Connect with us

Interviews

The Scott Clifton Interview – The Bold and the Beautiful

© JPI Studios

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:

© JPI Studios

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.

© JPI Studios

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:

© JPI Studios

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!

© JPI Studios

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:

© JPI Studios

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:

© JPI Studios

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:

© JPI Studios

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:

© JPI Studios

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:

© JPI Studios

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:

courtesy/ABC

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.

© JPI Studios

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:

© JPI Studios

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?

© JPI Studios

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.

Click to comment
Advertisement

Leave a Reply

avatar
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

GH’s Tamara Braun Talks On: Kim’s Plight With Her Son Oscar, Her Relationships With Julian and Drew & Coming Home To Port Charles

When Tamara Braun stepped back on to the canvas of General Hospital back in November of last year, the one-time and wildly popular Carly Corinthos #2 was now taking on the role of Dr, Kim Nero – a single mom of a teenage son (who is very protective of him), top-notch gynecologist in the medical profession, and a woman with a past with Drew Cain (Billy Miller). It was eventually revealed that Drew is her son Oscar’s (Garren Stitt) biological father.

Now as viewers have seen on recent episodes of the ABC soap opera, Oscar’s life looks like it could very well be cut short after the story shocker that now has the young teen diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor from cancer.  Kim had kept the truth from her son until he confronted her upon learning the news on his own (with an assist from Cameron) and putting two and two together.  This sets the stage for some difficult and heartbreaking moments ahead.

As for Braun, she rose to the top as one of soap operas most critically-acclaimed actresses after having the challenging task of taking over the role of Carly #1 in 2001 from three-time Daytime Emmy winner, Sarah Brown.  Tamara not only met this challenge, but made Carly her own scoring an Emmy nod along the way.  After departing GH in 2005, Tamara returned to daytime in 2008 in the role of Ava Vitali on Days of our Lives, which indeed earned her an Emmy.   Next, she headed to Pine Valley and All My Children to take on the role of Reese Williams, the love interest to Bianca Montgomery (Eden Riegel), who eventually married from 2008-2009.  Tamara even came back to DAYS for awhile in the role of Taylor in 2011, and later reprised the role of Ava in 2015-2016.  With an impressive resume, GH is lucky to have her back and Braun finally felt the time was right to take on a new role on her first soap home  upon her return in 2017.  Viewers hope that they get to see more of those emotionally raw, honest performances that Braun is known for as more layers of Kim are revealed,

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Tamara to get her take on: the latest storyline involving Kim, Oscar and Drew, where Kim’s relationship with Julian Jerome stands, and how she feels it’s important to shed light on causes of the day needing our help and how we can all ultimately live in a kinder, more thoughtful world.  Here’s what Tamara had to shared below.

In the episodes we saw last week, Kim had no choice but to tell Oscar the truth. What have you thought about this whole story where now Oscar is hating his mother, and upset with her, when she did not come forward with the truth about his medical condition to him, because in her mind she was protecting him?

Courtesy/ABC

TAMARA:  Yes, that was reasoning.  She did all of this to protect him so that he could have a normal teenage life without all of that hanging over his head.  What do I think of it?  I think that it has been hard for me, Tamara, to play.  It has been hard for me to wrap my head around why a physician would not tell her son that he’s ill.  It’s also been hard for me to wrap my head around because the way the writers have made Oscar and Kim’s relationship such a beautiful one that has been seemingly full of honesty and openness, that they can really talk to each other, which is one of the things that I really like.  In terms of the storyline, what it does do is create conflict which is what’s needed in shows.  Things can’t be ‘happy, happy, joy, joy’ all of the time, so it’s created conflict for Oscar and Kim and now Drew, because Kim dragged him into keeping the secret too for a little bit. 

Courtesy/ABC

We just also learned that Kim’s reasoning to come to Port Charles in the first place was indeed because of Oscar.

TAMARA:  Like Kim said, she came because she did an ancestry report, and it turned out that he has relatives in Port Charles.  So, she wanted for them to get the opportunity to know him and him to get the opportunity to get to know them.  I’m sure we will learn something about Kim’s past which would explain why in her mind she felt this was the right thing to do.  We know that it seems like a very controlling thing.  As a mother, take the physician out of it, I still think that Kim would have shared his diagnosis with him, but I don’t think one ever knows what they would do in that situation.  You think you know what you would do, but perhaps she felt that she could control it; she could figure it out.  Perhaps, Kim felt that because she is a physician she’ll find some answer, and she’ll be able to fix it.  These are the questions, and these are the things that as an actor, I have to put in my head because it’s not what I believe I would do.  It’s not even what I believe the character of Kim as I knew her would have done, but it’s what the writers have written.  So, they have to have a reason, and I think that it has got to be more than just to create conflict.  That’s what stories rely on.  It’s soap, and a lot of people on soaps have to do crazy things and find out ways to justify them when they seem out of character.

You’re right.  Kim and Oscar had a very open relationship.  Yes, she was a “controlling mother,” if you want to say that, but they were honest with each other.  Garren Stitt has been very endearing in the role.  What can you say about working with him?

TAMARA:  I just adore Garren. I have adored him from the minute I met him.  I think he’s a lovely, sweet, kind person, and I feel so fortunate to get to play his mom.  I really do.  I think he’s wonderful, and I’m lucky.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Now as to the situation with Drew, Kim truly did not know he was in town when she got to Port Charles, right?

TAMARA:  Correct.

What does she feel towards Drew now, and does this situation ultimately draw them closer together?

TAMARA:  I think it absolutely draws them closer together, because now they have to deal with Oscar.  Because once Kim accepted Drew back into their lives (she thought he was dead long ago), she opened up her arms to him in the capacity of being a father for Oscar.  Kim has had to deal with everything with her child all on her own for fifteen years.  It’s just been the two of them.  So, I think that at some point it has got to be difficult to allow someone else in to help make decisions, and to lean on, and to co-parent with.  I think it was difficult at first, but I think now she is grateful to have him to share it with, even though they may not see things eye-to-eye all of the time.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Do you foresee Kim and Drew, at any point, growing closer romantically?

TAMARA:  I don’t know.  It’s not looking like that.  It’s looking like a nice friendship and one that is very caring and understanding, but as of now, I don’t see hints of it.  You never know.  As you know, it’s a soap.  Anything could happen.

How has it been working with Billy Miller? He has also done some wonderful work as the devastated father.

TAMARA:  It’s been great.  The last few scenes that we had to do, there have been those special moments you get as an actor where the angels are just with you.  It all just kind of connects and flows together.   I think we’ve been lucky to have gotten a few of those as of late, and that’s been really nice.

Courtesy/ABC

In story, it was revealed that Oscar could enter an experimental trial that could help his tumor and the cancer, is that what Kim wants her son to do?

TAMARA:  Absolutely, because she feels anything that could possibly save his life or give him more time, she wants for him.

I also like that they made Dr. Terry Randolph (Cassandra James), Oscar’s pediatric oncologist.

TAMARA:  Yes.  Cassandra is really lovely to work with, and she’s just a lovely human being as well.  I’m fortunate right now.  I get to work with some lovely people.

Courtesy/ABC

Do you think Kim’s going to let Julian (Will deVry) know about what she is dealing with?

TAMARA:  Julian does not know.  Oscar doesn’t want anyone to know and especially Julian.  He wants his mom and dad together, so he’s decided not to let Julian know.  I think only for those reasons.  Kim really didn’t honor Oscar by keeping this news of him being ill from him, so she has to honor him in his request not to share this with Julian.

Is Kim aware of how Cameron (William Lipton) is trying to maneuver himself into a relationship with Josslyn (Eden McCoy)?  Does she understand what’s going on there? 

TAMARA:  Kim doesn’t know anything about it.

Photo: ABC

Does Kim want Josslyn to be with Oscar?

TAMARA:  She does, because she knows that Josslyn makes Oscar happy, and to be happy, is what’s most important right now, because that also can help any type of recovery.  When we are happy, or are doing things that make us joyful, or raise our endorphin levels in a positive way, that’s good for health.  That’s good for recovery, and she wants her son to be happy.  What mother doesn’t want her son to be happy?  Especially now, with everything going on.

Kim was having an issue that Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst) and Franco (Roger Howarth) knew about Oscar’s prognosis.  Do you think she’ll be more lax about that now, or do you think she’ll be more even intense about people not finding out?

TAMARA:  I think she doesn’t want people to know because Oscar now knows, and he doesn’t want people to know.  I think that she wants to keep his confidence.  I think she doesn’t want anyone else to know because she needs to respect Oscar’s wishes.

Courtesy/ABC

Do you think that it’s possible that Drew’s twin, Jason (Steve Burton) is somehow the bio-dad of Oscar, and not Drew?  The character of Jason has a history of brain injuries and trauma.

TAMARA:  I never thought of that! (Laughs)  That would be a fun kind of plot twist!  I don’t think so because there have been lines a couple of times when Kim is with Jason and she says, “You know, you look exactly like him.  It’s kind of hard to wrap my head around that, but you act so differently.”   You know what?  Even if Jason did have a brain tumor, he is Drew’s twin, and Drew is Oscar’s father, so that does still genetically match and run in the family.  It’s an interesting twist there that you bring up!

I remember watching the episode where the audience learned Oscar was dying and I was completely shocked!   I had no idea where the writers were going with it after the seizure.  When the powers-that-be filled you in on what was going on, what was your reaction to that part of the story?

Photo Credit: ABC

TAMARA:  Illness in any form on a soap gives you something to play.  So, that’s good.  When they start saying in the dialogue, “terminal,” you’re like, “What!?” But then you also have people saying, “There’s always hope,” so, you never know where it’s actually going to go, or how the story lines will play.  I understand how people keep saying that it came out of the blue and they didn’t even hint at that.  So, I will say they did write a scene the day that Michael (Chad Duell) lost the baby, and I believe Sonny (Maurice Benard) and Michael were in the church. There was a scene that I was ready to shoot that day, and it was a monologue in the church.  It was after Nelle’s (Chloe Lanier) baby had died and after Kim and Nelle had scenes.  Kim goes to the chapel and she has a monologue talking to God, and it was a bit of a hint, but they had to cut the scene because the tape day ran long.  I didn’t even shoot it.  I think that had they had left it in; people would have been like, “Oh, that’s what that meant.”  I think now that I see the reaction of viewers and you’re bringing it up, that would have been the moment you could have gone to and said. “Oh!  That’s the moment.  That’s what she meant,” or when it happened, the audience have been like, “What’s going on?  What don’t we know?”  I think had that scene been in there, people wouldn’t have been taken aback so much.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

So, what would you say the audience can look forward to with Kim coming up?  Are we going to see her with a lot of stress on her relationship with her son?  Do you see her holding it together, or falling apart? 

TAMARA:  I think probably all of the above… trying to pull it together, falling apart, a rift between them, trying to bring it back together, making mistakes, doing the right thing … I think it’s everything.  I think reality just smacked Kim in the head, and her son… but when you’re so closed and tight about something in life, and when you no longer have control over it… you’ve got your best-laid plans, and you know what they say about your best-laid plans.  (Laughs).  It explodes, and then you have to deal with the aftermath.  So, hopefully we will see some nuance in there.  I’m hoping for it.  Hopefully, we will see Kim and Oscar work through stuff because people make mistakes; people do the wrong things for what they think are the right reasons all the time.  If Oscar is dealing with an inoperable, terminal brain tumor here, then time is of the essence for them to get it together and come together.

Well, I hope that it’s hankie-inducing, poignant and does have those beats for you to play, and they don’t kind of skip story beats.  As you said, time is of the essence for them and there is, usually no matter what, an unbreakable bond between mother and son.

TAMARA:  I hope so, too!  We can keep our fingers crossed for that!

Photo Credit: ABC

What attributes of Kim do you like playing?

TAMARA:  Kim’s no pushover, which I do like about her.  She’s strong, but she’s a quiet strong.  She doesn’t come at somebody charging, blazing, knocking things down or with a baseball bat like Carly does.  She has strength as a woman, and it’s in a very different way.

Do you think Kim is in love with “Charlie” AKA Julian? 

TAMARA:  I think she loves him.  It’s been a long time since she’s been in a relationship.  Her primary relationship, for better or for worse, has been her son all these years.  She’s made him her number one and didn’t feel she had time or that there was anyone who was worth that time.  So, I think that with Charlie, or Julian, whoever the hell he is (laughs)…

… Wait! She knows he’s Julian, right? (Laughs)

TAMARA:  Yes, she knows, but she likes to call him, “Charlie” because of the bar.  It was a cute little thing from the beginning.  I think that he doesn’t pressure her.  It’s easy, it’s fun, it’s light, and that’s what I think she can handle right now.

How has it been playing the mother of a teenager?  Is that odd for you?  It seems like a bit of a jump.

TAMARA:  It seems like a jump from what people have seen me do for a long time.  If you think about it, the last time people saw me on General Hospital with a kid, it was Michael (formerly Dylan Cash), and I mean, not in soap terms, but in real life terms, he was playing I think 6 when he was 8, and now he’s 23 so he would have been playing 21 if he had stayed.

Courtesy: TBraunTwitter

Is it ever odd for you that you aren’t the character of Carly anymore when you see Michael and characters that you have shared and played emotional attachments with your first go-round on GH?  I would suppose as an actress you can switch that on and off, but what about as a person?

TAMARA:  Yes, as an actress you switch it off, but as a person Michael is not the same Michael.  I think if he had been the same because we were so close, and we were so connected it might have been more difficult.  If it were him on set playing him every day, I’d be like, “Hi honey!   Hi my son!”   He was so in my heart.  I think because it’s Chad Duell now playing the part, who is lovely and wonderful, there’s no history with us, and that made it really okay.   I loved Dylan as a little boy.  I still love him.  He stopped in at my fan event, which was wonderful!

When you think back on all of your soap roles, it’s pretty amazing what you’ve done. Although we hated the end of the Reese/Bianca wedding on All My Children, it was the first same-sex wedding, and was a landmark moment.  You were a part of it.  Forget what happened afterwards, but that moment was key.  When you were on General Hospital, you received a Daytime Emmy nomination for your performance as Carly.  And then there was Days of our Lives’ Ava Vitali!  You got to play the psycho.  You won the Supporting Actress Emmy for your performance.  Do you think Ava is somehow still alive? 

TAMARA:  I think she may be alive.   I mean, no one really saw.  They put a sheet over her and rolled her out.  You didn’t see her dead.  I mean, come on now.  Joey (James Lastovic, Ex-DAYS) can strangle, but I don’t know that he’s that strong.  Ava’s got some fire in her.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Such a great role!

TAMARA:  I have been really, really blessed to play very strong or pivotal or interesting, dynamic roles on daytime.  I have been very fortunate to do that, and I have been very fortunate to work with people who allow me to do my thing.  They don’t hamper it.  They say, “Go.  Go for it.”

I love your Instagram posts, and I love when you talk about social issues and things that are important to you.  Could you talk a little bit about how you’re using that platform to make a difference?

TAMARA:  I just like to post things that are important to me. There are a lot of people who are using social media for brand identity.  I’m glad that I don’t even know what that is.  I mean, maybe I should know.  (Laughs)  It probably would be better for me, but –

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

You realize on Instagram; if you post a shirtless pic along with a quote from something unrelated and are a guy, or are a very sexy woman, you’re going to get millions of likes.

TAMARA:  Yeah, and that’s not my brand.  (Laughs) I guess if I had to say what my brand is; it would be “Truth. Real. Honest.”  You know, here’s the real deal from me.  I think it’s important to bring awareness to what’s going on that touches your heart.  I think that if you can shed light on issues in a positive way, to make people think, to make people feel; that is important.  I have always wanted to do good things in the world, and you can do that at any place and time in your life as a human being, but when you have a bit of a platform, I believe it is a responsibility to use that to share things of importance to the world for humanity.  We’re given this one life.  Whether you come back, or whatever you believe this is the one life we have, if we don’t do something good with it, what’s the point?   I think there’s too much, “Me, me, me, me, me.”  I mean, that’s what this business is, right?  But we need to step back, and we need to remember that there is a real world going on out there where people are dealing with issues, and we need to be kind.  That being said, I do post stuff of myself, and people want to see it, so I want to give them what makes them happy, but I think that as long as I’m doing that too, I think it also makes people happy to see things good going on in the world, bring light to issues that need light brought on them.  I really just feel that we need more kindness.  We need more positivity because right now is a really hard time in our world, in America especially. It’s important to be more generous and kind-spirited than what we’re so often seeing these days.

So, what have you thought about the way Kim handled telling Oscar of his cancer diagnosis?  Do you hope Kim continues to stay in Julian’s orbit, or would you want her to become involved with Drew?   What do you think will happen next in the story … will Oscar survive?  What has been your most favorite performance of Tamara Braun of all her soap roles through the years? Comment below.

Continue Reading

Interviews

Y&R’s Hunter King Talks Summer’s Clash With Phyllis, Seducing Billy, ‘Life In Pieces’ & Being Newly Engaged

On The Young and the Restless viewers just watched the summer of …  Summer!  When the top-rated soap brought back two-time Daytime Emmy winner, Hunter King to the canvas, you knew it was going to be to stir up some major drama.  But, little did viewers know that Summer came back a vixen, ready to steal her mother’s man!

Last month, it became game on between mother and daughter after their epic showdown, where Phyllis (Gina Tognoni) got wind of Summer’s attempts to put the moves on Billy (Jason Thompson) and her plans to meet up with him in Philly! (And that spelled trouble for the couple known as “Philly” too)  Oh yes, and there was that well-deserved bitch-slap!  So, where will it all go from here?

Michael Fairman TV caught up with King where we discussed: Summer’s new attitude, if Summer will get her wish and have sex with Billy, her real-life engagement, and her upcoming return to the CBS sitcom Life in Pieces, and more. Check out what Hunter had to say below.

Summer is so pursuing Billy! When you came back to Y&R, did they tell you we need her to be really vampy and this seductress?  What has happened to her? (Laughs)

HUNTER:  Yes.  I understood where it was coming from, and I was excited to play the same character, but being able to play it totally different.  I get to sort of reinvent her.   I think when Summer went away she discovered herself, and kind of grew into Phyllis’ daughter … maybe.  But I will say, it has been very vampy, and you don’t even know yet what’s to come!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

How is working with Jason Thompson?

HUNTER:   Working with Jason is great.  He is always so professional and prepared and always willing to collaborate on scenes.  Jason is just so creative, and so in it, and loves to work so much that he just exudes that the scenes.

Let’s just say when Summer and Billy “finally” hit the sheets … (Laughs)

HUNTER:   We don’t yet … we shall see.  The way this whole storyline unfolds you think it’s going one way and then there is a twist, and then twists on top of twists.  The more layers that come into play you start to understand why everything is happening the way it is.

Now, Summer had no idea that Billy had a gambling addiction, which put this whole spiral of his in motion?

HUNTER:  I guess not?  (Laughs)  It’s hard to know. I would say she evidently did not know about his gambling.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Viewers saw Phyllis slap her daughter in the face as the fight between them escalated; when Summer admitted she was going after her mother’s boyfriend!  How was it taping that scene, and working with Gina Tognoni?

HUNTER:  She’s amazing! Gina didn’t really slap me, but I will say afterwards they wanted to put red blush on my cheeks, and I said, “Oh, just pinch my cheek instead, and I wound up bruising my cheek.”  So Gina goes, “I really didn’t hit her!”  It was the funniest banter on set.  Gina was scary in those scenes, like a good scary.  I went, “Damn!”

On August 18th, you got engaged to your beau, Nico Svoboda.  Were you expecting him to propose when he did?

HUNTER:   I was so shocked, even though I had wanted it to happen, very much.  But, I had no idea when it was coming. It was amazing, and the best day of my life and, we are engaged!

Photo : HKingInstagram

And he got down on one knee for the proposal!

HUNTER:  Yes!  I thought it was sweet.  It’s something you dream about when you are a little girl.

What it is about Nico that makes him the guy for you?

HUNTER:  Besides the amazing qualities he has as a person – he’s compassionate, he’s caring, he’s driven, he’s loving, and just cares for others so much – I love the way that he loves me.  I have never felt so loved before, and so accepted, and he is very supportive of my career.

Courtesy/CBS

Are you excited to go back to your role as Clementine on the sitcom, Life in Pieces?  It is slated for a midseason premiere.

HUNTER:  I am super excited to be back.  We are back taping again   I am excited to do the sitcom and Y&R   As an actress, it’s so exciting to get to do different things:  a sitcom and soaps … why not?! (As noted in the press: King took a three-episode break from Y&R to film some episodes of the sitcom due to a scheduling conflict.)

Then speaking of “All in the Family,” it was just announced, your sister, Joey is coming onto Life in Pieces.

HUNTER:  Yes!  How crazy. She will be on for a few episodes, and it will be fun.  I think we will interact a little bit on the show, and we have never had the chance to work together before.

Photo: HKingInstagram

You and your sister have the funniest Instagram videos.  Do you plan those out?

HUNTER:  Joey is so funny.  It kind of just happens when we get together.  Sometimes we film something and sometimes we don’t.  But Joey is so much fun and my best friend. She is the funniest person in the entire world, and so it’s just easy to laugh when I am with her.

So, what did you think of the showdown between Summer and Phyllis?  Are you glad Phyllis slapped her daughter, or was it a mistake?  What do you think will happen next?  Will Summer ultimately sleep with Billy? Do you want Summer to end up with Kyle (Michael Mealor)? Will you be checking out Hunter on Life in Pieces? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

Continue Reading

General Hospital

General Hospital’s Max Gail Opens Up On Portraying Mike’s Battle With Alzheimer’s & Making A Difference In People’s Lives

“What happens the day I wake up, and you guys are the strangers,” says Mike to his son, Sonny and his wife Carly (Laura Wright). “I left you before to my everlasting regret, but it’s going to happen. I’d do anything if I didn’t have to do it again, but it’s going to happen – one way or the other.  At least this way I could leave some good feelings, instead of disappearing before your eyes.”  Those words were said during a gut-wrenching scene on Friday’s episode of General Hospital, as Mike tries to come to terms with his deteriorating mental state in his battle with Alzheimer’s, and the hard realization that he may be better off in a care facility, instead of at his son’s home.  These scenes, as all the scenes in this storyline, have been exquisitely played by Max Gail (Mike) and Maurice Benard (Sonny).

When Max Gail arrived on the GH canvas as the recast Mike Corbin in a role made soap-famous by Ron Hale, viewers did not know what to initially expect.  What they did know was that Max is an accomplished actor with a body of work from primetime dramas and comedies, film, and the stage, and that if he is coming to GH, he must be coming on board for something major.  Before GH, suffice to say, Gail is most remembered for his role as “Wojo” on the ABC sitcom Barney Miller that aired from 1975-1982.

In story on GH, Mike, who abandoned Sonny as a child, once again re-enters his son’s life, but soon we learn that he is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and that the soap is tackling a story that is an important medical, social, and familial issue of our time.

Gail has been a revelation in this role.  A clear frontrunner for an Emmy, playing the facets, the levels, the characteristics, and the heartbreak of a person who is slowly losing everything they know near and dear to them, as in the end they are ultimately stripped of their dignity from this most horrific of diseases.

On a personal note, and as part of this conversation with Max, it was important for him and for me to share, that I lost my mother at the end of April of this year to Alzheimer’s.  So his work hits close to home, this story hits close to home, as it has also resonated for many viewers who have shared their stories on social media and when Max makes personal appearances.

Here now is this very special interview for Michael Fairman TV with an actor whom we can all agree is touching all of our lives.

You’re portraying a person suffering from Alzheimer’s and play the progression of the disease.  Do you feel pressure as an actor to get it right for those who have loved ones, or person’s afflicted with it?

Courtesy/ABC

MAX:  It’s more like an urge, or a calling to find some kind of truth in it that I can connect with.  One of the things I’m inclined towards showing is someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia often just drifts off somewhere else.  “Where am I going?”  This has happened to me many times in life.  For instance, when I was a youngster, I can remember getting in my car, and I’d driven a long way from some party or something like that, and I’d been drinking, and I didn’t remember it.  I knew I’d gotten home somehow.  So, it’s not out of my realm.  I’ve learned that there are no set behaviors really… other than that it usually ends up being really difficult for caretakers, and seemingly really painful for many, if not most people suffering with Alzheimer’s, and losing connection and losing the ability to just function.  We are kind of on the cusp of that in story at GH.  I think it was originally proposed that I would play the part for just a few months, and to give me an out if it wasn’t working.  Maybe, there was a placeholder idea to ship Mike off to a home or something, but the storyline has touched so many people that it has been continuing.

The story has been so effective.  You’ve done such an amazing job, and the fans love Mike and what you’re doing with the character, and they’re on board on this journey.  It’ll be interesting to see how far they will take this with Mike.  Will we actually see him not being able to communicate anymore?  How far will the writers go to show the horrific aspects of Alzheimer’s? 

MAX:  I’m not sure.  You know, I’ve had times where I’ve got the scene, I get the writers, and I get the heart of it.  Other times, I find where that transition is from where Mike is lucid and clear, and other times what that state of mind is and that switch is, and what that is in behaviors and energy level.  I think there’s an ongoing downturn for Mike, and for me as an actor finding something in the moment and finding how it works with things that he does remember.  They’re trying to find a place for Mike within all of the interwoven drama of General Hospital.  I, frankly, had no idea how complex the range of storylines was.  Mike doesn’t really have control over his story.  I don’t want that as an actor.  Mike has some intentions that are really important to him.  I’m trying to find that balance where there are times when he has a pathetic, very sad remorse about what he has missed.  I think that underlies his feelings for his son, who he never could quite reach, because of his own failings as a father.  Sonny’s formative experiences growing up were then with his abusive stepdad.  Finding all of that is really important to do in a way that doesn’t make Mike just this sweet older man with Alzheimer’s.   It’s a wonderful challenge to be presented with.

Courtesy/CBS

You brought up that Mike is seemingly very sweet in his demeanor now.  My mother, who I shared with you died a few months ago from Alzheimer’s was a strong-willed, feisty woman.  As the disease took hold of her, she became very sweet.   She became almost childlike.  The fire had gone out of her eyes.  You knew she didn’t know who you were, and so, all of that, as you know is so tough to witness as her son.  In terms of Mike and his ultimate care, everyone says they love him and want what is best for him, but that he needs to be taken care of because he gets confused, doesn’t know where he is sometimes. etc.  Sonny has been grappling with putting him in a care facility to be looked after, or to keep him with the Corinthos family under their roof.  However, Mike has come to a realization that he may need to be in facility all on his own, and doesn’t want to burden his son by living with him anymore.  That was a poignant moment, and another one of the best scenes has been when Mike couldn’t remember that Sonny was his own son. 

MAX:  Right and he doesn’t know if he’s around friends or around enemies.  This can be true of Alzheimer’s patients.

I had that happen with my mother when she came out to Los Angeles to see me for the last time.  She was out of her element, she was confused, and she broke down and cried in the hotel room.  She asked my father, “Why did you bring me here?” and he told her, “We came to see our son.”  It was heartbreaking.   Later, she had a moment of clarity and realized more of what was going on.  I think it’s those in-and -out moments that you portray so well on-screen.  I feel that they are very realistic to what I, and others, have experienced.

Courtesy/ABC

MAX:  I appreciate that and sharing that with me, because you never know as an actor.  That place of “Where am I?  What is this?” makes me think of that “Summer Wind” moment from the Nurses’ Ball when it wasn’t just, “I’m embarrassed.  I don’t remember the words.”  It was, “I don’t know where the f**k I am.  I thought there was a band there, but there’s not.”  So, in a way, I just had to be there on this big soundstage and just feel this big space around me.  I could barely see that there were people out there.  It’s kind of a terrifying thing to a lot of people, but I think Mike has something in him that makes him want to be okay with all of this.  He doesn’t have to freak out and get accusatory.

Courtesy/ABC

What has it been like working with Maurice Benard as your on-screen son?  Do you watch back your scenes together and ever go, “Oh, that was great!?”

MAX:  Yes, there have been a lot of those!  There are some scenes that are so emotionally focused, and we get a lot of delight in each other.  He has been playing this character in this situation for so long, so it’s just kind of in him.  Maurice has presence.  I think when I went in to read for the part of Mike, I had gone through pilot season and had gone in for some interesting pilots.  I didn’t feel like I was really connecting in the readings, because most things are by tape these days, anyway.  When this part came up, a soap hadn’t really been on my radar.  I knew I’d be going in to read with the actor, so I said, “Okay,” and I looked at the material, and then I checked out Maurice on IMDB.  One of the things that got my interest was that he has been diagnosed and takes medication to deal with bipolar disorder, and that’s become a part of his life, and it’s become part of his character.  I thought, “Wow, that’s really interesting.  This is a survivor, and he’s risen to something that takes a certain kind of balance and courage.”  I watched some clips, and when I went in for the reading of this kind of an amalgamation scene of what the story elements were going to be, I felt like we connected before we’d even started the dialogue.

Well, Maurice certainly loves working with you! He has been very supportive and vocal about that.

MAX:  It’s mutual.  We can take really little simple moments, and we can find something deeper in it, and it doesn’t have to be an, ‘I’m going to start crying now’ moment.  Although, I would love for Mike to have a moment of self-observation where he goes, “Gee.  I cry a lot more than I used to.”  I think there are people who are like that, and it’s okay for certain people to cry, and for other people it is not.

Courtesy/ABC

There was a part of my mom that knew something was wrong.  She’d go, “Why am I crying?  I don’t know why I’m crying.”  She got confused as to why she was feeling that.  She couldn’t connect it all, and at times she kept saying, “I don’t understand.  I don’t understand.”  Those were the things she would try to express.

MAX:  I have a feeling that Mike has those moments too, but he finds a way for it to be okay.  There may be a point where someone with Alzheimer’s can’t pull it off anymore, but how we find those and those specifics, I don’t know.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Working on a classic sitcom such as Barney Miller is vastly different than working on a daytime soap opera.  While now being at GH, have you found any commonality within the experience?

MAX:  If I can take a moment and reflect on Barney Miller, because it was a great experience and one that I found was not so easy to find again over the years.  One of the things that really resonates is that when we started shooting the studio audience laughed too easily.  We would end up retaking the scenes.  Sometimes, we didn’t have the end of the show written, because they tended to let certain things start to show up in the earlier parts of the script.  Danny Arnold who was the writer, creator and producer of Barney Miller would always take over the way Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) does in a way … looking to be respectful of the director, but still seeing things on his own.  Frank has a really wonderful eye.  He’s much more connected into the overall storylines, the motivations that went into the writing, and what he sees in the moment.  I always welcome him on the set because the directors, who have a range of talents and sensibilities, are tasked with coming up with a whole lot of shots to cover, a whole lot of tricky angles, and all of that.

Courtesy/ABC

Vernee Watson has been amazing as Stella, who is also Mike’s social worker.  Does Mike have romantic feelings toward Stella?

MAX:  Vernee is wonderful.  I didn’t know Vernee had been on the show when I came on board.  She won an Emmy, and I’m not surprised.   She is so present and so specific, and she’s very bright and gets what all of these elements are, and so, I think they have a connection.  For whatever ways Mike has lived in his like, there isn’t some strange, exotic draw that she is black, and Mike is white.  I like that because both my first and late wife, and my second wife, with whom I’ve had children (and we’ve been separated for awhile, but have a great relationship) are African-American.  So, in my world that is not a big deal.   I think there’s an affinity there between Mike and Stella.  You know, he’s alive.  He’s old, but he’s not dead.  There’s an ease with women he likes.  I think there are a whole lot of reasons for them to not get involved.  One is just professional, and she’s a social worker.  We just shot something where I say something to somebody else about, “back when I still had all my marbles,” you know, he’s in another stage of life, which many people go into gracefully, while many don’t.

 

What do you think about how Mike knows about who was buried at Charlie’s Pub?  He was trying to keep the truth about Charlie Delaney from coming out, which turned into a gas leak that blew up the bar!  This storyline ties in to Sonny’s mobster dealings as well.

MAX:  Well, this is where they put this effort in the storytelling to connect Mike in some way and be intertwined with Sonny.  Of course, it reveals certain things about Mike that he’s never revealed to anybody before.  So, that’s kind of cool.  I think when he knows what and how much sometimes is not clear.  That’s why I started talking about Barney Miller because the other thing was a lot of times when we go together for the table reads, they didn’t have the end of the story.  They had a first draft, maybe. Dan would talk about it, and they’d say, “Next week, the main story is going to be this man in his fifties who is coming to terms with the fact that he is gay,” or whatever those underlying themes may be with the different characters reactions.  So, we knew elements going into it and that sometimes I  didn’t know what the writers are really intending.  In terms of Mike, he’s kind of back and forth in certain moments.  I have to resist the idea that they trap me by just being careless.  I’ve learned that just trying to fix the script often gets you into a place where you “rehearse yourself out of it,” as they say.

Courtesy/GoodDayLA

You appeared on the morning show Good Day LA  a few months back with Laura Wright (Carly), and Maria Shriver, who has founded the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement.  What was that like meeting Maria, and helping get the word out about the effects of this disease and the work Maria is doing?

MAX:  It was great to do.  Maria had sent out a tweet that is was wonderful what was going on, on General Hospital.  On Good Day LA, she talked about her work, particularly focusing on the fact that more women are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s than men.  So, then Laura and I sat down and did an interview alongside Maria.  We actually had a nice conversation before.  They did a web interview also as a follow-up.  That was very cool, because Maria is very smart, and I’d never met her, but it was great to see what she was doing.  Whatever we are dealing with in the show is sort of my opportunity in the real world to bring awareness and shed light on the subject.  I’d love to see an ongoing conversation online amongst people who can share their stories with each other.  That’s a lot of what they’re doing.  They’re raising money for research, but people need to be able to talk to each other when you’re a caregiver.  Coming out of the early sixties and early seventies when I was playing a cop on TV, I never was a fanatic activist.  I certainly got the behavior of the Chicago police at a certain time in terms of the energy and conflicts of the time.  There was something to think about, but at the same time, I had opportunities to kind of share that all cops aren’t bad, just look at the show, Barney Miller.

Courtesy/ABC

You were my favorite character on Barney Miller as Detective Wojciehowicz!  I think for many who watched the show you were, too!

MAX:  I think “Wojo” ended up being the heart of the show.

Max, you’re helping people through your beautiful performances including me.  Congratulations on that.   I’ll continue have to have a box of Kleenex handy as I watch how it all unfolds for Mike.

Photo: IMDB

MAX:  Well, I really appreciate your questions.  I’m just planting that seed.  That is really what I would like to do after talking to you and so many people.  That’s something I’d like to put out there.   We each have our own domains and responsibilities and all of it overlaps, and you can kind of get in touch with that; if you just go around the circle and share it, and then go around again.  I’m looking to help people out there in the world who are watching and are looking to share in the conversation.

So, what did you think about the heartbreaking scenes on Friday’s episode of GH between Mike and Sonny?  What have you thought of Max Gail’s performance throughout his GH run?  Have you experienced the loss, or are watching someone you love, or care about slip away from Alzheimer’s?  Share your thoughts via the comment below.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Video du Jour

This weekend we mourn the loss of General Hospital’s beloved Susan Brown who played Gail Baldwin. Here is her final scene from 2004 when Gail and her husband Lee (the late Peter Hansen) showed up at Lila’s funeral and had an exchange with Alan and Monica. Share your thoughts on Susan’s passing via the link below. Leave A Comment

The Michael Channel

Recent Comments

  • Allen saint james: “That's a perfect way to describe the 80s!
  • Ron: “"were" juxtaposed.
  • Ron: “I do!
  • Mark Y: “I think Y&R has been on fire for months. And the new sets are hot! Was disappointed that…
  • Harry: “Yawn, of course it's Messa.
Advertisement

Power Performance

Drake Hogestyn as John

Days of our Lives

Airdate: 9-8–2018

Advertisement

Popular