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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
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 and have one last look around before walking off camera for the last time.

Thanks Brad for cheating the fans out of a proper send off for Ronn.

e johnson
e johnson

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

Mike
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
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
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
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 that if GH ever recast Brenda then it would be the one thing that would guarantee she would never return–all while chipperly saying she’d support the show doing what it had to do, but… It bothers me because no show exists to meet the whims of one actor no matter how much they do for the show or the ratings. Shows and producers might be stupid in their choices, and may pay down the line, but they should never be held hostage–nor should the show or future story options–to a single actor or star. It’s that simple. Something like 97% of actors will never have a regular, paying professional acting job. Others get one on a soap and get recast two weeks later because they didn’t “click.” Recasts are a part of soap life and they often hurt the feelings of the person who was replaced/not asked to return/not willing to return. And Moss and Marcil, especially, have no right to emotionally blackmail their shows or seek to turn the audience against the producer or show in the sympathy arena, as both of them voluntarily left their shows. Now they both had their reasons, and they may very well be legitimate for them, but both could have stayed if their claim on the role was the single most important thing to them. Once they vacate the role, the role is there to be recast, killed off, or treated however the show sees fit to serve the show and story. And while they might think it’s a mistake, and it may very well be, they have no right to claim betrayal.

LJ
LJ

Even Susan Lucci was recastable.

Sheryl Postin
Sheryl Postin

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

Barbara Hall
Barbara Hall

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

ethel
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
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, too! This show is now only a oneside LOganshow. My life is to much worth to spent longer on a show, that celebrates a whore and her disgustings bunch of coakroaches….

bc
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
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
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
Lisa

wish you well in all you do.

marciaSYDNEY.Australia
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 been on my screen thru some of the best and worst ties of my life, us also leaving my life in a strange way. Ron Moss and KKL had undeniable chemistry on screen, and I find it hard to believe that Bell will successfully be able to emulate or even somewhat match this chemistry with a new “faux Ridge” in Rons absence. Will I still be a loyal viewer I think I will, but for now I sit back cautiously awaiting the changes upcoming with great hesitation, all the while looking to see how, in heaven, Bell can recover from such an iconic character to the show, the glue that binds B&)! Here’s to change fellow Bolders…

marciaSYDNEY.Australia
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
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
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
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 of life party for Stephanie. It will not work without you! IF YOU CANT DO IT FOR B&B –DO IT FOR YOURSELF AND FOR ME! (LOL) I am a true B&B fan and YOU were the reason. Please come back Ron just one more time due to Susan Flannery leaving and to bring closure to the both of you leaving around the same time almost! I hope they extend the invitation or you offer to RETURN FOR THAT EPISODE SAKE AND FOR THE SAKE OF YOUR FANS! I really understand about moving on just dont do it this way! I WANT TO SEE YOU AT THAT PARTY!

Sheila
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
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
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
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
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
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
patrick

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

joyce davis
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
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
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. I will miss him more than i can tell him. I shall always remember the wonderful years he was able to join me in my living room and in the last years on the internet. I did some looking around and when watching my other favorite soap General Hospital just this past monday . Too my delight was Ronn Moss and the band player singing as a cameo appearance at the nurses ball i had so forgot the past and that he has always been that rock star all my yrs growing up i listened to their music. And the wonderful reminder of that is i can still have him in my world just this time it will be in music and he is so talented i do not feel i have lost anything. Thank you My dear friend for Ronn Moss you are now and always will remain so big apart of my life thanks for all you love to us the fans. And personally me. Elisabeth D Harrison of Lakewood WA. age yep 54.

General Hospital

Dominic Zamprogna Speaks Out On His Decision To Leave GH, His Final Scenes With Emme Rylan & How Dante Exited The Canvas

A few weeks ago, General Hospital fans watched as one of the series beloved stars, Dominic Zamprogna (Dante) exited the show in scenes opposite his longtime on-screen love interest, Emme Rylan (Lulu).  For nine years, Zamprogna brought authenticity, emotion, and heart to the son of Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) and Olivia Falconeri (Lisa LoCicero) to life.  While Dante’s journey started out with a bang, literally (thanks, Sonny!), over the years it appeared he was taking a backseat in meatier storylines.  All the while, Dante and Lulu remained one of the more popular duos with the viewers.

After much reflection, Zamprogna decided it was time for him to walk away from a place that became his second home.  His desire now shifted to play different characters in different projects, but it was not without taking many things into account with his life-changing decision.

Michael Fairman TV talked with Dominic to glean more insight into: if there was anything GH could have done to make him sign on the dotted line again, what went down to make those final scenes seem so rushed, how it was to say goodbye to his co-workers in front of the camera and behind the scenes, if he would consider a return at some point, and how would he feel if GH now planned on recasting Dante, and much more.

For us; we recall meeting Dominic for the first times just six months into his time at General Hospital for our first interview together.  We were instantly struck by his sincerity, humor, and his eagerness to learn from some of the best in the business.  Now exiting as a “soap vet“, per se, it is a full-circle moment that we had the time to conclude his GH journey with this conversation.  Here’s what Dom had to say about it all.

What were the factors that contributed to your decision to exit GH?  Was there a pivotal moment where you were feeling, and recognizing, that you were underutilized that you felt you needed to make a change? 

DOMINIC:  When you named me the “Most Underutilized Actor of 2017!” (Laughs) Well, my plan was never to stay forever.  But half-way through my second contract,  Emme Rylan (Lulu) and I were approached by our producer on set, who said words to the effect of: you guys have been on the sideline, time to get you into the game.  That led to the Dante cheating storyline, which gave us story for about a year … which was great!  But as that ended, so did any subsequent storylines, it seemed.  In the year that followed, I started entertaining thoughts of leaving.  By the next year, I started talking about it with my wife, Linda, who had started to notice that maybe I wasn’t happy anymore, and I wasn’t.  That’s not a good feeling, especially if you’re bringing that energy home with you.  Then, I made the mistake of going on social media, which is a terrible place to go sometimes.  But fans were saying the same sort of things I was feeling.  Was it all due to story or lack-thereof?  No.  I was starting to crave playing other roles, and that’s hard to do when you’re under contract.

Were discussions even had with Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) and the powers-that-be about your feelings of dissatisfaction over not being utilized more in storylines?

DOMINIC:  The discussions happened late.  Not until the negotiation process, actually.  I’m no squeaky wheel I guess, but I also don’t feel it’s in my job description to be one.  I did put out a few ideas here and there, but they didn’t happen.  I know other actors have tried the same and it didn’t lead to anything for them, either.  I was a creation of Bob Guza (former head writer, GH), and maybe I was spoiled by the amount of great writing I received while he was there.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

There had to be some sadness in walking away from GH.

DOMINIC:  Oh yeah… it was sad.  I built that character, and now here I was walking away from it, and essentially my second family.  That’s been the hardest part.  Lifelong friendships were made, and memories.  However, it’s been over a month and a half since I’ve been at GH and I feel happy.  I’ve been up in Canada shooting Tin Star, which has been a great experience.  I’ve stayed in touch with everybody and I miss everybody, in fact, I just spoke to Mo (Maurice Benard) yesterday, and I’m in class with Emme (she won’t leave me alone).  But, I feel like I made the right choice for me at this moment.

To clarify; were you actually trying to work out a deal to stay put, but both sides just could not hammer things out to a satisfactory conclusion?

DOMINIC:  We did try to work out a deal.  After more talks and conversations, I felt maybe we were going to get things done.  I was being told things would change and maybe shift things in the direction we wanted to go.  But at the end of the day, it’s gotta be in writing.  I feel like I’d been told similar things in the past which hadn’t come to fruition.  I was also reminded that it was me who needed to sign my name on that dotted line and live with that decision, and I chose not to do so.

If someone would have said to you: “We have an “A” story for you, and you are going to be driving it,” would you have been more apt to stay?   

DOMINIC:  There was talk about us sitting down and talking about storylines, but that didn’t end up happening, not sure why.  And even if it did, I don’t know that it would’ve changed my mind about leaving, anyway.   But just to be clear: I have no anger towards anybody.  It’s all a business at the end of the day.  Both sides did what they felt was right.  For me, I just felt this chapter had come to an end.

Photo: ABC

When, and how did you tell on-screen scene partner, Emme Rylan that you were leaving?  Was she happy for you and your decision?

DOMINIC:  Emme knew really early on.  Once January rolled around I was like: “I have been thinking for the last six to nine months that I am going to go.”   I wanted her to know, because we have been a couple for five years on the show.  Emme was very happy for me.  I went, “Wait a minute!  Don’t be this happy.  I’m leaving.” (Laughing)  

What happened when you told your on-screen mom, Lisa LoCicero ?

DOMINIC:  She was sad, but she is also said, “You’re in your prime, go see what’s out there!”   I wouldn’t have done this move if I did not get support at home.  My wife is the rock and the one that makes this household go.  Some things outside the show were starting to happen; I had a nice screen-test for a pilot, and then I booked these four episodes of Tin Star.  When you have choices in life; you have power and control over your future.  I think Emme and Lisa as actors realized that.  That’s what made them happy for me … for the future.  The last nine years were exciting.  However, when you can have a little bit more say in what you are doing on a day to day basis, that is empowering.  So, in saying, “no” to something, and saying, “Thank you, but that’s not what I am looking for right now,” that can feel good.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

It was a shame that through all the regimes that they rarely wrote any scenes between Dante and his father, Sonny.  What was Maurice Benard’s reaction when you told him you were leaving?

DOMINIC:  It has been pretty publicized that he and I were dissatisfied at the lack of  storyline, or scenes together.  Maurice asked the powers-that-be, “Why aren’t we working together more?”  We never had a clear answer as to why.  He didn’t know from one day to the next what was happening with my contract talks.  Mo saw me smiling one day and asked, “So does that smile mean you’re staying?”  And I said, “No, that smile is because I’m leaving.” (Laughs)  I said that more to mess with him, and make him sad.  He said, “As long as you are good financially, then I am all for anybody getting out of here and seeing what else is out there.” Really, Mo talks people into leaving so he can get more screen-time. (Laughs)

Let’s talk about the final airshow, and the story that came out of left field to facilitate your exit.  Was that written quickly to accommodate a shooting schedule or contract completion?  It felt rushed to the viewing audience.

DOMINIC:  Left field is right!  I still had a week and a half left of work when they found out I wasn’t going to re-sign, and within twelve hours I had six exit scenes written.  So, it wasn’t done to facilitate anything but a set (Lante’s house), I think.  My final tape date was May 18th, and Emme and I had scenes on the Wednesday or Thursday before that.  I guess they wanted my last scenes that aired to be with Emme, and that might have been the only scheduling day that worked for the set and the actors, and maybe that’s also why it felt so rushed.  All I could assume is that they didn’t think I was really going to leave so they didn’t plan for it, or they chose to protect themselves in this way, by not making a big deal about it.  I had another week of scenes in the PCPD with Chase (Josh Swickard) and Michael (Chad Duell) that was shot afterward.  But they had nothing to do with Dante’s “secret mission!”

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

I thought, “Wait!  Is that it?  Is this Dominic’s final show?  Dante doesn’t say goodbye to his mother… his father … or his son, Rocco?

DOMINIC:  Yeah, that was tough for me.  After 9 years you think you’re going to get a little bit better of a send off.   You also, hope they’re going to honor the character.  Dante wouldn’t leave to go to the 7-eleven without saying goodbye to his mother and kids.   Maurice and I talked about that.  He said, “I guess, they don’t want people to feel really sad.  You and me doing some goodbye scenes, people are going to be devastated.”   I agree with that.  However, I also think it’s a soap and that’s what fans want … good, ole drama.  I would have loved to have had scenes with Sonny, Olivia, and Dante’s kids, but when you make a decision like this, how you leave on-air is not up to you.  Both parties are going to handle it how it’s best for them.   I was very grateful they gave Emme and I something to seek our teeth into. 

They were very sad scenes.  You are one of those actors that can take the material and connect with it while delivering it in a very subtle and heartfelt way.  How was Emme after your final scenes?

DOMINIC:  She was kind of crying the whole time, going “Damn you! Damn you.”   I was having fun with it, because I love making Emme cry.  It’s not a very difficult thing to do.  (Laughs).  We were both pretty teary-eyed, actually.  Then, when we finished the scenes and I looked over and I saw how upset the crew was, that’s what really got me.  Barbara, one of the camera operators actually jokingly apologized; suggesting that if my last shot was blurry it was my fault!  As an actor, when you make the crew feel something it kind of gives you some extra good feels. That was always the best feeling, talking to Craig (our stage manager), or Donna (head of makeup department) after a scene to get the honest truth on how you did.  I’ll miss them.

Courtesy/ABC

Viewers, watching Dante have this flashback about the guy who was responsible for Lulu going overboard the Haunted Star a few years ago, probably needed a moment to connect the dots.  Some viewers were going, “What?  Dante is going after the guy that tried to drown Lulu from two years ago?”

DOMINIC:  When I read that in the script even I went, “What?” Who’s that?”  I had no idea, either. (Laughs)

Then there was this:  Dante was so hard on Lulu for her pursuing her dream as a journalist and how it inadvertently got Nathan killed.  Then all of a sudden in your final scenes, Dante has a line to Lulu in which he says something to the effect of: I understand now – you got to do, what you got to do.  In story, prior to these scenes it was leaning more towards Dante and Lulu were going to break-up over what had recently transpired.

DOMINIC:  Which, who knows?  If Dante had stayed in Port Charles it could have been the direction they were going in.  It certainly looked like they were building toward conflict, conflict, conflict, but with me leaving it was much sweeter to leave on the note that we left on, instead of Dante leaving, because he can’t deal with being around Lulu. This all leads me to believe that they didn’t want to do anything too permanent to give them time to make the proper decisions.

Courtesy/ABC

What was the last day of shooting like for you?  Was it hard to get through?

DOMINIC:  It felt like a regular day, and my final scenes were up towards the end of the tape day. They had a cake afterwards.  Frank briefly spoke and introduced Maurice; who said a bunch of sweet words.  That meant a lot to me.  I said “goodbye” to everybody and took some photos, and that was it.  I already had my room packed up.  Once you’re ready to go, you’re ready to go.  Afterwards, I went out with Ryan Paevey (Ex-Nathan) and Jeffrey Vincent Parise (Ex-Carlos) for some beers and wings at the bar down the street.  It wasn’t until everybody came back after a two-week break that it felt real, because then I was receiving text messages from people saying, “We’re back.  Why the hell aren’t you here?”

The door has been left open for Dante to return.  Would you ever come back?

DOMINIC:  Of course, at some point.  But it might not be my choice, they might recast.  They told me they won’t, but who knows what’ll be done.  Do I think you can just recast a role?  No, I think it’s always a tough sell, but they’ve done it with bigger names/characters than mine.  I would be a little surprised, only because there hasn’t been much story for Dante in the last three years.  For me, as of now, I’ve moved on, and I’m very happy with my decision and my life.  It’s sad in other respects, don’t get me wrong.  I’ve read things that people have said on Twitter, and I want everyone to know I’ve seen it all and it means a lot to me.  People have been beautiful to me.  I’m truly overwhelmed by the love.  I thought there would be more of, “Who cares?” when fans found out I left.   I must have done something right during the years I was at GH.

Did you think when you made the decision to leave they would kill-off Dante? 

DOMINIC:  No, not at all.  I don’t think killing off Dante would be a good idea, especially after they killed Nathan, and also because of the climate we live in with police involved shootings and violence, in general.  In a perfect world as an actor, you crave the opportunity to have one last moment with the other characters that have been important to your character over the years.  That’s all I would have wanted for myself, and Dante.  I’ll take what I got though.  It was extremely meaningful because of what Emme and I had and built.  I feel we got to the heart and soul of those two characters in a pretty short amount of time in our scenes.

Courtesy/ABC

Speaking of Nathan, I think thus far those funeral scenes, which you were wonderful in, and the story arc revolving around his death, are GH’s best bet for an Emmy in the Drama Series category next year. 

DOMINIC:  I agree.  It was so well-done.  We’d all would like to go out like that!  Tragic, but it made for great TV and great soap.  It was phenomenally well-acted across the board.  Lots of Emmy reel stuff for Michelle Stafford (Nina) and Kirsten Storms (Maxie), and Kathleen Gati (Liesl), and hopefully for our directors and crew, also.  They did an amazing job bringing that to life.

This now leaves Josh Swickard as the lone cop now by default on GH.   he PCPD is notorious for being the worst cop shop in the history of soaps! (Laughs) They can’t ever solve a crime.

DOMINIC: (Laughs) I know!  What is Josh is going to do?   Maybe between Chase and Jordan (Vienssa Antoine) they will solve crimes.  Maybe, they’ll bring on a new cop.  Josh is a great guy and I enjoyed working with him.  At the beginning, we had that contentious relationship between the two guys.  That would’ve been fun if it lasted longer, where they had this continual real dislike for one another.  Who knows?  With Dante gone, maybe they will start solving some crimes! (Laughs) Maybe now the PCPD will be the greatest police unit in the USA.

Courtesy/ABC

Over your nine years at GH, would you still consider that your best storyline was coming on to the show and then having Sonny shoot Dante, only for it to turn out that he just shot his own son?

DOMINIC:  Yes, I think you have to.  That was my intro.  They had this story planned eight months before they even cast the role.  To get to that moment, was a classic soap cliffhanger.  I grew up watching soap operas with my grandparents, and if they had been alive for that scene they would have lost it, because it was something that ‘old school’ soap fans would really dig.  For me, doing that story felt so special.  ABC also pumped it with the promotion, and the promos, and the TV spots, and amped it up.  I didn’t feel it disappointed.  It was actually the audition scene that I had to perform to get the part!  Then six months later you get to say these lines that got you the part, and you hope you don’t whiff on the softball.

While putting together and producing the GH 55th anniversary tribute package for this year’s Daytime Emmys, I included that moment between Sonny and Dante.  I remember watching the complete scene before editing it and the dialog was so good.  It still holds up to this day.

DOMINIC:  My manager was at the Emmys that night, and said what a great moment that was.  I meant to thank you for that, because I really appreciated it being in there.

Courtesy/ABC

Are there any other scenes that come to mind that you are most proud of?

DOMINIC:  I also really loved the scenes with Max Gail (Mike). He is a special guy.  There was so much in our scenes; where Dante finds him with Avery in the stables.  Those moments are going to stick with me for a long time.

On June 28th, the airdate of your last episode, you posted a tweet to the fans that read: “The love you guys have given me over the years and continue to give is overwhelming.  It is I that must thank YOU!”  I thought that was extremely touching and very appreciated by the fans.

DOMINIC:  I was thinking, “Man, I have to thank you, because I would not legitimately be here if you hadn’t liked this guy, Dante.”  It was bringing tears to my eyes reading what people were saying, and seeing how much love I was receiving.

Tell me about your role in the British-Canadian production of Tin Star?

DOMINIC:  It’s a recurring role,  I’ve been working on it since March.  It’s something very different from what I’ve been doing the last 9 years.  Can’t give much away, but I play a hired gun type of guy.  There are some great scenes and moments, and I was lucky enough to work with Christina Hendricks, John Lynch, and the legend, Tim Roth.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Do you feel now that you have had some time away now from GH, and have been playing another role, that the thought of playing Dante for you at this point is like: “Been there. Done that?”

DOMINIC:  I would never say Dante is done forever.  Right now for me, he is.  They left it open, hopefully they left it open for me, but every actor hopes that.  We want our cake and to eat it too!  I want to leave right now, but I want you to want me to come back some day.  No one wants their role to be recast.  But it’s an important character, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see.  Who knows what the future holds.  I left on good terms.  Just so everyone knows; I didn’t spring something on GH on the last day of my contract.  It’s important that I let people know that I didn’t just wake up one day and say, “See ya”.  This also wasn’t about money.  Sure, we want to be paid what we believe we’re worth.  But this in no way was about me asking for the moon, or I was going to leave.  It was a very, very difficult decision.

So, what do you think about how GH wrapped up Dante’s story for Dominic’s exit? Would you like him to return to GH sooner than later?  Do you think the role of Dante was problematic to write for?  What were your favorite scenes of Dom’s during his time at GH? Let us know via the comment section below.

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Interviews

Jonathan Jackson Talks Avery’s Love Quandary, Saying Goodbye To ‘Nashville’ & If He Would Return To General Hospital

With just three weeks before the series finale of CMT’s Nashville, Avery Barkley (Jonathan Jackson) finds himself in a major conundrum.  The woman he has loved and had a child with, Juliette Barnes (Hayden Panetierre) has returned home after escaping a cult compound, just as Avery has opened himself up to the start of a new relationship with Alannah (Rainee Blake).  After not hearing from Juliette, added to the many times he felt she abandoned him and their child, will a betrayed and hurt Avery want to find a way to patch up their relationship … or try to keep Alannah by his side?

Michael Fairman TV chatted with five-time Daytime Emmy winner, Jonathan Jackson to get the lowdown on what transpired over the last few episodes and how it may end for Avery, as we inch closer and closer to having to say farewell to the Music City drama.

Since Nashville wrapped its sixth and final season a few months back, General Hospital fans have been wondering and hoping, if now is the time that Jackson would return to his role as the beloved Lucky Spencer, the son of Luke (Tony Geary) and Laura (Genie Francis). Jackson originated the role in 1993 and stayed with the series till 1999.  He next returned in 2009 for a few years, then left again, and was cast on Nashville.  Jonathan made a special return in 2015 to appear in a storyline that reunited him on-screen with Geary one final time, before the soap icon retired from the show.  In this interview, Jackson addresses a return, some of his favorite moments of all-time on GH, what he learned from Tony and Genie, and more.

Those that follow Jackson are aware that his talent knows no bounds.  He is also focused on his music career, and his band Enation, which has been building on its success, playing recent sold out shows in Europe, while Jackson also had been on the final Nashville tour performing with the cast.  So, buckle up!  The next step in Jackson’s career will be one to watch.  Now, check out our insightful and heartfelt conversation below.

Avery is caught in a compromising position by Juliette, when she walks in while Avery is making out with Alannah, who has just has taken her top off.   What goes on in Avery’s mind at that point?  Is it, “Oh, no! I’m busted!” (Laughs)

JONATHAN:  It’s all sorts of things.  There is the visceral reaction, and then in his mind trying to figure what to do.  It’s sort of awkward, because they are in her house and her photos are everywhere (Laughs).  However clumsily and strange it is, he is trying to move on and get a life together with someone, and yet deep down he still has feeling for Juliette, which is mixed with anger and all of that.  He is having all different confusing conflicting emotions, all at the same time, and for Alannah as well.  It’s kind of a mess!

Courtesy/CMT

By the end of this week’s episode, viewers saw Avery and Juliette start to talk, with Avery letting her know just how he feels about her leaving him, and that he has decided to move out.  All Juliette is asking is that he keeps talking to her.  As Nashville moves toward its conclusion, the big question for the character of Avery will be … who is he going to end up with, if anyone?  I would assume many longtime fans would be rooting for Avery and Juliette, because they have gone through so much together.

JONATHAN:  Yes.  However, I have been receiving messages from fans, and talking to fans on tour, and they are slightly conflicted, too.  There is a lot of love for Avery and Juliette, but there is also frustration around the whole thing, and that they want Avery to move on and be happy. 

Courtesy/CMT

Where is Avery at with his relationship with Alannah?  He was getting close to her, and now she is attempting to put distance between them since Juliette resurfaced.

JONATHAN:  It’s difficult to pinpoint where Avery is at right at this moment.  There is a lot going on, and a lot of it is rooted in the fact that he went to Bolivia to try and bring Juliette home, and when she refused him that was so devastating for him.  The Alannah relationship snuck up on him. In some sense his heart is still attached to Juliette, but his mind is telling him it’s over, and that she is gone.  Avery and Alannah are connected to each other on a certain level.  It surprised both of them.  I think he has genuine feelings for her, but it’s also him pushing himself to move on from Juliette, which is something he has not been able to do.

Without Alannah, the band flounders with Gunnar (Sam Palladio) and Avery, and then there is the health situation with Will (Chris Carmack).  Alannah’s presence really put a kink in Gunnar and Avery’s friendship.  She stared out with one guy, and was on her way to being with another.

JONATHAN:  Gunnar and Avery are really good friends and care about each other a lot, and it is certainly an awkward moment in their friendship.   In terms of the band, they lose Will who has been through this health crisis, and then Alannah.  The music components are kind of imploding and they are just trying to hold on to their friendship, and not have that implode along with the band.

Courtesy/CMT

Brad (Jeff Nordling) is making advances towards Alannah, and she originally tells Avery about it.  What does he think of the situation?  Now, she may do whatever Jeff wants her to do to get ahead in the music biz, since Juliette came back into Avery’s life.

JONATHAN:  I think Avery is trying to be supportive of Alannah.  It was a little bit of a blow for her to leave the band, but he generally wants to support her.  Avery has this instinct to be protective, as well.  He kind of has to hold himself back a little bit and not complain too much. He knows Alannah is an independent person, and may not want his help.  With the situation with Brad, Avery is aware of it, but she is walking into that in her own way.  It’s a moment for Avery to sort of step back and trust her that this is how she wants to go about her career.

Did you know Rainee Blake was going to be your potential love interest this season? Did you screen-test with her?

JONATHAN:  We did not screen-test together.  I think relatively earlier on I heard that this might happen, but it is one of those things were you never really know.  Often times, the writers and the producers bide their time and see how things develop as a couple, and how the audience responds to the on-screen chemistry.  You never really know if it’s going to materialize.  I actually did like how Avery and Alannah started to connect on the tour bus several episodes ago. The audience got a tease of a different side of Alannah, and Avery kind of brought that out.  Rainee was great to work with.

Courtesy/CMT

You have gotten the opportunity as Avery to tug on the heartstrings, as a dad raising his little girl, Cadence, all by himself, with a the runaway mother who never shows up.  How was the journey working with Hayden Panetierre?  You two had to battle, bicker, fight, and had to play all these ups and downs together to make the story work over many seasons of Nashville.

JONATHAN:   It was really amazing, and for me that is one of the things I will miss most about working on the show, and that is working with Hayden.  It’s such an interesting thing when you work with people for so many years, and all of the emotional ups and downs that the characters go through.  Often times, we would be doing a lot of intense and emotional scenes, but for whatever reason, we would find a way to have a lot of fun and find the humor when we are doing those.  I have a lot of love and respect for Hayden.  I think she is incredibly talented. We both started off in soap operas (Hayden was Lizzie on Guiding Light) and thus had a certain approach to our work, and our work ethic.  For me, it’s always a highlight in my career when I get to work with somebody that the scene is already great, because of the person you are working with.  We would constantly share ideas back and forth between us.  The thing about working on Nashville was the friendships we developed in the cast, especially going on tour with the cast and to experience all of that with everybody else.

Courtesy/CMT

What happened when you found out that this sixth and final season of Nashville would be its last?  Did you have any idea that this was coming down the pike when you wrapped season 5? 

JONATHAN:  No.  I don’t think anybody knew when we wrapped season 5.  We did not know till right before everybody else that this was going to be the last season.  We were in production maybe halfway through season 6.  I think that it helped having that time to adjust, and it gave us some time for reflection.  It really did help in a sense, because you know other shows they might wrap a month, or two later, and it’s over.  You don’t get to say goodbye, but we really did.  We got to say our goodbyes.

Courtesy/CMT

I can imagine that was heartbreaking.  When you think of the rollercoaster ride you and the cast had been through together which included: the cancellation by ABC, then the show coming back on CMT, only for it to be cancelled again, it’s quite a lot to deal with and not knowing if there is job security.  Do you recall your last day on the set?

JONATHAN:  I do remember it very well.  There were a lot of beautiful moments with people, and having so much love for the crew and so many amazing people that worked on the show.  We wrapped on April 10th and then we flew to the U.K. on the 12th   It was two days later that the tour started.  Even though filming was over, we were on a plane and then on a bus together, which was really good for all of us.  I know it was for me to have another ending.  In some ways, the end of the tour was even more emotional, because that really felt it was the end.

Photo Credit: CMT

Do you think there were more stories to tell on Nashville … or, do you think the series is going off the air when it should, as the stories can tend to get repetitive on any long-running series? Do you think this was the right time for Nashville to say goodbye?

JONATHAN:  I don’t know how other people’s perspectives are about it, but I know from my perspective, I think we told the story that was there to be told for these characters.  That is sort of the bittersweet reality of it.  It’s painful to say goodbye to a lot of people that I had become very close to, but at the same time, there was a sense of peace about it.  It really did feel like the right time.

What can you say tease about how Nashville concludes? The series finale airs on July 26.

JONATHAN:  One of the hardest things about being in a long form series; whether it be in the primetime format, or the daytime format, is often times the lack of resolution that takes place. You are pertually in Act 2 and in all the drama.  So, knowing that the show was over, allowed the writers to approach everything from the perspective of the end, and Act 3.  Certain storylines have resolution, and others are left open-ended.  There is a good overall balance from the writers of what the audience is going to experience with the end of the show.

Courtesy/ABC

I produced the General Hospital 55th anniversary tribute package for this year’s Daytime Emmys.  I remember looking at some of your storylines and touching performances all over again that still hold up to this day.  One in particular was Lucky pulling tough love on Luke (Tony Geary) during his father’s intervention.  Lucky is such a valuable character on the canvas.  Would you consider going back to GH? 

JONATHAN:  My perspective on that is; I don’t really put that off the table.  I really don’t have plans to do that, because after coming off six years on a series, that is a lot.  I am definitely looking for other projects that have an Act 1, 2, and 3, that happen a little sooner than Nashville did.  I always have going back to GH on the table, because it’s like a family for me.  I have always said that that even when I left in the 90’s; that GH would be something I would come back to.  But, I am very committed and excited about what is happening with Enation, and excited about some other projects that are out there on the acting front. I don’t see going back to GH in the near future, but I never write it off.

When you last returned you did come back to be part of Tony Geary’s exit.

JONATHAN: Yes, yes, which I was really happy to be a part of.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Still years later, when you think of all the stories you portrayed as Lucky, is there one, or two that stand out to you among the rest?

JONATHAN:   There are many.  There were a lot of stories, and the writers wrote so much material, and that is a double-edged sword.  It’s great to have, but it was so much that I really couldn’t continue. (Laughs)

Photo Credit: ABC

I remember saying to you years ago, “You cry so well on camera. They are going to keep expecting you to cry, and they will be throwing scripts like that to you every day!”

JONATHAN:  And that is exactly what happened!   But for me, it’s the moments with the co-stars that I will always carry with me.  There are endless ones in my memory with Tony Geary. “The intervention” was certainly one of those moments.  I had those moments as well with Tyler Christopher (Ex-Nikolas, now Stefan, DAYS), and Becky Herbst (Elizabeth).  I remember having these scenes with Maurice Benard (Sonny) when scenes on the soaps were much longer.  And of course, earlier on, with Genie Francis (Laura) as well.  I feel like as an artist, I was really formed by Tony and Genie’s presence and observing them and watching how they worked.  I asked so many questions to them as I really wanted to learn.  They really protected me in so many ways, and yet gave me the freedom to try to find my own way through a whole process as well.  Those are the things that really jump out at me, as well as working through the scenes prior to filming, especially with Tony.  He and I would go pretty deep with what we were trying to figure out; what the scenes were, and what they were about, and how to approach it.  That part of the process was really memorable to me.  The unique thing I think in this industry for me was that I started at 11-years-old and got to come back to the show in my mid-20’s, and got to have that connection with another actor, and explore this father and son relationship.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

I don’t think, and I really mean this, that there has been a father/son relationship on television like Luke and Lucky’s.   It was so multi-faceted.   Have you stayed in touch with Tony?

JONATHAN:  We definitely stay in touch.  Again, when I left General Hospital, I did not know if anything like that would happen again in my career where I would form sort of long-lasting friendships with people.  Most of the time you do a film and you get to know some people, and you go your separate ways, and that’s just how it is.  So I was really grateful for Nashville, because I feel like we were able to have those long-lasting relationships. I can’t really put into words my relationship with Tony.  It’s just a lot of love and gratitude, and respect that I have for him.

Courtesy/JJacksonInstagram

Meanwhile, your music career is very exciting of late.  Last month, you played the Royal Albert Hall in London with your band, Enation.  How was that experience?

JONATHAN:  It was amazing.  I went overseas with the Nashville tour and then Enation did a couple of shows, and then we opened for Echo & the Bunnymen.  The last gig on that tour was at Royal Albert Hall.  I have loved Echo & the Bunnymen for such a long time, and so this was wonderful for us.

Will Enation be touring more coming up?  

JONATHAN:  We are looking to go back to Europe later this year, or the spring of next year, and are working out those details.  We are going to be touring in the United States later on this year.

Photo: JJacksonInstagram

Did your wife Lisa (Ex-Hannah, GH) meet up with you on this recent European tour?

JONATHAN: The Nashville tour ended in Ireland, and then my wife and kids came over for the last two shows there. Then, got to go around Ireland for a couple of weeks and drive around, and it was fun.

Did you notice a difference between the European music fans of Nashville as opposed to those in the U.S.?

JONATHAN:  Yes, and no.  One of the things I have noticed playing over there is that the distinction in musical genres isn’t quite as a sharp as it is in the U.S.  Over there, the radio seems to play a lot different kinds of music.  So, it was a pretty seamless transition for a lot of the people that came to the Nashville show.   We see a slight difference in the music fan base, and it mainly has to do with that they may go to a country show one week, and a couple of weeks later go to a rock concert, and not think twice about the genre.  It’s just they are looking for good music.

Courtesy/JJacksonInstagramm

Hard to believe we are turning the page on another great character played by Jonathan Jackson as Nashville heads towards its finale.  What would you like to say to the fans, the #Nashies, who have loved, and have stuck with show every step of the way?

JONATHAN:  Just a heartfelt ‘thank you’ for all the support, especially when the show was cancelled.  CMT saw the enthusiasm and support from the fans here and internationally, and that was a huge part for us to be able to get the last few seasons.  It has really meant a lot to us creatively to write that 3rd act, sort of speak, and have that sense of closure. I also would just say to the fans that have come out to the Nashville concerts as well, that it has meant so much.  We feel like we have had some beautiful moments with everybody, and so I am very grateful for that.

So, what do you think will happen to Avery at the end of Nashville?  Do you want him to end up with Juliette, Alannah, or by himself? Should GH try to lure Jonathan back to the his role as Lucky Spencer? Comment below!

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Interviews

Y&R’s Peter Bergman Talks On: Jack Finding His True Biological Father, His Co-Stars, And If He Would Like A New Love Interest

On The Young and the Restless turns out Ashley (Eileen Davidson) is not the only child raised as an Abbott; whose father is not John.  As viewers learned back at the end of March, Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman) is not the biological son of the Abbott patriarch, either!  This has sent Jack on a pursuit to find out who he truly is, and who he truly belongs to, because being John Abbott’s (Jerry Douglas) son meant everything to him.

Once again, this story has given multi-Daytime Emmy winner, Peter Bergman an opportunity to play the complex layers of one of daytime’s best characters.  Recently, Jack had gone through his mother Dina’s (Marla Adams) old diary, where there was a key page missing out of it.  He then located a photo, which led him to believe that none other than late Phillip Chancellor II (played by the late Donnelly Rhodes) is his real father.  Is Jack a Chancellor?

Hell-bent on exhuming the body for DNA proof, Jack is getting massive pushback from just about everyone on Genoa City.  It is not helping the situation that Dina is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and her recollections of what transpired years ago when she had an affair, may not be accurate.  Now this week, Jack has a plan that may backfire and ends up involving his son, Kyle (Michael Mealor) in the process.  Will these two work together to get the proof of the truth?

Michael Fairman TV chatted with the actor’s actor, Peter Bergman to get his take on: the surprise story twist he never saw coming, if Jack has the purest of intentions, or if he is just chomping at the bit get his hands on Chancellor Industries, if he would like to see Jack have a new love interest, and more.  It’s always a treat to speak with Peter.  Here is what he had to say about Jack’s latest inner-turmoil.

Jack is not John’s Abbott’s son.  He is searching for the answer of who is his biological father.  Now, Jack believes he has found the answer in the photo he found that included Phillip Chancellor II, and then went to Dina to confirm the answer, even knowing his mother is battling Alzheimer’s disease.  Don’t you think he jumped on this notion of Phillip being his dad all too son?

PETER:  Jack has stumbled upon evidence that this is for real with the photo he found.  He went to Dina on what was a very lucid day for her, and she was pretty damn clear.  So, therefore it wasn’t just the ramblings of a lost woman.  Jack is very eager for an answer.  Could it be argued that he jumped on this as a possibility? Yes, and for a number of reasons.  First, he feels somewhat utter-less and needs to be connected to something, but he also knows his family, and the history of this family, and “Oh, my God” could that be a way out of this untethered feeling that he had.  So he is really grabbing on to this pretty quickly.  Second, it is not lost on Jack that part of inheriting all of Phillip’s traits might also bring him part of the Chancellor estate, which would belong to Jack and perhaps he could pick-up at the corporate level where he left off.  So that is exciting, but certainly not central to his thinking.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Everyone thinks from Cane (Daniel Goddard) to Jill (Jess Walton), to Billy (Jason Thompson) , that all Jack truly wants is to stake claim as an heir and to try to take control of Chancellor Industries.  Are they that far off from the truth?

PETER:  How honest is Jack being with himself?  We will find out!  He would want to stake his claim … and maybe a little bit more!

What was your reaction when you learned that Jack would be revealed to be the son of Phillip Chancellor II, when for decades you have been playing so much of what drives your character that he is the son of John Abbott?  Were you like, “What!??” (Laughs)

PETER:  I have been doing this much too long, to go “Why?”  I, quite frankly ask, “Where do you want to go with this?  Where do you want to take me?” The things that I have done in the past that I have fought the most have usually been the things that really led me somewhere.  I tell the story all the time of John Abbott dying.  They decided to bring him back as Jack’s conscious, and he would appear in scenes with Jack and talk to him.  I thought “C’mon. This is The Young and the Restless, and I am doing a ‘ghost’ storyline?”  I fought it and I didn’t like it, and I was wrong.  It was fantastic, and it worked great, and the audience liked it.  I learned from it.   I don’t go, “Whaaat?” that much anymore.  There have been a few of those including: the whole doppelganger story, while it confused me at times, and I thought this had gone a few steps too far, but it led us to Billy/Phyllis/Jack story. It was a direct line to that, and one of the most dynamic storylines I have ever been in.  So, I see this current story, and I go, “That is an interesting turn.”  Then, as an actor, I dig into it.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Jack wants to exhume Phillip’s body and everybody from Jill to Cane is objecting.  Esther (Kate Linder) is worried Mrs. C. will roll over in her grave if he does this move.  As we will see, Jack does not take “no” for answer.

PETER:  Jack eventually all but gives up, but then a door opens slightly for him to look at this a different way   Jack reluctantly walks through that door.

Do you think Jack has ever thought of the possibility of: “What if I am the son of someone from the circus … or the former pool boy at the country club?”

PETER:  I have thought it’s amusing when I have met people who have explored their past lives. They have always been a prince or a princess. They were never menial laborers.  I think he looks back and is kind of curious.  I think Jill points it out to him that he is not at all suspicious that he is the pool boy, or the golf pro’s offspring?  He knows the tryst happened at the country club, and so the first person you think of is one of the elite of the country club. 

Courtesy/CBS

It would be such a huge devastating fall for Jack if something like that turned out to be true!  Jack so wants to belong to a family that has wealth and prestige that goes along with their name.  I wonder what it would be like if he had to say, “Yes. It’s true.  I am the pool boy’s son!” (Laughs)

PETER:  I don’t know how that would fit Jack.

How is working with the latest Kyle, you’re on-screen son, played by Michael Mealor? The part had been recast multiple times and the actor didn’t stick.

PETER:  I cannot say enough good things about Michael.  This is an extremely disciplined, very talented, and very professional guy.  I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him.  I think he is doing a great job.  Michael gets looser every show.  He likes to take big chances and try a lot of things.  We have had a lot of young actors on the show and what they do is try to project that they are cool.  They don’t go outside of the, “I’m going to be cool, and honest, and real.”  They say, “I am going to be solid, and make simple choices.”  Michael takes big chances doing large stuff, and going overboard  That’s scary do to as an actor, but I watch him in scenes with Hunter King (Summer) where he is trying to appear cool, but just her physical prescience gets to him.  You can see it in his performances and it’s wonderful to watch.   It’s lovely to see in a 26-year-old and it’s fantastic.  I have high hopes for Michael.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

This version of Kyle seems to be a bit of a chip-off-the-old-block.  He can play dirty just like his dad!

PETER:  As far as where Kyle is at … he is like Jack Abbott.  He is not a good guy, nor a bad guy.  Kyle is a bit of an opportunist with a heart, who wants to feel a part of things, but he also takes advantage of the situation, in a way that sometimes works against that. 

We saw Jack stumble and drink again as he fights his addiction when learning the news that John is not is biological father.  Do you see him stumbling again, and going back to popping pills and booze, if Phillip Chancellor II were not to wind up being his dad?

PETER:  I don’t know if he will see him spiraling, but it is worth saying for someone who is a constant and has a had guiding light of  ‘what’s right, and what’s wrong” and that now has been taken away from him essentially when John Abbot goes “Jack!”, that is a game-changer.  What we can expect from Jack now may change.  Jack isn’t as bound by “what would dad do” as he once was.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

So, we may be surprised with a turn in attitude from Jack?

PETER:  You may be surprised.  So much of his life, and certainly so much of what I play is that Jack has spent his whole life trying to be like John Abbott, because John Abbott is his father.   Now that is not so. So, how much effort should Jack be putting in to being like John Abbott?

Good point!

PETER:  It will be interesting to see where that goes!

We have seen many actors in the soaps portray drug and alcohol addiction. When Jack’s played itself out originally, it was one of the most harrowing to watch.

PETER:  He got to a dark place very fast.  It was out of control.  It was an important part of the Phyllis (Gina Tognoni) and Jack story, because he honestly did not have the strength to do it by himself, and he had somebody to help him through it   As it turned out, it was a formative experience for Jack and for Phyllis; one that they carry with them for the rest of their lives. They know things about each other that the rest of the world does not know.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Billy recently read Jack the riot act, when Jack told his brother about being Phillip Chancellor’s son.  Having had it with Jack, Billy threw him out of his office.  Where do you think the relationship stands between the brothers at this point?

PETER:  It’s really hard for Jack.  He is still on the board at Jabot.  He has family ties there, and he still gets the checks, but it feels so weird for him, it really does.  He is trying to be a bigger man and let Billy do what Billy is going to do.  Deep down inside Jack has known Billy for a really long time, and when Billy sort of combusts, boy, does he go! Jack hates that Billy is holding the reins of Jabot, if things fall apart for Billy.

Viewers are seeing Billy turning to gambling again.  What would Jack do if he finds out what is happening to his brother?

PETER:  I don’t know what he could do.  I am not sure what he could do to stop the CEO of the company as things currently stand.  It’s hard for Jack to relax around Billy. It’s not a promising situation.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Do you think the Jack and Bill will ultimately be there for each other when the chips are down moving forward?

PETER:  Jack has a soft place in his heart for addicts for reasons we both know, and a soft spot for family.  It will be interesting to see how well Jack’s patience holds up, if Billy should go down that particular rabbit hole.

Do you think Jack might visit Chancellor Park and have a chat with the late Katherine about the revelation about Phillip and Dina?

PETER:  I think Jack is really trying to be realistic about all of this.  It could clearly be proven, but he is impatient.  He could wait for Chance and Phillip III to come back from their Himalayan trip, but he does not want to wait.  It’s just so easy if everyone would be practical about this, and get some fragment of Phillip’s remains, and there would be a DNA test.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Jack’s nemesis, Victor Newman (Eric Braeden) is having a lot of issues, too.  This includes his mysterious health diagnosis …

PETER:  Oh, damn! (Laughs)

How does Jack feel about Victor these days and the plight that he is in?

PETER:  Jack has such contempt for Victor.  However, Jack can occasionally see that Victor is important to some people, but Victor to Jack is everything that is wrong in the world.  As to the fact that he is struggling right now, does Jack wish bad physical health on him, or anybody?  No. However, if things didn’t go easily for Victor, Jack would not lose any sleep over it.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Don’t you think it’s time for Jack to have a real, honest-to-goodness, love interest?

PETER:  Jack should have a new love interest.  I think the writers and the producers of The Young and the Restless are paying me a lot for half of what I do.

Jack should find true love.  Someone who will be with him and whom he loves with all his heart, and someone who loves him back, flaws and all.  A romance where he is not manipulating her, or she is not manipulating him, for financial or corporate gain.   Do you think at this point that is even possible?

PETER:  I think that would be a swell thing, but that would be a daytime show investing in an actress that is over 40-years-old.  They have done it, but it’s a rare thing.  But yes, I do feel like we are seeing two-thirds of Jack.  There is another third of him that is completely unexplored and that’s a shame.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

We saw those heartbreaking scenes that aired last year where Jack had to admit to Ashley that his mother has Alzheimer’s.  How is he going to continue in his relationship with Dina knowing she has had multiple affairs throughout her life, and when married to John?

PETER:  This is a real difficult place for Jack.  Obviously, he has his mother back in his life in one sense, but his mother has been responsible for pretty much everything that has gone wrong in his life over the last two years.  It’s just one thing after another.  Had his mother been faithful to John, Jack would not be in this situation.  Had his mother not returned, we could have gone on with life as it was, and now all this mess is in part Dina’s doing.  Now, Jack has moved out of the house and so his mother is slipping away by the minute, and Jack is not around for it.  He keeps visiting, and he keeps stopping by, but it just doesn’t feel like it’s enough.  Jack struggles with that a lot.  He should be more in Dina’s life and be around for that, but being around for that means being in the Abbott house.  Everywhere he looks are reminders that he is not who he told himself he is for his entire life.

One of the more endearing moments came at this year’s Daytime Emmys, after Eileen Davidson (Ashley, Y&R) took to the stage to accept her award for Outstanding Lead Actress.  She thanked you while you were in the audience.

PETER:  This is in keeping with my new plan for the Emmys each year,  What I do is: I try to get a nomination so that I can sit in the audience after I have lost and hear the winner for Lead Actress thank me personally. (Laughs)  I am two for two in the last two years! (Laughs) Gina Tognoni had won that category the year prior.  Eileen Davidson is the greatest, and she has been for all intent and purposes my leading lady on Y&R.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Now, Eileen Davidson has announced, and made the decision to leave her role as Ashley.

PETER:   I can’t say enough things about her.  I adore her … I adored working with her. She is every bit as good as everybody thinks she is.  She comes to work prepared   She never needs hand- holding or spoon-feeding.  Eileen is the real deal; had she been one of Jack’s lovers that would have been over a long time ago.  The fact that she is his sister is fantastic.  Now with her exiting the show, I will miss her terribly.

In closing, viewers should watch for Jack’s next move?

PETER:  Jack is not leaving any stone unturned.  He has to figure out who he is, and desperate times call for desperate measures.

So, do you think Phillip Chancellor II is truly Jack’s biological father?  If not, who do you think is?  What have you thought of Peter Bergman’s performance in the storyline? Would you like to see Jack have a new love interest?  If so, who would you like to see the series bring onto the show to play opposite him? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Next week on Y&R, Hilary is fighting for her life, but the prognosis is not good. Friends and loved ones come to the hospital and ask for forgiveness and to tell her to fight. But how can she? Watch the latest promo from CBS Daytime below. Leave A Comment

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