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The Ron Carlivati Interview – One Life to Live

© JPI Studios

Photo Credit: Steven Bergman

If you are tuning in to One Life to Live these days (and if you are not, you should get with it and get on the bandwagon, folks)  you are witness to one incredible complex mystery filled with more twists and turns and ups and downs then even the fiercest of rollercoasters at your favorite amusement park. We can only be talking about the mystery of the “Two Todds!”

With the announcement that Daytime Emmy winner Roger Howarth would be returning to Llanview after more than eight years, that set the stage for OLTL’s Emmy winning head writer, Ron Carlivati, to develop and construct a riveting tale of what would happen if a man with the original Todd’s face (scar and all) returned to Llanview to reclaim his life, while another Todd, who as far we know, also believes he is Todd (and has had his face reconstructed to look like someone else!) and is running around town being the father and husband to his beloved family. Will the real Todd please stand up?

Now Carlivati and company have brought the story to an exciting boiler point on tomorrow’s episode of OLTL when all characters and roads lead to the “Vicker Man” premiere and thus the stage is set for an entrance by Roger’s Todd to the shock and awe of his family and enemies!  On-Air On-Soaps caught up with Ron Carlivati to take us through the confusing and yet exciting elements that make the “Tale of the Two Todds” must see daytime television and to give us his insight and a preview of what is to come!

We also get the head scribe’s thoughts on the heartbreaking news that OLTL was canceled by ABC and will be ending its network television run after 43 years, and then the surprising turn of events which now has One Life being given another life to live with its upcoming move to the web to continue the story. With so many obstacles, changes, and hurdles to deal with including the exit of one of the show’s most popular actors, Trevor St. John (Todd), Carlivati has had to be a quick change artist at times. But from our chat below, he informs us it’s all now on course, and he is excited for all of you to see how it all plays out!

MICHAEL:

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With the “Two Todds” story, was that difficult to plot out because you did not know if Roger or Trevor were coming or going?  Did it kind of morph and change?

RON:

I have got to admit it was tricky.  I gambled a little bit when we started laying some stuff in with Tomas and the CIA files, and this was before Roger has signed on.  I had a backup plan if there was no reveal of Roger, but it ended up working out beautifully with Roger agreeing to come back to One Life to Live. And, we were able to flip it in and we were then able to make it all sort of make sense.  That was really the beginning of the whole story, that is: which one of these guys is the real Todd Manning?  And, I had envisioned we would have two Todds on the canvas for a long time to come.

MICHAEL:

That is what I thought, too!  I know how you write, so I thought having two Todds on the show at the same time was the really cool thing of it.

RON:

Right, and you have this great story of which guy is Todd?  But, once that question is answered you could have both guys on the canvas and tons and tons of story that could be generated from that. Unfortunately, Trevor St. John decided not to stay.  So I had more of a timeline of how to play out the story and how to get the most out of how I could milk having both Todd’s, sort of speak, on the canvas, until one had to exit the canvas, meaning Trevor.  I really in some ways tried to go with it whole-hog and blow through the story and get everything out of having both guys on the canvas.

MICHAEL:

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Right, but if you had your druthers, you would have liked to have had it play out a lot longer having both Todd’s in Llanview.

RON:

Exactly, because you see how rich that story is and it is just starting a rivalry that could last for years to come.  Unfortunately, I did not have that luxury, but either way it generated tons and tons of story and the show is going to remain really exciting even with Trevor’s exit.

MICHAEL:

Did you want Roger Howarth to come back as soon as you knew As the World Turns was going off the air?

RON:

Yeah, that was such a terrible thing to lose that show, but then there was a little part of me that went, “Oh my gosh!  We could possibly have Roger Howarth back.”  And you see how long that actually took to happen.  But, it is something that I always really wanted because I had an idea of how there could be two Todd’s on the canvas.  It’s such a fun story to tell, and while far out in some ways, it really just affects a family and how it will tear them apart, and then ultimately bring them back together.  It has got that Sci-fi crazy aspect of: how can there be two guys with the same name, if not the same face.  It really comes down to the relationships and the emotions and what does it do to Tea, Blair, and Starr, and what does it do to Viki?

MICHAEL:

Was there ever a moment when you were with your writing team going, “What the hell are we going to do here?” (Laughs)

RON:

Courtesy/ABC

I had an idea at the beginning, but when you get into the nitty gritty that is when you are like, “Ok, but how do we explain this?  And how does Walker Laurence fit into it?  And how does the fact that we have a DNA test fit into it?”  And you take all those pieces and you try to make a story that can make as much logical sense as humanly possible, given the situation.  I have got to say, it was a challenge and a lot of fun.  It was exciting as much for us as the audience, seeing Roger return, and the two guys coming face-to-face and now the anticipation of the rest of Todd Mannings family and loved ones, seeing Roger Howarth’s character.

MICHAEL:

And then …. You don’t know who to believe!

RON:

Exactly, you don’t know what Trevor’s Todd knows, and you are along for the ride. And with each little step it gets more exciting, in my humble opinion. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Many fans are upset that Trevor has left the show early before it concludes on network television.  As the head writer, how do you feel about Trevor St. John’s work as Todd?  I loved it.  Did you?

RON:

Oh absolutely!  And while Trevor has been a different Todd, he has been a fantastic Todd.  I was excited about having both guys on the canvas as viable characters regardless of what we would be calling them.  So yes, in no way was I chomping at the bit to get Roger back so that I could replace Trevor with him.  I always thought it could be great and we could have both guys.  And that was what was exciting for me, to be able to tell “The Battle of the Todds” story.

MICHAEL:

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With a nod to fans who love Trevor and those who love Roger, can we possibly hope no one will end up being a true bad guy as Todd?

RON:

Bottom line is: Todd Manning is sort of a bad guy.  So there is going to be that part of it no matter what.  I understand what you are asking.  Will everyone be happy?  I don’t know about that.  We can’t necessarily make everyone happy.  People feel strongly that they want one guy to be Todd and that one is an imposter.  I think as far as that goes, the way it is resolved should make a lot of people happy, and I know there are some things that will probably upset certain fan bases, but that is part of the storytelling.

MICHAEL:

On Friday’s air show, a lot happens at the “Vicker Man” Premiere!

RON:

Yes, the “Vicker Man” premiere is sort of the backdrop for everything.

MICHAEL:

A Ron Carlivati special… that is what I call it… (Laughs) where every story is interwoven and intertwined and then “bam!”  So, what we have here is, this should be the first time that the Manning family sees two Todds?

RON:

© JPI Studios

Exactly!  And I always had that image and I did not know it would be at the “Vicker Man” premiere, but I always felt it should be one of those big soapy kind of events with everybody dressed up.  And, I imagined the heads turning in slow motion when Roger’s Todd walks in the door.  I wanted that big impact of when he walks into a crowded room and the shock on everyone’s face!

MICHAEL:

And there are always DNA tests on soaps.  And in particular, Ron, there are lots of bungled DNA tests on One Life to Live! What is up with that? (Laughs)

RON:

I know.  On our show our lab is very busy and should probably be shut down by the department of health! (Laughs)  So DNA will figure dramatically into the story.

MICHAEL:

OK now, “Hold the Diploma”, the porno movie starring Nate and Deena.  Did you come up with that hilarious title?  Clearly this figures in prominently to the “Vicker Man” premiere!

RON:

I will be honest.  It started off as the original movie that tied in with the Eddie Ford murder, that was actually called, “Hold the Sausage” and Standards and Practices would not allow the title of “Hold the Sausage” but for some reason they were OK with “Hold the Pepperoni”! (Laughs) I was not exactly sure why, other than it was more accessible? (Laughs) So then when we were moving forward into this other porno movie, we came up with a spin-off which came from one of my other writers that said, “We like the “Hold the…” idea, and because Nate was graduating from High School, one of the other writers came up with “Hold the Diploma”.

MICHAEL:

So “Hold the Diploma” somehow gets mixed up with “Vicker Man”?

RON:

© Steven Bergman

It is a publicity stunt on Rick’s part that sets this in motion.

MICHAEL:

Rick is thinking this will be great for himself to sabotage the “Vicker Man” premiere?

RON:

Rick thinks this will be great for himself and what better publicity than this big red carpet premiere and that his work that he is very proud of will be seen.  So he is handing out DVD’s at the movie premiere.  And so, when all of Llanview is gathered and David and Dorian introduce their new movie, and of course Nate and Dani and all of her family are sitting there, Nate’s work appears on the screen. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

And there is big fallout from that!

RON:

There is big fallout from that, and what was fun about doing that premiere, you know, was that we had the big story that everyone was waiting for which is Roger Howarth’s Todd, to walk into this party, but yet at the same time, having some fun with some of these other stories along the way.  It is the “Hold the Diploma” group, and there is also a big reveal with Rama and Vimal and Vimal’s parents. They did not know that Rama and Vimal are split up and that Rama is not pregnant.  Rama shows up at the party with sort of a fake pregnancy to show proof for Vimal.  So it is kind of comedic, but it is also very sweet and romantic, with Rama trying to make it up to Vimal.

MICHAEL:

Is there hope for Rama and Vimal?

© Steven Bergman

RON:

Absolutely!  We took a little detour with Cristian, but I think for Rama her marriage to Vimal was an arranged marriage, and in some ways she thought she never got to experience life.  We also know she has got dreams of being rich and having everything.  She lost sight of what she really had.  Rama had stars in her eyes when she was with big hunky Cristian, and she kind of forgot what was important for her. We are now trying to get back to that here.  I actually didn’t know Vimal and Rama would take off the way it did.

MICHAEL:

It’s shocking, right? Who knew?

RON:

Some of that was written before we cast the people, and then we saw Vimal and Rama together. We had already shipped Vimal off to prison and we already started the Rama and Cristian thing and then realized Vimal and Rama were really popular.  So we started to veer the story of getting Vimal out of jail and getting them back together and trying to resolve the Cristian and Rama relationship. There is hope for Rama and Vimal, and there is a fun thing that happens at the premiere with the Patel’s.

MICHAEL:

There is this other matter at the “Vicker Man” premiere of Rex running around with a gun!  I have got to tell you how amazing John-Paul Lavoisier (Rex) has been. Everything you have given him surrounding Gigi’s death, he delivered!

RON:

© JPI Studios

Yes. When we discussed the story with Gigi dying, and where it would take Rex which was to a pretty dark place, there was some concern expressed that what people love about Rex is his funny sense of humor, and his relationship with Bo, and all of that. And while I agree and I think all of that stuff is great, I felt he would be able to do this also.  I thought it would be great to explore another side of that character, and you know that other side of Rex is always going to be there and will eventually come back.  JP has really been amazing.  And, we have taken the character of Rex down this dark path where he has been fixated by revenge, and that is why he sells Gigi’s heart and he takes Clint’s money, because he thinks money and power are the way to get back at Todd and Jack.  And then, the night of the party he turns on the TV.  Rex is in a particularly down place over Gigi and he sees Todd and Jack yucking it up on the red carpet at the premiere, and it sets him off.  He is contemplating this gun and it sort of sets him off on why they get to walk around free.  And, why does Jack get to have a mother when Shane doesn’t have a mother?  Why does Todd have a wife when I don’t have a wife?  He heads to the party with a gun and we don’t know if he intends on using it on Jack, on Blair, on Tea, and so that is happening simultaneously with a lot of the fun stuff around that, and also with the fact that Roger’s Todd is headed to the party.

MICHAEL:

With two Todd’s being at the party and having to write Blair and Tea’s reactions, what were you thinking would be appropriate?  How do they play into this? Are they integral to figuring out who the real Todd is?

RON:

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It is a challenge, because on one hand you want to have a big group moment when Roger’s Todd walks in. But, at the same time you want everybody to have their own reaction.  For example, as you will see, we purposely did not bring Viki to the premiere because I did not want to water down everyone’s reaction, and I wanted to give Viki her own moment when she see’s Roger.  I think we made it more about the immediate Manning family, and I think I wanted to preserve how the Viki and Todd relationship is so special, that I wanted to give it its own moment.  And also, when you have hundreds of people running around in a big party scene like that, it does help limit how far you can go, to some extent.  I think Erika Slezak (Viki) was actually pleased to some extent that I did not make her stand around at the party scenes for four days on end!  We really centered those moments at the party on Blair’s reaction, Tea’s reaction, and Starr’s reaction and Jack’s reaction.  Everybody gets their shocked reaction, and it is not just somebody returning from the dead, because Todd Manning is already standing there with them.  So it is not, Oh thank God, “Todd Manning, you are alive,” and they throw their arms around him. They don’t know who this guy is!

MICHAEL:

Like…. could he be this man with a reconstructed face with a scar on it like Todd’s original face?

RON:

Exactly! You have both guys insisting they are Todd.

MICHAEL:

It’s hard when you think of Trevor’s Todd.  He has loved his kids no matter what he has done.  So for the viewers it has been, “What the hell is going on?  Does he really love Jack and Starr if he is a fake?”

RON:

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Yes and that was clearly real.  I think to say that he has been acting that does not make a lot of sense. So our story tries to take that into account.

MICHAEL:

And Sam is Trevor’s Todd kid, right?  Sam was conceived when Margaret Cochran raped Trevor’s Todd.  Now, I am getting confused! (Laughs)

RON:

Assuming everybody is who they say and who they look to be.  But Sam was conceived when Todd had Trevor’s face.  So if Roger is Todd, the other kids are his.

MICHAEL:

The character of Tomas is he really one of the keys to the mystery, or is he your red-herring in the story?  How did you construct him, because we are all thinking to ourselves, “What is his deal?”  We know he was, or is with the CIA.

RON:

That is a true thing, but there is a little more to it than just that.  He does know a crucial piece of the Todd puzzle and he reveals a little bit more to Blair on the night of the party deeper than, “I was just in the CIA.”  We learn a little more of what his mission was and what he has been hiding from all of them about these two Todds.  Obviously, it will have a big impact on his relationship with Blair and with Tea.  But everybody’s life is about to get a lot more complicated.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

John McBain is sleuthing around and putting together some pieces to the puzzle. And usually he is not a dummy, except for the fact he can’t figure out Liam is his kid. (Laughs)  So, will he be integral to figuring the “Two Todds” mystery?

RON:

Yes. Well, John’s mind is very analytical and he feels there is an answer to this.  John is removed from this emotionally, so he can step back and look at this and be like, “What could be the answer here?”  So he is going to be a big part of who turns out to be Todd but it won’t solely be him. Viki will have a big part in figuring out which guy is which. Viki does hold a key to the whole reveal, and Tomas as well. They will all help unravel this whole thing.

MICHAEL:

When you saw Roger Howarth back on-screen, did you think, “This is amazing!”  Or, that he picked up right where he left off in the role he originated?

RON:

I was thrilled!  And actually, so many years have gone by you forget how good he is in scenes where he is just talking to himself!  And the scenes with Sam we just had so much fun with, and just trying to come up with ways of having Roger’s Todd interact with everybody without yet revealing him to everyone in Llanview, like Sam’s birthday party and that type of stuff.

MICHAEL:

I loved the “Spidey” Man stuff!  So cute and funny!

RON:

Patrick Gibbons Jr., the little boy that plays Sam is adorable. He knows all his lines and he is so much fun.  I think it was just a great addition to the story because he is like the interesting one, because he does not share the same father necessarily as the other kids.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

When the cancellation was handed down by ABC of One Life to Live, how did it change how you were writing this “Tale of the Two Todds” as far as the timing of it?

RON:

I think it came on the heels of Roger Howarth signing on with us.  So it was like, “Yay” we can have Todd and tell this story, and even though I knew we had a limited time with Trevor St. John, I still felt that Roger would continue.  And then there was the… “Oh, but the show is ending.”  So of course, it takes the wind out of your sails a little bit.  It does make you consider the pace of the story, but of course now it has been all thrown up in the air again! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

I wanted to address some things with you, which I call, “The elephant in the room.” I so wanted to reach out to you when the show got canceled, because I know how much you love One Life to Live.  I also know how much it meant to you personally to head write this show. The show has been unbelievable, and holding at number three in the ratings and pretty stellar for almost over a year now where all the stories have really come together.  I was wondering what went through your mind when you found out One Life was canceled, and all of a sudden there is this reprieve that the show will continue online.  Now, we don’t know all the particulars and many issues have not been worked out, but it is a positive thing that the series is moving online. What are your thoughts on this rollercoaster ride?

RON:

Of course, when we heard it was canceled it was devastating.  We had heard rumors.  So you try to prepare yourself, but I don’t think anything prepares you when you hear the words out loud.  So it was definitely a blow for everyone that works here, not just for me.  It was a grieving process for us all.  It was like a death.  I am sure other people have said this to you and it may seem like a cliché’, but it was really true that we went through all the stages of grief over losing the show.  And kind of like right when you are coming to terms with acceptance, and you are achieving that and going “OK, I am at peace with it. We are going out on top. We are going out with good ratings and a good solid show, and I know where everything’s going and I know how it’s going to end,” and then this happens and it changes everything.  Obviously, I am thrilled by the idea that the show can continue.  But it was a surprise and I have to adjust not only the way I am feeling and thinking, but how I am writing the show as well, because it is not the end.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

Right, because now you have to leave certain stories perhaps open-ended and cliff-hanged.

RON:

So it is a matter of trying to give it some fitting closure for having been on network television, while at the same time not ending the show because it’s going to continue.

MICHAEL:

Are you hopeful that this will be a great step for soap operas in going to the Internet?

RON:

The prospect of it is very exciting.  There are so many unknowns and I am not educated enough on it to speak about it.  It’s just information I don’t have.  But the idea of it continuing in some new form is very exciting and it does make you feel like, “Now I know what Irna Phillips felt like when her show was going from radio to television.”  And that seemed like, how can that happen?  And yet it did.  So that does give us hope that this new medium could be a great positive thing.  I am excited to see what happens.  I spoke with Agnes Nixon and it was very heartwarming!  I mean, she had to deal with finding out that the two shows she created were going to end.  And to put myself in her shoes…(a) how she must have felt that both shows were going to end and then (b) that they are not necessarily going to end.  I felt, I think happiest for her in a lot of ways.

MICHAEL:

Now was Agnes Nixon going to consult with you on the ending on One Life to Live as she has been with All My Children?

RON:

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You know, she has always been more intimately involved in All My Children, and has been for a really long time. Agnes has always been really wonderful and supportive of me.  I was sort of biding my time and letting her work with the writers on the ending of that show, but I did plan to consult with her on how I was going to wrap up One Life to Live.

MICHAEL:

Because it was her creation and you wanted to be respectful of her?

RON:

Of course, and I had to actually get to the point of writing the end of OLTL and it’s actually changing a little bit.  But she is someone that I am always in contact with, and again, has been so great to me.  I am excited for her with what is happening now with Prospect Park.

MICHAEL:

What would you say to fans of OLTL on why to tune into Friday’s pivotal episode, and even after that, with the “Two Todds” story?

RON:

It is like, you are peeling away the layers of the onion, and this beat is a major step in the story of everyone seeing Roger’s Todd.  But there is just something new every day.  There is everybody seeing him, and then when Viki sees him, and then the whole, “How can there be two Todds?”  It just continues to unfold and you don’t want to miss a day.  It’s a great story.

MICHAEL:

Were there any particular moments during the taping of the “Vicker Man” premiere, that when you saw your script played out during taping, you just had to pinch yourself because you really liked how the beats played out?

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RON:

As far as the premiere, there are a couple of outrageous moments that I did see on tape, but I have not seen the whole thing edited together.  But beside the shocking moment of Roger walking into the party, there are some other things in the Rama and Vimal story, and the “Hold the Diploma” story, that are really hilarious!

MICHAEL:

By the way, lest we forget, are David and Dorian swept under the carpet at their own premiere, Ron?

RON:

I would say, they are upstaged a little bit which is not a place that either one of them likes to be.  I will leave it at that. (Laughs)

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david
Guest
david

Carlivati said, “Trevor St. John decided not to stay.” That isn’t what TSJ said. TSJ wanted to continue but was turned down. I think this was an awful mistake. OLTL would be even better with the two Todd’s competing for the love of their family. I would love to see TSJ return, and I hope his Todd is not killed so this is a possibility.

Michelle
Guest
Michelle

Actually, from what I understand, before the news of the cancelation came to light, TSJ already had made the decision not to stay with the show. He didn’t resign a long term contract. Somtime later, once everybody that needed to resign did, and after the cancelation happened, TSJ made it clear that he was open to continuing to perform on OLTL, until the end, without a contract, but the show decided to “press on without him.” Bottom line is that this wasn’t some dramatic firing, like on GH with Greg Vaughan / Jonathan Jackson. TSJ had already decided not to… Read more »

Britney
Guest
Britney

Michelle,
That is one version of a story told to a mag by a “setsider” while another ” setsider” told Jamey at DC that TSJ’s offer to stay was declined because they had written alot of the story and couldn’t go back to include him. So there are conflicting rumors or versions floating around from these insiders, was it a contract issue or the fact that they couldn’t rewrite the story? These setsiders need to get their stories straight while spreading these rumors.

Britney
Guest
Britney

Take what RC says with a truckload of salt. He has a history of not telling the truth in his interviews. I believe what Trevor said, he offered to stay and Frank Valentini declined to continue with his character.

MEG
Guest
MEG

TO ME TREVOR IS THE ONLY TODD,HE SURPASSED ROGER LONG AGO .

Mer
Guest
Mer

Meg, Sorry to disagree with you, but i think that ROGER is the only Todd…..i’ve been watching OLTL since day one & while i will agree that Trevor plays a great Todd, theres ONLY ONE TODD & thats Rogers Todd. While Rogers Todd had the rape scenes & they were indeed violent…Roger is one of the best actors to come from Daytime TV. I was soooooo sad to see him go & accepted Trevors Todd & thought he was a fantastic actor, when i saw that the show had gotten Roger Howarth back, i was soooooooo thrilled & happy. Most… Read more »

Kitten Putten
Guest
Kitten Putten

I agree that RH is the only Todd and I love his acting. He’s quirky, funny, and dramatic at the same time. When he imitated Johns’ voice on the phone I laughed. I’m enjoying RC’s writing on OLTL. When they began that porn movie…that was a great scene. I’m looking forward to Friday’s episode (I DVR it) If RC is still going to GH after OLTL goes off TV I’m moving over to GH. I don’t know if this internet things will work.

Dawn
Guest
Dawn

I wish you ask what was he think about putting Ford and Jessica together?

MEG
Guest
MEG

WELL ,DAVID I HOPE RON WON’T BE THAT CRUEL, I’M STILLHOPING TSJ IS TODD ,AND I HOPE HE BRINGS TREVOR BACK ,EVEN IF HE LEAVES HE SHOULD BE TODD AND LEAVE HAPPILY WITH TEA,

aubrey
Guest
aubrey

you went to alot of trouble to convince us trevor was todd and trevor’s brillance convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was todd. Now you are going to no trouble to convince us he’s not. you had pure gold in trevor now whats left of your audience has fool’s gold.

Lynn
Guest
Lynn

Trevor’s Todd loves his kids? Since when? His “kids” are an afterthought. RHTodd fits better with Sam than TSJTodd does. TSJTodd can have DanYELLa

Oh and JPL sucks, he’s sucking the life out of the Gigi storylline and the kid who plays Jack needs to be recast ASAP

Mike
Guest
Mike

Why didn’t you ask about the all important bullying storyline and how it got bungled? Payoffs have to come in a timely manner. We are still waiting for Jack to be punished or wasn’t that the point of bullying?

Linda Dowell
Guest
Linda Dowell

The Two Todd’s story is the best soap story I’ve seen in years and years – it reminds me of the soap stories of when I was a kid – only written better – it’s actually unfolding a little at a time – I can only guess to what it’s going to end up being – I just LOVE this story. I love both Todd’s – I am sad that TSJ is leaving and hope that changes – because, it can now. Thank you, Ron, for writing this – this is truly, truly, GREAT soap writing, and I sit with… Read more »

boes
Guest
boes

You took the words right out of my mouth. OLTL is THE must-see show for me. And although not all of RC’s storylines are my cup of tea (all things Ford are just beyond horrible), he’s an excellent writer and very good at crafting storylines.
I look forward to this show every day, and I can’t say about any other soap.

Sonja
Guest
Sonja

Wooooo Roger Howarth! 😀

April
Guest
April

LOVE that RH is back! I will miss TSJ though. I really wish OLTL would bring back Nash for Jessica. Pretty Please! 🙂

Cary Belt
Guest
Cary Belt

Thank God we will still be able to watch OLTL. I have watched it since 1972. Let me tell you something, bringing Roger back was an excellent move. Roger IS TODD!! I have three daughters who have also watched the show. When they see him on the screen acting they said, yep that’s Todd! Amazing he can pickup that character right where he left off.

Kitten Putten
Guest
Kitten Putten

Will RH be on the web series? I hope so.

Doe
Guest
Doe

I find this interview with Ron is very interesting as to his thoughts on keeping the two Todds on the show for a longer time. But, I don’t think we will ever get the truth of Trevor’s leaving. He should be able to get a job anywhere with his talent and looks. Actually, the return of Roger after eight years as the real Todd is really unlikely. It boggles my mind. So with Trevor leaving , there is no alternative but Rogers’ Todd . So, what is the big reveal. Why was he captured and who were the people holding… Read more »

todd
Guest
todd

Congrats Ron. The only story I have been hating is the Nate/Deanna porn story….but to have it blow up at the Vickerman premier is hilarious. Now we can focus on the characters we care about. I think Ford and Jessica are growing on me. I am loving JPL and his anger. I want to see him ask for Clint’s help to take down Todd financially……not physically….but what Todd? I am so confused and excited. For the first time I have no idea what will happen, and I love it. I did think it was odd that RH saw Daniella on… Read more »

Kitten Putten
Guest
Kitten Putten

I couldn’t agree with you more Todd. The Edna Beasely I think was a joke(I laughed) and I love the way Mel Gibson and Harrison Ford were supossedly there. I agree RH should have been more shocked at seeing Daniela; and she actually looks like him. Maybe RC is saving something for later.
Great work RC, and I’m a writer myself. You’re giving me ideas on how to amp up my own style. I love the twists and turns. Anyone criticizing you here is someone settling for plain old ordinary soap opera watching.

Ann
Guest
Ann

Trevor St. John IS Todd Manning as far as I’m concerned and I’m a long time viewer. When I first heard about the story of the “two Todds” my reaction was and still is that there is NO “TWO Todd’s” STORY because TSJ is portraying Todd–period! RH is whoever he is but he’s not Todd to me. I hate this storyline and feel that both TSJ and his entire fan base got thrown under the bus in favor of the other fan bases, namely KDP/Blair and RH. Trevor St. John was here for 8 years portraying Todd. He should still… Read more »

Debbie
Guest
Debbie

Ann love you’ll post. Everything you said is so true! Frank Valentini ignored what would happen letting Trevor go early. Trevor deserve to leave with the show when it ended in January. Trevor earned the right to be there in the end. For his loyalty and devotion alone to the his boss! And all he eneded up with after 8 years was a kicked out the door with nothing but we don’t need you anymore we have our actor back we wanted Roger! This was the lowest thing an executive ever did to an actor on a show. All for… Read more »

Waltina
Guest
Waltina

I agree with everything you said and the other posters who feel about what happened to Trevor the way I do. Trevor said he would stay till the end, but was told WE DON’T NEED YOU ANY MORE WE HAVE THE GREAT ONE BACK –ROGER so don’t let the door hit you on the WAY OUT. This was the biggest insult to an actor and to Trevor who had played Todd for eight after Roger left to go on another soap. Who really failed Trevor was the Producer of One Life to Live, and to some extent some of his… Read more »

Debbie
Guest
Debbie

To me and this Trevor fan it’s a slapped in the face to Trevor! After 8 years of working his butt off making Todd Manning his own. Throwing out one brilliant performance after another. The show turns around and saids sorry Trevor we have the orignal actor back we don’t need you anymore. As an actor how do you think you would feel! I notice with all the recasts through all the years on ABC daytime Trevor was treated with the most disrepect out of all of them. Sarah Brown came back on GH and didn’t push Laura Wright out.… Read more »

lisa
Guest
lisa

The only thing I can complain about is that Susan Haskell was let go. The character of Marty has been destroyed in the last few years. With Roger’s return there could have been so much stuff written to include a Marty /Todd face off. They do have a rich dark history and a shared grandchild that will forever keep them linked…..I think it would have been very interesting to see that played out. The writers could have fixed the Marty ‘situation’ by having Dr.Buhari mixed in with this rogue agency – maybe she was ‘spiking’ Marty’s meds , making Marty… Read more »

Jardo
Guest
Jardo

It really doesn’t matter what the show does at this point. There are so many regulars that are leaving that an on-line version of the show won’t be anything like the REAL OLTL! The only cast members you will have left are the teens, and I think everyone can agree they are sick to death of teen sex, teen porn, and teen everything! In my opinion, OLTL lost out when Valentini dumped Kish. That was the end for me because that was a riveting storyline that was killed right as it was peaking! And after seeing how BC and SE… Read more »

Vicki
Guest
Vicki

The online thing and them caring about soaps is definitely a ruse, but even this ruse I find hard to believe because when Disney bought ABC, then they made Frons the President of ABCD, all went into the toilet. They never cared about the soaps and they have been wanting to flush it down the toilet all along which is why the ratings dipped so horribly the past few years. Also, this online thing is a tremendous boon to ABC/Disney because they sold the licenses to the three soaps but they also stand to make a lot of money in… Read more »

writestuffla
Guest
writestuffla

RC is a chronic under-deliverer. I think he actually believes his own hype, but what he says will happen and what actually happens is such a horrendous disappointment. The Spider Man stuff was infantile. And his stunt casting of RH means nothing but he has nothing left creatively.

Vicki
Guest
Vicki

Sorry Michael, but I have a really hard time believing anything RC says. It’s great that RH is back but they could have found a way to keep both RH and TSJ on the show! They are wasting so much time, money and resources on all these undesirable characters that many of us cannot get invested in, like the four Patels, most of the Fords, Deanna, Rick Powers, Aubrey, Cutter, etc. Why even tell these other meaningless stories when they already have such great mainstay characters that they could write for? I am loving this two Todd story, but honestly,… Read more »

AlistairCrane
Guest
AlistairCrane

I wish you had asked Ron what possessed him to utterly gut and destroy the character of Marty Saybrooke. Now that my favorite character has been ruined, I’m no longer sad about OLTL ending on ABC and being replaced with a weight-loss show.

Kelly
Guest
Kelly

I am also loving the two Todd’s story right now but I am perplexed by his comments about Vimal and Rama being popular… HUH? I haven’t found one fan of them anywhere. They are basically a joke. Now Rama and Christian have smoking chemistry together. I could really get into them as a pairing!

Vicki
Guest
Vicki

SO agree with you on Rama and Vimal! I wish they would just stop introducing new characters (who are mostly non-contract) and stop writing such big stories for them. It really takes the air out of the core characters who should always be at the center of the main stories. RC has been notorious for writing big stories for these dayplayers whom most of us could really care less about.

kay killgore
Guest
kay killgore

I told you guys what would happen when they did the story of two Todd’s. So you are going to tell your viewers Trevor St. John’s Todd never loved these women or these children. Yow, right! And to waste so much air time on the Fords is stupid none of these guys can act! So for eight years Todd kept up this ruse, sloppy storytelling and when was the last time Erika Slezak had a decent storyline of her own? That silly nonsense with Charlie and Echo BORING!

MissyLady
Guest
MissyLady

When ATWT was cancelled there was no doubt in my mind that OLTL was going after RH the original Todd who voluntarily left the show. If it is true that Trevor was leaving and then changed his mind too late to change the course of RC’s writing then I don’t have a problem with TSJ leaving the show. If ATWT had not been cancelled, RH would have never come back to OLTL and TSJ still could have left the show which meant no Todd Manning! Yes, some folks would probably do a happy dance at knowing Todd was no longer… Read more »

Mary
Guest
Mary

I wish you asked him owhen will John find out that Liam is his son because this WTD has gone on too long. You should ask why does he continue to write romantic love scenes for Brody and Natalie, but yet when Natalie and John were together for last year, he gave them none. Even before she got pregnant, he should gave them a couple, since they were apart for three years instead of that one minute slam bam thank you man scene on the pool table It is obvious to me and others that RC that prefers Brody and… Read more »

Alissa
Guest
Alissa

It is blatantly obvious that RC can’t keep his story straight regarding Trevor’s exit. The execs advised that when Trevor “changed his mind about staying” it was too late, because they couldn’t rewrite the s/l. That lie is totally contradicted in his very own statement within this interview. Please see the following excerpt taken from the above: “I have got to admit it was tricky. I gambled a little bit when we started laying some stuff in with Tomas and the CIA files, and this was before Roger has signed on. I had a backup plan if there was no… Read more »

Anne
Guest
Anne

What a WOW interview, especially about the “Two Todds” story. What “Two Todds” story? Since RH “signing on the heels of the cancellation announcement” then his Super Todd ‘Epic’ hiding in the bushes, zombie quoting, killing and kidnapping for the good cause, super Spidey hero antics where the young kid is taking a murdering kidnapper side against his father and becoming hero John side kick “Return”, the dismantlement and character assasination of TSJ Todd has begun. Michael, from your interview: “What the hell is going on? Does he really love Jack and Starr if he is a fake?” “Yes and… Read more »

Debbie
Guest
Debbie

Bravo Alissa and Ann you both rock! Frank and Ron not only are turning around and making Trevor’s/Todd a villian. But they are bluntly turning Trevor into a villian in all of this. All because he changed his mind and wanted to stay until the end which he earned the right too. What Frank and Ron don’t want to admit is they made the mistake of letting Trevor go! What did they think from their mistake. Their would be no backlash from their decision? That every fan who watches OLTL will fall all over Roger again. All because RH had… Read more »

Torrey
Guest
Torrey

I am a fan of Roger, but to me, TSJ stepped in this role and created Daytime Magic. I am very harsh and unwelcoming to people that step into roles that are originated by another actor, but I bought TSJ’s Todd hook, line and sinker….The man is a great talent, and to me, it would be a slap in the face to have him not be the real Todd, after all these years. Roger left this role because he thought that the character of Todd was being glorified too much, and he was unhappy with that because Todd Manning is… Read more »

Bianca
Guest
Bianca

Hmmm, I thought the elephant in the room was whether or not Ron was going to stick with OLTL-online has head writer, go with his new GH contract, or do both? Honestly, I completely believe that TSJ wanted out, but was willing to go reoccurring to end the series. I suspect Valenti put the kabash on that idea. I totally agree with both RC and TSJ that playing out both Todds all the way (either by letting each one walk off into the sunset with his respective soulmate, or by letting them kill each other…perfect for allowing Blair and Tea… Read more »

leah
Guest
leah

I hate that TSJ is leaving.. i would rather of had 2 Todd’s.. Todd (current) has rock the house chemistry with Tea. I dont care about what use to be with the old Todd. Lies and liars rule and run abc… i ain’t buying that TSJ was not pushed out.. Is Ron’s Frons latest puppet?

MEG
Guest
MEG

HOPE WHAT I JUST READ THAT PP IS TALKING WITH OLTL BEST LEADING MAN AND WILL FIX THE MISTAKE ABC MADE ,

Torrey
Guest
Torrey

I honestly believe this was done on purpose, by the powers that be, in hopes of the ratings tanking before the show ends in January. This way they can look at the numbers and say to themselves, “See, the show is dwindling away.” I will most likely continue to watch, but I am incredibly upset by this whole Two Todds Storyline. It’s a slap in the face to TSJ and all of his fans. Are TPTB just going to ignore the crazy chemistry that he has with Tea? They are my all time favorite couple.

Mary Jeffers
Guest
Mary Jeffers

I read the article on Head Writer Ron Carlivati and I think he paid homage to Trevor very well. But when he came back after he changed his mind, you know that was difficult for him. It wouldn’t have been that much of a problem to extend the script, I think. Get off your high horse and extend some curtesy to this obvious great actor. I hope the casting directors at Days of Our Lives and the Young and the Restless know that Trevor St. John is not under contract and maybe will make him an offer. After all Daytime… Read more »

Interviews

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: EDavidson

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

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

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

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

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

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General Hospital

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Courtesy/StateofMind

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

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

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

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

Photo: KSJIG

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

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

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

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

That is right in your wheelhouse!

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: NATAS/CBS

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

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

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

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

Photo: NATAS

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

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

Photo: GFrancisTwitter

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

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

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

Photo: ABC

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

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

You’re just realizing that now?

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

Courtesy/ABC

Is it more challenging to play a character like Mike?

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

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

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

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

Photo: ABC

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

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

But you’re enjoying this story?

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

Photo: ABC

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

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

Photo: Noah Harmon

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

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

How are you feeling now?

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

Photo: State of Mind

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

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

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

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Interviews

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

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

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

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

 

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

Photo: NATAS/CBS

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

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

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

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

Photo: JMW Instagram

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

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

Photo: HutchinsPhoto.com

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

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

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

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

Courtesy/CBS

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

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

Courtesy/CBS

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

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

Photo: MFTV Inc.

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

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

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

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

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