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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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2 Comments

  1. kim

    June 18, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    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 a better S/L.

  2. kim

    June 18, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    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 a better S/L. Repost edited

    Reply

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Interviews

Y&R’s Executive Producer Anthony Morina Talks On Daytime Emmy Drama Series Win For Neil’s Memorial & Honoring Kristoff St. John

Last Friday night, The Young and the Restless was named the Outstanding Drama Series at the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards broadcast on CBS. The show won on the strength of their submissions, which centered on the death of Neil Winters; including when the residents of Genoa City find out of his passing, and the subsequent heartbreaking memorial service in his honor.

However, what made those hours of television unlike anything seldom seen; were not only was Genoa City saying goodbye to Neil, but the cast was saying their goodbyes to their beloved friend and colleague, Kristoff St. John (Neil) who had passed away suddenly back in February of 2019.

Y&R’s executive producer, Anthony (Tony) Morina accepted the award for the top-rated CBS Daytime drama during the Emmy telecast, which now makes Morina a five-time Daytime Emmy winner himself!

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Tony on the series emotional Emmy win, and what it meant for him to win the gold for these incredibly moving and special episodes that were at its epicenter paying tribute to Kristoff in the best way the soap opera could. Here’s what Tony shared on the Y&R Drama Series victory and more.

Photo: JPI

Congratulations on your Outstanding Drama Series win. The episodes that you submitted were at every level, so gut-wrenching, sincere, and beautiful.  What did you think about the process that you went through to make these right for Kristoff and the character of Neil?

TONY:  Occasionally, when you are in this business, as you know, you work so hard to achieve certain things, sometimes you think you’re achieving something, and you’re not, and sometimes something shows up that surprises the heck out of you, and this was kind of it for me.  But what didn’t surprise me, of course, were the actors’ ability, the director’s ability, and the crews’ ability, and for these episodes it was at such a high level.  Sometimes there is an emotional element, or an otherworldliness thing that takes over.

Photo: CBS

Yes, because it was all so real and raw; in that we were watching the characters who loved Neil Winters mourn him, but we were also watching all the actors who loved their co-star.

TONY: When everybody was in that church set and were giving their eulogies, it felt like everybody was so behind each other, and everybody just cared for each other so much because they cared so much for Kristoff.  All the eulogies that people were doing were a page and a half to two pages.  They were really long, but you could feel the emotional tension, and you could feel how people just felt.  Kristoff was a very unique special person, who ended up going through some rough times, but he really was beloved.  Sometimes you love people, and sometimes you say somebody is beloved.  Whenever you saw him, he put a smile on your face.  He made you feel like he really cared about you.  Those shows came together really out of this feeling of love.  We did two whole shows that day.  We did that whole show and the show that came after it.  I don’t know how many hours of a day it was, but people had so much emotion attached to it that those shows really kind of took over themselves with everybody just trusting and letting go and supporting each other.  I got a text from Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R) saying how it was one of the greatest experiences he’d ever had in terms of how it all came together.  Those shows just meant a lot to us, and I really felt that if we didn’t win, I’d be perfectly fine with that, because I was just so glad that we were able to do these episodes, and people got to see it.

Photo: JPI

At what point did you decide, “We are going with this to submit for the Emmy!”

TONY:  I actually knew that day.  I think, I actually said to Josh Griffith (head writer and Co-EP Y&R), “This is going to be our Emmy show … or one of our Emmy shows.”  The other show when everybody finds out Neil died was an incredibly powerful show to me too, but I knew that day when we shot the funeral that you rarely see that kind of rawness.  When you get into this business, and you want to become an actor, it’s tough, but you know that in the end what you want is to get into a position where you can share who you are as a person in an artistic way.  I think the Neil memorial gave people a way to say, “This is why I do this because I get to really share myself, and I get to express how passionate I am and how much I care about other people.”

Photo: JPI

Shemar Moore (Ex-Malcolm) came back to honor his dear friend and on-screen Y&R brother.  How was it having him on set with you to share this experience?

TONY:  Shemar was amazing.  He was there until the bitter end of our tape day.  He could not have been kinder and more supportive of everybody, and really laid out his emotions, and it was like that with everybody.  I would say this was the the most amazing experience I have ever had.

What do you think Kristoff would say?  I think he would be very proud that you gave Neil a real proper sendoff.

TONY:  Absolutely.  I also think Kristoff, would have thought that Neil deserved it, and would have loved it, a, it’s an interesting question because you have got to say to yourself, “Does Kristoff feel he deserves it?” As a character, he’d definitely feel he deserved it.  He was a part of that community.  He was a part of Genoa City.  Those were his friends and his family.  Would Kristoff feel he deserves that?  I don’t know if he would have felt he deserved it, but I know he would have loved knowing how much people cared for him.  I think that would have meant the world to him.  I really do.

Photo: CBS

I loved your acceptance speech.  I thought it was one of the better ones of Emmy night. 

TONY:  Thanks so much.  Matt Kane (publicist, Y&R) has been amazing.   He gave me a lot of guidance on where to go, and my wife, Sally (Sussman Morina) really helped write the speech because the rules were you’ve got 30 seconds.  I really believe in the notion that when you have an opportunity to speak in front of people about something, it has some meaning to you and to other people.  I think you have to put thought into it because how many opportunities do you get in life to share about yourself and how you feel about people?  So, I really appreciate you saying that.

Photo: CBS

What did you think of your Y&R actors: Bryton James’ (Devon) and Jason Thompson’s (Billy) major Emmy victories?

TONY:  Well, personally, I am enormous fans of both people.  I like when nice, good people have nice things happen to them, and you know them.  First off, I was so happy for Bryton because I know he and Kristoff were close, and I know he was deeply affected, as Christel Khalil (Lily, Y&R) was, as everybody was, but they were like family.  I love Bryton personally, and he laid his heart out there.  As for Jason Thompson, people think the world of him, and I think he is an unbelievable actor.  I taught for years, and I have worked with a lot of actors, and I think Jason has such control of his work.  I’m impressed by him.  I’m just as impressed by who Jason is.  I think he’s deserved it other times too, and this was his first win; which must be very special for him.

Photo: deCazotteFacebookPage

During the In-Memoriam tribute on the Emmy broadcast, former producer, Lisa de Cazotte was also featured.  What can you say about your time working with her at Y&R and over your career?

TONY: I’ve known Lisa De Cazotte since Santa Barbara when Paul Rauch (former executive producer) brought her there, and that’s where we first met. Lisa was probably my favorite producer to ever be in the booth with because she let you be yourself, and she let you do your job, and yet, she still had control over the room and the studio.  She was a great touchstone for me, because when you are in this position, you need someone to bounce stuff off of or just say, “Am I really being an idiot here?” because we were old friends, she could say, “Tony, you’re being an idiot.”  (Laughs)  We miss her terribly.  She was really a loved person, and she was just fantastic at what she did.  I just miss her as a friend.

Photo: JPI

And of course, the In-Memoriam featured the late Y&R co-creator, Lee Philip Bell who also passed recently. 

TONY:  Yes, and that’s what was interesting about that speech I gave, because you had to mention those three people: Lee, of course, Kristoff, and Lisa – three truly linchpin important people in daytime drama for many years. Losing all three made it a particularly rough year for The Young and the Restless family.

I also wanted to talk about Eve LaRue (Ex-Celeste Rosales), who had never won a Daytime Emmy but she did for her work on Y&R! She was very emotional and moved by her win as Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series.  What can you say about Eva?

TONY:  She is such a lovely person and she did a great job for us.  I’m just glad for her because I know she had ever won before.

Photo: JPI

One of the clips shown on the Emmy broadcast that Y&R chose for air from Neil’s memorial was Victor’s emotional eulogy; which Eric Braeden delivered so beautifully.   I know how found he was of Kristoff; so it made that on-screen moment all the more heartbreaking. What can you say about Eric?

TONY:  Eric feels as deeply as anybody who I have ever known.  Really, he can come across sometimes as a certain kind of image for people on-screen, but he cares deeply, and is the most supportive actor of every other actor.  Eric has a depth and is a fantastic actor, and he knows how to use his talent.  He actually called me last night and left a message.  He just said, “Hey, I saw you on TV,” and then he just laughed for 5 minutes.  It was really very funny.  He’s not used to seeing me on TV, and so he just laughed.  It was hilarious.

What did you think of Y&R’s win for Outstanding Drama Series knowing they submitted the episodes of Genoa City finding out Neil had passed, and his funeral? Share your thoughts on Tony’s remarks via the comment section below.

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Interviews

Daytime Emmy Winners: Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, Scott Clifton & Heather Tom Talk Winning the Gold & Returning to Work at B&B

This week, The Bold and the Beautiful has been airing encore presentation of Daytime Emmy-winning performances from some of the cast over the years as a prelude to tomorrow night’s 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards on CBS.

The weeklong Emmy celebration concludes tomorrow with Jacqueline MacInnes Wood’s (Steffy) Emmy-winning performance from last year which won the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series prize for the first-time in her daytime career.

Michael Fairman chatted with Jacqui, along with five-time Daytime Emmy-winner and a nominee for Lead Actress again this year, Heather Tom (Katie) and three-time Daytime Emmy winner, Scott Clifton (Liam).  As daytime soap fans know, Heather and Scott hold the distinction of being the only actors to win in all three acting categories: Younger, Supporting and Lead.

In this candid and fun conversation on the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube, Jacqui, Scott and Heather remember the nights the won Emmy gold, their acceptance speeches, things they wish they would have said, and what it was like waiting for their names to be called, plus taking a stroll down memory lane and remembering when they taped their Emmy-winning performances.

Scott reveals why he chose not to submit himself in Lead Actor this year, even though he has some of the finest performances throughout the Baby Beth baby switch storyline,.

Later the trio talk about The Bold and the Beautiful being the first U.S. soap opera and first U.S. broadcast show back in production following the shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic and how B&B is looking to shoot episodes during the times we live.

Watch the full video interview below.

Then let us know, what was your favorite part of the moments shared by Jacqui, Scott, and Heather in the Emmy conversation?  Do you think Heather might tie Erika Slezak (Ex-Viki, OLTL) tomorrow night with her sixth win in the Lead Actress category?  What do you think of B&B’s return to production following the sentiments shared.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Thaao Penghlis Chats on His Daytime Emmy Nomination & How He Makes Tony DiMera One of a Kind

He has been one of the longstanding cast members of Days of our Lives and certainly of Salem’s notorious DiMera Clan; and while Thaao Penghlis may be off our screens for a time and then comes back again; though the years one thing has been true, he delivers top-notch performances in a way that is uniquely ‘Thaao’.

This year at the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards to be broadcast on Friday night, June 26th at 8 p. m. EST, Thaao is vying for the Outstanding Lead Actor prize amongst a formidable group of other daytime favorites.  And this makes it two years in a row that Penghlis has received an Emmy nomination although this time in a different category.

As fans know, Penghlis takes the art of acting seriously, and expects other he works with to bring their A-game, just as he does time and time again; whether it be playing DAYS dashing Tony or the evil Andre or when he portrayed Victor Cassadine on General Hospital.

Michael Fairman TV spoke to Thaao to get his thoughts on: receiving the Emmy recognition and what it means to him what he thought about his nominated scenes, plus what he might be doing at home during the ceremony, and where he hopes Tony DiMera’s future is headed.   Here’s what Thaao shared.

Photo: JPI

Tell me about what scenes you submitted that landed you a Lead Actor Emmy nod!

THAAO:  Well, the week I came back to DAYS, I had 11 shows, and this material was from one show of three I did one day!  When you think of other actors doing 150 shows, and I did less than 50 this past year, my choice is kind of limited.  So, when I came across these particular scenes, which were with Eric Martsolf (Brady) and with Arianne Zucker (Nicole), what I liked about it is that usually when you see other peoples’ work, its histrionic, it’s great tears, it’s drama – and what I was able to put together had a through line and an arc from beginning to end.  It makes it very logical when somebody is following your story, and you can show a whole ebb that makes sense.  I had some lines that were really difficult to say, like, “Coming back from the dead is not easy.”  When I get lines like that, I throw it away, and because of that, it becomes humorous.  I have to say I work well with Arianne.  She was great.  I found in the past, when I have worked with some actors, they step on your lines.  I found the best way to stop that is I put my hand up, and I say, “Hey!” and everything goes silent.  They go into shock mode, and I say, “I haven’t finished,” and then I go on.  (Laughs)  So, when Kristen as Nicole starts to talk to Tony the way she does, and she says, “You’d better behave…” I thought, “This is a DiMera you are talking to,” so, I just snapped back at her.  I gave her a, “Hey!”  So, she shut up, froze, and I went on.

Photo: JPI

Would you say your reel was more comedic … or both funny and serious?

THAAO:  It is both.  There are subtleties to it.  There is a teacher I know in Australia, and she is very critical.  She said, “I want to see your work.”  I showed it to her, and she wrote back, “Oh my, God.  How did you make those transitions so readily?”  I went, “Oh.  How did I do it?”  I didn’t think of that.  I think it’s an old technique.  It’s called having to do 3 shows in one day, and you had better get your stuff right, and it’s about how do you make a scene work?  There is one director who I did a miniseries with who said to me, “Where did you get your training from?”  I said, “Daytime.”  He said, “My God.  You certainly know how to have a camera follow you,”   Well, the camera has to follow your movement.  So, when I finished a transition, I’d move to another spot, and the camera had to follow me.  So, what happened in the arc of this Emmy-nominated piece is that I took charge and controlled the scene so that it became a scene of lots of transitions. And of course, charm, I did all of what I thought Tony would be.  He is a DiMera.  I have one of those looks. I don’t know where it comes from, maybe it’s as I get older, but I’ve learned how to work the camera where I may slam something first to get your attention, and then the camera comes onto your face, and you’re going, “Oh, what the hell is he thinking?”  So, I can play the dark side quite readily, and yet in my real life, I’m not so bad. (Laughs)

Courtesy/ABC

You have Thorsten Kaye (Ridge, B&B) and Steve Burton (Jason, GH) also in your category, and these guys who are obviously been soap veterans like yourself.  What do you think about the group you have been nominated with? 

THAAO:  I never worked with Steve Burton, but hear good things.  I know Jon Lindstrom (Kevin/Ryan, GH).  He’s a lovely actor.  I have worked with Jason Thompson (Billy, Y&R).  He’s a lovely actor.  He is well-trained.  So, it is nice to see that the nominees are all vets.

Right, they are all vets.  It seems like a good group to be with. 

THAAO:  I agree, and I love that the Daytime Emmys are coming back to television.  I think it is an upswing when they think of daytime dying.  I think whoever made this happen is taking on the responsibility of taking daytime back.  It is why people love novellas.  People love the story, they love to follow the characters, and we’ve got fantastic fans.  I mean, what would we do without them?  You can’t sustain the show without them, and you pay a price, you have to know how to entertain them because once they know who you are and what you’re about, they get bored.  So, you have to be ahead of your audience all of the time.  That’s what I have always tried to do with both characters that I’ve played on DAYS

Photo: JPI

They’re doing a virtual ceremony this year.  How do you think you would dress while watching the ceremony?

THAAO:  You don’t wear a tux in your house, do you? So, I’ve invited some people for a celebratory time.  Lauren Koslow (Kate, DAYS) and her husband Nick Schillace (head of make-up, DAYS) and Leann Hunley (Anna, DAYS) are some of my great friends who have been very supportive of me through some tough times this year, and I’ve got a friend who has got  a wonderful restaurant, and he is going to cater it.  Probably it will be a group of 10.  You know, could you imagine being here on your own, in a tuxedo, with a glass of champagne? (Laughs)

I know, kind of awkward! (Laughs)  You’ll put something nice on for the big night, right?

THAAO:  Yes, you know me.  I’m always dressed.  What would you suggest?  Sweatpants on the bottom and a tuxedo jacket!  How about that? (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

Now, you have been previously nominated for Daytime Emmys, too!

THAAO:  Yes, and last year I was nominated as well for Outstanding Guest Performer.  So, it’s kind of nice to be back-to-back, and in 2008, I was nominated for Lead Actor when I played the clown in the Tony and Andre storyline.  Thank God, DAYS recently DAYS had James Reynolds (Abe) wining in the Lead Actor category.  I thought, “Wow.”  That was for years and years of good work that he’s done, and also, Greg Vaughan (Eric) wining for Supporting Actor was very nice, but we haven’t had that many wins in the acting categories over the years.

Photo: JPI

DAYS tapes so far ahead of air; that what was once a seemingly major concern has paid off swimmingly during the coronavirus pandemic.  The soap is the only show to have enough episodes in the bank for months ahead when production shut down and enough even when other shows go back into production.  Who would have thought?

THAAO:  We used to think it was ridiculous that DAYS taped eight months ahead, but look at us now! Who would have thought is right?

What would you love to see happen with Tony when DAYS does resume filming new episodes again? 

THAAO:  I’d like to go back and play the head of the DiMera family.  I’ve never been granted that, and I think, at this stage, with the way I worked with Joe Mascolo (Ex-Stefano) it would be nice to see the transition just like Michael Corleone did in Godfather.

So will you be rooting for Thaao to take home the gold as Lead Actor in a Drama Series come Emmy night?  Do you hope DAYS writes Tony into upcoming story, and if so, how would you like to see him on the canvas? Comment below.

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