the show from home with his family.

 

And … things are heating up on General Hospital!  For months, Benard has been playing an amnesiac Sonny aka “Mike” who has become taken with deceitful Nina (Cynthia Watros), who knows he is alive and well and living in Nixon Falls, but fails to tell her nemesis Carly (Laura Wright), or anyone else in Port Charles.  With everyone believing Sonny is dead after his showdown with Julian Jerome, Carly and Jason (Steve Burton) find themselves having to save Sonny’s territory and go up against the five families.  So, what are the besties deciding to do? Get married! And as viewers saw, Carly recently removed her wedding rings to Sonny.  So, now the question on GH fans inquiry minds is; will Sonny get his memory back in time, and stop Jason and Carly from tying the knot?

Benard weighs-in on what the future may hold for Sonny, the difficulties he faced during the Covid-19 lockdown with his mental health, his conversation with Mia, and much more.  Here’s what Maurice shared.

Courtesy/StateofMind

Having Mia St. John on as your guest on the upcoming episode of State of Mind was quite emotional for you. What can you preview? 

MAURICE:  I can say that during last ten minutes, there’s a lot of spiritual stuff going on.  I felt it.  She’s very tough.  You can tell that she doesn’t want to hurt anymore, and with me, I don’t know for sure, but I think she felt safe and protected.  We got into Julian and Kristoff and what happened.  I’m pretty sure I asked her and said, “I’d like to get into something.  You could say ‘no’ to me.  It’s fine,” and she told me the whole story.  Michael, I know you were friends with Kristoff, you’re going to really be moved because I was extremely moved.  It really, really hit me hard, because of what I’ve just been through during the pandemic. I just felt the need to be there for her.  I mean, I have that in me anyway, but with her, I did because it seemed like a lot for someone to go through.  I didn’t know Kristoff.  I met him once, and we talked for a bit.  He seemed like a great guy.  I knew he was a great actor because I watched his work.  I do know that everybody seemed to love him, but through State of Mind, it seemed like I got to know him a little better through Mia.  I was looking in her eyes, and taking it all in, and she was telling me everything.

Throughout your series, you seemed to have become more comfortable in the role of the interviewer.  It’s quite the switch isn’t it from always being on the other end as the interviewee.

MAURICE:  Yeah, I’ve gotten better.  You know what it is with me, and somebody said it, I’ve got a curiosity that I love to hear people’s stories, and I have a way to make people comfortable.

Photo: KSJIG

Does it help you in listening to what other people have gone through in dealing with your own struggles with mental illness?

MAURICE:  Yeah, I’ve said it before.  It’s like therapy for me.  After Mia, I was drained, but in a good way.  In the beginning of doing “State of Mind’, I was just learning.  I wish I was more well-rounded in my intelligence.  I barely graduated out of high school, but as far as what it is with me, if I know something like acting or mental health, I really completely know it.  I’m into it.

How did the interview with Mia come about?  Did you ask her to come on State of Mind?

MAURICE:  I know who is involved with mental health.  I know who would be interesting to interview, and then I reach out, and I have people coming who are not in the soap world.  I have a WWE person; I have a TV critic, etc.  So, I asked her, and Mia said ‘yes’, and then we did the interview.  I’m a huge boxing fan.  So, to be able to talk to her about boxing and things that happened to her right before her fights, I was just really fascinated.

That is right in your wheelhouse!

MAURICE:  Way up my alley!  If I could have more boxers on, I would love that.  I love sports, but boxing is my one sport, so I was like a kid in a candy store talking to Mia.

How do you feel Mia is doing as she has been very open about her battle with alcoholism?

MAURICE: Any time you’ve been through that much, I think it’s a daily struggle for anyone. In addition, there is a really great organization she works with that I hope people will check out as she is trying to help others.

In terms of all of your State of Mind’s, did this one impact you in a different way?

MAURICE:  The good thing for me about State of Mind is that I learn from each person about things that I didn’t know.  For instance, coming up I have: Linsey Godfrey (Ex-Sarah, DAYS) who got hit by a car.  I mean, you could read about it, but when you’re talking to someone, things come out.  That’s what I love about doing this show.  Jason Thompson (Billy, Y&R) didn’t know anything about mental illness, personally, but he talked about mental illness more than anyone!  I said to him on the episode, “For somebody who doesn’t know anything about mental illness or didn’t have someone with it, you talk more about it,” because he had a curiosity on the subject.  Mia’s was a little more because of the boxing and how deep we went with her talking about death.  In an upcoming episode with Ken Shriner (Scott, GH), he teaches me a lot about death.  When your parents die at 16, I don’t know how you could keep going.  He taught me how.  It was beautiful.

Photo: NATAS/CBS

Let’s go back to a few weeks ago on June 25th and you win the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.  How did you find out you took home the gold?

MAURICE:  I was at my place in LA with my son, Joshua and my wife, Paula and we were watching the show.  When they called my name, I was very moved to watch my wife and my son get so excited, it really was sweet.  I liked my speech even though people had a problem with it, which is fine.  It’s always great if Max Gail wins or I get a win, because it’s the Alzheimer’s storyline that gets the attention.  And as I told you already, my dad has Alzheimer’s so it makes it even more personal.

And as you know, my mom had Alzheimer’s and died.  That’s why what you and Max did together on-screen together felt so real and raw and touched so many people – especially those who have a loved one going through this now, or that has passed.

MAURICE:  Yeah, it’s tough. I truly believe with this Emmy win, that it is the Alzheimer’s that really pushed it over the edge because it was a real story, greatly written, everybody deals with it, including you, including me, and you just can’t help but have a feeling about it.  You know, if I have a reel that shows me as Sonny yelling at people, beating people up, it’s not going to give you the impact.

Photo: NATAS

Was it weird coming to the stage and doing a pre-taped Emmy acceptance speech knowing that everybody else that was nominated had to do one too?

MAURICE:  Well, thank, God I didn’t have to do it in front of actors; I probably wouldn’t have been able to do it.  It’s weird, right?  I knew I had to adjust.  When I’ve won before, it’s in front of a lot of people, or semi-in front in a lot of people.  So, with this year, your energy is different.  So, you can’t act in a speech like that, because then it would seem kind of over the top, maybe.  So, I just made a speech that I thought would work for what I was doing; which is kind of acting because I didn’t want to come out and say, “Oh, my God!  I can’t believe it!”  So, I said, “Okay, I’ll thank the actors, I’ll thank Frank, and I’ll make it about Alzheimer’s.”

Photo: GFrancisTwitter

I know some fans on social media jumped on the comment you made within the speech about ‘being the star of the show’ and you did tweet out that you went to Genie Francis (Laura, GH) to make sure there were no ruffled feathers there.

MAURICE:  I went to Genie because I thought, I don’t want her to take what I said personally, and she’s like, “What are you talking about?”  Sometimes I respond to a negative comment on Twitter with an emoji which can incite people.  So, I decided, “I’m not going to do that anymore. No more responding.”  Like I always say, you want to be loved and you want to be hated.  You just want to be loved a little more. So, I stopped with the child’s play.  I’m cool with it.

It seemed that things got twisted up, because you had related in the speech, that Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) came over to you and said you have to do the storyline, because you are the star of the show, when you were overcome in the screen-test with Max Gail. 

MAURICE:  Sometimes people love to change the narrative.  If you watch everything … they say what I said, but they don’t say that I also said ‘Alzheimer’s’ was the star, but I’ll take the hit.

Courtesy/ABC

I recently posted a clip of my interview with Cynthia Watros from the red carpet at the Daytime Emmys saying how she is so thrilled and honored to work with you.  How is it working with Cynthia?

MAURICE:  Let me tell you about Cynthia, and this is just my experience because I don’t know her that well.  We hadn’t worked together before. First of all, we tend to overlook, because of her character and the story, or whatnot, is that she is a real actress.  Let’s not forget that, I know she did Lost, and I didn’t watch her on another soap.  I know from working with her.  She can act She makes adjustments, and she listens, and I’m really happy to be working with her.  She is just stuck in a circumstance that is not her fault, but you know what, like I said today I think on Twitter to somebody, ‘but wait’.  I’ve been working this last month doing some scenes with her, and when you see that, there’s a little bit of magic in there!  I’m not saying it’s the greatest thing in the world, I’m just saying there’s a little magic!

Photo: ABC

Have you liked being “Mike “and not having Sonny’s memory because it opened up the story?

MAURICE:  I know people think this story is my idea, like I needed a break or something.  It has nothing to do with me needing a break.  They came to me and said they were going to do this story.  I said, “Let’s do this!”  I’ve been enjoying this.  It’s a different energy.  The energy that Sonny has is dark.  It’s like in third gear.  Mike is like in first gear, calm, relaxed, happy.

You’re just realizing that now?

MAURICE:  (Laughs) Well, I guess until you’ve gone somewhere else you really don’t know.  Often times, when I do movies and other projects, it’s often the same kind of energy that Sonny has. I’ve never played a character like “Mike” where it’s a whole other feeling!

Courtesy/ABC

Is it more challenging to play a character like Mike?

MAURICE:  No, easier!  Sonny can be difficult to play.  But guess what?  The audience – at least my fans – they don’t care how happy I am or whatever, they are screaming “Go back to fricken Sonny!”  I like that in a way, but I didn’t know that it was going to be this vocal from people.  It’s not that they hate Mike, they just want Sonny, and Cynthia is put in a tough situation because of her history in that character.

So, now everyone saw last week that Jason and Carly have decided they have to get married for the sake of the business with Sonny believed-to-be-dead.  What did you think when you heard that they were going in that direction with the story?

MAURICE:  Well, I was the last one to know.  I didn’t know they were going to get married until I heard about it in the makeup room.  I think the first thing I thought of was … we are all going to be having some great scenes coming up, like, “Alright.  Let’s rock and roll!  Let’s do it!  I’ll get into this character of Sonny when called upon.”  It might be and dark and the whole thing, but once I’m in there, I’m fine.

Courtesy/ABC

It would seem if Carly and Jason do actually get married, it’s not going to be an easy road to reconciliation for Carly and Sonny down the line.

MAURICE:  No.  I would say not.  The thing about Sonny is that it’s what Sonny does best, or what I do playing him best, is betrayal.  So, for him, this is not a good thing.  I would assume he’s just going to go, “What the…” and all hell is going to break loose.

Sonny’s body washed ashore and he was very much alive, while the search and rescue mission quickly became a recovery.  Once again, law enforcement in Port Charles isn’t very good! (Laughs)

MAURICE:  So, there you go.  It’s going to be a bigger fight.  It’s going to be a great fight when Sonny does return.

Photo: ABC

Fans are predicting that Jason and Carly are going to be at the altar, and Sonny is going to walk in alive and well with his memory back to the nuptials!

MAURICE:  Well, however it goes, I would say, just let them just watch the fireworks as they unfold.

But you’re enjoying this story?

MAURICE:  I’m cool, man.  I will say this, I’m glad that I have been given this last month playing Mike, and the Nixon Falls story.   I don’t know how much more we have ahead.  I just know that what we’ve taped has been really cool, and I’m glad that they gave me that.

Photo: ABC

I know that the coronavirus pandemic and its isolation was rough for you.  What can you share, and how did you find your way out of a downward spiral?

MAURICE:  Yeah, Covid was just one of those things where I was hit with a lot of different things all at once, which was …  GH shutting down production, my book tour not being in New York (although the book ended up probably doing better because of the pandemic, which was interesting) … my mom and dad moved out …  and I thought it was the end of the world.  We all did at some point, and it all hit me with a rush of anxiety that I had never felt before in my entire life, and it was four months of terror … way too long. I was shaking like a leaf, not sleeping, it was tough.  What I tell people is that when you go through these things, it will pass.  I know, for me, four months was too long, but it did pass.  You’re better because of it.  You can take one of either two roads.  You can get worse, and you can say, “I’m a victim, I’m a victim,” or you can take the other road and say, “I’m stronger now.  Look at what I’ve been through,” and then, look at what happens … a year and a half later, look at what my life is.  I have a pond here at home, and I used to run around this pond crying my eyes out, every morning crying, like I couldn’t do it anymore, and a year later, I walk around the pond like it’s the greatest thing in the world, but that’s what this is, this mental health.  You can think you can’t go on, but then it rewards you with a better life.

Photo: Noah Harmon

I was going to say, that’s pretty profound.  When you were going through the four months, did you think you were going to come out of it okay?

MAURICE:  No,   I’m going to be honest.  I finally got on Lexapro after three months.  If Lexapro didn’t work, I can’t say positively what would have happened.  It gradually made me feel better.  Like I have said, if GH had called me a month before, I wouldn’t have been able to finish the storyline.  It would have been the end.  I wouldn’t have been able to go back to work, because I was in that state of mind.  So, they called at the right time.  I went back to work and I was on Lexapro.  The thing about Lexapro is – and we always tell people to get professional help. There are a lot of people like me, and I’ve got to say, first you get professional help because you’re on the brink of whatever.  So the first five days of taking Lexapro, you feel worse than you did just before you started taking it, and that is scary because you’re like, “I can’t take this.  This is horrible,” and then I stayed on it.  It got gradually better, and just a month and a half ago or so, I weaned myself off.

How are you feeling now?

MAURICE:  Oh, let me tell you, the day that I weaned off, was a Thursday, and I wasn’t going to take it, and I was on my bed, and I felt the greatest I felt maybe, ever.  Now, I’m not saying people should go off it, whatever, because I was on it for like 8 months or something, but it saved my life like lithium for my bipolar disorder, and that’s an amazing thing that these pills could do.  What happened with me with the pandemic is that I had never really taken anything for anxiety.  I had only taken lithium, and I’d been on lithium for 30 years, but for anxiety, I never wanted to take anything, but if you’re bad, if you’re like (you know those gears I’ve been talking about) in 4th and I was like in 5th gear, you’d better get some help, man, because you can’t get off it on your own.

Photo: State of Mind

I want to conclude checking in on your dad, Humberto.  When did you learn he had Alzheimer’s, and how is he doing now?  

MAURICE: It’s been a while since I found out.  I didn’t really want to talk about it, and then I did something in People magazine with the book, and I asked him if I could talk about it, and he said “yeah”.  So, it gave me the green light, and that was maybe 10 months ago.  He’s actually doing good.  It’s slowly kind of happening but that is how the disease works.  This has been a really great conversation, man!

So, what do you think will happen with Sonny aka “Mike”? Will he return to Port Charles before Carly and Jason tie the knot?  Have you been watching Maurice’s State of Mind series, and has it helped you with any of your mental health issues or concerns? Were you happy that Maurice took home the gold this year for his portrayal in the Alzheimer’s storyline? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Interviews

B&B’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood Shares Her Emotions & Reactions On Her Second Daytime Emmy Win for Lead Actress

Last Friday night on CBS broadcast of the 48th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, The Bold and the Beautiful’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy Forrester) took home the gold in the hotly contested Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category.  This marks Jacqui’s second win.

MacInnes Wood’s performance in Steffy’s opioid addiction storyline, that aired in 2020, was the ticket to victory for the talented young actress and new mom to her second son, Lenix.

As viewers saw, the Emmy telecast was pre-recorded including all the nominees taping acceptances speeches ahead of air; with the winner being revealed for the very first time on the broadcast.

 

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Jacqui post-Emmys, to find out how she felt about her speech, her emotions at having her name called for the second time in her career, and how she felt Steffy’s addiction storyline resonated with so many people at home, and obviously, the Emmy voters.  Here’s what she had to say …

Photo: NATAS/CBS

What was it like for you to do have to pre-tape your acceptance speech?  Yours, actually came off very in-the-moment, because you kind of stumbled over a word, but it seemed like you were very excited.

JACQUELINE:  Yeah!  I was very excited.  Of course, it is strange to do it that way.  I am very grateful that I was up to my nose in The Bold and the Beautiful scenes and dialogues in the week and the days before, that whole week.  I wasn’t sitting around going, “I’m going to rehearse this in the mirror.”  I just wanted it to be very heartfelt and real.  I wanted to make sure it wasn’t like last time – I truly was not expecting it the first time I won.  I think that this time I wanted to be mindful of who to thank and talk about the story, which was so important to bring up opioid addiction, and I really wanted to thank Brad Bell (executive producer and executive producer, B&B) for giving me this story, and allowing me to tell it, because it was such an important message to tell.  Even though this year’s Daytime Emmys were shot differently, I was still nervous. I was so excited to get on a stage. Last year, we were on a Zoom, so it was nice to be able to do this on a stage again.

So where were you on Emmy night?  Were you watching the broadcast at home?  

JACQUELINE:  I was at home, and I was with my friends and my family.  To be honest, it was such a fun way to do it.  Even though it was so wild the way that we shot it – they do this on RuPaul’s Drag Race.  Sometimes they’ll do it live, but everyone has their acceptance speech.  I was just happy during the Emmy taping day to be dressed up, wearing high heels, and to be with my cast, Then, I got to celebrate watching it with my friends and family.  It was so cool to find out in that moment, then afterwards we ended up going out.  We went to Ronn Moss’ (Ex-Ridge, B&B) house for a party, where Ronn was performing, and it was great to be with some of the cast and have everybody together.  So, we danced the night away, and it was so much fun.  I wouldn’t have had it any other way.  Of course, if we had been able to be at the Daytime Emmys that way would have been great, but it was nice to be able to go, “Okay, I can celebrate in my casual clothes, and dance, and not be uncomfortable.”

Photo: JMW Instagram

Were your children, Rise and newborn Lenix, with you watching when their mom won her second Daytime Emmy?

JACQUELINE:  My children were with me, and we celebrated together, and of course they don’t really understand what is going on, but they just saw all of us jumping around.  I probably scared my 4-month-old.  My mom ended up watching them.  Then, we all went out.  So, it was a good night.

Photo: HutchinsPhoto.com

Did you have an inkling that you were a frontrunner to take home the gold as Lead Actress for your work in Steffy’s opioid addiction storyline?

JACQUELINE:  Were there times when I thought I could win?  I wasn’t sure, but I knew what we did was very special.  The first time I won, I was very proud of myself knowing I had to do all of these long scenes, but I was not expecting to win.  This time, I thought there was a possibility, and I wouldn’t say that it’s all because of me.  I know it’s cliché, but honestly those days when we were filming, you could just feel the energy.  Everyone brought it.  We do film so quickly, and some performances are great, and some of them aren’t, whether it’s because you don’t sleep that night, you don’t know your dialogue that well, you don’t understand why your character is doing a certain thing, but you’re trying to figure it out.  When we were filming these scenes, I thought it was just such an important story to tell, and I felt like everyone gave it 110%.  I looked at everyone, and I knew we were all connected, and even though it was such a heavy storyline, there was something so magical those days and those weeks of filming.  I was so proud of everyone, and it wasn’t something that was like, “Here I am forcing myself to cry,” I was like, “I am just going to be in this scene and really tell this story that millions of people have gone through.” When I watched back those scenes after they initially aired, it was not only about the cast, but it was just how the audio had been added, how the directing was done (since we had to be six feet away from each other because of Covid-19 protocols) which made it all come to life.

Did you think when you came into this medium that you wind up being a two-time Daytime Emmy-winner?  Was it something that you aspired to have?

JACQUELINE:  I think yes and no.  I can’t sit there and say, “No, I didn’t.”  I have goals for myself, and you want to manifest some things, so I wanted to visualize that one day.  I’m in this industry, and I want to do the work, and I eventually wanted to have the Emmy one day, absolutely.  I’d be lying if I said, “I just want to go with the flow, and if I get an award, great.”  No.  I definitely thought about it and said, “Okay, this is something that I do want one day. I didn’t think I’d have two!  I just wanted an award, one day.  So, I think that’s amazing in itself, but I am very honored.

Courtesy/CBS

So, during the Lead Actress nominee package during the Daytime Emmy broadcast, they showed the gut-wrenching clips of yours, where Steffy admits in front of Ridge, Liam and Finn, “I’m addicted.  I’m addicted.  I have a problem.”  Do you remember performing those scenes?

JACQUELINE:  You know, you remember it sometimes as if you’re out of your body. In that moment, I remember being so in my body, but in a good way.  To say those words, to finally realize how heavy – even in talking to you right now – my body feels heavy.  I felt the weight of what Steffy was finally admitting. It broke Steffy, and it broke me.  I’ve never been in that position, but I did my research, and I looked up people who have suffered from addiction and the families, and to look over at Thorsten Kaye (Ridge) and see the heartbreak in his eyes, in Ridge’s eyes, to see what Steffy was doing to other people – she realizes in that moment, “Oh, my God. I am addicted.”  Looking back at those scenes, there is just so much truth in them, and for so many people who have been there.  It just breaks my heart that people have to go through this every day.  People sent me messages from all over the place, it was amazing.  I couldn’t believe the number of direct messages they sent me on my Instagram.  It was pretty incredible.

Courtesy/CBS

Your performance just felt so raw and real, which is why I think it registered with people who have been in that situation, and for the peer vote for the Emmy.  Whenever I talk to other actors about what they look for in judging other performers work, they always say they look for the truth. They don’t want to see a false note delivered in a performance.

JACQUELINE:  Absolutely.  For sure.  That’s why I’m so proud of everyone in the scenes because they all gave that.  It wasn’t like you look over at a cast member and went, “Oh, what’s my line?”  We were there.  It just gave me goosebumps.  It isn’t just my award.  It was everybody’s award.  When you get to really feel like you’re really alive in these scenes, living in those scenes, it’s such an incredible feeling. After this win, I am just riding the wave right now and really just enjoying it.

Photo: MFTV Inc.

Well, I’ll finish on this last question: How do you rate our Emmy photo together this year? (Laughs) We have well-documented our issues taking a decent photo together; usually because we break up laughing trying to take one.

JACQUELINE: (Laughs) I mean, okay … I am happy that we had those LED bars of light.  We have to have LED lighting around us 24/7.  So, I’ll give it a 9.5 rating   Moving forward, we need indoor, 3-4 LED lights, and we’ll be good.  Now that I have two Emmys, I’m going to be asking for that lighting moving forward … now that I’ve turned into a diva. (Laughs)

Share your congratulations to Jacqui via the comment section below … and let us know your thoughts on her winning her second Daytime Emmy – this time for Steffy’s powerful opioid addiction storyline.  But first, check out our red carpet interview with more with the eventual Lead Actress Emmy winner.

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GH’s Kelly Thiebaud (Britt) chats with Michael Fairman about Britt being on the run with Jason, their burgeoning romance, working with Steve Burton and her other co-star and Britt’s diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease. .Leave A Comment

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