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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………

Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Alum Kevin Spirtas Chats On His Heart-Tugging Series ‘After Forever’ & Love and Life In Your 50s

Filling the void in the digital drama series arena, the eight episodes first season of After Forever (available on Amazon), tackles the journey of a two middle-aged gay men in their 50’s in a deep romantic relationship, and looks at it through its various stages of love, loss, and moving on with one’s life when suddenly your world is turned upside down, when one of them has died.

While the LGBT community has seen other love-centric and dramatic web series, none have really taken a deep dive into the difficulties of starting anew in your 50’s or even older.  Leave it to former Days of our Lives alum and Broadway producer, Kevin Spirtas (Ex-Craig Wesley), along with another DAYS alum, writer, Michael Slade, and the two put their shared experiences, and dramatic ideas into this emotional series, that is not limited to anyone who is gay, but touches on the universal themes that anyone may have, or will experience, at one time in their lives.

Spirtas, brought along with him none some notables for his passion project.  First, none other than former Prospect Park One Life to Live EP, Jennifer Pepperman, to bring his vision to life, and some amazing co-stars: Mitchell Anderson (Ex-Party Of Five), MIchael Urie (Ugly Betty), Cady Huffman (Ex-OLTL), Anita Gillette, Colleen Zenk (Ex-Barbara, ATWT) to  name just a few.

While the series bowed a little over a month ago, if you haven’t taken a look, check out our interview with Spirtas for some juicy insight into the making of and the construct of, After Forever.  Following that, check out the teaser for the series, and the video for the theme song, “My Forever” by Lio Nicol which becomes available tomorrow June 4th on Amazon and iTunes.

Photo Credit/JPI Studios

What was the genesis of the idea for the series?

KEVIN:  Patrika Darbo, came to New York close to 7 years ago. She had called me ahead of time, and said, “I was asked to present at the ISA Awards, and you’re coming with me.”  She was getting very involved in the world of the web series. I looked at this amazing presentation of content that was being shown at the ISA’s.  I was blown away. It was better than half the stuff on TV, theater, or film. At that point, I made a mad rush for a gentleman by the name of Sebastian La Cause.  Sebastian had won several awards that night and his material was so well presented, and beautifully shot, and his acting was very unique.

Sebastian La Cause was the star of the web series Hustling, right?

KEVIN:  Yes, it was Hustling, the first season.  I went up to him and I said, “I’m Kevin Spirtas. I’m an actor, I did a soap …”  He goes, “Kevin, I know who you are.” I was starstruck, and impressed, and inspired, because he is exactly the kind of person I want to work with.  He is talented, and creative and I want to work with those kind of people. I said to him, “If you do a second season, I’d love to be considered for anything you might be doing.”  Wouldn’t you know? He wrote me in. I fell in love with the story. I was very clear to me, that you have to start creating for yourself, because creating your own content in this industry now is king.  The third season of Hustling then crossed me over to appearing in Winterthorne.  That was also the first year that NATAS opened up the judging to the digital world.  I got nominated for an Emmy. It inspired me to start thinking about, ‘What do I know?  What do I have in my life that I feel is worth sharing and putting out there to help heal, or inspire?’  I had been producing in New York City for 3 years at this point.

Photo Credit/JPI Studios

It becomes every performer’s concern, as they get older, that they can still be considered for the roles they would like to play.  Sometimes, actors can grow into the types of roles, and sometimes they’ve expired past those types of roles. Was creating After Forever also a way to re-enter being part of the conversation?

KEVIN:  Well, I was hoping to write something for myself … because I just didn’t see the roles coming toward me anymore.  My name wasn’t on them as I imagined them or had seen them in the past. I was worried about that. I thought, “If I have a chance to keep working, I’ve got to keep current.”

And somehow, you and Michael Slade ran into each other, and thus, a collaboration began that would eventually turn into After Forever?

Courtesy/AfterForever

KEVIN:  Then, I ran into Michael Slade at a gym… I had never met him before, he was a writer on Days as I was leaving the show.  And I remember saying to myself, “wouldn’t it be great to work with somebody, and see what kind of story we could come up with?”  Unbeknownst to me, Michael, at that particular time in his life, was working on the very same type of story and idea about what it’s like to be who he is, at his age, where he’s at, and what he knows.  I pitched him this idea: “I think there’s some really funny ideas I could express to the world about my experience as a single gay man at this point.” He said, “Call me.” In short, he was living life as a single gay man, and I was living life as a single gay man, and that’s how After Forever was born.  Michael had the experience of losing his long-time partner of 25 years.  There’s a part in the story where Brian and Jason are going along and they have everything in their life that they could possibly want, and then they don’t, because Jason is diagnosed with cancer and it takes him away.

Do we see Jason die in this?

KEVIN:  You just might! … It’s how we incorporated him in the story…

Courtesy/AfterForever

After Forever bounces back and forth in time, obviously, that was part of the unique structure of the storytelling?

KEVIN:  It does do that.  It tells the story through a lot of present, and a lot of flashbacks.  There is also the present with Brian, and his memory of Jason. As Brian is going through the next chapter of his life as a single man, he has to look at his life and learn how to continue to love even though the person’s not there.  When someone dies, the love doesn’t die, the relationship doesn’t die, it keeps growing on a certain level. So, if he turns around, and he sees him, is it real? Is it him working it out in his own mind? It’s a tool to tell more story …

Tell me about casting Mitchell Anderson?  He had retired and moved to Atlanta, and he ends up playing the love of Brian’s life.

Courtesy/AfterForever

KEVIN:  When Michael and I were writing, we threw out, “Who do you think would play this part?”  One day, I just dropped the name “Mitchell Anderson” I said, “I just see him as Jason.” Michael said to me, “Kevin, he’s retired.”  I just knew Mitchell and I had great history in the business. We started off as actors together in class. He went one direction, I went another, then he left the business, but I just felt there was something about his persona – not to mention his talent – his unique humor, his sensibility, and style, so I said, “I think we should ask him.”  We did. Mitchell said, “Okay, Kevin. Let me read the script.” He called back immediately after receiving it, and said, “I would love to do this!” I have not stopped thanking him every day. He’s so good in it.

The main character of Brian goes on this journey: he meets other guys, some appear younger than others! (Laughs)

KEVIN:  It’s a year after Jason is gone, Brian is trying to settle into his new life, but he’s guilty that his partner has died.  He has sadness, grief, and so much love for Jason that he’s having trouble moving forward, and everyone is trying to push him forward.  Brian is not necessarily ready, but sometimes his body is ready, while emotionally, he’s not. It’s how we deal with all that navigation of seeing good-looking guys.  He meets a guy in the middle of the series, and it starts to open up the doors. That’s the beauty of what happens when he starts to let himself open up to the possibilities.  There are some great rollercoaster moments that you’ll see.

Would you do another season of After Forever?

KEVIN:  Oh, my God!  Michael and I have already started to script out seasons 2 and 3.

Courtesy/AfterForever

Middle-aged gay men do have it rough in the relationship department, if they’re not already partnered up by this point in their life.  Younger guys think they’re over the hill, older guys aren’t necessarily interested either, and unfortunately, the LGBTQ community is unforgiving to community if you’re not young and pretty, and not in your 20s or 30s. There aren’t a lot of LGBT-oriented shows out there like this.  On that level, I think the concept of the show is an important story to tell.

KEVIN:  We were absolutely committed to writing not just another gay story.  We’ve seen those. I think the beauty of After Forever is that it’s not just a gay story- even though it’s told through two gay men… but, it’s a story about love … it’s a story about loss.  Everyone is going to have to deal with this in their life.

Courtesy/AfterForever

Dealing with loss is part of the circle of life, whether it’s a parent, a child, a lover, a friend, or your longtime partner. Many in the LGBT community succumbed to AIDS in the ‘80s and ‘90s, which was a pivotal moment in the gay movement.

KEVIN:  We lost half of our community.  We lost half of our brothers. To jump back to that history with Mitchell, he and I had so many mutual friends who aren’t here anymore.  We would look at the scene that was at hand, take a breath, look at each other, and they’d say “action” and we’d step into these people. Yes, it’s gay themed, because it’s told by two leading male characters who are gay.  But, I have heard more people in the last two months since this has come out, who have not only stopped and said, “Thank you for writing such a wonderful story about love and loss, and new beginnings, but also, what it’s like to have to confront that loss.” They also went on to say, “For so many years, gay people have had to watch the heterosexual world. People are trying to fit themselves into our world now, into our story, and how they would feel navigating it.”

Michael Urie is in it too? And you have some pretty accomplished people in your cast.  

Courtesy/AfterForever

KEVIN:  Yes, there’s Michael Urie, Cady Huffman who sings in one of the episodes.  Tere is a scene in episode 3 that it still floors me, I can’t watch it without losing it.  Then, there’s Anita Gillette, Lenny Wolpe, David Dean Bottrell. Everyone is perfect, and everyone was able to show up, and everyone delivered a million percent.

What’s the response you’ve been getting from people who have watched After Forever?  You mentioned it’s been very positive.  

KEVIN:  Everyone has been touched.  The majority who have seen this, are just moved to tears and full of excitement.

I saw that Jennifer Pepperman, ex-executive producer of One Life to Live, directed your series.  What was it like working with Jen?

Courtesy/AfterForever

KEVIN:  We had a lot of people who we could have pulled from.  Jennifer came up in conversation, because she had sent Michael an invitation to go see her new short film that she had done with Austin Peck (Ex-Austin, Days) and his wife, Teri Conn (Ex-Katie, ATWT).  I said, “Maybe if I go see the show and I like it, I can introduced myself to Jennifer.”  I called him right after and I said, “If we don’t get her, we’re crazy!” She’s so good. What she did is perfection.  We shot the whole thing like a movie. It was shot in 12 days. She knew everything she wanted to do and it shows in the edit.  And, this extraordinarily, talented girl named Colleen Kwok, who was the director of photography. She’s the real thing. She got it.  She got the style we were going for immediately.

So, we want to tell people to binge watch the series on Amazon.

KEVIN:  Binge it, or make it last for 15 days…

How many hankies will I need for this? 10? 5?

Courtesy/AfterForever

KEVIN:  I say Kleenex is not included … Anybody who has ever loved, anybody who has ever lost, must see this show, because it unifies all of us, it shows us that we are the same.  It shows us that we still have love in our lives, regardless of if that person is gone, the relationship never ends, it never dies. That’s what people are getting from this.  That’s what people are taking away from it. You and I were raised with the symbols of a straight world and how we had to fit into that certain way of life. That’s changed now.  We have Will & Grace … we have RuPaul … all these great things that are illustrating our diversity.  Now, people are going, “it’s just a story being told.”

What was Mitchell’s reaction when he saw the final product?

KEVIN:  We saw it together…We just sat there and cried.  It’s hard. Especially, the first two episodes and the last two episodes.  We served it up, Michael, we served it up!

Courtesy/AfterForever

I think you spoke to a greater issue, as you move through this career, you have to remain relevant as things change.  So, you’ve dipped yourself into this pool and now you can do more.

KEVIN:  I hope so.  You and I talked about this along time ago, when I first started on Days Of Our Lives, it was still a different world.

It was so different back then.  Actors couldn’t be out. There was still that stigma that if the audience at home knew they were gay, they wouldn’t buy into what they were portraying.

KEVIN:  That’s where I kind of worked it out, because I didn’t pretend not to be me, I just wasn’t very open about everything in my life.  Not that I still am. There’s certain things that I don’t talk about, because it’s not relevant, or it’s no one’s business.

So, do you get the obligatory question, “What’s a guy like you doing being single”? (Laughs)

KEVIN:  Michael said to me one day, “How come a guy like you is single?”  I made a joke out of it and said, “Have you seen me eat? Come on!”

So, intrigued to check out After Forever? What do you think about its central theme looking at what happens when one loses their partner at middle-age and more?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GH’s Laura Wright and Wes Ramsey Talk Their Love Connection & The Demands Of Daytime

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

After presenting for the first time together, at the 45th Annual Daytime Emmys since they’ve been a couple, Laura Wright (Carly) and Wes Ramsey (Peter aka Henrik) of General Hospital have certainly been in the throes of a romantic, fun, and cherished relationship. The two former stars of Guiding Light reconnected last year at Emmy time. Now, sharing their over one year anniversary, Michael Fairman TV caught up with Laura and Wes to get some insight into what makes their relationship work amidst the hustle and bustle, and pace of both being on a network television daytime drama series, and with the pressures of Hollywood where often relationships between two actors seem to start hot and heavy but then fizzle out.

If you caught this week’s GH, you witnessed that the town of Port Charles has found out that Peter is the notorious Cesar Faison’s son, and the ramifications that will be felt for weeks and months and potentially years to come. Meanwhile, Carly is in all sorts of trouble, thanks to naughty Nelle (Chloe Lanier). Nelle is making Carly look awfully unstable and what happens next could change Carly’s life forever.

So, what do these two lovebirds have to say about their relationship and their passion for working on the soaps? Check out what they had to share below. 

Wes, you had met Laura originally years ago on Guiding Light.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Wes: Yes, 15 years ago in New York.

And what did you think of her then?

Wes: Well, I was smitten, but I had to keep it to myself.

You had to keep it under wraps, huh?

Wes: Yep!

Laura: I was married then.

Wes: She was pregnant with her second child.

Laura: And he’s a good Kentucky boy.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Wes: Uh-huh! But we would run lines in the green room and I would try very hard to make sure she didn’t catch me staring at her… too often. But we laughed, and had great conversation.

Laura: I would always say, “Wes, will you run lines with me?,” because I would want to run my lines.

Wes: We never had story together, but she always knew I was game to hang out with her for a moment.

It’s good when you’re in a relationship with someone and you can laugh with them. You seem to be able to do that a lot!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Laura: Oh, gosh. I think that’s all we do.

Wes: Yes, yes, yes, yes…

Laura: Like, we belly laugh. It gets to the point where people would think we were ridiculous. We’ll say things and just think it’s the funniest thing ever and people would be like, “You guys have a problem …” and we’re like, “Yeah.” (Laughs)

Laura, and then he comes back into your life years later…

Wes: That’s right, it was Emmy weekend 2017.

Laura: I totally was not expecting it at all. Even when I gave him my number I walked away going “huh…”

You mean you thought he wouldn’t call?

Laura: No, I didn’t feel that… because he hit on me hard. He’ll tell you that.

Wes: I still am hitting on her.

Laura: I remember I walked away quick after he got my number. I was like, “Oh, my God … I gotta go.”

Courtesy/Instagram

Wes: There was an assertiveness on my part that was for sure 15 years in the making. I did not expect to run into her. I also did not expect for her to tell me that she was recently single. In that split second, it was one of those, “stop the presses!” moments. Like, you need to give me your number, I’m taking you to dinner.

Laura: I go, “Oh, be quiet! Are you like, 32, because I can’t do that.” (Laughs)

Wes: And I said, “Far from it.”

Laura: He’s like, “I’m getting ready to be 40.” And I’m like, “I can do that!”

Then, on top of all of this, Wes, you land a primo role on General Hospital. That of Henrik aka Peter, Cesar Faison’s son.

Photo Credit: Courtesy/ABC

Wes: Yes, a dream come true.

Laura: I’m going to jump in and say it’s a role that he worked all on his own for. He had to screen test against 8 plus guys, 3 different auditions, 2 different days.

Wes: That’s true.

Laura: I can’t say strong enough that the best actor got the role. Meaning, Wesley is so talented and has the ability to give this character the depth, and emotion, and layers that it needs to tell the story that needs to be told. I just think he’s incredible.

So, did you know from the get-go who you were going to be playing?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Wes: I did not.

Laura: I did! (Laughs)

Wes: I’m thrilled that the writers have been giving me such incredible material to dive into.   Each month that goes by, it becomes more and more complex, and more and more layered and intense. I love the depth… I love the conflicts… I love the humanity… I love the desperation… I love the psychology behind it. It’s a very interesting story and a great journey to tell.

Laura: I was getting ready to say, where you mentally have to go to be the son of Faison and Anna Devane (Finola Hughes)! To blend that together is amazing. It’s incredible to watch.

You used to run lines together on Guiding Light. Do you run lines together now on GH? It’s like a full circle moment.

Laura: We do, and we carpool.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Wes: Something we were trying to manifest together. We thought it would be a lot of fun to work together one day.

Laura: The last week we worked, we didn’t. He worked all afternoon. I worked all morning. I was like, “Are they doing this on purpose?” I was so mad! I was like, “Why are you in the afternoon everyday?” (Laughs)

Wes: She lost her chauffeur. (Laughs)

Laura: I did! He always drives us to work. I also love when we both have afternoon calls, because we love having mornings together. So, I didn’t get my morning, nor did I have my chauffeur!

So, two actors can have a good relationship? You see so many Hollywood relationships with actors and they go bust. But that’s not always the case …

Wes: Oh, my God, yes.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Laura: I’m going to say this; I think I can see it being more difficult for daytime actors, because the work we do is so intense. I know the weeks he’s getting ready to go into, and I’m getting ready to go into. Where we go emotionally and psychologically to tell these stories, on the level that we tell them, as quick as we tell them, you kind of have to become really in a headspace. The fact that we can …

Wes: … the long hours …

Laura: Yes, and exhaustion! You really have to go, “Wow! It’s not about me right now. It’s about us individually as actors.” Thank God, we know the workload. I know what he’s getting ready to go through.

Wes: I have always had so much respect for Laura’s work. On Guiding Light, I’ve always been in awe of what she’s capable of doing. So, the level of respect is obviously there. But also, the understanding whatever it is that you need from a personal assistant in one moment… or a life partner in another moment … or a best friend in moment … or whatever it is in order to get through the day-to-day and the week-to-week, so we can do what we love to do. We know we’re very lucky to have the opportunity to do what we love.

Courtesy/welcometolaurasworld Instagram

Laura was such a great co-host on my Soap Nation Live! Daytime Emmy Nomination Specials, in particular when she talks about acting. It’s so rewarding to hear the other actors who are guests on the show listening to what Laura has to say about her craft and respecting the hell out of her.

Wes: Without a doubt. You can’t watch her work and not be in awe. It speaks for itself.

Laura: I just love the journey of going to the places that we go; to bleed for it.

Wes: Leave it all out on the floor.

Laura: I know that process. So, when I see another actor that’s bleeding, I just bow to them, because I know what it takes to go there. I know the work that Wesley does. When I see that he’s spent at the end of the day, I’m like, “Babe, I so get it.” So, I can see where it could be really difficult for people that haven’t been there, because it’s a lot of work and you’re spent. It’s hard! For us, that works.

What do you think of Laura and Wes’ love connection? What do you think of the latest developments for GH’s Carly and Henrik? Comment below.

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Interviews

EXCLUSIVE: 45th Annual Daytime Emmys Winners & Backstage Video Interviews!

Photo : MF Soaps Inc

The 45th Annual Daytime Emmys are in the record books.  And as previously reported, it was a big night for NBC’s Days of our Lives taking Outstanding Drama Series, Writing and Directing in a Drama Series Awards, plus top acting nods to James Reynolds (Abe) and Greg Vaughan (Eric).

Behind the scenes while the ceremony continued on-stage, and as the night’s big winners and several presenters were whisked away backstage following their victory, they took to the Winner’s Walk and chatted with Michael Fairman who got their reactions to winning the gold, or presenting important moments of the night during the live-stream broadcast.

From DAYS Deidre Hall (Marlena), Dr. Oz, The Ladies of The Talk, and GH’Chris Van Etten to DAYS head scribe Ron Carlivati, to Y&R’s actress winners: Eileen Davidson (Ashley) and Camryn Grimes (Mariah), and GH’s Chloe Lanier (Nelle, Vernee Watson (Stella) and more now you can watch the complete backstage series of conversations on The Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube.  Make sure to “subscribe” for these and more celebrity interviews.

After the jump, check out some of the winners and backstage interviews with Michael.  You can also go directly to the video you are looking to view, by clicking on the blue hyperlink on the interviewees name. (more…)

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Video du Jour

This week, Nick lost temporary custody of Christian leading to a defiant and emotional turn by Joshua Morrow (Nick) as he has to say farewell to the little boy he has come to love as his own son, and give him to his father, Victor, who wanted and was granted custody of the child. Watch the hankie-inducing moment! Leave A Comment

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Joshua Morrow as Nick

The Young and the Restless

Airdate: 6-14-2018

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