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The Sean Kanan Interview – The Young and the Restless

seanMain.jpg

The return of Sean Kanan to daytime soaps had been rumored about all over the internet for months.  Would the controversial actor be heading back to his old stomping ground of The Bold and the Beautiful or return to daytime television this time with The Young and The Restless. After the mystery was solved, Sean was launched into a new storyline reuniting him with this former “B&B” co-star and friend Adrienne Frantz (Amber) who is now in Genoa City.

Kanan whose well documented battles with the law and DUI’s put a temporary halt to his career, has come back from adversity to reclaim his acting life.  With a new lease on his soap character Deacon Sharpe, fans get to relish in Deacon’s skullduggery and machinations once again.

In this candid and revealing interview with On-Air On-Soaps, Kanan discusses: how he got back in the soap game, his frustrations and almost giving up on show business against much adversity, the internet fervor over the recent Deacon/Amber sex scenes, what could be Deacon’s long term agenda, and the talented performers hopes for his comedy career.

Here’s Sean!

Listen to the audio:

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MICHAEL:

First of all, we were all thrilled that you were back on daytime on “Y&R”.  There were all these rumors for quite sometime that you might be going back to “B&B” or coming to “Y&R”.  How long did it take for this to come about that ultimately landed you in in Genoa City?

SEAN:

The genesis of this whole thing started with a friend of mine and my agent trying to reach Paul Rauch (co-exec producer “Y&R”).  Eventually, Paul was nice enough to agree to sit down and have lunch with me, and for Paul to sit down during his day to have lunch with me, I thought was a really nice gesture.  We had candid, intense discussion. Paul is intense, and I am real intense.  I had heard from people that Paul is an intense guy, and a fair guy and he can be difficult.  I felt a strange connection to him.  When I first saw him in the restaurant I sort of saw him for a second.  I said to myself, “I can see this not going paulRauch.jpgso well.”  But he couldn’t have been nicer.  He is a direct guy and we had a really good lunch together.  Paul said, “I will see what I can do.”  It was very non-committal and very vague.  At this point we are talking about “Y&R”,  given the fact that Adrienne Frantz was over there playing Amber.  My biggest regret was that I did not try to initiate this sooner because she had been there so long.  But everything happens when it’s supposed to, I guess. Eight weeks from that lunch my agent called me and said, “Look, I think something is going to happen. Do not say word to anybody.  We don’t know what it is.”  I did not know what it was going to be. Was I going to go to “Y&R”? “B&B”?  Perhaps, maybe even as a different character?  Brad Bell (exec prod and head writer, “B&B”) had basically made me a promise sometime ago that he would not recast Deacon, and damn, if he did not keep his promise.  I think Deacon is such a great character that a number of great actors who could have success with the character.  I also like to think I bring my own personal stamp to it.  I eventually found I was going to go to “Y&R”.

MICHAEL:

What went through your mind at that time?

SEAN:

A lot of things.  I had a rough past couple of years.  I am not talking about just the DUI. That was rough, but the two years afterwards when I got sober and was sort of was doing everything right.  The inclination is to say, “I am doing everything right now.  So how come the pieces of the puzzle are not fitting together properly?”

MICHAEL:

That must have been frustrating.

SEAN:

I had flown to New York to screen test for As the World Turns and it’s strange.  I did not feel a connection to the material and did not feel right.  I gave it my best.  I wanted a job, that is what I wanted.  I did not really want that part.  I did not want to move to New York, but I really wanted and needed a job.  So when I did not get it, I was not that upset.  Then there was a part on Days of our Lives and for one reason or another I did not get to screen test and I was a little upset about that.  I thought I gave a strong audition but the reality was I think that Galen Gering (Rafe) was coming off of Passions and they just made him an offer.  But in retrospect, it all was happening because I was meant to do something else.

MICHAEL:

And then you got to come back to soaps as Deacon!

SEAN:

When I found out I was going to be on “Y&R” I knew for a few months, and the hardest thing was…first of all… I don’t like lying.  But my bosses said, “We really want to keep this a secret,” and I had to respect it.  Then it became people saying, “We know you are going on the show. Just admit it!”  But I gave my word.  I have to confess I told my parents, but swore them to secrecy. I  did not tell anybody in the media or my closest friends, and that was difficult.

MICHAEL:

So it must have been very emotional for you to get a second chance as Deacon on another soap.

seanGirlfriend.jpgSEAN:

I tell ya, when I found out I would be reprising the role of Deacon, I was overwhelmed and really moved.  I had a moment when I looked back at how hard those two years were and I remember sitting with a friend after the DUI.  I said, “It’s done and over.  I don’t see myself getting back on daytime or anywhere anytime soon.”  I was bereft with gloom and doom and depression.  Now to play Deacon on the number one show is amazing.  The first day I walked in the door at CBS, I was really, really moved, and full of gratitude because I know how hard it has been to get back there.  There were a lot of people who worked really hard on my behalf, and a few people who believed in me and stuck with me when a lot of people wouldn’t.  I feel a real sense of obligation and responsibility to Paul Rauch and to Brad Bell, too.  I think on some level Brad Bell and Barbara Bloom (VP Daytime Programs, CBS) had a lot to do with getting me back on the show.  On some level or another, Brad Bell did something very nice for me.

MICHAEL:

During the frustrating years, you mentioned the difficulties you faced.  Was there ever a moment where you went, “I can’t do this anymore.”

SEAN:

I remember, I decided to go back to acting class and do something creative.  I believe I was doing a play, also.  And in doing the play, “It’s Just Sex” that is when I felt like an actor again. Traditionally in my career when I have done theatre it has started a very positive arc for me.  I remember one time driving out of acting class thinking, “I am not sure I can act anymore.”  And that is not what I meant.  What I meant was, ‘I did not know if I could deal with the business of acting anymore.’  I love acting.  I went out on an audition for something called Camera Café which is an internet based series, and is sent out to over 30 or 40 countries.  It’s like The Office. I got a part in it strictly from the auditioning process.  Not from knowing anybody or anyone knowing my work, and it was really fulfilling.  It was the first time in a long time I felt like I climbed in the ring and put the gloves on and I was the one left standing.  We did 24 webisodes of that.  They have not aired yet and they will begin in a couple of months, and then I got “Y&R”.  I feel that I am on an upswing.  For me, it became an exercise of, “Ok, now things are going well.  I need to process them going well and keep myself in emotional check.”  I am really good at things when they are not going well. That is about… circling the wagons and putting the Rocky music on and getting myself back to where I need to go.  When things are going well, traditionally the potential of things going awry can happen.  You know what?  I am 42-years-old now and I have well documented situations and knocks (He laughs).  I have learned from them, and right now things are going well.  I think I have a clear view of it.

MICHAEL:

Your trouble with the law and the last DUI was unfortunate that it became so highly publicized. What was it like for you when it came out on TMZ and full throttle in the media spotlight?

SEAN:

It’s terrible.  My parents see that. They live in town where they are well-known, and I felt bad.  The hardest thing was when there was a court date that was miscommunicated.  I did not get the information in time. I had been sober for awhile and a friend of mine called me and said he was playing poker with a cop and the cop said, “You know Sean Kanan don’t you?” and my friend said, “Yeah, very well.”  The cop goes, “Well, we have a warrant for his arrest.  You should tell him if you are his best friend.”  My friend called me and said, “I think the police are coming for you.”  I said, “What are you talking about?”  Needless to say, I did not stay at my house that night.  I stayed at a hotel because I was so freaked out.  I am not trying to play the victim here, but it was if every time I tried to do something right… something went wrong.  I legitimately did not have things communicated to me. I would not intentionally not go to a court appointed meeting.  One of the great things about having media immediacy is that we as a society know what is going on in the world immediately. While that is great, there are times where if there is a little bit of time to allow things to play out a bit, then you find out what is initially reported is not quite what it seems.

seanGrey.jpgMICHAEL

So let’s move on, and let’s get to your current storyline on “Y&R”.  So when they told you the story that you were going to be part of…

SEAN:

They didn’t.  First of all I have to confess these actors I know from “Y&R” are the people I met at events or worked across the hall with when I was at “B&B”, but I did not know their characters and all their stories.  I do want to stop and address something here, though. Recently, I saw this on the internet because I am guilty of checking what the fans say because I want to know what they are thinking, that somebody thought that on a recent episode that I called Victoria “Ashley” when I said, “actually”.  So they wrote this whole post saying, “Get him off the show. He called Victoria “Ashley”.  I promise I did not call her that.  And do you think for one minute Paul Rauch would let me call Victoria… “Ashley”?  As far as what the story was, I was operating from the seat of my pants because I did not know what happened to Deacon in the three years since he left LA for Genoa City.  I do know that Deacon seems like he has definitely rounded out his rough edges.  He seems more refined the way Maria Bell (co-exec prod and head writer, “Y&R) is writing the character.  It would indicate that Deacon had polished up his game a little bit.

MICHAEL:

So Deacon is slicker?

SEAN:

He’s not just slicker, he seems more worldly.  You have to remember, this is a guy who comes from Vegas, whose mother is a stripper, and he does not know who his father is. He now has some money.  I can only presume he got it from swindling something from someone.  I would like to know how he got more refined.

MICHAEL:

I want to know how he got in the art world!

SEAN:

I want to know that too.  I was talking to Paul Rauch about that. Deacon had an understanding of the art world.  I don’t think you can fool people about the art world when you know nothing about it.  Apparently, now Deacon likes to read a little bit, and when he does it’s no longer girly mags, it’s art books!

yrAdriSean.jpgMICHAEL:

The beginning of this story is Deacon set up Daniel to take a fall.  Is the reason as obvious that Deacon wants Amber back, or is there a bigger agenda?

SEAN:

As an actor, I have to choose that I do want Amber back.  I am led to believe that this is all part of bigger scheme to get this Terroni painting, and for some reason or another to frame Daniel.  But it’s always a stronger choice to play my desire to do this with Amber because I have genuine feelings for her.  For me, Deacon has feelings for Amber. They are sort of cut from the same cloth.  I think they have certain common denominators that allow them to relate to one another.  He says to her at one point, “With me you don’t have to pretend. I know who you really are,” and I think that’s true.

MICHAEL:

Recently the Internet was a buzz when Deacon forced Amber to have sex with him and once again viewers felt it was another sickening depiction of women being bullied into sex.

SEAN:

I think there are a lot of ways that someone can be forced into something.  I think physicality is only one of them.  I think what Deacon did was loathsome and apprehensible. He was not figuratively forcing her to have sex with him in the true tradition of the definition of the word rape, but he forced her to this and we all knew why.  I think it’s terrible.  I want the fans to understand, I am just an actor playing the part.

MICHAEL:

You were so cruddy and mean and vile to Amber!

SEAN:

I agree.  Right now, I can’t really rationalize his behavior because it’s so removed from Sean’s frame of reference.  I get my scripts a week and half before they shoot.  No one has taken me in a room and shown me a road map to what is happening.  I would like the fans to know that.  I think it’s one thing when you are playing a good guy, but when you are playing a bad guy… it’s one thing for people to think that I know what’s going on, or I approve of it.  My job is to be as convincing as I can be with the cards that I am dealt.

MICHAEL:

Why are you so good at playing this type of role?

SEAN:

I think part of it is a testament to Adrienne.  I have some vast life experience.  At some point in my life I may have drawn from people like Deacon.  We all have a dark side within us.  I guess I am able to tap into that.  I am actor, it’s what I do.  I hopefully would be able to bring the same believability to if I was playing a gay character, or someone who was victimized, because that is what I do.

MICHAEL:

What did Adrienne say to you when she found out you were going to be working with her again…this time on “Y&R”?

seanAdri.jpgSEAN:

Adrienne is a sweetheart.  She texted me how excited she was once she knew I was coming on to “Y&R”.

MICHAEL:

How do you make Deacon human?

SEAN:

I try to find the humor in him.  I try to make it perversely funny to be a bad guy.  So on some level to some people it’s, “I kind of hate what he is doing, but on some level it looks like a lot of fun.”  Instead of completely hating me, there is a perverse fascination with it, maybe.

MICHAEL:

Will he continue to torment Amber and Daniel?

SEAN:

Probably for awhile he will torment them, but I honestly don’t know what the macro-plan here is.  Here is what makes it difficult: as Deacon I have not been told what my end game is.  So I am not able to play and act with an innate knowledge of what it is I am going for, which can be difficult.  I don’t know if turns out that I am doing this when in fact I don’t care for Amber.  I don’t think that is the case.  Based on our history, he has significant feelings for Amber.  I don’t know specifically what happened that has made Deacon’s animosity towards Daniel personal, or if he just happens to be in this con.

MICHAEL:

Is playing Deacon ever difficult?

blacktshirt.jpgSEAN:

I actually had a lot of difficulty in the scene where Amber came in and I was wearing the tank top.  It very easily could have been construed (when I grabbed her) that it was a physical sexual assault.  So, I tried to lighten it up a little bit.  But the reality is I am forcing her to have sex.  So, my best bet was to split the difference. I am glad people had reaction to those scenes, but for me, I had a tough time with those scenes.  I could not commit 110% because I was not quite sure what my intention was.

MICHAEL:

Ryder is your assistant! Deacon has an assistant. Interesting, huh?

SEAN:

Ryder is an assistant and I don’t know why I have an assistant.  I don’t know who this kid is to me.  Is he related to me? I know who he is in relation,  and in the scheme of who he says he is.  I don’t know if it’s going to turn out that he and I have a different relationship than my assistant.  That may be.  I don’t know.

MICHAEL:

So you are on “Y&R” for awhile now?

SEAN:

I am on recurring status.  I love playing Deacon and it has been a fantastic experience at “Y&R”, and would love to stay as long as great stuff is being written for me, and so far it has.  I don’t know if I want to be a periphery character that does not have a lot to do. I don’t think that’s what they want either.  As long as I have good story, I would love to stay.

bestbuds.jpgMICHAEL:

Have you had a chance to say hello to your former “B&B” cast mates?

SEAN:

I saw Rick Hearst (Whip) and Ronn Moss (Ridge).  I have not seen Lesley-Anne Down (Jackie) yet, which I am looking forward to.  I have seen a few crew people.

MICHAEL:

With what’s shaken at “B&B”, a Deacon return there would be interesting, too!

SEAN:

With Whip back, that’s two thirds of the triangle with Brooke and who knows?  I don’t rule anything out.  I love “Y&R”.  It’s terrific.  Would it be perfect to bounce back and forth between two shows?  Of course. That is an actor’s dream and that would be great.  And especially because I just have to walk down the hallway to do both shows in the same day. That would be crazy! (He laughs)

MICHAEL:

John Ingle (Edward) told me at the recent “GH” Fan Club Weekend that he misses you and really thinks you are a terrific.  He misses all his Quartermaine sons, and that you were his first AJ!

SEAN:

Ah. My grandfather.  He is such a kind sweet man.  I have such affection with John.  I really like him and I love to hear his stories when he was Nicholas Cage’s acting teacher!

seanLeaning.jpgMICHAEL:

I hear more comedy is in your future. Tell me what is up next?

SEAN:

I have been doing stand-up comedy.  I am in the process of  putting together a comedy special in the next year, and some other projects I am working on.  When I am able to talk about them, I will.  I love Camera Café. I played this overall tan character that is a combination of Herb Tarlek of WKRP in Cincinnati and Ted Baxter from The Mary Tyler Moore Show. When I started doing the read-through this weird voice came out of me. It was this self-hilarious self-indulgent voice.  I was always checking my hair and my tan-line. (He laughs)  It worked really well.  Antonio Banderas is the executive producer.  I think a lot of people have not seen me being the funny guy.  So this is the first time I have been given the opportunity, and I can’t wait for this to come out.  Camera Café are three and half minute webisodes and they are all shot from the perspective of a camera imbedded in a coffee machine.  It’s very sexually charged, cable-esque dialog, and it’s bar none, the funniest thing I have ever worked on.

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i am married to a man named Jim.we lived in ohio too.i was in the navy for 10 years.i have been to spain,italy,germandy,amsterdam,holland.Jim was in the marine corp too.i broke my right leg and hip.it was replaced also..we have been together for 19 years.i am 100% connected too.Jim is not .when your a marine,always a marine.he has been everywhere too.i grew up in plesant hills,Pa.he was in New Castle,Pa.i love the bold and the beautiful.i watched when you were on dool too.i still watch it also,since i was 9years old.i am 45 now.we now live in Pa,tidioute.we have 43acres.keep it up.i loved aj too.wish you could come back some time in the future.take good care,Shari

Interviews

OLTL’s Erika Slezak Recalls Viki’s Breast Cancer Battle, Pays Tribute to Andrea Evans, and Shares Heartfelt ‘Thank You’ to Those Who Reached Out on the Passing of Her Daughter, Amanda

One of the all-time classic breast cancer storylines of the soaps was that of Viki’s on One Life to Live. Back in 2000 and into 2001, the character went through many trials and tribulations trying to face the disease, which again afforded the iconic Erika Slezak to be featured in another dramatic storyline, which at the same time helped so many female viewers.

As part of last week’s virtual event, Daytime Stands Up – A Benefit for Stand Up To Cancer – We All Have a Story, Slezak chatted with co-host Michael Fairman about her remembrances of the important storyline, the passing of her co-star, Andrea Evans (ex-Tina) to breast cancer, and took a moment to address the fans and those who reached out to her following the sudden death of her daughter, Amanda Davieback at the end of January of this year.

While Erika has still been in mourning, she took the time to be a part of the night and wanted to contribute her voice to the benefit, and we cannot thank her enough.

Photo: ABC

Speaking on how Viki dealt with her diagnosis of breast cancer, and at the time being in a relationship with a younger man, Ben (played by Mark Derwin), Erika shared, “It was a very good story to tell because Viki, who had always been strong and by herself and tough and ‘I can deal with anything’, suddenly couldn’t deal with it. She was afraid. There was the whole relationship with Ben that was going on, and she didn’t want him to be a part of it. So that was separate, and the day that Vicki checked into the hospital, the last shot was me sitting on the end of the bed, sort of my dangling my feet over it, completely alone because she didn’t want anybody else to know.”

“Ben was around in the hospital and eventually found out that she was there and wanted to be a part of her life. But she didn’t want it,” Erika added. “She couldn’t deal with it. It was a frightening thing for her because it had been caught too late to treat. She had to have a mastectomy and a reconstruction and she had never been faced with such a very personal trauma. I mean, yes, she had Niki and all the others (Viki’s alters), but this was a physical thing that she could not control. It was a very powerful story, I think.”

Photo: ABC

One of the memorable moments from the story was when Viki sang the Gloria Gaynor hit, I Will Survive. Slezak remembers, “That was at Crossroads. She was singing to herself, I Will Survive, and she was desperately trying to believe it, as we all do when we deal with something horrible.”

In tribute to her former co-star, Andrea Evans, who started on One Life to Live as a teenager in 1978 and who died in July of 2023 at 66-years-old, Erika expressed, “Andrea grew up so beautifully and she was so talented that the person that she really was, who was a a kind and loving woman, could play so many different levels of Tina. I had such admiration for her for that. It wasn’t in her nature to be Tina, but she played the hell out of it. She really did. Her first day on the show, her hair was down to the back of her knees. She was just a kid, and she grew up to be a wonderful woman.”

Courtesy/SRodriguez

Speaking emotionally about Andrea’s personal life, Erika recalled, “I think one of the proudest moments of her life is when she got her daughter Kylie, she was so happy. Audrey, Andrea’s mother, used to bring Kylie to the studio, all the way from California she would fly in. I first met Kylie when she was a year old.  I watched her slowly grow up and it was wonderful. Andrea was a fabulous mother. I never met her husband Steve. I wrote to him after she passed, and he wrote me back a very, very sweet letter. But when Andrea met Steve, it was like her life was almost complete, and then she had Kylie, and that was complete. And it is so, so sad that she died so young.”

Photo: JPI

During the conversation, Erika took a second to acknowledge all those who contacted her with their condolences, thoughts and prayers on the passing of her daughter, Amanda, sharing, “I thank all the fans and the people who have written to me. I’ve saved every single card. I’ve responded to every single person because the amount of people who reached out to me is just astonishing. I have a pile that it’s two feet high of cards and letters that people wrote to me. And I’m very, very grateful because this is the hardest thing that’s ever happened to me in my life.”

You can watch the conversation with Erika below on the replay of Daytime Stands Up – A Benefit for Stand Up to Cancer. The six-time Daytime Emmy-winner appears at the 34:17 mark in the show. Below that is a playlist of scenes from Viki’s breast cancer storyline on One Life to Live.

Now let us know, what did you think of Viki’s breast cancer storyline? Erika’s words on the late Andrea Evans and her “thank you” to all for sending their condolences to her and her family during their difficult time? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

 

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Interviews

Y&R’s Eileen Davidson Talks on Ashley’s DID Storyline, the Challenges of the Alters, and Working with Trevor St. John

The Young and the Restless two-time Daytime Emmy-winning actress, Eileen Davidson, has recently been given the ball by series executive producer and head writer, Josh Griffith to tell the ltin the latest of Ashley Abbott’s emotional struggles. This time, Ashley has splintered into multiple personalities: Ash, Mrs. Abbott, and Belle.

Given Ashley’s history (which has included several mental breakdowns), Y&R has chosen to revisit her psyche in a brand new twist in 2024 by launching a Dissociative Identify Disorder storyline. When things spiraled downward to her marriage to Tucker (Trevor St. John), and a flashback to a car crash which took her unborn baby in 2003, Ashley began to hear voices in her head and her alters began to emerge.

Speaking live on a virtual appearance on Tuesday on You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel, Davidson shared her thoughts on the storyline, how she crafted Ashley’s various alters and what she thinks of her co-star, Trevor St. John.  Here’s a few key remarks from the chat below.

Photo: JPI

Eileen talked about Ashley’s overall emotional make-up, explaining, “Everybody always talks about her being so strong and so together, and they don’t like seeing her weak. I’m like, ‘Ashley’s never been as strong and together. She’s had issues from the gate out of the gate … years … forever.’  She had amnesia. She had all sorts of issues. I love her fallibility and her vulnerability.”

Taking on the different personalities is a challenge, but Davidson pointed to one, in particular, that she feels is the hardest to play, “Ash has been the most difficult one,” explained the actress. “Because I didn’t want to do anything too broad and too ‘teenagery.’  So it was just trying to be honest about somebody who’s kind of young and sees the world in a certain way and is perhaps defensive and is an angry teen.”

Photo: JPI

However, embodying Ms. Abbott was a lot easier for Davidson. “It wasn’t hard for me to figure her out,” she expressed. “It was the very first time she was introduced on paper. She’s in Tucker’s hotel room. She’s breaks in. I’m like, ‘Okay. she’s sitting in the chair and it, it says kind of like a ‘Sharon Stone-type moment.’  I felt pretty comfortable embodying that in control, kind of toying with a man. She knows how to put on vulnerability and softness to get what she wants, but is always in control. And her ugly side shows more and more as the story has been coming out.”

The newest alter to emerge was Belle. Davidson shared how much she knew of the alter before she began playing her, stating, “They gave me southern, flirtatious, likes tequila, and always looking for a guy’ and I was off to the races. It’s been really, really fun for me. I didn’t want her to sound like she’s from the South completely, because Ashley is not from the South. It’s just a persona of how Ashley thinks a southern person sounds. So, she’s not playing a southern character. She’s playing a personality that thinks she’s southern. It’s very different.”

Photo: JPI

Currently, it looks like Tucker’s life may be on the line as Ashley’s alters want to get rid of him once and for all.  Eileen explained why, revealing, “The most fascinating thing about DID and what I kept trying to inject into the performance is these alters are created to protect somebody. They all believe they’re protecting Ashley. Ms, Abbott thinks the way to protect Ashley is to kill Tucker because Tucker’s caused Ashley so much pain. So I mean, from that aspect, it’s good daytime drama.”

A lot of times in DID storylines, a very traumatic event from the childhood is revealed which caused a person to fracture into a multiple personalties. When Davidson was asked if she thinks something will come to light that the audience never knew happened to Ashley, she responded, “You would think so, right?  I mean, why not? The one thing that’s true about Ashley is that she had a traumatic childhood. Her mother abandoned her when she was very young, and then found out in her early twenties that her father wasn’t her biological father. So, who knows what happened. Whether or not they choose to explore that, I’m not sure. You have to kind of keep reinventing things to keep them interesting. I think like that stands true for characters (on a soap) as well.”

Photo: JPI

Over the years, Eileen has worked with several leading men. When asked how she feels the dynamic is working with Trevor St. John, she enthused, “I love working with Trevor. I just told him you breathe fresh air into the scenes. We work well together. We don’t really know what the other one’s going to do (in a scene), but we play off of each other. There’s a huge trust factor and that has been there from the get-go. When I first started working with Treb, I told him, ‘We got lucky.’ When you meet somebody out of the the blue and you start working together, we just had something and it just worked beautifully. I always know that when I work with Trevor, it’s going to be a terrific experience.”

Photo: JPI

Watch the full conversation with Eileen below.

Now let us know, which of Ashely’s alters do you enjoy seeing the most? Do you think something happened to Ashley as a child that we never knew about that is causing her DID? Share your theories via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

(INTERVIEW) William deVry Talks on His Roles in Hallmark’s ‘A Whitewater Romance’, New Film ‘Pocket of Hope’ and His Time on the Soaps

For soap favorite, William deVry life-after-daytime has been reinvigorating, filled with new projects and new directions. This Saturday, May 11th he can be seen in the latest rom-com from Hallmark, A Whitewater Romance (8pm ET/PT) starring Cindy Busby as Maya and Ben Hollingsworth as Matt who play intense business rivals, and featuring Will as Jim Burdett, set against the backdrop of the outdoors and Canada.

In addition, Wil has been busy prepping other projects in which he is executive producing and starring including: Colt & McQueen and Christmas in Bordeaux, and producing and starring in a very dramatic departure for deVry, as the lead in the new true-life story feature film, Pocket of Hope.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Wil to get the lowdown on his latest and upcoming roles, his expanding career aspirations, and to get his reflections on his three main soap roles: Julian Jerome on General Hospital, Storm Logan on The Bold and the Beautiful and Michael Cambias on All My Children. Read on for what deVry has been up to of late and his reflections of the past.

Courtesy/Hallmark

In A Whitewater Romance, you play the character of Jim Burdett, tell me about him?

WIL: My character runs this whitewater rafting company and the deal is that there’s a corporate retreat that is organized at my company. Jim is sort of old school. He’s been running the company for quite a lot of years. Jim’s not social media savvy. In the story, Maya and Matt get there, and they end up obviously enjoying themselves at this corporate bonding retreat. They discover that Jim was going to close down the company. He stayed open specifically to accommodate this corporate retreat. And then, of course, Cindy Busby’s character, and Ben Hollingsworth character do this little online thing for Jim and get business booming. Before he knows it, the entire summer is booked with clients and they basically saved his company. It’s a feel-good movie with beautiful, stunning locations.

And, are you a good guy in this?

WIL: It’s almost like, wait!  Will is playing good guy? It’s funny because our director, Jason Bourque knows I’ve been playing bad guys for so long. Even the Christmas movie that I did with Terry Hatcher, Christmas at the Chalet, I went through such an arc. My character was so focused in his business and kind of unhappy because he was living his life for other people, and you don’t really realize that you might be slightly unhappy because you don’t take time to do inventory for yourself. In A Whitewater Romance, Jason had this idea that I was this really kind of ‘happy-go-lucky’ guy. And by the second day of shooting, he goes, “I think maybe Jim is a former military …” We both laughed because it was a subtle joke, because you know, I can be a little bit serious.

Photo: Willdevry

How was it to work with Ben and Cindy?

WIL: Great. Cindy being a lead, they set an example for everybody. Cindy is so low key and very friendly, and basically the trailer door is open if you want to discuss anything. Ben was also a producer on this. He might have had a little more stress on him than just sort of acting. But honestly, you couldn’t tell. Both of them had a good sense of humor. I would work with either one of them in a heartbeat again.

You have some exciting news to share; as you are about to be the lead in a new film?

WIL: Yes, I’m the lead in a new film called Pocket of Hope. It’s based on the true story of Chad Gaines, and I am playing Chad. It’s a beautiful movie. It’s in the present day with Chad talking with his daughter. He’s always been reluctant to share his past with her, and because there was a lot of trauma involved, he didn’t really want to put her through that. She’s no longer a young lady and so he feels now is the time to share that. There are a lot of strong flashbacks in the movie. It goes back between the past and the present, which I think is really engaging. The budget is well over a million dollars. We start filming at the end of May in Los Angeles, and then we will go on location in August to shoot the remaining scenes.

Courtesy/Willdevry

How do you feel about tackling a dramatic role such as this with tough subject matter?

WIL: It’s a heavy-duty role. There’s a lot of responsibility. I’ve prepared my whole life for these kinds of roles. It’s really exciting to play a true life individual, who has a story to tell. I think it’s a great honor for me and for the director/producer David Kohner Zuckerman, as well. David is wanting to do Chad’s story justice. We’ve got a good team for this. Robert Altman Jr’s, Cora Atlman, is playing my daughter. When you find a troupe that you like to work with and you can collaborate with, you stick together. So, we have David, as I mentioned and also Deran Sarafian, who is consulting on the project. Deran and I have been working on my other project together, Colt & McQueen. We are the luckiest people in the business right now to be working with Deran. He has had a lot of successful pilots that he’s done for Fox, ABC, and NBC and also Marvel and Netflix shows. He was also a producer on House for Fox.

Photo: Willdevry

In Colt & McQueen, you play a former LAPD detective, right?

WIL: Correct. He was basically dishonorably discharged for something that he didn’t do. He is going be trying to clear his name of any wrongdoings. However, in order to make a living, he sort of does these unsanctioned assignments for the captain of the LAPD, who is also on his way out. He’s a good guy. Kin Shriner (Scott, GH) is in it and he kind of plays a man of the streets who goes by “The Professor.” Rebecca Staab (Elizabeth, Port Charles, et al) is in it, and she plays the character with the code name “Leather Jacket” within the LAPD system. We go into production on it in July.

You’re doing your own projects now. That must be liberating in some ways and harder in others.

WIL: I just said, “Look, if I’m going to stay in this business, I have to have some control over my career now as opposed to just auditioning blindly.” That can be a frustrating process. I am learning a lot because I’ve never produced before or executive produced, but the effort is there, and the will to do so is there.

Photo: RStaabIG

Speaking of projects, you have another one you are working on, a romantic comedy called Christmas in Bordeaux. What is the theme of that one?

WIL: It’s a tale of family traditions, renewed passions, for love and life and spiritual and cultural awakenings. Finding value in the time we have left. And of course, a happy ending for all involved.

As an actor, when you finally get to the point where you get to act you probably really enjoy that. It’s just the challenges of all the things it takes to get there that can be daunting for a performer.

WIL: As an actor, you have to be so good and so comfortable and embrace the rejection. The rejection has to feed you. It can’t defeat you. However, I kind of do take everything personally. If a casting director doesn’t want to bring me in for something that’s their prerogative. I don’t really get angry about it, but I take it personally because I kind of feel like, they should bring me. I can’t just sit back and accept my fate based on other people’s ideas of what I’m capable of or not capable of. Sometimes my resume is a benefit, and sometimes it’s a detriment. It’s up to me to change the narrative.

Photo: JPI

What would you want to say to the GH fans who had been so supportive of you through the years?

WIL: It blows me away how loyal they are, and their passion. I want them to be of aware that. I’m excited to work for myself, and if that doesn’t work out, I am very comfortable going on to do something else with my life. Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis, GH) and I had talked about it at one point, and how she absolutely loves the business. I have other things that interest me and move me. I hope every single fan of Julian Jerome comes along on this journey with me.

Photo: JPI

Looking back, do you think your best role on the soaps was Michael Cambias on All My Children?

WIL: I think with Michael Cambias that All My Children destroyed the character. I sat down with the executive producer at the time, Jean Dadario Burke, and she said, “You’ll be here as long as you want. We did a focus group and you’ve got a 96% approval rating. That’s through the roof.” Two days later, I was called back into her office as they had fired the head writer. I was told Megan McTavish was coming back and they were going to make my character irredeemable, which as everybody knows, Michael Cambias went on to do horrible things to Erica Kane’s (Susan Lucci) family and then he was off the show.

Photo: JPI

Then, you went on to portray Storm Logan on The Bold and the Beautiful and the heartbreaking suicide storyline which saved Katie’s (Heather Tom) life, but cost Storm his.

WIL: Storm had a lot of potential. When you’re going through such a beautiful, heart-wrenching, horrific story like that, I wanted to give the audience a lot of credit. Soaps have a smart audience. I wanted them to go on the journey with me. I didn’t want to ruin it for them by playing the problem. I didn’t want to create the drama before it was time to pay the price, if you know what I mean. I allowed it to play out on-screen without any foreshadowing. I think that’s why it worked and that’s why it broke everybody’s heart, and I think that’s why it won a Daytime Emmy for Best Drama Series. Brad Bell (executive producer and head writer, B&B) trusted me with a vehicle that ended up being the Ferrari for that year. I’m eternally grateful to him.

Photo: JPI

Do you ever check out General Hospital nowadays to see how your old castmates are doing and what is happening in Port Charles?

WIL:  I like to check in. I like to see what Kin Shriner (Scott) is up to, and I like to see who’s showing up and who’s going. I like to see Maura West (Ava) who is such a terrific actress and who played my on-screen sister. We had such a good working relationship and I hope she is on the show forever.  I was happy with my eight years on the show. I knew for 18 months it was time for me to leave. I knew in my heart the character was done. Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) was thrilled with how I left the show. Those six and a half years on General Hospital were a lot of fun. I really loved going to work.

So, will you be watching William deVry in ‘A Whitewater Romance’ this weekend on Hallmark? What do you think about his upcoming projects and roles? Miss him on daytime? Comment below.

 

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