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Interviews

The Robin Strasser Interview – One Life to Live

Courtesy/ABC

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

When One Life to Live’s revival became a reality, thanks to the continued efforts of Prospect Park, one name on the wish list for long-time fans of the series that they wanted to see on the definitive cast list was the one, thee only, Robin Strasser!  As Dorian Cramer Lord, she could be the villainess supreme, the ultimate catalyst, or the loving head of the Cramer women and clan, who would fight to the ends of the earth for her family and her girls!  Of course, Robin’s scenes with Erika Slezak (Viki) are a staple of the series and life in Llanview, and what many fans clamor to see!  From what we can tell, when One Life to Live starts anew on April 29th on Hulu, HuluPlus and iTunes, the long-running feud between these two powerhouse characters and actresses is set to re-ignite!

On-Air On-Soaps chatted with Robin to get caught up on: how she is feeling after a battle with pneumonia, getting the opportunity to play one of the most iconic characters ever on soaps again, her sadness on the original cancellation of One Life by ABC, and the gung-ho style of Prospect Park now as they ready the audience to see the premiere episode of the new online version.  We also clarify directly from Robin, what went down behind-the-scenes when she left One Life six months earlier than the final ABC episode, and if she was indeed set for one final return. You will find out the answer.

Now with all that behind her, and a brand new start, Robin relates she is thrilled to be sharing scenes again with Tuc Watkins (David), who plays Dorian’s on and off again loving lothario, and the rest of the cast.  One thing is for sure, this Daytime Emmy winner always give direct, forthright, engaging interviews with her own brand of spunk and humor, because as Robin does when playing the part of Dorian, she does everything to the fullest, with passion, heart and deep respect for the profession of acting.  We are thrilled to bring you this conversation with one of daytime’s greatest!

MICHAEL:

First I have to say Robin, I am glad that you are a part of the One Life to Live reboot.  I have missed you!  And I, like millions of fans, have missed seeing Dorian right in the mix of everything in Llanview!

Photo Credit: Chapman Baehler

ROBIN:

It’s good that the show is back, period.  It’s good, and they are very smart, savvy people and they are going to do everything they can to ensure it’s a success.  I am going to do everything I can to help, and about the best thing I can do is play the heck out of one of the best parts ever in daytime, as far as I’m concerned.  I am so lucky to play it, and very grateful.

MICHAEL:

How was it finally getting back to work and setting foot on the set as Dorian?

ROBIN:

I went back to work about four weeks ago, even though I was dragging a bit with post-pneumonia stuff.  But gosh, it felt amazing, scary, and thrilling, all at the same time!

MICHAEL:

I know from our interview we did together on the On-Air On-Soaps Podcast when we both heard the news that One Life to Live was being canceled by ABC, that you were just devastated, as we all were.  Then you heard, Prospect Park was picking up the show and moving it online shortly after its final episodes on ABC.  But then that did not move forward, so many people believed One Life was dead in the water!  But, all of a sudden it came around again!  What did you think when you first heard the news that it was coming back again via Prospect Park’s efforts, after all the twists and turns?

Courtesy/ABC

ROBIN:

When it was canceled, we thought we got picked up and would continue making new episodes for the internet once we were off the air on ABC, and that turned out not to be true.  Then, in my experience, it was kind of a journey through the dessert with diminishing expectations that it ever would happen.  When someone would reply, “Well, you never know, there is still a chance,” that inner mechanism, that I will speak for myself, protects me which goes, “OK, don’t count on something happening that probably won’t, or that might not.  Just don’t even get invested in that hope.”   And it wasn’t until the beginning of January that I heard from Prospect Park with an actual phone call, and then three, maybe four more times.  (Laughs)   It was one of those experiences where it is happening and it’s real, but you are kind of pinching yourself … that what you are hoping might happen … is happening.  That was really cool!  I couldn’t have been any happier if the Easter bunny had showed up.  And I mean that with the greatest respect to Easter bunnies, and tooth fairies, and Santa Claus. (Laughs)  I want to believe in magic, and a part of me is a proud adult who does believe in magic! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Fans noticed you were not part of, or at the February One Life to Live cast photo shoot in Sleepy Hollow, New York.  Were you MIA because you were feeling ill?

ROBIN:

I was supposed to be at the cast photo shoot, but when they called to say the car was on its way to get me, I was coughing non-stop.   I could not get out a ‘hello”.   That is why I was not there.  I actually had bags of clothing and jewelry ready.  Being who I am, and having some wonderful generous contacts in the fashion business, I wasn’t going to show up empty-handed.  So there I am coughing, and not going.

Courtesy/ABC

MICHAEL:

What it was like going back to work again, after what I believe was a year and half or so since you filmed your last episode of ABC’s One Life to Live?   Is there truth that after Dorian’s then final exit that they tried to get you back for the final episodes?

ROBIN:

Michael, it was a year and half for me!  I was let-go in late June/early July 2011 and not called back to duty.  That was weird during the six month that the show was still on the air on ABC.  I also, during that time, was very sick.  Emotional and physical health are so tightly wound together for me.  I know it’s a gift in terms of being an actor, that you feel things deeply, or you empathize what it would be like if such and such were going to happen.  During the six-month period I was hospitalized twice, and in fact at one point in the fall I got a call from OLTL’s former executive producer, Frank Valentini saying, “Would I make an appearance on the show again, because it would give a chance for Prospect Park to see my work?”  I said, “I have been on an IV for 14 days, I am way too sick.  Especially, if I am letting Prospect Park get a look at what I am capable of doing.”   I didn’t even try to go in.  Moving past that, when the show went off the air, it really felt like, “This was it.”   This is not only that loss; but I really did think at that point it would segue into the Prospect Park’s One Life to Live.  Everyone dealt with it the way they did.  I was never alone in either my feeling of loss, or my feeling of hope.  

MICHAEL:

You must have had people running up to you on the street sharing their loss over losing One Life with you!

ROBIN:

Courtesy/ABC

First of all, people on the street, their nerve-endings were so available that I have never been more approached and talked to, and was never more willing to stop and talk to people.  A few times I would have to say, “You know, we are standing in the middle of traffic.  We better move!”  People would be talking about their sense of loss and their grief.  I am not exaggerating.  I was two blocks away from my house when somebody told me that General Hospital had killed Starr’s baby, Hope!  A stranger on the street told me that, and I fell into her arms sobbing!  Anybody who observed us would have thought we were talking about a real baby’s death.  But you know what, it kind of was!  I never felt alone, or that I was isolated in that desire to at least have some closure, or a celebration, or whatever for the show.  Then it was so cool, and it just turned.  You saw Prospect Park’s recommitment to the revitalization of One Life to Live.  But, I can tell you it’s one classy big commitment.  It’s not, “Let’s test it, and put a foot in the water and do a baby-step”  No, no. This is big and full throttle!  I am happy!

MICHAEL:

So getting back to stepping into Dorian’s shoes again after a year and half away from her, did it feel at all old hat, but in the best of ways?

ROBIN:

Courtesy/ABC

It’s never old hat!  The day acting is old hat for me, even a part that I have played over a span of 30 years, that is when I will hang my tap shoes up.  So it’s not old hat.  It’s put on a new hat, and sashay in and put on a new costume!  Bring what you are supposed to bring to it to make the situation and the story worth telling, because you have a part in telling story, and helping to create those situations.  I adore Dorian, because she is at best a catalyst, and at worse a mean old cat!  (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Dorian is one of the best characters ever, on any soap or scripted television series!

ROBIN:

Well, she must be!  Now I am being funny, but as powerful as she is, Erika Slezak alone couldn’t have brought me back! (Laughs)  I love her and am grateful for her, and I will always be proud to have her respect, but … (laughs)

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

Erika Slezak, and so many others in the cast, have always told me when you come to the set you bring it every single time, you are fabulous, and always at the top of your game!

ROBIN:

It’s either a fault or a virtue of mine, but every day for me on the set is opening night.

MICHAEL:

So what was it like getting to see the cast again for the first time in One Life’s new Connecticut studios?  Had you seen any of them over the past year or so?

ROBIN:

No, I had not seen the cast in awhile.  But the fact that we were all together had the familiarity of a comfort of returning home.  The challenge was, quite frankly, my fear. That I would not be able to live up to, either Prospect Park’s expectations, the audience’s expectations, or my own heavily-weighted expectations.  I am not a gentle taskmaster on myself.  I am not going to lie to you; it’s there all the time for me.  I wouldn’t dare not bring my “A-game”.  Actually, I would be fearful if I didn’t feel fear and awe of anybody being interested in seeing me do anything! (Laughs)

Courtesy/ABC

MICHAEL:

What can you tease that is coming up for Dorian when One Life to Live premieres on April 29th?

ROBIN:

In my heart, and head to, I am not big on that.  I come from the old school, which is “Stay tuned”.  I don’t think you should be telling the audience what is going to happen!  I don’t know if I would agree to that policy to have teasers being released ahead of time.  I know there are people wiser than me out there titillating and teasing, but for myself as the actor in it, not only do I not want to tell the audience, I don’t want anyone telling me.  I don’t want know where it’s going.

MICHAEL:

Have you watched the teaser promos for One Life to Live?  There are some great classic scenes from Viki and Dorian’s feud!

ROBIN:

Photo Credit: Sue Coflin/Max Photos

No. It does not support my work as an actor, and I am harsh and self-critical.  And truthfully, I just need to be in the situation, and just be in the character not concerned about how it’s being broadcast, and to how many people, etc.

MICHAEL:

How was it to work with your on-screen niece, Kassie DePaiva (Blair Cramer) again?  The Cramer women are back! (Laughs)

ROBIN:

Yes, it is wonderful.  I have done scenes with Kassie and Erika, and it’s so terrific, and with Tuc, of course.  It’s been great.  I think the audience won’t be disappointed in the least.  It’s so important this launch, and it really is a “launch”.  This rocket is going places that it has never gone before, and it is awesome.  This was supposed to be dead and it’s risen!  I really think that Prospect Park, judging by all the real estate and square footage that they have rented out in Connecticut, looks to be like they are starting a network!  It’s Hollywood soundstage size!  Really, it’s huge!

Courtesy/ABC

MICHAEL:

Finally, you and Tuc Watkins have such great chemistry!  The two of you must giggle and have some fun playing the antics, motivations, and love between David and Dorian?

ROBIN:

How not?  That you can’t fake!  What you see between us is absolutely true!  Tuc is very spontaneous, and we happen to have that understanding and admiration, and similar synchronicity that makes it very enjoyable.  Everyone says Dorian has chemistry with Viki and Nora, David and everyone … it’s good.

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Jewell
Jewell

What I want to know Is Robin wearing a wig for the show or she actually got her hair cut like that, I absolutely love it. Looks cute on her.

susan M.
susan M.

I like her new hair-do also. Hope it isn’t a wig because she looks great ! It suits her well!

Jim
Jim

Robin, welcome home.

Edna Barefoot
Edna Barefoot

I love Robin. She is 2nd to Erika for me. I can hardly wait to see them fighting & Dorian & David. They are wonderful together. READY!!!!! Thank you Michael love your interviews.

susan M.
susan M.

I feel the same. I totally agree with you!

Char
Char

Wow, its really incredible to hear that even the actors, Robin in this case, shared the grief of a fictional character’s death, Hope. OLTL creates this huge group of people who are like a bunch of kids all sitting together and being read a book, sharing the experience. The one who is reading is also moved by the events in the book. That’s kind of how I see it.

MEG
MEG

SO GLAD THEYRE BACK, LOVED ROBINS HAIR TOO,AND I WON’T FORGIVE GH FOR KILLING HOPE AND BABY VICTOR.I CAN HARDLY WAITE ,I’M SO GRATEFUL TO PP AND FX. 10:30 AM 29 TH OF APRIL CAN’T COME SOON ENOUGH,

Tracey
Tracey

Thank you Ms. Strasser for your candor. You are a classy lady too!

heidi
heidi

She’s fabulous and I can’t wait to see her again as Dorian! I hope she has her fabulous wardrobe recreated again! Dorian and Viki and Dorian and David are the best duos!!!

susan M.
susan M.

I have always liked Robin Strasser as Dorian. She has spunk & she pulls no punches , she tells it like it is! Robin & Erika are the best! Especially when they are in one their famous cat fights! Which I enjoy watching..And there are times they are really close.
Happy to see her back & feeling better & back on OLTL!!! It wouldn’t be the same without
Dorian another core character to OLTL + Erika too! They are the famous duo’s together!

CTwildheart
CTwildheart

So happy to hear she has recovered and is working in “Llanview” (aka: Stamford).
Hopefully, PP will pretend everything that happened in ‘port charles’ never really did…

Jody
Jody

Hello Robin. I DO Hope that You are Well and that You Do Not Get Any More Health Problems. I thought that you were going to Die when You got Pneumonia. Jody

emtk
emtk

I just can’t wait for OLTL to return!!

Doe
Doe

Glad to see that Robin’s as feisty as ever. She really holds a higher standard than some of her peers. She doesn’t want to divulge what is coming up or any other secrets until it airs. She is truly a great actress and look forward to see her with David Vickers. Should be fun!…………………….

Cheryl
Cheryl

I’m a longtime fan of OLTL. Have been a fan of Robin Strasser’s since her days on AW. She brings jet fuel to every scene and makes it more exhilarating with her presence. I am glad Prospect Park was SMART enough to bring her back. OLTL fans missed her, especially since she didn’t return the last six months of show while it was on the network. Dorian is an integral part of OLTL. Prospect Park recognized that void – I am going to pause to APPLAUD those responsible for bringing Strasser ‘s Dorian back to the fans. This gesture along with the return of our soaps is reason to celebrate, indeed.

MissyLady
MissyLady

I have always loved Robin Strasser!

Killing off Hope, Cole and Tea’s baby by Victor made absolutely no sense at all. In my mind, Cole in fear of going back to prison thought Starr died, so he rescued his little girl and fled for safety with his parents; while TnT’s baby boy was born alive.

MARY EMBREUS
MARY EMBREUS

agreed !! gh shouldn’t have killed off these kids !! we need a new generation for coming years when the show ages the kids. (^^^)

Christy
Christy

this will be fun! I started “catching up” on shows from when I had the cable turned off (to save money!) … so I’m at July 2008, Dorian and Viki had a car accident, they both see familiar faces that have passed on… Mel, Ben, Asa… even Erin Torpley showed up to play Viki’s grand daughter Megan (Jessica’s daughter) and even the head lady, Agnes Nixon was on the show. and of course Tuc Watkins!

Nancy
Nancy

I have never been so thankful and excited for 1 more week. She and Vicki are the best and I can hardly wait to laugh my butt off. Great show that was my favorite along with AMC for over 40 years through thick and thin.

louisa
louisa

I ADORE her!

Joanne M
Joanne M

Robin, WE LOVE U and we got your back. Nobody is worried about your craft out here in computer land. I too like your hair.
I watched all the ABC soaps, but OLTL grew to be my favorite. I fell in love with all the great characters created. The Buchannan cowboys in the upper mid-west was brilliant writting. Who doesn’t love a cowboy!
I adore Ericka and Robin together. I too cried and was very upset about the death of Hope. Char your post is perfect. I am so excited for April 29th to arrrive. It feels like a big family reunion is coming up. Thank you, thank you PP.

Mary
Mary

I can’t wait for Monday to watch One Life to Live again! I missed Robin so much and everyone from the show! I can’t wait to see how much trouble Vicki and you will get into again!

susan M.
susan M.

Wow! It is so close to seeing OLTL again.. I e-mailed Hulu and they said since
Hulu is on demand you don’t have to watch a show at a specfic time. You can
view it any time you want. But for now I will be tuning in to OLTL on 4/29 at 12:00pm. In case I can’t see it at it’s regular time. I will watc it later. I can’t wait
to see also Dorian & Viki and their famous cat fights !

Debbie Harris
Debbie Harris

So Glad that Robin Strasser is a part of the new OLTL!! Missed Dorian at the end of ABC OLTL! So looking forward to seeing OLTL on Monday!!

Beacon
Beacon

“I was two blocks away from my house when somebody told me that General Hospital had killed Starr’s baby, Hope! A stranger on the street told me that, and I fell into her arms sobbing! Anybody who observed us would have thought we were talking about a real baby’s death. ”

LMFAO> HILARIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MARY EMBREUS
MARY EMBREUS

agreed!! that’s how we the fans feel when anyone dies .we cry

Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

I am so thrilled that Robin is back home where she belongs. No one brings Dorian Lord to life like Robin Strasser.

It’s this coming Monday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Barbara t loves One life to live
Barbara t loves One life to live

I can’t wait, and you are right about Robin, she is the greatest, I love her as Dorian.

Robert
Robert

So happy to see you back Robin, looking forward to the show on Monday!

Shirley Miller
Shirley Miller

Hi Michael: First, let me thank you for doing such a great job on following up on our Soaps … particularly AMC and OLTL. You have kept these soaps and actors in the public’s eye and PP never had a chance to forget them!!!! I am so very happy that Robin/Dorian is returning as I love the scenes between her and Erika/Viki. I have watched these 2 soaps from the beginning, and the tension and excitement these 2 characters have always created made my day every time they were on together. It’s amazing to know what good friends they are in “real” life …. but foes indeed in “reel” life!!!! I am also excited that some of our Buchanan Boys will be back … Clint and Bo and I guess David is a Buchanan now too. Loved it when Nathan Fillion played Joey Buchanan and now we fans are so lucky to see him in Castle on Mondays … a really great show!!!! Nathan says he learned a lot from OLTL…and he certainly knows how to use this info on Castle!!!!! Sure miss the old cowboy, Asa Buchanan…. they seemed like a real family when these Buchanan boys put their hats on and rode off on their horses …. like real cowboys do. Ah, those were the days, my friend….and I’m hoping maybe some of these good ole days will return on this rebooted Soap!!!!! I can practically hear Clint saying to Viki, “Here’s Looking at You Kid!!!! Sigh………

Interviews

Sharon Case Celebrates 25 Years On The Young and the Restless; Shares With Fans: “Thanks For Going On The Ride With Me”

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To mark the occasion, Case sat-down with Michael Fairman on the set of Crimson Lights at CBS Television City where Y&R is taped; to take a stroll down memory lane, and to share her thoughts with her legions of fans on the life and times of Sharon Collins Newman.

Photo: CBS

From her character’s wrong-side-of-the-tracks beginning, to meeting Nick Newman, to many of the memorable storylines and moments that were among her very favorites including: when Nikki, Phyllis, Sharon and Victoria buried J.T., and of course, to her leading men through the years, Sharon reveals some backstage and on-camera Intel.   As viewers know, Sharon Newman had also had her share of catfights through the years in longstanding conflicts with both Phyllis (Michelle Stafford) and of course, Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott), and Sharon discusses those moments too.

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Sharon and Michael also relive when Cassie’s death, was first aired on the show, and the impact that story has had for decades on everyone who worked on and has watched Y&R over the years.  In addition, Sharon discusses how she felt the night she won the Daytime Emmy as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series back in 1999.

At the end of the interview Sharon relates this message to the fans of Y&R: “I have always felt like these 25 years wasn’t just working here and playing Sharon … or working here with all the wonderful people … it’s just as much about going through it with all of you, especially because of social media, but even when we didn’t have it, we always knew that you were there and we were partners with you … because it really is sort of a partnership.  I really have felt like we have been in this together the whole time.  We don’t have a studio audience, but we know you’re there, and we love hearing from you.  It really was just as much about you – this journey I have gone on, than it was anything else, so ‘thank you’ for being there and watching the show, and being faithful to the show, and thanks for going on the ride with me.”

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Now below, watch Sharon’s 25th anniversary from the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube.  For more feature interviews on the channel make sure to “subscribe”.

Then, let us know what has been your favorite storyline of Sharon’s through the years?  Comment below.

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Interviews

Y&R’s Elizabeth Hendrickson and Greg Rikaart Talk On The Return of Chloe and Kevin

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Rikaart had previously with the series for 14 years before he was taken off-contract, and then journeyed to Days of our Lives to take on the role of Leo, while Hendrickson went to General Hospital to take on the role of Margaux Dawson, only to eventually head back to Genoa City.

Michael Fairman sat down with the popular on-screen duo recently on the set of Crimson Lights at CBS Television City for a special conversation via The Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube.

When discussing what happened behind the scenes that led them back to Genoa City, Liz expressed: “It was definitely a surprise to get the call. I wouldn’t say it came out of nowhere because I saw Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea) was coming back and Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) was coming back, and it looked like they were getting the gang back together.  I wasn’t sure if I was next on the list, but when I did get the call, I was really excited, and so I chimed in with my better half (Greg) and he was too, so then I was like, ‘Well, let’s do it.”  Greg related: “I had a conversation with Josh Griffith (head writer, Y&R) and expressed that it was nice being back in the building. and a little bit later, I got a phone call inviting me back.”

Photo: JPI

If viewers have followed recent developments on Y&R, Chloe and Kevin kidnapped Billy for is own protection (Jason Thompson) to a cabin, after he tried to kill Adam.  In the ensuing scenes, Kevin injects Billy with a syringe filled with a drug to knock him out.  Rikaart shared, “Doesn’t it make sense, that if anyone had something on them to knock someone out it would be Kevin .. on the ready!?”

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Liz said of Billy’s deteriorating mental health state and working with Jason Thompson (and Billy’s revenge against Adam): “Chloe also knows that Delia would not want her father to take revenge.”  As far as working with Jason Thompson, Hendrickson shared: “Jason is really, really wonderful.  I have known him personally outside of the soap world from mutual friends.  And in getting to work with him, Jason is just great. He is a really solid guy, as well.

Photo: MFTV Inc

Later, Liz and Greg weigh-in on their favorite all-time scene together.  Greg admitted, “The first one to come to mind is our New Year’s scene, because that is when we first got together. and the build-up to that was a really long time coming. I thought it was so beautifully played where Kevin had finally given up on the idea of them being together, and he is out with spray tan girl and it’s New Year’s Eve and all he is doing the entire time is complaining about Chloe. Meanwhile, Chloe is home in her pajamas eating ice cream with Esther – it was very much a throwback to a John Hughes 1980’s rom-com.”

On their return to Y&R, Greg concluded:  “I think the fans are excited that we are back, and I think that fuels my excitement too, because when I was gone I really missed this place and knowing people missed having me here, I realized I wasn’t crazy …. this was something special.”

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So are you happy to see Liz and Greg back on Y&R? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. But first check out their video interview!

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General Hospital

GH’s Michael Easton Talks On Finn’s Hayden-Less Story, Finola Hughes & Favorite Soap Roles

It was a pretty wonky summer for General Hospital’s Dr. Hamilton Finn (Michael Easton), especially concerning the women in his life.  After proposing to Anna Devane (Finola Hughes) she exits to go deal with her twin sister, Alex, thus facilitating Hughes’ summer break from the series.

Meanwhile, another great love of Finn’s life, Hayden (Rebecca Budig) re-emerges on the canvas during Liz (Rebecca Herbst) and Franco’s (Roger Howarth) wedding reception, and is now clearly involved in some story with Jasper Jacks (Ingo Rademacher).  But what about the unresolved feelings and story with Hayden and Finn? After all, she left him and Port Charles and had his child (who is apparently alive) but is not letting her ex know that little fact.

Meanwhile as a doctor, Finn has had to deal with numerous medical infectious disease crisis’, with the latest being what happened to Sasha (Sofia Matteson) at the hands of the evil Cassandra Pierce (Jessica Tuck), who Finn would love to put behind bars for all of her nefarious drug-related crimes and for what she previously perpetrated on him.

Michael Fairman TV recently caught up with one of our favorite gents in daytime, Michael Easton, to get his thoughts on the on-screen developments in Port Charles, what he hopes is ahead this fall, a look back at some of his favorite soap roles (from One Life’s John McBain to Port Charles’ Caleb Morley), why One Life to Live was such a gem of a soap and a special time for him and his enduring soap career, and much more.  So, here’s what Michael shared in our irreverent entertaining, and candid chat.

Photo: ABC

Hayden has been back.  But you and Rebecca Budig have not thus far shared many scenes together.  Do you think we will eventually circle back to their story?

MICHAEL:  First of all, it is amazing having Rebecca back.  I’d like to say that I had forgotten how beautiful and talented she is, but I didn’t.  She stays with you, and her performances resonate.  So, coming back to work with her is like falling back into it.  For selfish reasons, I am somewhat disappointed that I thought when Hayden came back; she would completely turn Finn’s life upside down.  So, to be honest with you, I don’t know much more than what you are seeing is going on.

I don’t understand why the show is keeping that apart.  That’s what people wanted to see when Hayden came back, because many fans loved them together.

MICHAEL:  I’ve taken a hit anytime I’ve run into fans because I think (any fans that follow that couple), when they left, are a little disappointed in what they are seeing in that the girl who left is not the girl who has come back.  I think that has been the difficult thing for Finn.  It’s almost like she has reverted back to a character she was a few years prior to that.  In terms of having his life upturned, it hasn’t been upturned because she has been rather cold to him.  So, it probably isn’t the way I would have told the story, but maybe they have some great stuff up their sleeve.  I think the stuff that we have had together has shown promise.  Hopefully there will be more, because I enjoy working with her so much.

So, there’s a baby.  Does Finn ever think the baby Hayden said died, could be alive?

MICHAEL:  I don’t think he does.  I think he (just from Finn’s nature) would believe that she would never to that to him.  I imagine his thought would be, “What did I ever do to you?  You would do this to me,” because he was clearly in love with her, and she broke his heart.  I don’t think he ever sees that coming.  I know it’s hard because the audience all knows that, and it’s hard to play the person who is not in the loop when everybody else knows the truth, but you have to play that.  You have to play that you don’t watch the show.  I think Finn has to come from that place that she would never do that, and I think that will probably take it to a place (if that is the case) that will just make the fall that much grander, but again it is incredible having Rebecca back.

Photo: ABV

Has Rebecca said anything to you like, “What’s going on?  I’m barely talking to you on the show?” (Laughs)

MICHAEL:  Yes.  I don’t want to speak for her, but I think she probably thought it was going to be more the character that left who was coming back.  I think we’ve all been a little surprised, but maybe the writers have some great surprises up their sleeves, and this will play out.  It’s just different than I thought it would play out.

Finola Hughes had gone off on her summer vacation for awhile which put a pause in what’s next for the Anna and Finn romance, as well.

MICHAEL:  Well, you work with me long enough, and then you need some time off, right?  It’s like PTSD, right?  You need a three-month treatment plan to make it back.  So, I don’t blame her for taking some time off. (Laughs)

Finn proposed to Anna with this impromptu-at-her feet-moment at the Nurses’ Ball.  Did you like the proposal?

MICHAEL:  The only thing that I would have done differently is that I originally thought she said no, just because I love playing uncomfortable, embarrassing moments.  I would have had a lot of fun with that because being embarrassed in front of groups of people is something that I would like to play.  I do that quite often in my own life. (Laughs)  I didn’t watch it back, but in the moment, it felt really nice.  She’s lovely.  Who wouldn’t propose to her?  So, there wasn’t a great deal of difficulty in doing that.

Photo: ABC

Do you sense the on-screen magic between Finn and Anna?  

MICHAEL:  I hope we both bring each other out of our comfort zones a little bit.   I think Finola embraces that, and I embrace that.  I think we both sort of pull each other a little bit.  When the writers write it that way, especially early on, there was a lot of great dialogue and banter, it was like a very adult-type of movie for a while, and I really enjoy that.  It is like Sullivan’s Travels or something like that.  That’s a really dated reference.  Who else do you know that is going to pull out a reference to Preston Sturges movies?  (Laughs) How about Moonlighting?  Even that might be dated now, but it’s closer.  (Laughs)  I think that’s it.  She’ll go with it.  Sometimes just in the flow of it, stuff comes out, and nothing goes by Finola.  There is no ad-lib or gesture that you can make where she won’t go with you on it.  She’s such a pro, and she is so good at that.

Photo: JPI

You’re both smart actors, in a way.  

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MICHAEL:  She’s smart.  She’s really smart.   She’s extra smart, and I’m a little bit under, (laughs) and she balances us out.

Do you think Finn will finally help apprehend Cassandra?  How is it when you get to work with Jessica Tuck?

MICHAEL:  Yeah.  I would imagine.  I love Jessica.  I think she is fantastic, and I always like when the “bad guy” doesn’t know they’re the bad guy.  I know when I played Caleb on Port Charles; one of the things I liked about him was that he never thought he was the bad guy.  I think that is always the right way to play a bad guy, and Jessica certainly doesn’t play it that way.  She plays it like she is just really devious.  She is lovely. I sort of look at it like a team, and anytime you lose good players, your team is not as good.  So, anytime someone says something about someone coming back who is a really good actor, it’s great when they come back.

Photo: JPI

How does Finn feel now about his brother, Chase (Josh Swickard)?  He just can’t seem to get himself to show his affection towards his younger brother.

MICHAEL:  He does love him, and that’s right.  That’s the conflict, but it’s hard to be mad at Josh because he is the sweetest kid.  He looks at you with those big brown eyes, and you go, “Why am I being such a jerk to this guy?  He’s just too nice, but it’s good.  I think we’ve slowly developed a rapport, and it’s just one of those things that I think every so often, daytime gets right where you can almost tell something in real time.  It wasn’t rushed.  It’s taken a year, and they are sort of coming around to one another, but there are still a lot of secrets.  That’s coming up.

Photo: ABC

Where would you rate Finn in the scope of your characters?  I mean, for me, McBain will always be #1.

MICHAEL:  Is McBain 1?  (Laughs)  You and Steve Burton (Jason, GH).  I’ve never sat and ranked them. Obviously, I played McBain the longest, and it was probably the character who was the most like me I did ride-alongs with cops in New York City for like a month.  So, I was able to ground him in some reality for myself, and I was able to stick to that.  We had a great adviser on the show for over a year who was a former New York City detective, gold shield guy.  Someone once asked why the police department was so good at One Life, and that was it.  They really embraced it.  We didn’t have people sneaking out of the jail-cell with a bobby pin picking the lock. (Laughs)

It was a bit grittier on One Life.

MICHAEL:  I enjoyed that.  McBain not saying “I love you” for 10 years, being on daytime and being able to do that – now that is quite the accomplishment!

Photo: JPI

I remember when McBain FINALLY told Natalie (Melissa Archer) “I love you.” I lost it, but then again, I am sucker for soapy goodness like that. It was a big moment.

MICHAEL:  It was.  Then, he had to kind of retract it and said, “I was drugged.”

Yeah right, he had that “What did I do?” moment.

MICHAEL:  “What did I do?”  That’s right.  So, that was a challenge, and that was really interesting.  Port Charles’ Caleb was probably the most fun to play because that was just an incredible amount of freedom.  There was no grounding it in anything.  It was the biggest sandbox I’d ever played in.  If you wanted to walk over to the couch, you walked over to the couch.  You did whatever you wanted to, and obviously, getting to work with the lovely Kelly Monaco (Ex-Livvie, Port Charles, now Sam, GH) every day… it was just nice.  Caleb only had one intention.  He was in love with this girl, and he just wanted to be with her, and anytime you get one specific need as an actor, it makes it so easy. You’ll stop at nothing to be with this girl, and that’s so fun to play.

Photo: ABC

Right, and Kelly Monaco and you have amazing chemistry when you have been paired romantically together in story.

MICHAEL:  Yeah, I think those things exist in a special place, and they probably belong in that special place.  Although, I thought it was an interesting dynamic for a period of time, it would have been interesting to see where that would have gone on GH with McBain, and Jason, and Sam, because there was something there that they could have built on very slowly.  I don’t know what would have happened, but I think that dynamic was the only dynamic that could have worked for a period of time.   I don’t think Fin would work, but that one dynamic would have been interesting when you have the cop, the outlaw, and the girl who comes between them.

Photo: ABC

One Life to Live recently would have celebrated its 51st anniversary if it was still on the air.  Back in July, I posted these photos of major characters through the years.  I received so many “likes” and so many comments on social media such as, “I miss it so much. Bring it back!”  What can you say about those enduring One Life fans and being part of that one-of-a-kind show?

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MICHAEL:  They’re the most beautiful fans.  All of the daytime fans are beautiful, but I think it was a really nice connection with the One Life to Live fans, and we got to know so many of them working in New York on the streets, you came out of the studio, and people were right there.  So, you really got to know them.  You got to engage with people.  I love that show, and I miss it.  Otherwise, I still stay in touch with a lot of them.  I think that speaks to it.  I have lifelong friends who I met on that show, which never happens.  Usually, you walk out of a show on your last day, and you’ll never see anybody again.  You’ll all say, “Yeah, let’s exchange numbers.”  I walk out of there and I go, “Thank you, and I’ll never see you again.”  I don’t even lie to people.  Like, I know I’ll never see you again, and I never have except for that show, and I am still in touch with so many of those people.  So, I think that spoke to how close we were.

Photo: JPI

Were you and Roger Howarth (Franco/Drew) always close on One Life, or are you closer now because you do all of the personal appearance events you do together?

MICHAEL:  Well, Roger and I have known each other; it must be going on… 25-30 years now.  So, it was pre-One Life.  I think at some point we both had long hair, and both had done daytime, so we were pretty interchangeable.  I think one time they called him about a part I did, and one time, they called me about a part when he left.  I actually know Roger because I did a series called 413 Hope St., and Jesse Martin was the lead in it.  It was a Damon Wayans series for Fox.  So, I had known of Roger, but I really got to know him at a New Year’s Eve party in like 1995/96.  Obviously, I’ve become really close to him now because we never did appearances or that sort of thing, but I think we have both sort of gotten over ourselves a little bit now. (Laughs)

Because you weren’t very visible before.  That goes for both of you!

MICHAEL:  No, and that’s by default.  I don’t think we ever discussed it.

Photo: ABC

It wasn’t a conscious decision?

MICHAEL:  No, I just thought (especially when I came back to daytime to do Caleb) it was just more interesting if people didn’t know a lot about me because the character was that.  So, it took me a while to ease into it, and also, I just had to get over myself.  I had a fear of engaging with large groups of people for a while.  In a strange way, Roger and I have kind of gravitated to each other.  I think we are both similar types.  Between the two of us, we make up one real man, you know?  Each of us is like half a man. (Laughs)

Together you can conquer.

MICHAEL:  We are a good crutch for each other!  He picks up my half, I pick up his.  That’s the solution.

So what do you think GH viewers can look forward to coming up with Finn?

MICHAEL:  I’m assuming at some point he is going to get his world turned upside down when he finds out about Hayden and the baby, and how he is going to react to that will probably be interesting.  I hope that’s going to happen.

Photo: ABC

If he became an addict again, how would you feel about that?

MICHAEL:  I think him struggling and getting over that would be interesting.  I would hope that wouldn’t be his reaction, but I guess that always hangs over your head.  Certainly, him falling apart would be interesting.  I think your faith in the universe would be crushed in that moment.  I don’t know how he would react.  I’m just really curious to see how that would shake out and to play that.  I think it would be a challenge.  I think you’re always looking for some way to turn everything … and I invite that.  I always think that sometimes in daytime we play the gimmick, but you should always play to the heart of the story.  What’s going to make you feel something?  If you feel something as the character, as the actor, I think the audience will feel something with you.  I think it is maybe one of the things that we have gotten away from a little bit is that emotional attachment.  When I watch shows that really move me, it’s still that emotional attachment between two people, and at the end of the day it should still be a love story … no matter what it is.   I think that is the heart of what we should be doing.  I think every poem should be a love poem of some sort.  I know they have to weave the other stuff, the science fiction, and the memories, and the missing babies, and the twins, but at the heart of it, it should really be about two people finding themselves in love.

Are you working on graphic novels, movies?

MICHAEL:  I’m always doing something, Michael.  It keeps me balanced, and it keeps me from losing my mind.

Photo: JPI

Will you be producing and directing any new short films?

MICHAEL: Trevor St. John (Ex-Todd/Victor Lord Jr. OLTL) and I are always talking about doing a short film.  Every time we drink too much beer, next thing you know, we are going to be doing a movie.  We have many beers, and then we shoot a film.  Then, we call our friends like Kamar de los Reyes (Ex-Antonio, OLTL), and Sherri Saum (Ex-Keri, OLTL), and Dan Gauthier (Ex-Kevin OLTL), and we go, “Now you guys, drink many beers, and you will join us on this film.”

See, now I get how movies are made!  

So, are you hoping that GH tells more of the story between Finn and Hayden?  Are you hoping that Anna and Finn make it to their “I do’s? What would you like to see happen to Finn? And finally, of all Michael’s soap roles which has been your favorite? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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