Connect with us

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.

READ MORE
GH's Maurice Benard Interview - 'Nothing General About It'
Click to comment
Advertisement

Leave a Reply

avatar
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………

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Chandler Massey Chats On His Bittersweet Daytime Emmy Nomination

He’s won three Daytime Emmys in the Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series three years in row in 2012, 2013 and 2014, and now Chandler Massey is going for gold for the second time in his career in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series which in a field where he is competing with two co-stars from Days of our Lives among others.

Massey has long been a stand out performer, giving nuanced and emotional portrayals in the angst-ridden life of Will Horton and the love of his life, Sonny Kiriakis (Freddie Smith).

Back in February of this year, DAYS fans learned that Chandler and Freddie had taped their last episodes, and since the NBC soap tapes more than 6 months ahead of air, that the two will still be on the air into the fall.  That has made this moment of recognition for Massey all the more poignant.

Michael Fairman TV talked with Chandler to get his reaction to the news that he is once again a Daytime Emmy nominee, and here’s what he had to say about it all.

Photo: JPI

 

I thought it was great that you received another Emmy nomination.  What do you think?

CHANDLER:  Yeah.  I thought it was pretty great too, actually.   I was surprised.  I wasn’t keeping up on when they were announcing the nominations.   I was thrilled that Wally (Kurth) and Paul (Telfer) also got nominated too in the same category.  So, hopefully, DAYS, has a decent shot to take it home.

What did you end up submitting that ultimately landed you the nomination?

CHANDLER:  I went with some scenes that aired on December 16th of last year (I just looked that up), where Will basically breaks up with Sonny when Sonny comes to visit him in prison.  I liked those because they were sort of subtle.  I just found myself drawn in when I watched it, and it wasn’t big or dramatic, but it felt like two real people sharing their pain.  So, that’s why I chose it.

Photo: JPI

I remember those.  Those were heartbreaking because he had to get Sonny to let him go.

CHANDLER:  Yes.  He said he has a new prison boyfriend, and that he’s doing really well in prison, so he doesn’t want to be tied down. (Laughs)

You’ve had Freddie Smith as your scene partner for so much of your run on DAYS.  What did he give you in those scenes that helped you, or even further enabled the performance that you gave?

READ MORE
Alec Baldwin Reflects On His Time As Joshua Rush on 'Knots Landing'

CHANDLER:  Freddie always gives everything.  He is a consummate professional, so he really commits every time.  I think it is more that we are just so comfortable with each other that we are not afraid, and that there is no hesitation between the two of us, so we just are able to do the work.  We usually know we are there to listen to, and support each other. in the scenes.

Photo: NATAS

Was your entire submission from the prison scenes or did you include something else?

CHANDLER:  It was just that.  I know I could have included something else, but I like to keep it sort of short because I feel like as a judge, I know within a few minutes.  It’s not that I get bored, but it really only takes a scene or two, and then, you’re like, “this is something special.”  You can recognize it pretty quickly.

So, you have won three Daytime Emmys. This is your first nomination in a few years, right?

CHANDLER:  Yeah, I didn’t get nominated the year before.  I had a gap year… to my family’s great shame. (Laughs)  They were not pleased with me.

Photo: JPI

This is your second nomination in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Daytime Drama Series category.

CHANDLER:  Yes. I was nominated in ‘Supporting’ for the first time when I came back to DAYS, and then submitted for “Lead” the next year, didn’t get nominated, and then went back to ‘Supporting’.  I learned my place.  I went back to ‘Supporting’ for this year.  (Laughs)

It’s such a game though, right?  .

CHANDLER:  Yeah, you’ve got to be smart.  I just thought, “What the heck?”  Freddie and I were like, “Maybe there’s a shot that if we pick different categories, we can both get nominated,” but then, after that didn’t work, I said, “Screw that… going back to ‘Supporting”

Now, you’ve been through Emmy night before, and this is obviously going to be a virtual Emmy’s.  Now, if they did a six-shot of all of the nominees, what would you wear?  Would you be dressed up?  Would you be casual?  What would you see yourself doing?

CHANDLER:  That’s a good question. I think maybe… I’ll do a little of both.  I’ll go the middle ground.  I’ll be in my finest bathrobe, a silk bathrobe so it’s casual but also still sort of fancy.

READ MORE
One Life to Live Stars Reunite For Online Reunion

There you go.  (Laughs)  Is this nomination all the more special for you in that you are no longer working at DAYS? 

CHANDLER:  Oh, totally.  Every year is special, but you know, I’m not on the show anymore, so it’s a nice reminder that the work that I did had an effect on people, and it won’t be forgotten for at least a few more hours.

Photo: JPI

I saw the fan outcry and show of support for you and Freddie, when viewers got wind that you were exiting the series.  It was sad and heartwarming at the same time.  The WilSon fans are so behind you guys.

CHANDLER:  Yeah, if only they knew what horrible people that we were in real life, then they wouldn’t be this way, but thankfully… (Laughs)  Yeah, it’s really nice, but it is sad.  I started in 2009, and that was over 10 years ago, and nothing lasts forever.  I had a really, really great run, and so did Freddie.  I am very satisfied and don’t feel jipped, or like, I was entitled to anything more than I got.

Courtesy/NBC

Obviously, your co-nominees, Wally and Paul you worked with many times.  What can you say about them?

CHANDLER:  I think that both men deserve definitely to get second and third place.  (Laughs)  I have known Wally for a while now.  I love him.  I think his work is phenomenal.  I think he is really, really underrated.  Paul, I don’t know as well, but I think obviously his work speaks for himself.  If only he were physically attractive, I think that would really, really help his career.

Photo: JPI

I know, it’s a shame.

CHANDLER:  Unfortunately, he is kind of schleppy, you know?  (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

Did Freddie reach out to you after you received the nomination?  

CHANDLER:  Oh yes, he sent a text congratulating me, and we talked about it.  It was nice.  I feel like our stories are so intertwined, the scenes we submit are mostly with each other.  So, it’s really kind of a shared accolade.

So, will you be rooting for Chandler to cap off his career on DAYS with an Emmy win on June 26th during the virtual ceremony on CBS? What did you think of the nominated scenes he submitted? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

Continue Reading

All My Children

Eva LaRue Talks On Her Daytime Emmy Nomination, And Opens Up About The Loss Of John Callahan

For Eva LaRue, the past two months have been some of the most emotionally gut-wrenching and challenging of her life, following the passing of her ex-husband, father of her child, and dearest friend, John Callahan (Ex-Edmund, All My Children). The outpouring of support she has received not only from her former AMC cast mates, but the soap world in general illustrates just how dear Eva is to all of us, and how many people had special memories of their time with John.

While mourning the loss of Callahan along with their daughter, Kaya, there was some heartwarming and re-affirming news that any actress would love to hear. Eva was nominated for a Daytime Emmy in the Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series for her work as Celeste Rosales on CBS’ The Young and the Restless, and she is great company as her former AMC co-star Michael E. Knight (Ex-Tad) is also nominated along with her for his work on General Hospital.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit our country and world hard, but through it All My Children virtual reunions emerged as fans were engaged by the content, transported to happier times that brought them back to familiar faces in Pine Valley in which Eva participated along with her good friends, Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos and so many more, thanks to the EW. com weeklong event which concluded on Friday.

Michael Fairman TV talked with Eva in this very candid, at times heartbreaking, and open conversation where she shares details into the final days of her beloved John, her last moments with him, and how she tried to plan a memorial in his honor during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For so many of us, 2020 has certainly seen more lows then highs, but in the end for Eva, to receive a nomination now (an award she was last nominated for back in 1997 as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her work as Dr Maria Santos on All My Children) couldn’t have come at a better time. Here now is our conversation with Eva.

Photo: JPI

I’ve been thinking so much about you.  I’m glad we could do this, and in the midst of the tragedy of losing John Callahan, and then receiving a Daytime Emmy nomination.  What was your reaction when you learned you were nominated in a category with none other than your former AMC castmate and good friend, Michael E. Knight (Ex-Tad, AMC, now Martin, GH)?

EVA:  Oh, I know!  He’s the first person I texted!  I was like, “Congratulations, Michael!  Did you ever in a million years think that you and I would be in the same category of anything?”  Then I said, “And when you win this, can I just borrow it for the weekend just to dress it up and take pictures with it… just want to borrow it, just babysit the trophy for a weekend, please?” (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

What did you end up submitting that landed you the nomination for your role as Celeste on Y&R?

EVA: I submitted a scene with Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R), who I have been friends for 30 years, if not more, and in all that time we had never worked together.  I met him when I was married to John O’Hurley (Ex- Dr. James Grainger) because John was over at The Young and the Restless at the time.  I went to a Christmas party with John to Peter and Mariellen’s house, and do you know who else was there?  Lisa Rinna (Ex-Billie, Days), and it was before she had gotten Days of Our Lives. She was dating Peter Barton (Ex-Scott Grainger, Y&R) at the time. We both ended up on soaps at the same time.  So, I submitted a scene with Peter, who is amazing, warm and open and such a great actor. Then I submitted a scene with my on-screen daughter Sasha Calle (Lola, Y&R) – I love that girl, and another one with Michelle Stafford (Phyllis, Y&R) who has also been my great friend for a couple of decades. The other scene I put on my reel was with me and Jordi Vilasuso (Rey, Y&R) who I also adore.  He is awesome and such a sweetheart.  I only had two months worth of material to draw upon.  So, I just submitted the scenes that I liked the best, and they all were within story, and all made sense.

Photo: Getty Images

Where is Celeste supposed to be now?

EVA:  She went back to Florida, and that was that. I would never say never to anything, but it was always supposed to be a short stint, and it was great.

So not only is it you and Michael E. Knight, but Jeffery Vincent Parise, Chrishell Stause, and Elissa Kapneck. This Guest Performer category is loaded!

EVA:  I know! I know and love, Chrishell (Ex-Amanda) because we worked together on All My Children, too, right before I left, and she is a doll.  She just might be the sweetest, kindest, girl on the planet.  She literally might be the sweetest person who ever lived!  I don’t know the other two nominees personally.  So, I’m excited for them too.  It’s such a diverse category.  It’s just really fun to be nominated with all of them.

Photo: Hallmark Channel

You were nominated before, though, for your work as Maria on All My Chldren during the emotional baby switch storyline; working opposite Susan Lucci (Ex-Erica) for a lot in it.

EVA:  Yes.  I was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for All My Children, and I was nominated for Best Original Song.  I wrote a song when Maria came ‘back from the dead’ to All My Children, with a producer friend of mine from Miami Sound Machine.

Photo: Live with Kelly Ryan

So, you’ve been doing all of these All My Children virtual reunions, which is so interesting that in this pandemic, people are looking for content, and they dip back into these beloved shows.  Was it fun doing the EW.com Santos Family reunion with everybody?

EVA:  Oh yeah, it was really, really fun.  I only saw in the big picture everybody else’s photo who was a part of it, and the people who I actually do hang out with the most, and see the most, and talk to the most, are Kelly Ripa (Ex-Hayley), Mark Consuelos (Ex-Mateo), and Sydney Penny (Ex-Julia).  I don’t see Sydney as much, but I do see her probably once every two years at least, but Sarah Michelle Geller (ExKendall) I see all the time and talk to all the time.  Kelly, Mark, and Sarah are the ones who walked me through that first week when John Callahan passed.  They literally were on the phone with me, the three of them, almost every day, but I got beautiful outreach, from what seemed like everyone.  This is when no matter how many years have passed since you have been in daytime, that the daytime family as a group – there used to be fifteen shows, now there are four – and people have bounced around and they are on other shows- – but the entire soap opera community reached out,   I cannot even tell you how much that meant to me.  It was overwhelming, and it was really, spectacularly beautiful.

Photo: JPI

I hope it was some solace to you knowing how much people loved John, and also that they love and care so deeply for you.

READ MORE
GH's Steve Burton & Bradford Anderson Give The Lowdown on Their New Series '7 Questions' & Their Creative Partnership

EVA:  I mean, people who did not even work with John reached out.  Every soap was represented by getting a hold of me, sending a text or a phone call, or if they didn’t have my personal information, they tweeted, or whatever it was… literally from every reach of soapdom.  It was amazing.

And your relationship with John was amazing with all of the ups and downs you went through; that you remained such dear friends.

EVA:  We remained really great friends all the way.

Photo: JPI

I so remember when the two of you first got together and it was this storybook real life soap couple romance.  John was always so sweet to me.  I was so, so sad, and you know, my heart just broke for you.

EVA:  I think it was just such a shock.  I don’t think anybody, and even Kaya were talking about it, because she graduated this week, and her dad is not here.  We’re not having a graduation, because of COVID-19, which sucks on top of it, but we were just kind of talking through the feelings of it.  She said, “You know what’s weird?  I guess I never pictured dad getting old, and I always wondered why, and now I know.”  When I would get on John about his heart or his health, he used to always say, ‘Oh, don’t worry Evala, (he always called me “Evala”).  I’m going to be here.  I’m going to be here a long time.  I’m fine.  I’m going to be here to walk Kaya down the aisle and see her kids and all that.  Stop worrying,” Every time he said it to me, something in my gut said, “I don’t think he is.  I don’t think he is,” but I always just dismissed that.  But never in my wildest dreams did I think John wouldn’t make it to her high school graduation.  He was only 66.

Photo: JPI

I had heard you ended up running to Palm Springs to be near John.  I can’t even imagine what that must have been like.

EVA:  The only good thing about this pandemic is that we had been shut down for only two weeks at that point.  Kaya and I got in the car.  John had some heart procedures the day before, on a Thursday.  I called him in the morning before he went in for the procedure.  I said, “Call me as soon as you get out of there.  Call me as soon as you come-to again, and you’re good,” and he said, “Okay, I will.”  I said, “I’m going to send Kaya out to you on Friday for the weekend, just so you have somebody to hang out and watch you, and I might come out too,” And then, I said, “Maybe, I’ll come down too in case you are feeling weak, just to watch out for you for the weekend.”   So, he called me after the procedure.   I said, “I cannot believe they sent you home! You just had some major heart stuff done.”  He said, “Oh no, they said I’m fine.  It was just run-of-the-mill heart stuff, angiogram…”  I was like, “Are you sure?”  He said, “Yeah, I’m fine.  I’m just tired.  I’m going to go to sleep.”  I said, “Do you want me to send Kaya out tonight?” and he was like, “No, no, no.  Send her tomorrow.”  So, in the morning, I called him at 9:00am.  No answer.  I texted him.  He always texted me like Johnny on the spot, and then texts me immediately back.  So, I call him again at 10.  Nothing.  His best friend calls me about a half-hour later, “Hey, I talked to John at about 8:00 this morning.  He said he was feeling really, really shitty and was going to go back to the hospital, and then, I texted him again at like 8:30 to just tell him something, and he hasn’t texted me back, and he always texts me immediately back.”  I said, “Oh my, God, I’ve been trying to get a hold of him for two hours; he hasn’t texted me back,”   I said, “You know what, I’ll call you back.”  So, I called his friend who lives down the street from John, and I said, “Go to his house, please right this second, knock on the door, jump the fence, knock on his bedroom, he might be asleep, I don’t know.”  So, he gets there, nobody is answering.  I said, “Break into the house please.  So, he did, and John was collapsed in the bathroom.  They called the paramedics, and as soon as they called me back and said, “John is unresponsive in the bathroom,” Kaya and I threw everything in the car, and what usually takes us two and a half hours without traffic, we made it down there from Los Angeles in an hour and forty-five minutes.

Photo: JPI

I don’t know how you made it down there in one piece. Thank, God!

EVA:  I drove so fast, like literally broke all land speed records and thank God because we got there just in time.  He was in emergency.  He hadn’t been put up in ICU yet, where we wouldn’t have been able to see him.  They weren’t going to let us in the hospital.  Thank God the person answering the door was an All My Children fan.  She was the one saying, “Sorry, no one is allowed in the hospital, no one can come in,” and I was like, “No, no, no, my ex-husband just came in.”  She said, “Was it Edmund?” and I said, “Yes, it was Edmund!”  She said, “Okay, follow me.”  Thank God for All My Children.  Thank God.  So, we followed this woman secretly, and we get to spend a half-hour with him in Emergency.  He was already on life-support, totally unresponsive, but we got to play John his favorite music, we got to just sit there and hold his hand and talk to him, and tell him how much we loved him.  Sarah Michelle Gellar called right when we were in the hospital in Emergency, and she said, “Put the phone by his ear,” so I put the phone by his ear, and she talked to John too, and she told him how much she loved him.  She used to always call him “GP”, which was short of grandpa, because she came on the show when she was 15, and she didn’t have a dad, and John acted like a dad to her – but she used to always call him “grandpa”, and he hated “grandpa”, so he was like, “You can call me “GP”, but not grandpa,” so she always called him GP.  I just put the phone by John’s ear, and what was crazy is that when she talked to him, his feet started twitching.  He started moving his feet.  Then, when Kaya was talking to him about Yankee season, he started moving his feet.  We were kind of hopeful that something was changing for the better.  We had about a half-hour with him, and then, they took him up to ICU, and then, we knew we couldn’t see him again.  They called us later that night that he had passed.

Photo: JPI

I am just so thankful that you got to see John one last time.

READ MORE
One Life to Live Stars Reunite For Online Reunion

EVA:  I thank God every day that we got to say goodbye, because if we hadn’t gotten there in time to say goodbye, I just don’t know.

It’s very rare that a couple after a divorce, who have a child, and went from romance to dear friends, end up maintaining that relationship so many years later in their lives.  I know so many people who were together at one point in their lives, for years, and they don’t even talk to each other now.

EVA:  Well, you know, like any divorce, the first four years afterwards were super contentious but then, by year five, we kind of had this major breakthrough, and from then on, he was one of my closest friends, and one of the things we always kept alive for each other was we loved to  dance together. We fell in love, I think, dancing because originally our characters on AMC met at this country-western bar, and we had to take country line dancing lessons on the show.  They hired a choreographer for us so that during those scenes where we were falling in love, we would actually be able to do a two-step! So, we went out and practiced at Denim and Diamonds, which was a big country-western place in New York City at the time.  We used to go out with a whole group of us.  It was me, and Teresa Blake (Ex-Gloria) and Kelly Ripa, and her boyfriend at the time, Winsor Harmon (Ex-Del), sometimes Walt Willey (Ex-Jack); we just had a whole crew of us who would go out country dancing.  John and I also loved singing together.  He had the most amazing gravely kind of rockstar voice, but his real talent was harmonizing.  He could harmonize to anything.  So, when he would come over, we would sit in the kitchen and sing, and sing, and sing until the late hours because that’s what we loved to do, and that’s what he loved to do.  That’s one of my favorite last memories of us.  He was just over the month before, and Kaya’s bedroom is near the kitchen, so she came out and was like, “Can you two shut up?”  It was like two in the morning and we were still singing in the kitchen. (Laughs)  John was my dear friend and my confidant.

Photo: ABC

Were you able to have some kind of service during this stay-at-home pandemic we are all dealing with, in order to mourn the loss of John?

EVA:  It’s been so crazy.  We couldn’t even have a funeral.  That’s what made it all the more heartbreaking.  There were less than twenty of us, and we just got on a Zoom call and memorialized John.   I thought we were going to do a big Zoom memorial, but it seemed so overwhelming and so impersonal, it just was rubbing us wrong in every way.  Every way we were looking at it, we were like, “Oh my, God, we just can’t.”  We wanted to invite everybody he had ever worked with, and we were like, “No, we want to do that when everything can open back up again, and invite every person, and have a party” because John was always the life of every party.  Maybe we can do that in the fall or next year.  I kept trying to write something for the small memorial we did do for three days.  I kept coming back to this one song, because John was always the consummate bartender, too.  I sang a song that Bette Midler sang on the very last episode of Johnny Carson.  It was “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)” and it’s about a bartender who has got a big personality and a lot to say.   I changed some of the words around a bit just to reflect who John was, and so, I ended up singing for it instead of speaking.  We always talked about that last episode of Carson; how stunningly emotional it was when Bette sang that song to kind of sing Johnny off for of all of his years on the air.  So, that’s what I did and because we loved to sing together, it just made sense.

Photo: HutchinsPhoto

I do think you touched upon something, earlier, too.  I don’t think any other genre would have that kind of unbridled camaraderie.  It’s such a family, like you said.  I don’t think you would find that quite like this; certainly in show business. 

EVA:  I really don’t think you can. Even though there is always a good amount of competition in the soaps as well; between the soaps it’s like they are any sports team, but there is always a level of respect, love, and familial connection within the community.  I think that is why they have stood the test of time.  I really do think that is what hooks our audience, that is what keeps them there after all of these years, even though unfortunately the genre is antiquated looking, there is something about it that is nostalgic, familial, and comfortable for people.

Photo: JPI

Every time I talk about All My Children, why do you think everybody go ga-ga for it, when it’s been off the air for several years now?

EVA:  It speaks to people’s childhoods.  It speaks to how we grew up.  You can’t undo nostalgia.  You can’t.  It’s in the way we grew up, the things we loved, the things that we scheduled our lives around, the people we fell in love with on the shows that we watched, who we cared about and loved their storylines. I grew up watching All My Children, General Hospital, and Days of Our Lives.

It must have been a spectacular moment for you when you realized you were actually in Pine Valley and a member of the cast of All My Children then?

EVA:  It was amazing.  I was a fan when I got the show.  I was a straight up fan.  I fangirled walking through that dressing room hallway for the first time! I was trying to keep it in check, but you know … (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

So, in closing, you would say, “Thrilled to be nominated”?

EVA:  Yes.  So fun.  It has really been a rollercoaster of a couple of months here.  That nomination was literally the bright, shining spot in all of this.

So, happy to hear Eva is in the running for a Daytime Emmy? Were you moved by Eva’s sentiments she shared on her relationship with the late John Callahan? Do you miss Pine Valley’s Dr. Maria Santos? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Continue Reading

Interviews

Y&R’s Tracey E. Bregman and Kimberlin Brown Pelzer Talk the Iconic Battles of Lauren & Sheila

As part of “Villains” theme week on The Young and the Restless, Tracey E. Bregman (Lauren) and Kimberlin Brown Pelzer (Sheila) reunited for a walk down memory lane of one of the greatest and most twisted knock-out drag-out feuds in the history of daytime drama.

The longtime iconic duo talk about many of their storylines; complete with baby switches, notorious catfights, doppelgangers, treachery and more, with Michael Fairman for a very special virtual conversation on The Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube.  Tracy and Kimberlin chatted with Michael from their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo: CBS

During the interview, Kimberlin revealed how: she was originally cast as Sheila, what happened when she thought she was exiting Y&R for good and her run with Sheila was over; only to find out that Bill Bell (C0-Creator, Y&R and B&B) had plans for her to move over to The Bold and the Beautiful and continue playing the role.

In addition, Tracey shares: how some of those iconic fight scenes between the two were physically demanding and tough to do, plus the actresses give us insight into filming some of their most popular scenes; including yesterday’s classic episode that aired (which can now be found on CBS All-Access and CBS.com under season 42) where Sheila wreaks havoc on Lauren and Michael’s (Christian LeBlanc) honeymoon with an assist from “Terrible” Tom played by the late Roscoe Born.

Photo: JPI

Finally, the women weigh-in on what they think a solid storyline would be in 2020 or 2021; if Sheila was to re-emerge in Genoa City and reignite the feud with Lauren and her loved ones!

READ MORE
Y&R's Tracey E. Bregman and Kimberlin Brown Pelzer Talk the Iconic Battles of Lauren & Sheila

Watch the virtual conversation with Tracey and Kimberlin below.  Then let us know, would you want to see Sheila come back to Y&R and cause Tracey and her family some serious trouble? Comment below.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Video du Jour

It’s “Villains Week” on Y&R an that means some Sheila Carter, David Kimball, and Isabella Brana, Check out the promo from CBS Daytime here.  Leave A Comment

The Michael Channel

Recent Comments

Advertisement

Power Performance

Steve Burton as Jason & Maurice Benard as Sonny

General Hospital

Airdate: 5-19/20-2020

Advertisement

Popular