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The Scott Clifton Interview – The Bold and the Beautiful

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At his young age, Scott Clifton has become quite the accomplished actor and a daytime favorite, having now appeared on three top daytime soap operas; General Hospital as Dillon Quartermaine, One Life to Live as Schuyler Joplin, and now as Liam Cooper on The Bold and the Beautiful.  And, with four Daytime Emmy nominations under his belt – three for GH and one this past year for his work on OLTL – Clifton is creating another unique character over at B&B with a whole new set of dilemmas and problems!

A bit of the back-story: the versatile Clifton wasn’t off of our daytime screens for too long.  Once OLTL let him go, he was back in L.A. looking for work, and B&B head honcho, Brad Bell, had the good sense to hire him for the role of Bill Spencer Jr.’s son. (The one he never knew he had!) And while Liam came to town in search of his father, he soon stumbled onto computer intrigue (after all he is computer tech) that revealed the accidental sex romp of Brooke and Oliver!  And after a ‘who’s the daddy’ story somewhat in reverse, we all learned that Liam is the son of Bill Jr, and neither one is too pleased…and that’s putting it mildly!  Add to the mix the beautiful young Hope Logan, who has fallen for Liam’s quirky charms, and we could be seeing the emergence of the breakout character of the 2010 soap season, and perhaps a new set of star-crossed lovers.

As for Clifton himself, “talented,” “funny,” “articulate,” “intelligence abounds,” are just a few of the words On-Air On-Soaps would use to describe him in this brand new in-depth feature conducted recently in his dressing room at the set of CBS.  So how did he keep the secret storyline under wraps?  What is it like working with Don Diamont (Bill) as father and son?  What is Scott doing on YouTube?  And we find out, of all of his soap roles, which one is the most like him.  The answer may surprise you.  One of the true originals of daytime… here’s Scott!

MICHAEL:

How much did you actually know when we last spoke to each other around the Daytime Emmys, about the role of Liam?

SCOTT:

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Around the Emmys, I was not allowed to talk about what I did know.  And there were three or so weeks at the set where I was not supposed to tell people there what I knew, and that was at Brad Bell’s request.  This is actually the first job and role that I booked where I did not know who the character was that I was going to be playing.  It was on my first day that they said, “Oh, by the way, your character is going to be called Liam.”  That was all I knew, and then I went up to Brad’s office.  He said, “What do you want to know?  Do you want to know everything?  Or, I could not tell you everything?”  I said, “Tell me, I want to know.” And that is when he said, “Well, your mom died of cancer, and long story short, you are Bill Spencer’s son.  So you are going to be working a lot with Don Diamont, and that is why we decided to make him Liam, short for William.”  So there was a period I knew about it, but I still did not tell people about that until it came out in the script.

MICHAEL:

So wait… when you took the job, were you taking the role “sight unseen” not knowing how it would be integral to the canvas of B&B?

SCOTT:

I should be clear, I auditioned like everybody else and it was not like it was a role that was just offered to me.  And it wasn’t until a few days before that I even knew that B&B was a half hour show!  I had been looking at YouTube for clips.  But you can’t tell from YouTube clips that it is a half hour show.  That made a big difference.  I noticed it right away when I got here.  Everyone was so relaxed and everybody is so nice to each other, and there is such a great vibe here. I think that has to do with that it is much easier to run a tight ship when you are shooting less material a day.  So everybody is kind of on their mark and so non-stressful. I was prepared for more stress, and so I was very pleasantly surprised.

MICHAEL:

It was a very big letdown when they let you go, and wrote you out at One Life to Live. Schuyler had such great material at the end and he had just been revealed to be Mitch Laurence’s son.  But in soap land, it almost always seems when they are ready to write you out, they hand you powerful scenes as your parting gift. (Laughs)

SCOTT:

Not everyone, so I am pretty lucky and grateful for that. They could have just let me fade out, and if it weren’t for One Life to Live, I might not have created enough buzz to audition for this.  So I kind of owe one to OLTL.

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MICHAEL:

Do you think of B&B’s Liam as a computer nerd or geek?

SCOTT:

“Geek” is not the right word.  He is definitely not a stud. General Hospital’s, Dillon, was like this weird, quirky, punk kid, with rocker hair and chain length metal bracelets.  And then you’ve got Schuyler, who is wearing sweater vests, and comb-over hair and parted on the side.  Liam, I think, is the first character that is supposed to be closest to my maturity level.  He is just a young guy who has not gotten his life together yet, and he is still not a kid.  So, he is in this in-between stage, and now we get to discover who he really is.  This story arc is about discovering his identity, which I did not have the opportunity to do with Dillon or Schuyler’s story. This was a huge challenge for me, because sometimes when characters are introduced in a scene, it’s like, “Here’s this new character!”  With Schuyler, I had this huge teacher monologue, and with Dillon, I had these scenes with Tracy Quartermaine (Jane Eliot) bringing him into town.  Liam was like an extra for the first several episodes.  I think that was part of the plan.  You are not supposed to take note of him. And if you remember, they even had me with another guy who was an extra and we had the same amount of lines, which was really smart.  I would go on message boards and see what people were saying and there was no chatter about it at all, and that is what it should be.  Then slowly, I would read, “Who is that kid? And why is Justin talking to this kid?”  It was great, and slowly people started to notice Liam more. Then, some people thought he was really annoying and some people thought he was this punk. Now, Liam’s notoriety in the show has grown exponentially and I love that about him, but I had to work for that.  I thought it was a cool aspect of this.  I never really got an introduction and it sort of just grew.  The character is the same way. You learn a little bit about him, and then he claims Ridge is his father.  And believe me, his story is not complete yet, and there is still more to it.  What is interesting for me is that I don’t know everything either.  Granted, I knew Bill was going to be my Dad, but I did know what kind of person my mom was, and why they didn’t get together. This stuff came up later.  So, I could not make these bold choices and then find out a week later I was wrong when I would read my scripts. There was some treading water while I was waiting for the story to do its magic, and now it has, and it has been really a great story.

MICHAEL:

You seem to be working a lot of late!  Your story has finally picked up steam.  And what is great to see, in a show that has limited airtime for its characters, is that Brad is giving you a great opportunity to shine.

SCOTT:

I don’t think it’s going to stay like that, but I think for now it is true, because they had to establish a push between he and Bill.  I think that was really important.  I could not ask for better writing. There is going to be a lot of conflict, and what is really cool is there is such a dichotomy between Bill and Liam.  Bill has some things to teach Liam about manhood and being a leader, and being a presence, which Liam is not.  But maybe, Liam has something to teach Bill about ethics.  Eventually, if Liam gets to some place where there is a middle ground, because something has to give, there are huge divides between how Liam sees the world and Bill sees the world, and they are stuck together.  So I think that makes for even greater story.

MICHAEL:

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Did Don Diamont know you were going to be his son from the beginning?

SCOTT:

I think Don knew, too.  I think he may have even said something to me when I first met him about it, and I didn’t catch it.  I know that he knew he was going to have a son before I was hired.  Don has been really, really, great and always really nice.

MICHAEL:

Don is one of the greatest guys and one of the greatest dads.

SCOTT:

In real life, Don sounds like a great father.  I think this story was important to him, and I get that sense.  The first time he clued me in on that, he walked over to me and whispered, “I am so glad it’s you.”  That was nice to hear him say.  He will tell me if I am doing a good job in a scene, and that feedback is really nice.  But I am not acting in a void, either.  I have to work with him, too.  What I do has to tell a story as well, and part of that story is his story.  I can’t just make any character choice I want that seems cool to me, because it has to be in relation to what is going on with Bill’s character.  So, if I am too challenging in a scene where he needs to be on top, I can’t do that.  And that burden is much more on me. The audience knows Bill’s character, they don’t know as much about Liam.  So I have to find the right way of doing it.

MICHAEL:

There had to be some inside jokes on the set, when the men who could have fathered you were wondering who was the poppa?

SCOTT:

That never really happened on set, just because the scripts were coming out about whose kid I really was.  I think I remember when there was a moment on the first day I was working with Ron Moss (Ridge).  And it was Ridge going, “Get out of my office!” And I was like, “But I am your son.”   And when we went to rehearse that scene and we got up on set, Ronn said to me, “You’re not really my son…. are you?”  And I said, “Nah, I don’t think I am.”

MICHAEL:

What about Winsor Harmon (Thorne)?  He had to be in on the shocker!

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SCOTT:

Winsor knew all along that it was a red herring, and that was a cool thing to play.  The funniest thing happened shooting those scenes, and Winsor was so good.  He and Don were playing this yin and yang so well off of each other, especially in the hospital DNA scenes.  It made it really easy for me.  Liam wanted it to be Thorne!   What is also funny was on my first day, just because of my pathetic excuse for an iron-jaw beard, one of the make-up artists said to me, “I don’t know what you’re doing on the show, but you should play Bill’s son, because you have the same beard.”  And I was like “Guffaw-Guffaw.” (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Liam was the vehicle that brought to the forefront, Brooke and Oliver’s sex mishap and exposed it!

SCOTT:

Indirectly, Liam brought out the Brooke and Oliver sexcapade, and because of Hope’s forgiveness of the whole situation, she allowed him to feel released from all of that. If Liam hadn’t screwed up and left the computer on, the truth would never have come out that way.  Well, it probably would have come out.  Who am I kidding? (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

You know that the infamous “Party Boink,” as we now lovingly call it, is one of my all-time my favorite story points!

SCOTT:

I know, mine, too.  My dad started watching the show, maybe five episodes before Oliver and Brooke have sex, and she takes her mask off and reveals herself to be Brooke.  And my dad called me and went, “Did you know that Oliver slept with Brooke?” And you got to know my dad; he is like a camping, fisherman, manly man, and yet he is like into this show, which is great!

MICHAEL:

It was one of the greatest cliffhangers in the history of soaps!

SCOTT:

It was shocking, and nobody saw that coming, and it was really cool.

MICHAEL:

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How is working with new B&B producer, the legendary Ed Scott?

SCOTT:

It is really, really cool!  Ed comes down from the booth and is very hands on.  He is the first person I worked with in a very long time who gave me some feedback from time to time, because sometimes we are all, as actors, just feeling around in the dark.  And, Ed will come down and say, “Hey, you look like you are anticipating the end of the scene, and maybe you could let that surprise.”  Or, “We need you to be more hurt by that,” or whatever it may be.  You get the sense right away in the quality of the show, and he came right into his new job and knew what he wanted, and that is so nice for us.  Actually, it creates less work for me. (Laughs)  He is so approachable, too.

MICHAEL:

How is working with Kim Matula (Hope)?

SCOTT:

She is great, and is funny, too.  I cannot tell you how much I appreciate doing a scene with someone and you know going in it’s just going to feel like you are having a conversation, and that has a lot to do with her.  You know what she is really good at, that I am not good at?   It’s listening.  She can hear you in a scene as if it’s the first time she has ever heard that, even though we have rehearsed twenty times!  That is a really valuable quality to have.

MICHAEL:

So, Liam is really falling for her big time?  She is Miss Goodness!  Where is he coming from with this?  Does Hope represent something for him?

SCOTT:

Liam comes to this new strange foreign situation and everyone hates him. He can’t do anything right.  He thought he was a good guy, and then he started to question himself, and here is the one person he feels like he has trespassed against the most, and she is the first person to forgive him.  Not just forgive him, but also almost give him empathy.  That was a lifesaver and a really profound gift for him at that time, because he was feeling so low.  I think he does see Hope as this glimmering light that represents all things just and fair and good, and he has said lines to that affect.  He fell hard for what Hope represents, and you also start to learn a bit about Liam’s mom, and how she died of cancer.  He was raised by her, and there are scenes where Liam is talking about his mom and all the qualities he loved about his mom, and then you can see other scenes where he talks about all the qualities he loves about Hope… same qualities.  Maybe it’s a little bit of a “mommy” issue, but I also think Hope represents a big hole that Liam has in his heart.

MICHAEL:

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If you were to think of a celebrity to play your mom, Kelly, who would you see cast in the role?

SCOTT:

We have had to use 8X10 glossies and there was a woman who was actually cast and is probably in her mid 40s to 50’s now. They used her as model, and they took all these retroactive images of when she was suppose to be a high fashion model.  So I already have an image of what this woman looked like.

MICHAEL:

Right, but who out there in primetime, daytime, feature film or the theatre, do you think would embody Liam’s mother?

SCOTT:

When I am picturing my mom, and I remembering things about her, I imagine a Meryl Streep type!  If you could imagine Meryl Streep in deathbed scenes, she still pulls off sensitivity and warmth.  

MICHAEL:

Would you love to work with Meryl Streep?  I know I would!  Sign me on!

SCOTT:

No, not ever.  Yes! God Yes! You don’t get better than that.

MICHAEL:

Scott, you have one of the most refreshing acting styles. It is not forced.  It’s a very realistic style, and it’s not “soapy”.  Do you realize that, and what you bring, as opposed to other guys acting in your age bracket?  You have something very unique!

SCOTT:

That is a wonderful, wonderful compliment.  I am aware of it, in so far as that is what I am going for.

MICHAEL:

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So you’re not striving to be the leading man?

SCOTT:

No, and I disagree with that.  Just like in life, the world does not revolve around us.  I sometimes think a supporting role is infinitely more valuable than a leading role.  And, a submissive role is infinitely more valuable that a superior role.  I think I learned a lot about that from General Hospital. GH has a lot of static issues. You have Maurice Benard (Sonny) and people around Maurice and there is inferiority. There are two issues here; doing a scene as if it were taking place in real life, and then there is an understanding that every scene is not about us, or about making us look cool.  I think I almost feel a little more uncomfortable where I have to be in scenes as the leading man, or in charge, or sexy.

MICHAEL:

I recently interviewed One Life to Live’s Nicolas Robuck, who plays James Ford, and he was saying something very similar, that although his character is called upon to be tough and macho, it is easier for him to play the more emotional side of his character, and he is more comfortable with that aspect of the role.

SCOTT:

I know the feeling!  I am OK with feeling that way, because there are probably a lot of actors that don’t have that philosophy.  It works out very well for me, because those are shoes that somebody has to fill.  I will do that gladly, and I think that’s important.

MICHAEL:

I had the pleasure of briefly meeting your girlfriend, Nicole, at the whole Daytime Emmy shindigs and Red Carpets, etc.  How many years have you been together now?

SCOTT:

Almost four years.

MICHAEL:

How does she fair with you kissing other gals in your job as an actor on daytime?  Have you had “the talk”?  Most actors have to at some point discuss this with their significant others.

SCOTT:

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There was a period where it made her uncomfortable.  I could not stress enough that I am not actually kissing somebody; it’s just that my lips happen to be touching their lips, and that is not me doing the kissing anyway, it’s Liam, or Schuyler, or it’s Dillon.  So there was a period where she would test me, and ask me all these questions like, “What if I decided I wanted to start acting, and I had a scene where I had to kiss a guy, would you feel jealous?”  And I thought, “Is this a trick?  Am I supposed to say yes?”  But I wound up saying no, because that is closer to the truth.  That is the answer that she hoped I would say, because if I would have said yes, than that means that I can empathize with feeling something. There were times where I would try to explain the difference between a stage kiss and a real kiss to her.  I would give her examples of guys I have seen screw this up where you see tongue.  Sometimes she will go, “Scott, show me a stage kiss!” (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Since you have been here at B&B, have you heard from any one of your former castmates from OLTL?  Perhaps, Farah Fath (Gigi)?  You know the soap world has become so transient; everyone at one point seems to circulate to other soaps!

SCOTT:

Last night I was texting Farah, and I talked to Daphne Duplaix (Ex-Rachel).  I am facebook friends with Brett Claywell (Ex-Kyle) and Scott Evans (Ex-Fish).

MICHAEL:

How is Scott doing?  What is he up to these days?

SCOTT:

I think he is doing well.  All of his facebook posts are fitness oriented.  So I am not sure what is going on there, but I believe Scott is still out in New York.

MICHAEL:

How was Emmy night for you?  What happened when you heard your name was not called, but your then future castmate, Drew Tyler Bell’s (Ex-Thomas) name was, as the winner of Younger Actor?  It had to be awkward.

SCOTT:

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It was awkward, nothing to do with Drew, but I had you and other journalists telling me I should win.  I was disappointed.  I think it came from worry, as I only have one year left in the Younger Actor category.

MICHAEL:

Right.  So you will soon be ineligible in this category after next year.  For your fans that will read this, explain how this Emmy eligibility process works?

SCOTT:

So how that works is; supporting actor is the most competitive area.  If you get nominated for supporting actor your odds are down to nothing, because there are so many great performances up against each other.  Younger Actor is a great category to get nominated in, and you have got good chances there. You have to be 25 years old or younger at the time you shot the scenes.  I am 25 now, and in a month I will be 26, and anything I shoot after that will not be eligible anymore.  However, this year is going to be really sticky for me, because I think the best work I have done so far this year was at the end of my run on One Life to Live.  But, by the time Emmys come around for next year, I will not have been on that show for a year and half. And, it’s a bit presumptuous for me to call over there and go, “Hey, can you guys pre-nominate me even though I have not been on the show?”  So there is that.  Now here at B&B, I don’t have much time left under the age guidelines, even though you are technically allowed to submit material from both shows you were on during the eligibility year, which can be tricky because you wind up splitting the vote.  I was aware of all this before the Emmys.  Once I got nominated I told everyone, “I know for a fact I am not going to win this, because I know what I submitted and it had to be before the good work I did.”  Those scenes were from 2009 and the good work was in 2010.  However, everyone and their mother were coming up to me saying, “We watched the tapes. We read the polls.”  I kept telling people please stop telling me this because it gets in your head and then you believe it and you get heartbroken, and it’s happened to me before.  And objectively speaking, Drew Tyler Bell deserved that Emmy because his performance was very well done.  All I can do is try not to screw it up this year!

MICHAEL:

All of a sudden, bam… here we all find you on You Tube!  You are sitting in front of your computer and video taping these amazing sequences where you are talking about some very “heady” subject matters.  Are you looking to do a host gig?  What is this project all about?

SCOTT:

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It’s not that I am petitioning for a job as a news anchor.  I grew up in a very secular household and not religious.  I am from Southern California, but I grew up in the San Fernando Valley.  And then, when I was around ten, we moved to a very religious community, an evangelical Christian community, and this is stuff I had not really thought about.  There are people who believe in heaven and hell, and I had a very vague understanding of religion.  But moving to this community, I was propositioned by many of my newfound Christian friends.  “Are you coming to Church with us? Why don’t you go to Church?  Have you read the bible or hadn’t you read the bible?”  I became this practice dummy for apologetics and evangelism, and being the only person I knew in my community or school who did not believe in religion.  It was a rude awakening.  These were beliefs that they were trying to get other people to believe, and with good reason.  I can’t blame anybody for that.  However, I started to see that these beliefs inform our politics, and they inform our relationships, and our ethics.  I mean, you have things like Proposition 8.  It became a bigger and bigger deal to me that there seems to be in America a social convention, where you can think anything about the world as long as it’s religious or spiritual in nature, it’s immune from scrutiny and criticism.  And that is kind of the rules.  I don’t believe you should keep your religion to yourself.  If you believe that is true, then you should be allowed to argue for that.  However, I deserve my right to question you.  I see that a lot of people do not think that is OK.  I found YouTube and I went, “My God!  There are Cat People and skaters falling off everything.”   Then I went, “Oh, my God. YouTube is the greatest thing.  I love watching people fall and kitties and watching people playing the piano!”  Then, I stumbled on to this little community on YouTube of critical thinkers and philosophers and people who were exchanging ideas. It was so refreshing, and I wanted in. There was this guy on a YouTube channel who posed a question, “Anybody who does not believe in God, where do your values come from and where do your morals come from?” And I made a video response to that, and that was my first YouTube video and everyone liked it, and nobody knew who I was.  In fact, I have 15,000 subscribers and most of them don’t even know what I do for a living.  I like that, because it’s about what I am saying and not who I am, and it snowballed.  You talk about religion and it forces you to think about big ideas like eternity, and that is why I named my channel Theoretical Bullshit. I know that YouTube has made me smarter just by having to think about my views and how to defend them.

MICHAEL:

Is there a rhythm or rhyme to when you post a new video?   I know when the Proposition 8 same-sex marriage ban was on the way to being overturned in California for a millisecond, that you very timely posted something on this.

SCOTT:

Most of the times I have a backlog of concepts.  But the Prop 8 thing was so contemporary for the time, because Judge Walker had just made that ruling.  And people were going, “Judge Walker made that ruling because he is gay.”  Or they were saying, it’s unconstitutional, and now we have got lobbyists from the bench.  I heard all this junk, and so that video needed to get done now.  There are a lot of videos like that.

MICHAEL:

Do you then see yourself being a motivational speaker, or a speaker who gets up and challenges ideology and religion?

SCOTT:

Yeah, I would love to do that.  I don’t get to just say what I want, as I work for a company and I have obligations, and so I can’t go around being disrespectful to everybody. However, with as much integrity and respect as possible, I would love any public opportunity to challenge conventional beliefs, especially ones religious in nature and especially ones that have affected my life.  Someday it would be great to write a book on that kind of thing.  I feel like I have something to say, and it’s not something everyone else is saying.

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MICHAEL:

Back to B&B, do you have some favorite scenes thus far as Liam?

SCOTT:

I do, but I cannot tell you about them yet!  My favorite scene is with Hope and it was really recent.  It was just that Ed Scott let me be really weird and not cool in the scene. However, there has been some emotional stuff with Don Diamont that I am proud of, and objectively speaking those are my favorites.

MICHAEL:

You know what I have been thinking?  Something has to come up down the line where your father needs an organ donor and it’s up to you, as the son, to save his life, as you would be the match.  And, that would bond them and create a breakthrough in their relationship.  It’s the tried and true soap device 101 for familial situation like this.  However, I hope it does not go there, and become cliché.

SCOTT:

You know, Don talks about this where eventually Liam almost dies, or something like that, and where all of a sudden they realize it would be a loss if they did not have the other party in their life.  I think if that moment ever comes, that will be a nice moment for Liam and Bill.

MICHAEL:

So now, Liam is headed into a triangle or quadrangle with Hope, Oliver and Steffy all involved!

SCOTT:

And now they have the new Thomas! You know Adam Gregory (Thomas) and I both auditioned for Liam, and then it came down to both of us for the part.  But the irony is, Adam and I also were both up for 90210 and he beat me out for that part.  I am so glad he got hired on the show.

MICHAEL:

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That’s right, he could be the real spoiler here, perhaps.  So what do you think is Liam’s dream job?  I am very confused as to what he wants to do, or be.

SCOTT:

I am confused, too.  Liam so far, as writ, has not expressed a career dream. Right now, he can imagine that he is going to try on what it will be like to work for Bill.  So we know that that is on the table.  Liam has an education in computer technology.  He is young and has slang, but not a Spinelli sort of geek from GH.  He is a very real proto-typical kid in his early twenties. And, to introduce a real kid like that to soapland is a really cool contrast.

MICHAEL:

Do you think we will learn even more into Bill Spencer and your mom’s past, and what happened there?

SCOTT:

We have done a lot of that… exploring what the real relationship was between Bill and the mom.  I think as we go we will learn even more, and the writing is really nice as clues are dropped like, “Handsome is as Handsome does.”  What does that mean?  It’s cool, and a reminder that there is more there than meets the eye.

MICHAEL:

B&B has such a talented cast.  Who else would you like to work with? Perhaps Sarah Brown (Aggie)?

SCOTT:

I would love to do scenes with Sarah. I would love to do scenes with Rick Hearst (Whip).  He is my boy and he is from General Hospital. I think I learned so much from him, Tyler Christopher (Nikolas, GH) and Maurice, when I was young and learning.  They influenced me the most.  And now to come back full circle, Rick would be real fun to work with, and Susan Flannery, (Stephanie) she was great to work with! I have been pretty lucky with the rest of the cast, who are great, great actors.

MICHAEL:

Ok Scott, so here is the big question.  Is this character of Liam more like you?  Or, is one of your other famous soap roles of Dillon, or Schuyler, the truer you?

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SCOTT:

Yeah, and in retrospect, is the least like me.  Schuyler represents certain parts of me, but here is what I do.  When I have a new character that I have to play and I am reading the script, I am imagining someone other than me saying the lines; a friend, or someone I know.  I picture how those lines would come out from them.  So it’s all kind of mixed.  OLTL’s Schuyler was a mixture of one of my friends, and Guy Pierce in Memento.  Then, Dillon was a different one of my friends, plus my gay friend, plus somebody else. And then I sprinkle a little bit of me in there with every one of them. Now, if you took me and made me more immature, that would be Liam. So, I can just go on-set and act immature! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

As we end our visit, what would you envision for Liam?  What can you see as his ultimate journey on B&B?

SCOTT:

I would like to see Liam struggle with and ultimately conquer the balance between leadership, like Bill has, and ethics that Bill does not have.  If Liam can find a way in his lifetime to reconcile, or on this show’s lifetime, (laughs) and he can find a way to reconcile those two, then I think he can become a wonderful man.

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Michael Jenkins
Michael Jenkins

Great interview, by a great actor.

bottomchef
bottomchef

Conroy’s better than Clifton. Conroy’s more laid back and natural. But he can also be dramatic, like when Oliver confronted Liam abt Hope. Clifton’s acting was cringeworthy during the Bill/Liam arc. Their bickering was aiming for comedy, but it was very corny bec the acting from Diamont and CLifton were awful. It’s so typical of B&B that Liam’s search for his bio daddy was stretched out. While B&B had one of the few black chars, Marcus, search for his bio mommy on warp speed. Immediately, zillionaire Donna didn’t even think he was scamming her and already was saying “My baby!” And when his bio daddy arrived, he didn’t even question if Donna slept w/ other men. It almost felt like B&B couldn’t wait to wrap up Marcus’s storyline as quickly as they could. But Liam’s search lasted longer and involved more chars. Clifton made such odd acting choices and distracting facial expressions when Oliver confronted Liam. It’s almost like he was aiming for comedy, w/c was inappropriate for the context of the arc. Clifton’s Liam also acts overcaffeinated. It’s like he can’t stay still for a few seconds. It’s verging on screaming “Look at me! I’m acting!”. W/ nuThomas arriving and getting involved w/ Hope, it’s doubtful B&B will let 3 of their younger men go after Hope. So where does this leave Conroy? It would be a shame if B&B writes him out bec he can actually act. But it would be keeping w/ B&B’s track record. B&B shouldn’t have messed w/ Hope/Liam/Steffy. And after the party boink, the drama is already there w/ Hope and Oliver.

Christy
Christy

I rather enjoy the character of Liam. Particularly how he entered subtely and and I think his character is a refreshing change for the show. The actor Scott is great too. One day I actually paused the show to show my boyfriend, because I think they look alike. Needless to say, I think Scott is cute 🙂 I also think Scott seems very talented, smart, mature and down-to-earth. As per the show, I like Liam & Bill’s dynamic. At this point they accept each other but will definitely butt heads considering Liam was very distressed by what happened with Steffy’s presentation and Bill’s job is to cover (and initiate or at least become involved with) these situations. So that will be interesting for them as well as Liam and Hope. I also think that Hope has her hands full especially if the new Thomas is interested in her, too. So you know what the show needs? Another younger female actress to be a love interest for the emerging younger men in the show and guess what? Today is your lucky day, becuase you have a huge fan and volunteer right here 😉 Being a soap actor seems like so much fun! Best of luck!

Doe
Doe

I have seen Scott in all three roles of GH, OLTL, and now B&B. He has done major jobs on all of them. So, he is certainly employable by the best soaps for good reason. He can act! He can fit any role, I think because he is like Everyman. I just knew he would be Bill’s son, because Bill was too obvious in not wanting him and Thorne did. It was no surprise to me. He is very intelligent with various thoughts on life and religion. So it will be interesting to see if he takes those things further. This was a very good interview, Michael. I was really interested in learning more about Scott.

bottomchef
bottomchef

There were some comments from him that seemed like passive aggresive digs at GH (how static it is, inferiority to Maurice Bernard) and OLTL (pressure filled environment). Actors shouldn’t diss their former employers. And he seems to be the kind of actor who’s in it to play the awards show game. It’s really refreshing when actors don’t care abt that or stop submitting when they feel like they’ve had enough awards or don’t have the material. I disagree though that Clifton is a good addition to B&B. The cast is overbloated. They need to trim it instead of putting more people. The love/hate bickering between Liam and Bill was so forced and contrived. They were aiming for comedy but it was very corny and really cringeworthy. Also, they already had the good storyline w/ the party boink that they didn’t need to include Liam in there. Hope/Oliver will have this angsty rel bec of him sleeping w/ Brooke. The conflict is already there. Conroy has more chemistry w/ Matula and JMW. He’s more of the leading man kinda guy and it’s more believable for them to be battling for Oliver instead of for Liam. Now w/ Steffy declaring that she now likes Liam, the char is painted as a pathetic, desperate mess who loses credibility bec she only likes men to compete w/ Hope. Also, Conroy is the better actor. He’s more laid back and natural, but can also be dramatic when Oliver angrily told Liam that he stole Hope. Clifton’s eyes kept darting and he makes distracting facial expressions and odd acting choices. It’s like his definition of acting is not being able to stand still for a few seconds. Now w/ nuThomas set to become interested in Hope, where does that leave Conroy? It’s doubtful they’d have 3 of their younger men go after Hope. It would be a mistake for B&B to write Conroy off the show, however, I wouldn’t be surprised if they do that, given B&B’s track record.

mmc
mmc

It would be a terrible mistake for them to get rid of Zack Conroy.Not only is he one of the better actors on this show, but he’s so adorable as Oliver.Also I love to see Scott acting with Don Diamont.Don is Mr. Gorgeous..i love his character of Dollar Bill.I hope Scotts’ Liam character won’t be following in his fathers’ footsteps.No one but Don Diamont can play that “i do it my way” role!

denisefan
denisefan

Scott’s quirky movements and cadence are his own….not much acting there. At times, his delivery is forced and insincere….would love to see him create a character rather than repurpose himself for the show.

Glad to see that on a personal level he has challenged the false premises of modern, counterfeit Christian organizations. Ironically, his counterarguments run more parallel to Jesus’ castigations of the false church than he realizes.

Dean
Dean

Great interview! Scott is so awesome!

Bonnie Greenblatt
Bonnie Greenblatt

I think having Scott Clifton as Don Diamont adds some adventure and some reality to Bill’s father figure and it makes it more appetizing in a more challenging pursuance for boy get girl, boy loses girl, like father like son.

Keep Scott Clifton as Liam Spencer he is Awesome.

phyllis Mokate( South Africa)
phyllis Mokate( South Africa)

Like to see liam and Hope back together pls, they make a good young couple, I m hurting seing hope like this, she can not be hurt by her first lover no pls, if so she ll end ud like her mom trying to find true love.

Maureen
Maureen

Who is Scott Clifton married to

LILI
LILI

He is a great, sexy actor.

Grand Hotel

Denyse Tontz and Lincoln Younes Preview Forbidden Romance & Intrigue As ‘Grand Hotel’ Premieres

When Grand Hotel opens its doors to its audience tonight on ABC (10PMET/PT), it will have a very familiar feel to soap fans for several of its series regulars and its executive producer all come from the world of daytime or serialized storytelling.

Executive Producer, Eva Longoria (Ex-Y&R, Desperate Housewives, Devious Maids, Telenovela) brought to the screens a provocative drama with Miami Beach as its backdrop of the last family-owned hotel (by the Mendozas) with a contemporary take of an upstairs/downstairs story of 2019.

Former General Hospital’s Bryan Craig plays Javi, who is joined by two other soap notables; former All My Children reboot star, Denyse Tontz (Ex-Miranda Montgomery) and Australian-born actor, Lincoln Younes (Ex-Casey, Home and Away) who’s characters are interlocked in some very sexy and mysterious ways.

Tontz, plays Alicia Mendoza the strong-willed daughter of the Mendoza clan, who is fresh out of business school… and who will make a huge discovery about her dad, but is also set to embark on a romance with a new staff hire!  And that staff hire is Danny played by Younes, whose character Danny is not who he says he is at all … and he has one goal in my mind which brought him to the hotel … but things get complicated for him when he feels a massive attraction to the hotel owner’s daughter … Alicia!

Michael Fairman TV took part in a press roundtable discussion with Tontz and Younes to get some teasers of what’s to come when Grand Hotel premieres.  Here’s what they shared in some questions posed by us and others below.

Photo: ABC

Danny and Alicia definitely have an instant attraction in the season premiere. Where can you tease that it might go?

LINCOLN:  Well, it can go in a number of directions, but hopefully towards a positive one.  They each have their own motivations for why they’re at the hotel.

DENYSE:  Alicia’s main goal, or at least from the beginning, is to prove herself, just having graduated business school and sort of step into her mother’s shoes a little bit. She’s had a lot of pressure on her for most of her life to sort of fill that role and keep the family together.  I think it’s really tough to have to juggle that and the desire to explore this potential romance with this person who is so intriguing to her.

LINCOLN:  I think with Danny, his reasons are kind of unknown as to why he’s at the hotel.  He comes in as a new employee, but there is something off about him.  It is complicated by the arrival of Alicia and the chemistry the kind of ensues between them.  I think that’s kind of the interesting thing to watch is them navigating their priorities and their initial motivations with the inevitable chemistry and dynamic that has appeared.

Photo: ABC

The main family in Grand Hotel is Hispanic.  And what is intriguing about the premise is that their ethnicity is not the backdrop of the story, it’s just who they are.  Would you agree?

LINCOLN:  Eva is kind of a trailblazer in that way because this is about the story of a family, and a hotel, and the guests, and the employees, and the employers, and all of the different things these people go through.  It’s not so much the color of their skin and their background.  I think as soon as you take away the magnifying glass of how a person appears and really look at what is going on inside, that’s a step in the right direction.

DENYSE:  I think that even though we are really a diverse cast and crew, that really has nothing to do with the actual premise of the show, and I think that’s really cool even to just see that.  To just play a character who happens to be Hispanic, and that’s not the central theme of this character, I think there really are no stereotypes that are perpetuated in any way.

LINCOLN:  It’s the perfect melting pot of culture, and the fact that it is set in a hotel where anyone from any part of the world can come into, it creates this show that I don’t see anything like this on TV, and that’s very exciting.

Do you see Danny and Alicia as a duo to root for with their dysfunction and all throughout the series?

DENYSE:  I think there is this sort of allure to the forbidden romance aspect of it all.

LINCOLN:  They have these obstacles in front of them.

DENYSE:  But you want it to happen. (Laughs)

LINCOLN:  You want it to happen, and it’s just against all odds.  That complicates things.

Photo: ABC

You have such a great cast to work with; chief among them Demián Bichir, Roselyn Sanchez (Devious Maids)!

DENYSE:  Oh man, working with Demián and Roselyn and Eva Longoria was a dream.  They’re each so special in their own way.

LINCOLN:  Three powerhouses.

DENYSE:  Yeah, three powerhouses and very different.  They each have their own way of approaching a scene.  Demián is mostly a movie actor, and it really shows in the way he approaches scenes, and the way he is not glued to the lines, and it’s kind of cool to watch him and learn from him in that way.  He’s so funny too.  He makes it a really comfortable environment, and you feel safe to try stuff.   Eva … same thing.  She has a clear vision for what she wants.  She can direct in such a way that I think a lot of directors can’t, because she has been on the other side of the camera, and she has got a really good perspective.  I think she’s really great at articulating what she wants you to do.

LINCOLN:  Yeah, she’s very meticulous.  I think the thing about all of the people who you’ve just mentioned is that they all have levity.  They are all very specific, but they are all very authentic.  That carries through in both their acting and how they carry themselves off set.  That was really great to kind of learn from them.

Photo: ABC

Many in the cast are from daytime dramas, or soap operas previously, including both of you!  Was that a coincidence in the producers casting choices, you think?

LINCOLN: I think, just knowing Eva so well now, and Brian and Ben, the creators behind it, they searched long and hard for the people they wanted to play the roles.  So, it might just be a happy coincidence.

When the scripts came out, how did the cast handle the twists?

LINCOLN:  There was a lot of speculation going on.  There was a lot of gossiping on set and off set.

DENYSE:  Lots of gossiping, stealing scripts… a lot of bombshells though.  There really is no shortage of plot twists.  A lot of these characters you think are going to start out a certain way, and then you find yourself completely changing your opinion of them halfway through the season. Without giving too much away, nobody is really who they appear to be.

Photo: ABC

How do you both feel about the fact that the wait is over and Grand Hotel is finally premiering?

DENYSE:  It’s super exciting.

LINCOLN:  It’s very surreal.  This is my first American show, so I have no idea what to expect.  I just go to Denyse for advice.  I’m like, “What do I do?”  (Laughs).  It’s all very exciting.  I think when you love a project; there is another element when it is released to the public.  Everyone on the show loves it.  Everyone is so passionate about it.  So, I just hope that the audience feels the same and that we get to keep doing it.

So will you be checking out Denyse, Lincoln, Bryan, Eva and more on Grand Hotel?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below. But first check out this promo for the kick-off tonight!

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General Hospital

GH’s Cynthia Watros Talks On Taking Over The Role Of Nina & Ingo Rademacher Dishes Jax’s New Love Interest

Today on June 3rd, Daytime Emmy winner, Cynthia Watros is set to begin taping all-new episodes of General Hospital as she steps into the role of Nina Cassadine, last played by Michelle Stafford, who has left the ABC daytime drama series and headed back to The Young and the Restless to reprise her signature role of Phyllis Summers.

Watros, best-known for her delicious portrayal of Annie Dutton on Guiding Light, and who was last seen on daytime on Y&R, is back to the grind of the soaps taking on the complex Nina.  Add to that, it is clear that GH is setting up a potential love triangle, or new love interest for her, now that Jasper Jacks is back in Port Charles with GH fan favorite Ingo Rademacher returning to the show.

Last month on the recent GH Nurses’ Ball episodes, we saw Nina (then Stafford) lock eyes with Jax, and the two demonstrated an instant attraction to each other.  Add to that in story; Jax was revealed to be the new 50 percent owner of Aurora Media, which Nina’s Crimson Magazine falls under, putting them in each other’s path in more ways than one.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Cynthia and Ingo along with other members of the media at last week’s ABC Summer Press Roundtable junket, and here were some intriguing and insightful moments from the conversations below.

When we asked if Cynthia had a conversation with Michelle Stafford on taking over the role of Nina, Watros responded: “I did.  We had lunch together, and I have to say, Michelle is an amazing, lovely, giving woman.  Just to be able to sit across from her and talk about Nina and to talk about the show, I was just in awe of her generosity.  I will always be a fan of Michelle’s.  She actually reached out to me and said, ‘If you ever want to call or text…’ and I said, ‘Let’s have lunch!’  So, we found and afternoon and spent like three hours just talking about it.”

Photo Credit: ABC

Since Watros has brought the cray-cray to her best known role of Annie on GL and is so adept as an actress to go from that to playing grave reality, Cynthia weighed in on how she sees Nina and the challenges of being a recast in a soap role: “Nina has all of this stuff that I can’t wait to play.  She’s got stuff that she hasn’t explored for a long time because her life is going pretty well right now.  What happens though when your life doesn’t go really well?  You start exploring those things that you thought were sleeping a little bit, you know, that weren’t necessarily bubbling up to the surface.  So, I like it all: when a character’s life is going well and when a character’s life is not going well. Because I’m playing Nina now, it’s going to be different.  It’s going to be challenging.  It’s the first time I’ve ever taken over a role that someone else has played.  I don’t want to totally go off, so people go, “Wow.  Nina’s totally different,” but of course, I want to make it my own.  Again, I’m an actor who likes to use all of the tools.  I like it all … the funny, the not so funny, the playful, and the crazy.”

As to the timing of Watros returning to the soaps at this time in her life … and how it went down that she landed her new gig at GH, she revealed: “It sounds not very dramatic, but I got a phone call.  Just a phone call asking, ‘Would you be interested?’  Guiding Light will always be in my heart because I had such a good time doing Annie, and I was on Young and the Restless and Another World for half of a second.  So, daytime has always been in my life and in my world.  My last show was in Atlanta, and my daughters were in high school in LA, and it’s hard to go back and forth for them, for me, and for my life as a mom.  So, I kind of took my acting and said, ‘Well, I’m going to slow it all down until they graduate high school.’  They graduate high school June 2nd and I start GH June 3rd.  So, it just seemed like it just made sense.”

Photo: ABC

As to what the future holds for Nina as she takes over the role, Watros shared: “I can tease that I get to play with this guy (Ingo) a lot, and Nina is trying to find a stronger role in the magazine where she is really going to step up in making that a success and her love for the magazine , and trying to navigate her relationship with Jax.”

Cynthia will also get to work with Nina’s present love interest, James Patrick Stuart (Valentin), which the actress is also excited about:“I have to say, I have not met him, but I have been watching the show, and he is just phenomenal.  I love his character.  I love how he is this sort of like bad guy, but it seems like the women really dig him.”

Watros says she is excited to work with Maura West (Ava), Laura Wright (Carly), and Billy Miller (Drew) from the cast.  She has previously worked with Laura and Billy in her soap career. As to her nerves for her first week at the ABC studios where GH is taped, Cynthia shared that she is: “Less nervous, more excited. I feel like a 20-year-old back in soaps.  I remember Kim Zimmer (Ex-Reva, Guiding Light) back in the rehearsal room, and I was off script, and she was on the show for a long time before me, and I was new. I was yelling my lines, and she goes, ‘Excuse me! Can you tell this actress not to act so early in the morning?’ (Laughs) I feel like I’m going to do that again.  So, I’ve got to tone it all down.” (Laughs)

Photo: ABC

For Ingo, he certainly has a view as to how Jax fits into the canvas of Port Charles: “Jax is to me, and I’ve only just been able to put it into words now that Captain America came out, but he’s ‘Captain America’.  He’s all about fairness.  If he sees a bully, he will stand up for the person who is being bullied.  So, that’s who he is.  He’s the white knight.  He’s the person who will always do the right thing.”

Now that Jax has big time ownership in Aurora Media and thus Crimson, does he see the sparks flying with Nina? Ingo reveals: “Yeah, basically he walks in, and she goes, ‘What are you doing in my office?’ and he goes, ‘Actually, it’s my office.’  When I heard about him doing that magazine, I was a little surprised because that’s usually much too small for Jax.  He’s more of a Richard Gere in Pretty Woman character, corporate leader, takes corporations apart, sells pieces … this is, I think really for his daughter, Josslyn (Eden McCoy).  He’s thinking about the future.  Also, to keep him busy in an actual job that he might be good at.   I think it’s a big change in lifestyle for him where before it was about businesses which were much more global.”

Photo: CBS

As to what is behind Jax’s attraction to Nina, Ingo summed it up by sharing: I think Jax is attracted to Nina the first time he sees her.  I have a feeling he already knew who she was the first time he sees her at the Nurses’ Ball, because he’s been studying Aurora Media before purchasing it.  He’s done his background work, and to piss off a Cassadine is just a bonus.  Also, I think what is interesting for Nina’s character is the two different guys.  She’s engaged to this more mysterious character, and then, you’ve got this jolly, upfront one going, ‘Hey!  How’s it going?  Everybody having a good day?’ (Laughs)  He’s very confident as well, but in a different way.  I think it’s nice for the story for Nina to be tugged between two completely different men.”

So, excited to see the debut of Cynthia in the role of Nina? Are you up for a triangle between Jax/Nina/Valentin? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.  But first, watch Cynthia’s Emmy-winning moment as Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her work on Guiding Light.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Arianne Zucker, Stacy Haiduk & Paul Telfer Talk On Masks, Villainy & Their Wildest Storyline Yet

Take three great actors, add a prosthetic mask into the equation, and let them have at it! That’s just what NBC’s Days of our Lives is in the midst of serving up to its fans with this latest plot device and twist.  Last week, it was revealed that the nefarious Kristen DiMera (Stacy Haiduk) is alive and well and pretending to be Nicole Walker (Arianne Zucker) donning a mask, a voice alternating device, and some other body tweaks!  The goal …  to be with Brady Black (Eric Martsolf) and she will do anything to accomplish that!

Enter Xander (Paul Telfer) who has been in the thick of the plot being the only one we know of, so far, who knows that Kristen is parading around as Nicole.  They hatch their next moves inside a room at the Salem Inn.  They even went so far as to set it up to appear that Nicole’s daughter, Holly was killed, so she could blame Eric (Greg Vaughan) and cause a break-up of the long-suffering lovebirds and play it off as she needs to be consoled by Brady!

Michael Fairman TV chatted in an entertaining and wickedly funny interview with Arianne Zucker, Stacy Haiduk, and Paul Telfer to get the lowdown on what happened when they learned they would be wearing or working with a mask, how they pulled off the emotions in the storyline twist, and what to look forward to from here.  Under the clever pen of head writer, Ron Carlivati looks for the hits and twists to keep coming as this storyline continues to rock the world of Salem for some time to come.  Here’s what Arianne, Stacy, and Paul had to say about their latest on-screen predicaments and schemes!

Ari, at what point did you know that you really weren’t Nicole … and that you were Kristen playing Nicole?

ARIANNE:  I actually didn’t find out until a little bit after the van went off the road in the storyline; thinking it was Holly who was killed.  Sometimes, the less I know makes it fresher, and I think if I had known before those scenes, and the scenes with Eric (Greg Vaughan), and when I first came back, I would have had a little too much Kristen on my mind, and I don’t know if I could have been as raw as I felt in those scenes.  So, anyway that’s my long explanation.  I found out after I started back on the show! (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Additionally, did you have a conversation with Stacy about certain mannerisms hat Kristen has if you’re “masquerading” as Nicole?

ARIANNE:  Our co-executive producer, Albert Alaar had talked to me about watching Stacy because everything was happening fast.  Stacy and I really hadn’t had a chance to even talk to each other even from the last round of me being thereI remember Stacy was inundated with dialogue up the wazoo when I came back for that twelve-episode arc.  So, because of all of that, Albert said, “Watch Stacy! Watch her mannerisms, watch what she does,” and then I’ll throw a little Ari in it.  I just hope that I do as good of a job as Stacy does.

Paul, you and I talked about this on the NBC ‘Inside Salem’ podcast, when we played back for you (for the first time) the clip of Kristen taking off her Nicole mask.  Xander had the perfect set-up line for the reveal: “The part of Nicole Walker is being played by Kristen DiMera!”  Did you not have a good laugh doing that scene?  How did you get through doing that moment?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

PAUL:  Oh, yeah, I was laughing my ass off the whole time.  This is an insane storyline with masks and doppelgängers.  But, it looks great on-screen, and that way it’s edited.  So, I was really happy.

STACY:  There was one moment when Nicole would hold steady to unfold the neck.   So, Ari started that to the point where I’m pulling it off completely.  I think it’s cool.  It’s “Mission Impossible”.  How nice!

PAUL:  That’s what I going to say.  If Tom Cruise can make a hundred million dollars doing this stuff …

STACY:  … then, we can do it!

ARIANNE:  Right?  We can make a quarter of a quarter of a quarter of a quarter of that.

STACY:  We’ll make it look good!

What is the real deal between Xander and Kristen?  They are conspiring and in cahoots, but there’s this underlying sexual tension between them.  I think Xander respects Kristen in a way, because she can one-up him!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

PAUL:  I think every character who Xander has interacted with who isn’t a member of his family, he’s trying to either get something from, or get into bed with, and he can’t really do either with Kristen, because she’s crazier and more dangerous that he is up until this point.  That’s certainly the way that it feels.  The way Stacy plays it, she is not to be messed around with. Honestly, I think that turns him on.

STACY:  Yeah, there you go.  That sounds good. (Laughs)

PAUL:  I mean, it makes sense.  Just like, “Wait a minute.  This is a bit spicier than I’m used to,” so, he’s excited, but at the same time he knows which side his bread is buttered on, and he doesn’t want her to murder him!  (Laughs)

STACY:  Well said.  I like that. (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

So, what does Kristen think of Xander at this point?

PAUL:  That, he’s a useful idiot.

STACY:  She actually needs him to go out into the world because she can’t leave.  When she does, she has to leave as Nicole, and then it becomes a whole other storyline.

PAUL:  It’s fun because Kristen is actually the boss, and Xander is convinced that they’re actually partners and that becomes our whole dynamic where she’s treating him as her lackey, but he’s like, “No, we’re partners, because I know your secret.”  Then, it becomes kind of a bargaining chip between the mask and all of that.  It’s so crazy because certain evil characters when they come back, they have to come back in disguise; whereas Xander’s always quite happy to be just jogging through town square with his shirt off after holding someone ransom or kidnapping a baby like, “Ah, whatever.”

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Arianne, it’s been awhile since you got to play the villainess side of Nicole, and with this return to DAYS you get to play that side of her as well, even though it’s really Kristen. Do you enjoy playing the bad girl?

ARIANNE:  Stacy and I were just saying today that you have these conversations about the villain character, (and Paul, I’m sure you’ve felt a lot of this too) people hate you or they love to hate you, and you’re like, “Hey, it’s a good thing because I’m doing my job if you hate me,” but in order for the storyline to move, you’ve got to have a villain.  Nicole used to be kind of villain-ish but playing someone like Kristen who is such a valued villain on this show is just … oh, my God!

Stacy and Paul, what do you think is the most heinous thing your characters have done so far?

STACY:  The most heinous?  (Laughs). Wow.  You know what’s funny is that she’s done all of these things, and I don’t think she thinks what she does is bad.

PAUL:  It’s so funny because you totally would expect her to be like, “The other characters are evil.  We’re the good guys!”

STACY:  I mean honestly, so she kidnapped Nicole, and took her baby.  There’s Marlena and the window.  I mean, it’s hard when she’s done all of these crazy, horrible things.  I’ve just really enjoyed playing her because she’s smart, she’s sassy, she’s this brilliant, deviant person who just wants one thing, and there’s one thing on her mind, and everything else gets in her way.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Is the one thing Brady?

STACY:  Brady, Brady, Brady, and I think even Xander has to repeat it over and over again.  We were playing in rehearsal, and I think I had him do that.  I don’t remember the line, but I said something, and he goes, “Brady Black,” and I go, “Say it again,” just because I want to hear him say it again.  That’s her driving force.

What did Greg Vaughan and Eric Martsolf say when they found out about what the twist was?  Did you tell them?  How did they find out?

ARIANNE:  Well, Eric Martsolf always has a great chuckle.  He has a great laugh, and I think Greg Vaughan just stared at me for a minute.  Then, I told him about the mask process … about making the mask …. and how I thought I was going to pass out and die.  (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Is putting on the mask an extremely weird experience?  How long does it take to put on? 

STACY:  About an hour?  It’s quick, and I thought we were going to suffocate when we were under that because I’ve never done my whole face before, but I’ve done body things. Make-up department is like, “You’re going to be fine.”  It was heavy too, really heavy.

ARIANNE:  Yeah, and because it’s so heavy, after a while, it starts to pull your skin down a little bit, and you’re like, “No, no!” (Laughs)

Did anybody else go running around with the mask on?

PAUL:  Oh yeah.  Everybody!

I knew it!

ARIANNE:  How could you not?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

So, what is the relationship between the real Nicole and Xander, which we saw play out before her death?

PAUL:  She’s my wife!

So, Xander sees Nicole as his wife?

PAUL:  I’m happy to give Xander’s perspective on Nicole, and then Arianne can feel free to correct it.  (Laughs)

ARIANNE:  Alright, that sounds good.

Photo Credit JPI Studios

PAUL:  The way I’ve tried to handle it over the years in our ins and outs of this failed romance is that they’ve saddled poor Arianne with: this psycho chasing after her, and kidnapping her and her baby, and whisking her off to foreign lands – and also to Nashville.  When Xander first came into town, before they decided to make him a total psychopath, it was all working nicely, and Nicole wasn’t really on the up and up with Xander, and she wasn’t really honest about what her intentions were.  Meanwhile, Xander was involved in all of this chicanery with Serena, so once that metastasized into full-blown evil, and Nicole was aware of this, it shifted from, “I just really wanted to take this girl to the movies,” to, “Well, I guess I have to kill her now.”  (Laughs)  So, I think he’s just been playing that out ever since.  “Well, if I can’t date her, and if she won’t love me, then I guess I just have to torture her for the rest of her days.”  I think now on the other side of her supposed death, I think Xander has probably reconciled that his twisted romantic notions, or torture, or whatever he was doing with Nicole, is probably over, and he’s moving on to greener, more alive pastures like Sarah.  To be fair, I do think they’ve purposely made it confusing.  Not just for the audience, but for us.  There’s a real sense of, “Am I playing this to Nicole as Kristen, or do you want me to play this just to Nicole?”  Very often they just go, “No, just play it to Nicole,” because it’s funnier if for Xander it just occasionally slips his mind because she looks just like Nicole.  I’m kissing her… like he’s just enjoying the fact that he can.  “I never really got to kiss Nicole much, but this is Nicole’s face, so I’m going to.”  (Laughs)

ARIANNE:  That’s hilarious.

Ari, what would you say is their relationship?

ARIANNE:  Well, I’m certainly not as long-winded as that.  (Laughs)

PAUL:  He’s a creep!

ARIANNE:  He is a creep.  What cracks me up coming from Nicole is, “Ew, what a jerk.  He’s so gross.  Yuck, yuck!”  Like, really?  You’re not going to make that one work, huh Nicole?  When you reach that far back to the history of Xander and Nicole, it doesn’t have a lot of depth for the two characters because the next thing you know he’s trying to kill her and Eric.  It’s like that scary online dating when you go on one date and it didn’t work out because that guy is going to kill you.

PAUL:  Xander is like the ultimate bad Tinder date.

ARIANNE:  Totally. (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

That is classic.  The bad Tinder date.  That’s basically it.  Xander also apparently feels bad for Maggie (Suzanne Rogers) as she is having her bout with alcoholism.  Is that correct?

PAUL:  Yeah, I’m actually excited to see some of that stuff.  It was great doing it because I love Suzanne to bits.  I was very afraid of ruining Xander by making him too nice, but at the same time when I was first brought on to Days, I wasn’t offered a villain role originally.  Xander morphed into a more severe villain than I’d been led to believe he would be, and it happened quite quickly.  So, I’m actually quite happy to right the ship a little bit back towards he’s bad but he has some occasional glimmers of goodness in him.  So, Maggie really represents that because she’s actually quite nice to him and nurturing in a way that no other character on the show is.  When she has her dalliance with alcohol, he’s one of the few people who doesn’t judge her for it, and we finally get a little bit of Xander’s back story.  I’m actually excited to see those scenes because they felt nice to do, so hopefully they come across well.

Stacy, how did you track this storyline, when Arianne would be playing Kristen as Nicole? 

STACY:  Well if I didn’t get the script, I didn’t know about it.  So, if I wasn’t in the script that time, then I would be looking at Paul going, “What are we talking about?” and then, Ari had obviously already shot those scenes, so they were written for me, so I’m like, “What did I do?  What did I do?” It’s just scenes between Xander and Kristen at the Salem Inn.  Occasionally, you’d get somebody knocking at the door, but then I’d have to quickly put on my mask. (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

So, Ari did you ever have to go to Stacy to get tips about Kristen’s past or anything?

ARIANNE:  It was all about the future moving forward.  I think old, former Nicole had some crazy similarities with current Kristen because it felt kind the same as pulling some things from what she used to do … you know, just a couple of crazy chicks in one crazy character. (Laughs).

The other big part of this is Rolf’s diary that Xander has in his possession.  Is Kristen in cahoots with him on that?  Is she trying to get that from him?

STACY:  I think she is.

PAUL:  Yeah, that’s when she starts to get mad at him; when she realizes that he’s not just being her underling and he’s off scurrying around with his own agenda in the meantime.

ARIANNE:  He’s manipulating and doing his own thing.

PAUL:  I use it to start manipulating Eve (Kassie DePaiva).

So, what would you say to the fans to look forward to?  “You never know who you’re talking to on DAYS?” “Gird your masks?”

ARIANNE:  I definitely think fans know that’s not Nicole the way she is.  And, you never know who is going to give you a shot in the butt and turn you into somebody else.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Well, that’s true.  You never know.  One day they’re going to tell you that you’re playing Julie today! (Laughs)

ARIANNE: “Today the character of Julie will be played by…”

STACY: “… you will never guess by whom!”

PAUL:  This was fun.  This is a fun way to do it.  Let’s all do all of our interviews together moving forward!

So, what have you thought of the plot twist? What do you think of the Nicole mask and the performances and comments made here by Arianne, Stacy, and Paul? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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