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The Ronn Moss Interview – The Bold and the Beautiful

Courtesy/CBS

Photo Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS

Perhaps 2012 will go down as the year of the behind-the-scenes soap opera shockers, and thus far, there has been none more surprising then the sudden departure of The Bold and the Beautiful’s Ronn Moss!  After over 25 years of playing the debonair male romantic lead of the series, Ridge Forrester, Moss decided to call it quits over a month ago amidst reports of being asked to take a pay-cut that did not sit well with the popular soap star.  But there is much more to this story, as a calling to move on and try a different direction with his professional life, the ever-changing face of daytime, and more importantly the ever-changing face of The Bold and the Beautiful, all seemed to factor into his decision.

On-Air On-Soaps chatted this week with Moss, just as fans are about to see his final appearance as Ridge on today’s episode of B&B, shortly after Ridge and Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) married each other, yet again, or as they say, “One mo’ time!”  And this time, from what we understand, the happy couple go off on their honeymoon, only when Brooke does return Ridge will not be in tow, since Ronn’s decision to depart the soap had to be dealt with rather quickly by B&B’s executive producer, and head writer, Brad Bell.

So is Ronn Moss truly gone for good?  Would he consider a return to the series?  How would he feel about a recast if the show were to go down that road?  And how was it filming the emotional final scenes between him and Katherine Kelly Lang, where Bridge fans from all around the world will need their Kleenex boxes, just as much as Ronn and Katherine did?  Find out all of this and so much more in our heartfelt and farewell chat with Moss, whose departure leaves a huge hole in many fans hearts worldwide. But fear not, after you read Ronn’s parting words below, you can keep up with him via www.devronnsblog.com on all his latest projects, journeys, and upcoming travels!

MICHAEL:

Your last episode as Ridge is airing Friday on B&B, just as Ridge and Brooke said their “I do’s” for yet another time.  It’s been a little over a month since you announced your departure.  How are you feeling knowing Friday is your final airdate?

RONN:

Courtesy/CBS

I feel like 25 years has been a damn good run and I am grateful to have it with everybody. But at a certain point, you have to expand you life.  I have been meaning to do that for years.  We get comfortable with our family and our friends – and when I say family, I mean my co-workers, too.  They have been as much a part of my family as my real family for a lot of years.  But you get comfortable just being there and going along the same way.  And for me, it hit me that, “No.  I don’t want to continue under these circumstances.  It’s time to move on and start on a new road.”

MICHAEL:

Did being asked to take a significant pay cut to continue with B&B make you feel that they did not value your work … especially considering all the years that you put in, and being one of the mega-stars of the B&B brand?

RONN:

I think the way you just stated it is right.  Yes, the pay cut was definitely a part of it, but it was not everything.  But it was definitely a sign to re-evaluate what is going to be important here.  And don’t anybody bring up Jay Leno’s taking a 50% percent pay cut down to $15 million.  There is no relevance whatsoever in that.  (Laughs)  That is a different game, but when you talking a much different scale than that, it is very relevant!  And yeah, I want to feel appreciated, and I feel for what we were doing there was no reason to cut like that.  There are plenty of other ways to make those kinds of cuts.

MICHAEL:

You are iconic and synonymous with The Bold and the Beautiful worldwide!

RONN:

Does anybody think a decision like that was done rashly?  You have to take certain things in life and go, “That doesn’t sit well with me now. Something is off.”  There is a respect that all of a sudden doesn’t seem to be there.  So let’s move to a place where it is more respectful, and where I feel like I am not going to be taken so for granted.

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

MICHAEL:

You also were coming off a very bad car accident involving yourself and your wife Devon before this decision to exit B&B.  Did you feel that accident was a wake-up call?   I know I have read in other interviews that you had done that feel there were certain “signs” telling you to go in a different direction in your life, and this one of them.

RONN:

Not really a wake-up call, but I have been talking about the signs that I have been seeing that many people seem to think is too ethereal or hokey.  I know what is going on in my life.  I know what I know, and I know what I see.  I took it as it spun us around, literally! We had a wonderful business meeting before that and that basically said, “OK. You are not going in this direction. You are going in the opposite direction.”   And you have to listen to things like that, and I attached meaning to it.  Now you don’t have to do that, but I chose to do that.  It seemed to fit with a lot of other things that were going along in my life as well.  And you can discount them if you like and pretend they didn’t happen, or they don’t mean anything in the scheme of things.  However, I tend to make them mean something, as I am going in a different direction now, and I want to go on a positive and affirmative new road that I haven’t necessarily traveled.  I am looking so for to it.  But as far as the accident, we are recovering from the actual physical stuff that happened.  Devon and I are still getting through that and it has gone on a lot longer than expected. She was absolutely right when she told me, “You are going to feel the effects of this quite a bit later,” and we are.  So we deal with it.

MICHAEL:

When you made decision to leave B&B, did you and your wife, Devon, and your family sit down and talk things over and shed some tears over this big move and shift in your life?

RONN:

We had a lot of different moments.  There was not one or two specifically, or that we had a tearful sit-down.  It was all real positive and felt completely and totally right.  There was no hesitation whatsoever.  I think all the things that happen add up. And, you have to make a strong decision.  It surprised a lot of people for sure, as nobody expected me to be that bold, but I had to.  I had to for my own survival.   I know many of the fans feel I let them down, or abandoned them.  No, I have not abandoned them.  I am still with them.  I have been doing this for 25 years!  At one point am I released, so that I can go, “OK, guys?  I need a break from this!”

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Since the “official” announcement from you that you were leaving B&B, there had been everything on Twitter for you from an outpouring of love and support, to disappointment, and even some feeling that you abandoned them!

RONN:

Basically, people can’t handle change. They don’t want things to change and so they lash out at you a little bit, and this is a very small percentage of a reaction that I felt.  But I know what’s out there, and I have tried my best to dissuade it as best I can.  I would say 95%-97% of the people have been very positive, and are looking forward to the future and wishing me well, as I do for B&B. 

MICHAEL:

Will you watch your last episode Friday?

RONN:

I will probably watch it, but I don’t know if I am going to watch it live when it’s on.  I will definitely tape it.

MICHAEL:

I watched the CBS promo and I was getting all choked up watching Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke) your long-time scene partner, getting all choked up looking at you during Ridge and Brooke’s wedding vows.  I have heard from Katherine that this tape day was so emotional for her.  How did you get through it?

RONN:

Oh, I wasted that day, and I don’t mean the drug-fashion. (Laughs)   The two of us were completely basket cases.  It was so hard to get through.  We could not look at each other in the eyes or we would have just lost it.  This was the culmination of so much emotional stuff that we have had.  We had to get through it, and to get through the day, but it was intense!

MICHAEL:

As viewers, we see the two of you reciting these vows and the gazes into each other’s eyes, and we realize you two have been so intertwined and integral for 25 years of daytime television!

RONN:

Courtesy/CBS

We have lived these people’s lives as alter egos to ourselves.  It has been a second life for us for all these years.  I can’t slough that off, or say that didn’t matter.  I don’t think people really know how intense living that is.  Yes, it is a character on a TV show, but it took an enormous amount of our real lives to do, and that we dedicated ourselves to.  I feel wonderful that I was a part of that, and I feel wonderful that I am now able to go and experience other aspects of my life that I have been wanting and missing.  Now is the time to do it.  Life is getting much shorter.

MICHAEL:

I think it may have been more difficult and worse if you made the announcement that you were departing the series, and then there were several months to go before your last tape date.   This way, it all happened very fast.

RONN:

Once I made the decision, I then only had a couple days left to tape.  And, I would not have said anything except for Susan Flannery (Stephanie, B&B) blurting it out on a soundstage.  She just blurted out that she and I were leaving.  And whoever was in earshot of that heard it and went, “What? What? What?”  So it was out there and people started tweeting about it.  I was going to keep it under wraps, because I had to get through those two days.  But in the end, I could not keep it a secret.

MICHAEL:

How was it for you, when you packed up your dressing room and exited the CBS soundstages?

RONN:

That went as I would have anticipated it for almost 23 years.  I have always kept my dressing room the way it was, so I could just walk out.  A lot of people make it very personal and hang up a lot of pictures and bring in all their stuff from home.  I never did that.  I wanted it to be kind of a transient place, even though I lived there for half my life.  So I cleaned it out a couple of days before the final tape date, and walked out and that was it.   I was totally emotionally prepared to do that because I never emotionally invested in it that way.  I kept the dressing room that way on purpose.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

Was the fact that the show was focusing on the younger characters and not Ridge, part of your other issue with the series?  Was it that Ridge was not being given his due as one of the “core four” characters to drive story?  Or, did you feel it was a natural progression of what we unfortunately see many times in daytime when the veterans get kicked to the curb?  With Peter Reckell (Bo, DAYS) leaving, Steve Burton (Jason, GH) announcing he is departing daytime as well, and you going, I feel like Bette Midler in The Rose, saying “Where’s everybody going?”

RONN:

Well, I don’t know if that’s a natural progression.  I won’t lie and say that it wasn’t a factor, of course it was.  When you are feeling like you are less than, why stay?  But let the show do as they see fit, I am fine with it. 

MICHAEL:

So are you standing by the “This is it”, or are you going to comment, “Never say never” when the subject comes up if you would ever consider returning to B&B as Ridge?

RONN:

I have decided to subscribe to “Never say never,” but I need a break.  But I have been through enough experiences where I have to eat those words, whenever I say it’s a definite thing like that.  So, I just will leave that open.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

During your final tape day, did anybody say anything that resonated with you that will stay with you and in your heart forever?

RONN:

Everything!  Lots of it.  One of our stage managers did a little texting with me back and forth this other morning, and it was lovely.   Yeah, that continues and I think it’s just going to get more intense down the road, actually.

MICHAEL:

Now that it’s been a month since the decision was made public, was there ever a moment, now looking back, of “What the hell did I just do?”

RONN:

No. Never.  I am pretty resigned to go ahead and move forward.  As I said, I am moving forward in a positive way and it’s even getting more positive than I expected.  I can’t go in to that now, and that will be a different conversation down the road, if things materialize.  I think it’s going to be really great.

MICHAEL:

Is music a big part of this next evolution in your career, since you have been part of the band Player since the 70’s?

RONN:

Courtesy/B&Bforum

Music is definitely a big part of this.  Peter Beckett and myself have been, and are, Player.  We just released a new set of songs, which is going to be our best collection ever.  I am really looking forward to doing the tour.  We are going to form a tour beginning in Europe, and hopefully bring it back to the States.  But I am so looking forward to playing live!  Playing rock and roll live, there is nothing like it.

MICHAEL:

Is acting still something you want to pursue?

RONN:

Oh yeah!  There are acting projects and that is part of the big change that is happening.  We are formulating some movie projects right now that will be absolutely fantastic. I want to go back to doing movies.

MICHAEL:

When you have seen first-hand what is going on contract-wise in daytime, do you envision that the daytime soaps (knowing what you know and being on one for 25 years) can survive five more years, and possibly continue on after that?

RONN:

I think they will continue on.   I am just not sure if they will be on network television.  I think everything, if you are smart, will go online.  I believe cable television and online formats will be where it’s at.  Networks will eventually phase out, because people will not watch things in real time.  They will watch things at their leisure, and everything will have to accommodate for that.  There is so much of a different world out there online and a lot of different possibilities.   I think if shows grow and change that way, they can grow and continue and morph into other things.  But going along the way they are?  No. You can’t survive that way, because there is a reason that people follow programs and it’s not to just provide them with the cheapest common denominator.  When you do that, you will lose the core audience and the reason they tuned-in in the first place.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Have you had conversations with Susan Flannery about both your exits from The Bold and the Beautiful, and what a huge shake-up it will be for the canvas?

RONN:

Oh yeah, we have talked quite a bit and so did Katherine and John McCook (Eric, B&B). We all met and discussed a lot of things.  I think Susan and Katherine and I will get together soon and have a little pow-wow amongst all of us, and talk about future things.

MICHAEL:

If B&B were to ever re-cast Ridge, how would you feel?

RONN:

I would feel betrayed.  I would feel like my 25 years really didn’t mean anything.  I would also feel that I absolutely made the right choice.

MICHAEL:

Did Brad Bell and you leave on bad or OK terms?

RONN:

We left on great terms.  I still love him.  I am sure he thought we should just stay and continue with no change of anything, but everything had changed.

MICHAEL:

Obviously, The Bold and the Beautiful contributed highly to your huge popularity overseas!

RONN:

I think the music part of my career, as well as B&B, contributed to my success overseas.  Our music played very heavily in Australia, and Peter Beckett’s influence with being part of Little River Band was big part of it as well.  But yes, the show was a big part of it, but that was not the only thing.  But now I think I will have a closer touch with those countries and the foreign territories than I did before, because now I have time to be there.  I would totally love to come down to Australia.  We are working on doing some movies and charity functions there right now. And, Katherine and I are about to take off and go over to Italy for a week and half, too!

Courtesy/CBS

MICHAEL:

When you take a moment to reflect back, is there a Ridge or Ronn moment during your time at B&B that was a defining for you as an actor, or the character you created, or a big memory of your time there?

RONN:

The biggest memory of my time at B&B is not story-related.  It’s not even character-related.  The last day will very much be ingrained in my psyche now, from a very emotional point of that is when everything was changing.  But, my biggest memory that I will carry from B&B is how much of a family it is, and was for me for the last 25 years. It’s a huge family – between crew, actors, everybody.  And I will carry that, as that is the warmest thought I have of everybody, and seeing these people every day.  I will carry that, and for me that’s fine.  I don’t need a story point or a character element to remember that.  There are too many of those!

MICHAEL:

You have got to pinch yourself, when you think of your journey as Ridge harkening all the way back to the beginning as Ridge the playboy!  You were part of that, no matter how it ended.   It was 25 years of this role on B&B, and you became very well known to television audiences domestically and internationally.  Cool?

RONN:

It’s very cool!  And I will hold that for the rest of my life.   I feel very fortunate to have been part of this show, and part of this big family of ours. There’s the big emotion of it.

MICHAEL:

Is there something you would like to say to your fans you feel has not been communicated, or that you would like to add to what you have already said publicly?

RONN:

Courtesy/FabulousPenguinAus

Just that I hope that they keep the faith and the spirit of what hopefully I did for that long with Ridge in their lives.  And, let it be with me.  Let me take that as my memento.  But also to hang in there with me and know that I am not abandoning them, but that I am including them and taking them on what could be a far greater journey.  I hope they keep their minds and awareness open, and let’s see what the roads have to offer.

MICHAEL:

Do you think you will watch B&B in the future?  Reports are that Katherine will be getting a new love interest!  That may be odd for you to watch.

RONN:

I don’t know.  I will see.  I can’t say I wouldn’t watch it.  I have no reason not to watch it. I have so many other things I want to do.  And Michael, I wasn’t even able to watch the show when I was on it! (Laughs)  I always keep busy and I am seldom just sitting around with nothing to do.

MICHAEL:

And tell me the latest on Ronn’s Garage, the web series you have going through your website!

RONN:

It’s building and I am working on the next episode.  I am not telling people who the next guest will be, but I want it to be a huge surprise.   It’s a very fascinating person! (Laughs)  I am hoping to have it up by October 1st.  I want to get the episodes up in a more timely fashion.  The accident through me off.  My shoulder got fractured in three pieces, and that kind of set us back, but I am back on track.  I want to morph into something else, which we will talk about later, as well.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: MF Soaps, Inc.

I have to tell you, personally, I was sad when you announced your departure from B&B.  But then I was so happy about it!  I was like “Good for you.”  You have always been a friend of mine throughout the years we have done interviews together, and our time together in this genre.   So I had all of those emotions going on.   It was very bittersweet.

RONN:

Good and thank you.  Michael, you as well have been part of this.  We have a big respect for what you do and the way you have done it. You have always been right on the money, very fair and very honest.  No b***s that I can discern for anything you have done, so bless you for that!

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Michael
Guest
Michael

I watched the Thursday, September 13th episode where Ridge and Brooke got married. Then tune in on Friday only to be completely disappointed with the episode all together. Brad Bell cheated Ronn Moss out of a proper farewell after 25+ years on B&B and I have to think that Brad was punching Ronn in the gut by not giving him his proper due. What really should have happened is this: The wedding should have aired today, the 14th and at the end of the episode, Ridge and Brooke walk out the front door only to have Ronn Moss turn around… Read more »

e johnson
Guest
e johnson

Hated to see Ridge leave, but I never like Brook. So Ridge I wish you well.

Mike
Guest
Mike

I agree with you on hating to see Ridge leave. He played a big role on the series, however I disagree with you about Brooke. I was always hoping that Ridge and Brooke would always remain together. I am going to miss that.

Claire Churnac
Guest
Claire Churnac

Don’t thank that jerk (Brad Bell) for anything. I wish I knew that was his (Ridge) last day..or maybe not… I think I would have cried-me-a-river..and then I wouldn’t have enjoyed their wedding.

LJ
Guest
LJ

betrayed? after he held out for more money? some of us are starving out here and he can’t act for anything (did he have lessons?) so he should count his flippin blessings.

LLM
Guest
LLM

I think every actor has the right to leave the medium and make choices that are right for them. Some may do it for money, some may do it for variety, some may do it because they are burnt out. And shows have the right to offer what they want/are willing to pay and actors have the right to say no. But NO actor has a permanent lock or right to any character in soap opera. Recasts are a major part of the medium. Whether it’s Ronn Moss stating that a recast would be a betrayal or Vanessa Marcil stating… Read more »

LJ
Guest
LJ

Even Susan Lucci was recastable.

Sheryl Postin
Guest
Sheryl Postin

Good luck Ronn, you ill be missed, your a great actor and we will probably see you soon somewhere else.

Barbara Hall
Guest
Barbara Hall

Do not like Thornston Kaye as Ridge….too scruffy looking.

ethel
Guest
ethel

what a sincere interview & i applaud ronn in the decision he made to leave – i feel that b&b threw him under the bus & have no respect or consideration for his 25 years on the show – soaps are just like any other part of corporate america believing that younger is better & the mature folks need to step aside – i started watching soaps almost 50 years ago because they were about life but now all soaps want to show is life revolving around only the 20 somethings and life includes all ages………

Prunhild
Guest
Prunhild

Even for me, a NO-BRidge-fan, i was shocked and disgusted, how bell wrote the last episode as a total BROOKE-episode! The way he wrote this laughable words, that stephanie loves brooke and the boring “to-many-times-repeat-BRidge-wedding-scenes” was to much for me. i turned of before episode was finished. maybe i will watch again on dvd, but i tell you guys: this will now become a KKL & JY- show! And as for STEPHANIE portrayer Susan: i spent 25 years adoring you and beeing big fan of your character. But as a BROOKElover you are now, i am fine with STEPHANIE out,… Read more »

bc
Guest
bc

Bravo to B&B for cutting Moss. Daytime soaps are not lucrative machines. Jay Leno is a good example. He should have taken the pay cut. Actors are paid too much when all an actor does is blocking and saying the lines. That’s pretty much all there is to acting. Whether an actor is good is subjective. I refuse to even read recaps of B&B anymore and 60 something Moss’s complaints are more reasons to stay away from this soap.

Deborah Kallus
Guest
Deborah Kallus

As an actor….all I can say is I would like to buy him for what he is truly worth and sell him for what he thinks he is worth….Then I would be sitting on easy street.

I say Good Bye and Good Riddance….

Therese Dunphy
Guest
Therese Dunphy

Ronn Moss and the rest of the core four are what made B&B worth watching. In his bid to capture a new generation of viewers, the show has turned into an endless teeney bopper video that holds absolutelly no appeal. Ridge and Brooke were one of soap’s great love stories, and Ronn earned every cent he’s made over the years. Thanks for all the great years of entertainment Ronn!

Lisa
Guest
Lisa

wish you well in all you do.

marciaSYDNEY.Australia
Guest
marciaSYDNEY.Australia

Family and friends laugh at the fact I’ve watched B&B since the very first episode, but to me, its not just because of the soap itself that I continue to show my loyalty. It’s because of the pure nostalgia it has created in my life. I basically grew up with Ridge and Brooke, and remember my first born child singing along to the opening theme song of Bold from its earliest episodes. So, to see Ridge leave this love story is emotional, not because I naively live vicariously thru BRIDGE, but rather, because it feels like a friend who has… Read more »

marciaSYDNEY.Australia
Guest
marciaSYDNEY.Australia

@RonnMoss: true fans don’t need to be convinced that a future “faux Ridge” will somehow be able to emulate ur onscreen chemistry with KKL, as u will always be the glue that binds B&B

Kim lynn
Guest
Kim lynn

Thank you Ronn moss for a wonderful ridge. I wish you had a better ending and I’m very sad with the way soaps are headed…

Marilyn
Guest
Marilyn

In this economy, these people should feel grateful to have jobs; when so many don’t. In my opinion, there’s a lot of arrogance going on here. Very few people in this world feel that they are paid what they deserve, but they don’t just walk away. So be it. I’m sorry to see him go, but he’s made his choice. If he later regrets it, so be that too.

vfocused
Guest
vfocused

Just finally read this interview and want to say. I really hope Ron can get pay to come back at least for one more episode. Susan will be leaving and hopefully Ron will work something out with Bell just to return to send Stephanie off. I respect Ron Moss if no one else does. 25 years is a long time to leave due to these circumstances but I do respect his decision as Hunter Tylo said and understand it. I really do wish you the best Ron but pray that you try to return for one episode of the celebration… Read more »

Sheila
Guest
Sheila

vfocused hits this on the nail for me, I concur, and would like to see Ridge Forester as (Ronn Moss) celebrate Stephanie’s life, and come on back this last time. Maybe silently visiting Momma Stephanie’s grave and visiting his children on the set for closure, I remember the phone call when Stephanie asked him not to come home, on one of the episodes, where she was in her final stage of cancer, that relapased, however, the oldest son paying tribute to his mother on the set would be just loving and bold and beautiful!! Bless you, Ridge.

k/kay
Guest
k/kay

If you ar a fan or not a fan of Ronn Moss check out Ronns garage on the web it really is quite fun and a totally different side to him. A girlfriend of mine who still lives in California turned me on to it it really is clever. He really looks like he is having fun it is a nice change of pace. Pure fun check it out!

Mike
Guest
Mike

I am hoping that Ronn Moss comes back. He is a great actor. Ronn Moss & Katherine Kelly Lang were my 2 favorites on the series. That will make my day when he returns.

lynn
Guest
lynn

Ridge was always one of my favorites Brook I really didn’t like she stayed to much with the family men I will truly miss Ron Moss .I wish him all the happiness and success .There should never be another Ridge played by anyone else it will never be the same. I enjoyed watching you.

Gina
Guest
Gina

Ridge and Brooke were the best! I have watched B&B since the beginning and I was shocked that he was leaving and certainly wished the farewell was different. It was so fake…Brooke and Ridge to have split up over a text from Deacon! Money should have never been the issue because the high ratings for all of these years were so much because of the role of Ronn Moss. I hope he finds all of the happiness and peace he truly deserves.

Debbie
Guest
Debbie

Ronn deserved a hell of a better send off than that! Hate how Brooke became Stephanie’s new best friend after all her and Taylor have been through!

The writers are sinking their own battleship!!!

patrick
Guest
patrick

never did like Ridge as an actor or lack of being an actor.

joyce davis
Guest
joyce davis

i hated to see ridge leave. he was brooks rock and i have always loved them together. the attraction was awesome. now taylor ruined her looks with all of the botox and glad to see her leave. she looks stupid with eric. and i pray hope finally finds happiness with liam. stephy and taylor need to take a pernmanent break. . i would love to see brook back witth eric. guess we will see. but bye bye talor and stephy!!!!!

tina jones
Guest
tina jones

Ridge please come back I hate the way brooms is treating katie cause she has been with every man on the show an katie is the one with the good heart please come back an teach bill a lesson

Elizabeth Harrison
Guest
Elizabeth Harrison

My oh my some are biting him in the but while others are praising him. I have watched the show sense it’s conception . And I have always been a fan or Ronn’s I will always remain a fan. Yes they recast him with the old zac from All My Children which i will always see him as zac. But that is not the point. The point is that he maid a decision to change things for his personal self he gave all of the fans 25 dedicated yrs of his life. He basically grew his life on the show.… Read more »

Interviews

B&B’s Scott Clifton and Don Diamont Talk on the Plight of Liam & Bill and Their Cover-Up of Vinny’s Death

If you are watching current episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful then you know that Scott Clifton (Liam) and his on-screen father, Don Diamont (Bill Spencer) have been spending plenty of time together in scenes in very dramatic and intense fashion.

In story, Liam is guilt-ridden over running down Vinny Carter (Joe LoCicero) by accident when he was driving Bill’s car.  Since the moment that Vinny was killed, Bill leapt into action, destroying any evidence tying the two to the scene of the crime and continually demanding that Liam let this go and move on with his life, or the implications for the both of them could certainly be a long jail sentence, or worse.

Photo: JPI

Now as Liam is finally making headway in a reconciliation with Hope (remember his last secret – sleeping with Steffy – was quite the doozy), this new secret of what he has done, and hiding, could up the stakes even more and take him away from his family for good … or would Hope (Annika Noelle) after finding out what Liam did be the nail in his coffin that ends their relationship once and for all and kicks him to the curb?

Courtesy/CBS

Both, Scott Clifton and Don Diamont chatted virtually with Michael Fairman exclusively for You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel to offer up for viewers and fans of The Bold and the Beautiful: an inside look at what goes on when they tape their scenes, how they see their characters motivations, and they serve up a preview of what may lie ahead in this tangled web that Bill and Liam have unfortunately weaved.

Photo: JPI

Check out the humorous, candid, and enlightening conversation with two of the leads and mainstays of this CBS Daytime drama series below.

Then let us know; how do you think Liam and Bill can get out of the mess they find themselves in? Will Liam crumble and spill the beans? Will everyone in town get on to them and figure out the secret they have been keeping? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section after taking a look at the virtual conversation.

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Days Of Our Lives

Kevin Spirtas Talks ‘After Forever’s’ Digital Special ‘Riley’s Unforgettable School Project’, The Loss of Michael Slade, and a Chance to Reprise DAYS Craig Wesley

The coronavirus pandemic has put to the test many content creators on just how they would keep their projects moving forward in ways they never dreamed of. However, out of that situation has come some of the most compelling, unique series, specials, and features currently streaming for viewers. One of which is Riley’s Unforgettable School Project, brought to you by the team from the six-time Daytime Emmy Award-winning series, After Forever.

Former Days of our Lives star, Kevin Spirtas (Ex-Craig Wesley) has starred in and created the first two seasons of what has become the most honored Emmy-awarded LGBTQ-themed drama series on any platform.  Along with his ‘After Forever’ writing/producing partner, the late Michael Slade (DAYS, OLTL, Passions, Another World), the two also conceptualized and delivered this latest documentary-style offering now on Amazon Prime Video.

What makes Riley’s Unforgettable School Project so noteworthy is not just how they were able to execute the series based on fictional 11-year-old Riley’s virtual school project and utilize its cast, which includes: Spirtas, Cady Huffman, Jamison Stern, Lenny Wolpe, Erin Cherry, Anita Gillette, Christopher J. Hanke, and Finn Douglas, but that it was made while Slade was succumbing to his battle with cancer, and that this special marks the final script from this talented writer.

 

Michael Fairman TV spoke with Spirtas about making the special during Covid-19, how the death of Michael Slade has made a lasting impact on his life, what After Forever has personally meant to him, and how an official third season is still in the works, and … if he would consider a return to Salem and Days of our Lives, should they come a-calling.  Here’s what Kevin had to say about it all.

Photo: AfterForever

I think the entire story of this digital special has become even more meaningful with Michael Slade’s passing. What was the genesis of the concept? You wanted to continue the telling of the story of After Forever … but we are all in the middle of a pandemic?

KEVIN:  Yes and… when we filmed season 2, we had the scripts for season 3 already completed. It was our hope and desire to film them at the same time, back-to-back, so that we would have had all of our cast and crew together, and we could have gotten through it because we’ve always imagined this story being told in a trilogy so to speak – a beginning, middle, and end to Brian (Spirtas) and Jason, (Mitchell Anderson) and Brian’s healing or his steps towards healing through grief.  Schedules turned out that they couldn’t really work out for us to hold all the people and hold all of the sets for that amount of time.  So, we thought, “We’ve got the scripts for season 3 ready.  We’ll come back to it in the following year,” and that was always the intention, and then the pandemic hit.  So, it was shut down immediately that we weren’t going to do anything, but we wanted to stay current, and instead of going back in and telling the third installment of After Forever as a Covid-19 story as well, Michael and I sat down and looked at a way of staying relevant and current with a story within COVID, and there was born the idea to do this documentary style story/special about the characters of After Forever told through the lens of the character of Riley, the 11-year-old boy, who is now being homeschooled during the pandemic. He gets an assignment to do a project about the most unforgettable person he has ever met, and he, of course, chooses his best friend, the late Jason Adams, and he enlists all of Jason’s friends and family to join in.  Michael actually said, “What if we tell a story about Riley being homeschooled?” And, not only is Riley a technical genius at 11-years-old in the story, but Finn Douglas, who plays Riley, is a technical genius.

And didn’t Finn perform and write the song “Forever There” contained within the special?

KEVIN. Yes. He is this incredible musician.  Michael thought, “What would it be like if we asked to have the character of Finn sing a song for Jason?”  I said, “Well, what kind of song would we have him sing?”  Finn could play anything, I’m sure, because he’s self-taught, he plays by ear – guitar, piano, and drums.  Michael said, “What if we ask him to see if he could write a song?” and when we heard this song, we all called each other and we all got on Zoom and went, “Can you believe this song?  Can you believe this came out of this 11-year-old?”  It’s pretty incredible.  Michael did a gorgeous job of weaving the stories in and out and how they just sort of dove-tailed into each other, and then it was framed by Riley opening the project and ending the project.  During the Zoom reading we wanted to hear the song out loud.  We said to Finn, “Would you want to sing the song?”  We all just watched everybody on that Zoom call just fall apart.  It was just so beautiful. He’s an amazing talent.

Where is your character within this?

KEVIN:  I still stand in the center of the story of Jason because my character, Brian, was married to Jason, and it sort of connects us all, and through Riley’s understanding of how we all connect to Jason, is how we are all sort of spread out throughout the story.  Michael jokingly said, “You know, you’re not going to be the star of this special,” and I said, “I don’t think it’s about being the star.  It’s really about the storytelling.”  The beauty of Riley’s Unforgettable School Project is that we get to see moments of each person’s relationship with Jason, which Riley sets out to say, “Answer these three questions: What did you like most about Jason?  What did you like least about Jason? And what’s your favorite memory?”  Those three things, cut back and forth is where we all kind of fit in.  Nobody has more of a story than the next person, and it’s all telling honest portrayals of how they’re dealing with their loss of their good friend, or their child, or partner.

It’s a very inventive idea during Covid-19 to continue it in a way where you weren’t having to go shoot a full season of episodes.

KEVIN:  Well, we couldn’t. I have to say, Allison Vanore, who not only produced this special, but she also stepped up saying, “I’d love to direct this,” and I said, “Yes, please!”  She knows the characters.  She understands the story because she’s been a part of it for the last two seasons.  Allison also has this extraordinary amount of knowledge and expertise with the camera and what was needed for a remote shoot, and to also be able to organize filming 13 people in 2 different countries and 5 different cities… that’s just the technical side of it, but having that in our back pocket, knowing that it was a remote shoot, we had to send the camera, the computer, the ring light, and the microphone to each person’s house.  We had to location scout over Zoom.  We had to do wardrobe over Zoom.  It was all this big puzzle putting it together, and once you look at that board of storytelling and how we were going to do it, it kind of fell into place.  I feel blessed that a) we still had Michael with us, at that point, and b) Allison had the know-how to do this.  We all feel that at least this pandemic didn’t keep us from doing what we love.

Photo: AfterForever

In terms of the contribution of Michael Slade in this special, was it the construction of the story, and how was he able to work and write this during his illness?

KEVIN:  Michael’s contribution to the special was no less than the contribution to season 1 and season 2, and the future of season 3, because the scripts are written.  We did everything on Zoom, and we worked around his schedule of treatment.  We scheduled 2 people per day, and we spread them out over two weeks.  He was very present, and when there would be a day where he would say, “I’m going to be an hour late, let’s just push that call time,” I would ask, “Is this too much right now?  We can shelve it; we can stop it.” He’d then say, “Absolutely not, otherwise cancer will win.”  He was determined to stay focused and to stay active because it took his mind off of what was happening to him.

Photo: AfterForever

It would be lovely moment if you both were to win a Daytime Emmy for this project. 

KEVIN:  It’s our last collaboration together as a team, as I said, season 3 has been scripted, and it is on the calendar to get made.  We are just waiting for the COVID restrictions to lift a little bit and everyone to get vaccinated.  Michael was really hit hard with cancer – to stay healthy was so challenging for him.  Sadly, he didn’t make it to see the final edit of the special, and he died four days before we launched, but he had seen the cuts before that and was very approving of it, and had made some decisions, and offered some suggestions, and if God gives him an Emmy for this, it’s not because he died.  It’s because it’s great work.  It just happens to be that the work that was involved in this particular special was very tricky.  It brought up everything, like life itself to have to deal with.  Here we are dealing with the loss of a colleague, the loss of a friend, someone’s brother, someone’s son, this is life imitating art, imitating art imitating life. I can’t tell you the darkness that I went through just experiencing the need to stay focused on getting everything edited, and everything ready, and everything aligned for a release of this project that we had put into motion.  On top of it, our editor lost his mother just before Michael passed, and Allison’s mom was sick at the time, as well.  It took a lot of heavy deep breaths with Michael’s death, and the pandemic, and the loss has, for me, on a personal level, sent me back to really questioning my spiritual muscle and to help remind me that we have to come out of this better than we went into this.  I had many dark nights of the soul this last year, and December was probably the darkest.  I feel like I’m just kind of coming out of it now with the spring revealing itself.

Photo: AfterForever

It must have been extraordinarily difficult for you to also go to New York during a pandemic and also knowing Michael did not have much time left.

KEVIN:  I will say this: I am grateful that I was able to stay in touch with my heart and my instinct and go out to New York to let that be my remote location.  Yes, maybe there was some risk involved.  I wore my mask; I was Covid-19 negative, and I was determined to be fine.  Once I got to New York, I would visit him very protectively with our masks and our gloves, and I’d sit across the room, and then I’d go back to the house I was at.  It was a gift that I was able to see him at that time.  We had some good talks then about how he was feeling, and I think he was still being optimistic, and then once we got the project in the can there was maybe this psychic letting go. That’s when everything really started to reveal itself as this could be the end.  I did go back to see him when he was in hospice.  I think I was there the last two days that he really was able to really stay coherent.  He would close his eyes and be at peace and quiet for a minute, and he would finish a conversation and sort of close his eyes, not to sleep and not to go away, but I remember watching him going, “Look how peaceful he is,” and then he’d open his eyes and he’d remember that he is in this body that has been given a time limit of life, and he’s on his way out.  I’d watch the fear go back in his eyes.  At one point, he did say, “I’m so scared,” and I just held his hand, and I said, “I’m scared too.  Let’s be scared through this together.”  I don’t know how to navigate grief like that.  We are all going to be in a position at some point where we are going to be on the other side of the hand holding.  The wonderful thing is that we were able to have honest communication about our feelings.  I thanked him for everything that he has done for me and how he believed in my talent and creativity and our partnership.  I will always take that with me.  I waved my finger at him, and I said, “Listen.  Now, we wrote a series about a man talking to his deceased husband.  You’d better talk to me!”  So, we laughed about that.

Photo: AfterForever

You’ve done a lot of things in your career from Broadway to television, and of course, daytime fans know you best as Dr. Craig Wesley on DAYS.  How does the entire After Forever project stack up to you within all that you have done?

KEVIN:  Former DAYS casting director Fran Bascom, sought me out and offered me this 2-day role on Days of Our Lives, and those 2 days turned into 8 years, and unbeknownst to me at the time, the final 3 months of that contract of those 8 years, Michael Slade was brought in to write.  We didn’t cross paths at that point, but years later, when we did cross paths in New York, and then After Forever was born, that was that universal crossing point.  I am most proud of the fact that we were able create something fresh, and real, and personal to ourselves that we didn’t have to cater to any “powers that be” that had their vision and their tinkering, that they thought that it could be better in this way or that way.  Then for After Forever to gain such recognition, within the film festivals, and the Emmys, and then, just after Michael died, we won the GLAAD award for Special Recognition this year.  We don’t even fit into one of their categories!  They found a way to acknowledge this project.  If another Emmy happens again, that might be another one to put up on the shelf for After Forever that would be beautiful, and I couldn’t have done it without Michael.

For the Daytime Emmys this year, what category have you entered Riley’s Unforgettable School Project?

KEVIN:  We are not a series this year, we are a daytime fiction special, and the “Daytime Fiction Special” category is a special class.  It’s anything that’s digital in the construct of less than 40 minutes.  NATAS (National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) is being bombarded with so much content, they’re trying to find ways to put categories together.

Photo: JPI

So, now, when we last saw Days of Lives’ Dr. Craig Wesley, where was he? (Laughs)

KEVIN: (Laughs) He was in a flash from the past or something in the DOOL app’s Last Blast Reunion series. I had a fun time working with Patrika Darbo (Nancy) and Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe), once again.

So, if they were to want Craig to come back to DAYS, would you be all for it?

KEVIN:  Hell yes!

Photo: JPI

Now, what story would you want to be told involving Craig? 

KEVIN:  When Craig was first on the canvas in Salem, there was a lot of mustache twirling and a lot of hand wringing.  He was always plotting; most of the time with Nancy.  It was kind of this high drama, evil villain storyline being told, but when the writers created an opportunity for us to be on after those first three months by bringing on Chloe without a father, there was something real about it.  It may have been told under the construct of soap opera storytelling, but there was a reality-based story about, “You have a daughter, and we are just now finding out about it?”  Then, finding a cure to her health was another realistic story, and finding out that Craig was her real father.  Anything that’s reality based is what I’m getting to.  I would welcome any job that brings me back and gives me an opportunity to dive into something real.

Photo: JPI

Would you welcome the opportunity to play a gay character on daytime; in a medium where there are very few represented in storylines?

KEVIN:  I’d have no problem with that.  Do you know anybody who is starting that?  Let’s do it!  (Laughs) First of all, there’s nothing to hide anymore.  There’s nothing to pretend you’re not anymore.  I would think that bringing in a storyline that deals with anything outside the norm that we are used to seeing would be interesting.  How many times can you retell a story?  How many times can you set the same story up with another couple?  So, why not be diverse and have a stylized story being told through the lens of a gay person.

Photo: AfterForever

In closing, so many go through life without acknowledging people who had an impact them.  We don’t give pats on the back, often enough, and especially in Hollywood, where people can be very self-involved.  You have already paid tribute to Michael Slade in our discussion, but what gift from him is your personal takeaway?

KEVIN:  The gift that Michael really gave to me is to remember to be kind to myself and to others, and to acknowledge and salute the person who is in front of us, because we don’t know when we will have, or if we will have, another moment to do that.

Now below, check out the trailer for Riley’s Unforgettable School Project.  Then let us know, what do you think of its concept? Kevin’s thoughts on the passing of his collaborator on the project, Michael Slade? And, do you hope DAYS brings back Dr. Craig Wesley? Share your thoughts via the comment section.

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General Hospital

GH’s Kin Shriner Talks on Franco’s Demise, Scott’s Budding Romance with Obrecht, and His Enduring On-Screen Partnership with Genie Francis

One of the most beloved actors in the history of General Hospital, Kin Shriner, currently finds his alter-ego, Scott Baldwin, in a new budding on-screen romance with none other than Liesl Obrecht (Kathleen Gati).

This comes on the heels of Scott learning the devastating news that his son, Franco Baldwin was shot and killed, thus writing-off the ABC daytime drama series, for now, popular actor, Roger Howarth.

Photo: JPI

Throughout his now almost 44-year-run on the ABC daytime drama series, Kin Shriner has brought his unique acting chops that helped mold the character of legal eagle Scott Baldwin into the humorous, at times cutthroat, endearing and many times heartbreaking character we have all come to love.’

 

In a brand new exclusive virtual sit-down interview with Michael Fairman on You Tube’s The Michael Fairman Channel, Shriner opens up about his history with GH and the times he stepped away to take on roles on Texas and As the World Turns, and then back again to the town of Port Charles and GH.

Photo: ABC

As well, Kin reveals his reaction to learning the news that Roger Howarth would be exiting the show as his TV son and how he shot the key emotional scene where Laura (Genie Francis) tells Scott that Franco had died.  Shriner shares that he does not see how when Howarth returns to the show in as a yet-to-be-revealed character, that it would be a stretch if the two were some how related, but that he will miss working with the talented Howarth as a scene-partner.

Photo: JPI

As to the women in Scott’s life, Kin addresses each of them from: Lucy (Lynn Herring), Bobbie (Jackie Zeman), Dominque (Shell Danielson), Laura (Francis), Ava (Maura West) – to which the character could never get that close to – and now Liesl (Gati), and working opposite all the powerhouse actresses who portray them.

Photo: ABC

For fans of General Hospital who have watched the series for decades, Kin also shares memories of working with his late TV parents, Peter Hansen (Lee), Susan Brown (Gail) and his friend and former GH castmate John Reilly (Sean), plus backstage stories with his longtime scene partner, Genie Francis.

Watch the entire conversation with Kin below.

Now let us know, are you all for the Scott and Liesl romance? Will you miss scenes between Scott and Franco?  Would you ever want to see Scott and Laura reunite romantically? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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Y&R’s Joshua Morrow, Amelie Heinle, Mark Grossman, Hunter King and Melissa Ordway chat with Michael Fairman about being a part of and portraying the Newman Children as the show celebrates its 48th anniversary.Leave A Comment

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