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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.

General Hospital

Bryan Craig Talks Javi In ‘Grand Hotel’, Recasting GH’s Morgan, And His Post-Daytime Career

When Grand Hotel finally makes its highly-anticipated debut this summer (Monday night, June 17th) on ABC, soap opera fans will see some very familiar faces in primo roles as this sudsy drama, based on the Spanish series Gran Hotel, tells the story of a family-owned hotel in Miami, the people who run it, and all of the secrets they keep from one another.

Brought to you by executive producers Eva Longoria and Ben Spector, the show explores the family dynamic of the Mendoza family. Longoria herself will play a mother in four episodes of the show, as well.

General Hospital fans will take note that Daytime Emmy-winner, Bryan Craig (Ex-Morgan Corinthos) is front and center in the cast as Javi Mendoza, the troubled son of the family who has some major obstacles in front of him.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Craig during the recent ABC TCA’s Press Tour for the network to get some insight into his new role, how he would feel if GH would recast the role of Morgan (he recently propped up former DAYS star Billy Flynn as a potential viable candidate) and what it has been like post-daytime in his burgeoning career in film and TV.  Here’s what he had to say about his TV life past and present.

What has this experience been like for you taping the episodes of Grand Hotel and working with such a stellar cast?

BRYAN:  It’s been incredible   It feels like it went by so fast.  It’s an awesome group of people.  We’ve got a fun show.

How would you say your character of Javi Mendoza stacks up against GH’s Morgan Corinthos?

BRYAN:  I think it’s one of the most layered characters that I’ve ever played.  There’s a lot going on with Javi.  He has a big disability, kind of like Morgan did.  It’s a physical disability, and there are a lot of challenges that come along with that.  He also has a substance problem.  So, some of the same issues and in the same world that Morgan was in.  Javi is a very troubled character, but he is also a lot of fun, and a ladies’ man … and sleeps with a lot of women! (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Do you think the audience will care for Javi, though?  

BRYAN:  Oh yeah, one hundred percent.  He was written in a very kind-hearted manner.  He’s a great guy, who has had a tough life.

Did they put you through a audition process to nab the role in Grand Hotel?

BRYAN:  They had read hundreds and hundreds of people for this role.  I came in at the tail end of it, and then the process went pretty quickly.  I read once, and the next think I knew, I was in a room with Eva Longoria and director, Ken Olin.  Then two days later, I was testing with Eva, and then I got the call that I had the part.

You’re a part of the core family, the Mendozas, on Grand Hotel, and on GH, you were part of the Corinthos clan.  How do the family dynamics stack-up?

BRYAN:  It’s pretty special.  There are a lot of similarities.  It feels like we have kind of shifted GH into prime-time.  In Grand Hotel, we have Demián Bichir, who plays Santiago Mendoza, and he is my Sonny Corinthos now.   They gave us a very heavy, heavy storyline … just like they gave Maurice Benard (Sonny, GH) and me.   So, I think the fans are really going to buy into it.   ABC, (I think) wanted to marry that bond a little bit, and I feel it was very apparent in the writing.  This network has been very good to me.

Courresy/ABC

Did you know that your co-star Denyse Tontz was in Prospect Park’s All My Children reboot as Miranda Montgomery and had a soap past, as well?

BRYAN:  Yes! I did know that.  Denyse plays my sister on Grand Hotel and we work together a lot on the show.  There were quite a few people on the show who came from soaps.  Even some guest stars who came in were big in soap at points.

So, this kind of all  worked out for you!  You left General Hospital, and landed a major primetime series, plus your other movie roles!

BRYAN:  It was a scary move, but it worked out.  I did a few things; a couple of movies, and I did a show for CW for a while, and then this.  So, it’s been back-to-back.  I’ve been fortunate.

Courtesy/ABC

How would you feel if General Hospital, ultimately, recast the role of Morgan?

BRYAN:  You know, if it was to behoove the show, then so be it.   I feel like it was a pretty nice end for me there, but I can’t sit here and be selfish and be like, “I’m the last person who could play that role!”  Would that be awesome?  I mean, yeah!  But, who knows?  They’ve got to do what’s best for the show.

GH’s Maurice Benard had great story in 2018 with the Alzheimer’s storyline involving Sonny’s dad, Mike Corbin (Max Gail).  Had you been checking it out at all?

BRYAN:  I know!   I do keep up with Maurice a lot.   We are good friends.

To remind those who have not seen the trailer to Grand Hotel check it out below.  Will you be watching Bryan in his exciting new role on Grand Hotel? Will you be OK with a Morgan recast on GH, or hope the show will wait for Bryan to return one day? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Interviews

Melody Thomas Scott Chats On 40 Years As The Young and the Restless’ Incomparable Nikki: The Men, The Booze, The Drama

Today marks Y&R icon Melody Thomas Scott’s 40th anniversary with the top-rated daytime drama series.  While CBS plans to air a special standalone episode (Nikki is in the slammer for confessing to J.T.’s murder, and she will reflect on her life in an emotional look-back), Michael Fairman sat down with the popular and beloved star for a deep dive into four decades in the life of stripper-turned-socialite, Nikki Newman for The Michael Fairman Channel.

During the interview, Melody first addresses her sadness at the loss of her longtime friend and co-star Kristoff St. John (Neil Winters): “I adored him.  I love him to bits.  I loved working with him; such a wonderful actor.  I don’t even know if he knew how good he was.”

When discussing Nikki’s colorful past, and when Y&R planned to have Nikki strip again decades later, Melody revealed she did refuse to play it: “That’s right, and I very rarely put the kibosh on anything on this show,  I was 48-years-old.  The head writer called me and I was up in hair and make-up.  They heard me say, ‘I’m 48-years-old .. that’s just not happening.”‘

Photo: TheMichaelFairmanChannel

Over the years, Nikki has faced many battles, perils ,and demons including her addiction to alcohol which has provided many a juicy story for Thomas Scott.  As to the fans always loving to see a ‘boozy’ Nikki, Melody remarked;  “Yes!  They love it!  I have great fun with it and I think it’s wonderful.”

During a segment of the conversation, Michael shows Melody some photos of Nikki’s past loves, and gets her thoughts on why Nikki fell for those men, and what it was like working with her co-stars through the years: John Enos (Bobby), Doug Davidson (Paul), Heath Kizzier (Joshua), Wings Hauser (Greg), Don Diamont (Brad), Vincent Irizarry (David), Peter Bergman (Jack), Sean Kanan (Deacon, and of course, her longtime on-screen partner Eric Braeden (Victor).

Later, Melody reminisces about her time working with the late great Jeanne Cooper (Katherine) and when asked by Fairman what she thinks Jeanne would say about her 40th anniversary milestone, Melody replied: “She would say, ‘I’m (bleeping) proud of you Mel!”‘

Photo: CBS

Check out the entire interview with Melody below (make sure to also subscribe to the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube for more feature interviews), and following that the special CBS promo honoring Melody’s 40th anniversary with Y&R.  Then let us know, what has been your favorite Nikki Newman moment over the last 40 years? Share your thoughts via the comment section below,

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Interviews

Executive Producer Michael Levitt Previews The Adorable 2019 ‘American Rescue Dog Show’

Dog lovers everywhere get ready! Coming your way on Sunday, February 17th and Monday, February 18th, the good folks at the Hallmark Channel will air a two-night special event (8pmET/7pmCT) that puts a spin on the traditional competitive elite dog shows, while at the same time championing an important cause for man’s best friend.

The 2019 American Rescue Dog Show honors some of the cutest rescue dogs from around the country going paw-to-paw in categories that will tickle-your-funny-bone, bring a smile to your face, or, potentially shed a tear.  This marks the second year for this oh-so-heartwarming show, where in its first year, it beat the Westminster Dog Show in the ratings; much to the delight of rescue dogs and their families, who take these wonderful animals into their homes.

The brainchild behind the concept is the executive producer of the event. Michael Levitt (Skin Wars, Daytime Emmys, TV Land Awards), who spoke with Michael Fairman TV to give us all the inside dish and insight into why this dog show is so personally important to him, and how its goal is to create awareness about the plight of millions of abandoned dogs in shelters each year, and to inspire viewers to think about rescuing one of these loveable pups.

Levitt has a collection of notable hosts and judges along for the ride who bring this one-of-a-kind doggy competition to life from the world of TV, film, and animal advocacy.  So, for the lowdown on the competition and more, here’s what Michael shared.

Photo: Crown Media

For those who want to check out the two-night event, is the American Rescue Dog Show in the same vein as the Westminster Dog Show, where the dogs are competing? 

MICHAEL: The format of the show is similar to a fancy dog show, such as Westminster, however, on the American Rescue Dog Show, we aren’t “judging” the dog.  In our show, they all have to be rescue dogs that are spayed or neutered in order to compete, and we are not judging them based on their bloodlines, we are celebrating their cuteness in such categories as, “Best in Wiggle Butt,” “Best in Couch Potato,” “Best in Snoring,” “Best in Special Needs,” and  “Best in Senior Dog” – those are obviously some of the most important.   We have the fancy arena floor with the judges and the tuxedos.  We filmed it at the Pomona Fairplex, which is the same place that they film the Beverly Hills Dog Show.

And you have a bevy of dog-loving celebrity judges along for the ride, too!

MICHAEL: Yes, and this year we are lucky to have the support of celebrity animal advocates that include: Lisa Vanderpump, Debbie Gibson, Brandon McMillan, host of CBS’s Lucky Dog, Bill Berloni, who is the dog trainer to a lot of the dogs on Broadway, and Dirty Job’s Mike Rowe.  Our prerequisites for them to be a judge were: they all needed to be rescue-friendly.  So, they either needed to have a rescue dog of their own or support rescue in some way.  Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O’Connell are the hosts this year, along with Ross Matthews and Home & Family’s Larissa Wall, who served as co-hosts and cover all of the action ringside.

Photo: Crown Media

So, did the judges get along?  Did they differ on their top picks?

MICHAEL: The judges absolutely got along famously, but as a producer of the show, I was a fly on the wall listening to them when they were deliberating as they were picking a winner.  That was quite entertaining, because each of them had a strong point of view on the dog, or dogs that they thought should win the competition. We found ourselves throughout the filming just turning to each other and saying, “I don’t know how the judges are going to pick just one, because they are all just so incredibly special.”

How was Lisa Vanderpump? 

MICHAEL:  Lisa was wonderful!  When she was being interviewed by Rebecca and Jerry O’Connell, they asked her what she would say to a potential family that is about to buy a dog from a breeder, and it was such a profound moment, because as someone who comes from her socioeconomic level, from her privilege, to see that she has embraced rescue might be incredibly meaningful to someone who might think that rescue dogs are second-hand animals.  Lisa Vanderpump disproves that just by being there, and being a part of it.

Photo: Crown Media

How did you decide on Rebecca and Jerry as your hosts with the most?

MICHAE:  I have a long history with Rebecca from producing my show, Skin Wars, which she hosts.  I knew that she and Jerry had four rescue dogs of their own, and that she is incredibly passionate about rescue and shedding light and creating awareness about the plight of animals that are sheltered.  They were not only organic and authentic to the cause, but they were a lot of fun and clearly had a lot of natural chemistry.  They also brought their own rescue dogs to the show, as did Lisa Vanderpump.  So that was fun.

You have two wonderful dogs of your own.  So, this is your passion project!

MICHAEL: This is a true labor of love for me, because in 2011 when my sister, Jennifer was dying of cancer, my partner and I decided to rescue a dog, and we rescued a pit bull named Trooper, and Trooper rocked our world.  My sister met him four days before she died, and it’s that old adage of “Who rescued who.”  Trooper really was there for me during a really difficult time of my life. I learned first-hand how special not only rescue dogs are, but pit bulls, and that really was the beginning of my animal advocacy.  I ended up taking a year off from producing just to rescue dogs.  I realized at the end of that year, that as a rescuer, I am saving one dog at a time, but as a producer, I could do so much more to bring awareness to the plight of animals in our shelters by creating rescue-themed programming.

Pit bulls seem to always get a bad rap.  Do you feel that way?

MICHAEL:  They absolutely get a bad rap, and after we rescued Trooper, we rescued another pit bull named Nelson, and it was really the two of them who inspired me to get heavily involved in rescue and to be an advocate for pit bulls.  With pit bulls it is such a unique human-animal bond that you don’t find with any other breed.  All they really want to do is please their humans, and it is absolutely true that when you hear these horrific stories about pit bulls on the news, these are rare incidents of pit bulls who have fallen into the hands of bad people who have treated them badly.  It’s really unfair to profile and entire breed of dog, because all dog breeds have some dogs that have behavioral problems.  I have come in contact with thousands of pit bulls, and I have only met one that was human-aggressive, and that dog was severely, severely abused.  Every other pit bull I have come in contact with has been nothing but incredibly sweet.

Photo: Crown Media

So, last year’s American Rescue Dog Show is currently in the running to earn a Daytime Emmy nomination in the ‘Special Class Special’ programming category!

MICHAEL:  Yes, “Special Class Special”. (Laughs)

You obviously know who wins this weekend’s American Rescue Dog Show competition.  Were you happy with the winner? 

MICHAEL:  Yes, but you can imagine how difficult it is for the judges to pick a winner because every single dog in the competition is beyond adorable. It is really the dogs who deliver on the show, and that’s what makes the show so heartwarming.  The real purpose of the show is to inspire the viewers to rescue their next dog from their local shelter, or rescue organization, so that people who are watching turn to the person they are with and say, “Honey, I didn’t know you could get a pure-bred dog at a shelter!  Let’s rescue our next dog!”  We have really powerful segments in the show about the joy of adopting a senior dog, or a special-needs dog.  We do a segment on debunking the myths about pit bulls, and we have messaging on why it is important to spay and neuter your dog.  So, through this wonderfully entertaining program, we are also educating people and hopefully touching their heart and their soul and inspiring them to be a part of the solution by rescuing their next dog; instead of being a part of the problem by purchasing a dog from a pet store or breeder.

Photo: Crown Media

When you look at what you have to take on as a producer when you do this type of show; as opposed to any other type of production you have helmed, what are the major differences?

MICHAEL: The biggest distinction is that on this show we are dealing with living animals, so I take that responsibility very seriously.  First and foremost: is the safety and well-being of the dogs that are participating on the show.  We have to consider everything from making sure that the animals are up-to-date with their vaccinations to having veterinarians on hand, having production personal on-hand standing by with treats and pooper-scoopers. This also means that the dogs are being treated like VIPs.  So, we have a VIP room, but that stands for “Very Important Pooch”, and all of the dogs that are participating have their own dressing rooms with a star on it and their name.  There were over 130 dogs that actually participated from all over the country.  In addition, we had a gifting suite like they do on the Oscars and Golden Globes, but on this show, they didn’t get swag bags, they got “Wag Bags”.

Knowing you as I do, it seems a lot this creative from the categories in the competition, to the backstage VIP room, are very YOU!

MICHAEL:  I have an incredible team of producers who I collaborate with.  None of this would be possible without the good people at Hallmark being such incredible animal advocates.  Specifically, Bill Abbott, who is one of the few network executives in the industry who is really walking the walk and doing so much to be supportive of dogs and cats who need homes.  So, this is right up my alley, because creatively I am so passionate about it that it is so easy to come up with fun ideas that hopefully resonate with the viewers.

Photo: Crown Media

Are there any other fun moments that you can tease?

MICHAEL:  We are celebrating the perfectly imperfect.  So, we love when a dog decides to roll on his back in the middle of the arena and decide he wants to get a belly rub in the middle of the competition.  We had a dog decide that he had to go potty on the middle of a flower arrangement on the arena floor.  Those are the moments that give the show its heart and feel-good sensibility.  We had a couple of dogs in the “Best Wiggle Butt” category where one of their forever parent brings them out initially, and their other forever parent was on the other side of the area, and we removed their leash so that they can run from one parent to the other so that we can really see their butts moving, but … we had a few dogs get so excited that they ran right out of the arena! (Laughs)  They ran right through the tunnel off stage and come running back in, and the whole audience erupted into laughter.  It’s just magical.

How did you find these dogs to compete? 

MICHAEL:  We put out a call-to-action on social media, and we got thousands of responses. People submitted their rescue dogs in as many categories as they qualified for, and they submitted photos and videos. Then, we have a team of producers and rescue experts who go through all of the submissions, ultimately picking the top semi-finalists in each category who come to Los Angeles to compete.  We had a wonderful partnership with Pedigree Foundation in which they provided $100,000 in grant money for the dogs that win for the rescue that saved him or her.  So, in the ten semi-final categories, each winning dog received a $5,000 grant for the rescue that saved him or her, and then the ultimate winner of the competition, which is crowned the title, “Best in Rescue,” received an additional $30,000 for the rescue that saved him or her, again, courtesy of Pedigree Foundation.  We also had a partnership with adoptapet.com, which is the largest online resource for people to find rescue dogs in their own communities. Throughout the show, we have a call-to-action for people to go to hallmark.com/bestinrescue and look for the adopt a pet icon … they click it… then enter their zip code … and they are instantly linked to thousands of available dogs in their own community who are patiently waiting for a loving home.

Photo: Crown Media

The dog handlers are the owners of these pets?

MICHAEL:  Yes.  We call it a member of their “forever family”.  Several of the dogs on the show are service dogs now, or companion animals, working in senior homes or working with military service people suffering from PTSD.  We celebrate each and every one of them.

Is your hope to do a third annual show, and keep the dog rescue competition going?

MICHAEL:  Yes!  My hope is that this show continues to be on for many years to come and be a platform for the 8 million animals that enter our shelters each year and are patiently waiting for their forever home, and that we can continue to be a voice for these dogs that don’t have voices of their own.  Of all of the shows that I have produced over the years, this one is going to be the most meaningful to me, and is going to be my legacy, because it is such a beautiful thing that I can bring my work and my passion together to hopefully make a difference in the lives of all of these animals.  As a result of this show, we heard from numerous shelters across the country that there was a definite uptick in adoptions.  That warms my heart beyond compare.

In closing, you know what they say:  it’s easier to work with animals than humans! Thoughts? (Laughs)

MICHAEL:  Every show has its challenges, but I would much rather deal with a diva Chihuahua than a diva celebrity.  So, on that level, this show is pure joy to make.

So, will you be watching this heartwarming, creative two-night rescue dog event?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below, but first, check out this behind-the-scenes video of how the American Rescue Dog Show is put together with co-host, Ross Matthews.

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GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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