Connect with us



The Sean Kanan Interview – The Young and the Restless


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:



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?


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”.


What went through your mind at that time?


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?”


That must have been frustrating.


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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?


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.


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…


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.


So Deacon is slicker?


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.


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


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!


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?


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.


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.


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.


You were so cruddy and mean and vile to Amber!


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.


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


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.


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


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


How do you make Deacon human?


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.


Will he continue to torment Amber and Daniel?


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.


Is playing Deacon ever difficult?


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.


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


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.


So you are on “Y&R” for awhile now?


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.


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


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.


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


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)


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!


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!


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


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.

Leave a comment | 1 Comment


1 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
1 Comment authors
shari carothers Recent comment authors
newest oldest
shari carothers
shari carothers

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 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… Read more »

Days Of Our Lives

Peter Porte, Miranda Wilson and Colton Little Tease Dimitri’s Love Interest, Who’s the Daddy & The Future of Andrew & Paul

Following recent revelations on Days of our Lives, which include that Dimitri Von Leushner (Peter Porte) is the biological son of Megan Hathaway (Miranda Wilson), thus making him a DiMera, Megan moving back into the DiMera mansion after her prison term, and Andrew (Colton Little) being kidnapped, the performers who take on these roles chatted with Michael Fairman on Friday during a livestream conversation on You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel.


During the live chat a myriad of subjects and upcoming story teases came up including: if there might be the love interest for Dimitri. Peter Porte shared, “Yes, there certainly will be. There will be two. One, out of perhaps, we’ll say necessity, and one out of heart’s desire.”  As to if ‘said’ relationship will show Dimitri’s obsessive side, Porte expressed: “I think he goes through a full journey of emotions. I don’t think he fully reaches obsession. I would say he reaches a level of extreme devotion.”  When Porte found out who the character would be that Dimitri seemingly falls for, the actor said, “I was certainly surprised.”

When we posed the question to the DAYS fans in the live chat, as to who they think will be Dimitri’s love interest or interests, guesses ranged from Gwen (Emily O’Brien) to Sloan (Jessica Serfaty) to Leo (Greg Rikaart). Could any, or two, of those be right?

Miranda Wilson and Porte weighed-in on the mother/son bond and troublemaking duo of Megan and Dimitri.  Wilson shared: “I think it’s fair to say that Dimitri is a grown man and probably has his own mustache twisting to be doing without Megan to be involved.  I just think that what is going to be coming up now is a beautiful relationship between the two.”  Porte followed with, “At the heart of it, Dimitri would do anything for his mother, anything.”

Photo: Peacock

Another mystery on DAYS fans minds is just who is the bio-dad of Dimitri? Is it someone on the canvas? Someone from the past? Porte previewed, “He certainly has a name and a title, but I don’t know if we’ve met him yet.” Wilson added, “I don’t believe he has been on the show.”

Many DAYS fans are also hoping that there be will be more to the burgeoning love story of Andrew and Paul (Christopher Sean). Colton revealed, “I have a real-life love and affinity for Christoper Sean, because he is just a ball of light and energy and a good human. I don’t think my success on the show would be anything if he hadn’t taken me under his wing and showed me the ropes. So much kudos and love to him. Getting to play opposite of someone like that as a love interest, is a treat and a joy. I think it’s really sweet, a lot of it is happening off-screen. I know the fans have expressed they want to see it on-screen.”  However, Little teased, ‘There is some good stuff coming up with Andrew and Paul. Stay tuned.”

Photo: NBC

When Miranda Wilson first appeared on Days of our Lives, it was back in 1984 as Megan was revealed to be the daughter of Stefano DiMera, played by the late, great Joseph Mascolo.  This week, Megan made her way back to the DiMera mansion and Miranda weighed-in on her relationship with her late on-screen father, and more. “Joe was a very dear friend,” she detailed. “When we worked together in the past, he was truly a father figure for me. DAYS was my first professional job in Los Angeles. The fact that Joe was there for me and we worked together so frequently, and he had a lot of time for me, meant the world to me. So, it was bittersweet being back (in the DiMera mansion), and him not being there. It still touches me, but at the same time, the character of Megan has her edge and she doesn’t let this show. As the actress, there was a lot of tenderness, that the character didn’t necessarily display. The whole ‘being back’ thing was amazing.”


You can watch the entire livestream featuring Peter, Miranda and Colton below.  The talented trio also chat on working with Steve Burton (Harris, DAYS) and Colton’s opportunity to work with the one and only Dick Van Dyke who is making a guest appearance this fall on the soap.

Now weigh-in: Who do you think will be the love interest or interests for Dimitri? Who do you think will turn out to be Dimitri’s father? Are you hoping for more Andrew and Paul? Share your thoughts and theories in the comment section.

Continue Reading


Y&R’s Melissa Claire Egan Chats On Tackling Chelsea’s Depression Storyline, and Being the “SuLu” of The Daytime Emmy Nominations

While the 50th annual Daytime Emmy Awards have currently been put on hold until there is a resolution of the WGA Writers Strike, that doesn’t mean we can’t continue our series of spotlighting the nominees who will be going for gold when the ceremonies are rescheduled.

The Young and the Restless’ Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea) delivered what was one of the most gut-wrenching performances in recent memory, when Chelsea attempted to end her life via suicide, only to be saved at the last minute by an astute Billy (played by Lead Actor Daytime Emmy nominee, Jason Thompson). The conversations and intensity of that moment, and the scenes that followed, had an impact on so many viewers and shed a light on mental illness and people battling with depression. Clearly, something that many in this country have been grappling with, especially during and coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic.

For Egan, this marks her seventh Daytime Emmy nomination, and her second in the Lead Actress in a Drama Series category, in a soap career that started in Pine Valley as All My Children’s troubled Annie Lavery, before coming to Genoa City as grifter, Chelsea Lawson.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Missy, who is an expectant mom-to-be with her second child, to discuss portraying her harrowing nominated scenes, and being the current ‘Susan Lucci’ of the Daytime Emmy Nominations. However, for Susan, it was 19 tries before her iconic Emmy victory in 1999. Let’s hope it doesn’t have to last that long for the talented Egan!


Congratulations. I knew this nomination was in the cards for you. What scenes did you end up deciding to go with on your reel? I assume, it would be from Chelsea’s suicide attempt and her battle with depression?

MELISSA: I did. I put in two episodes worth of everything that happened: on the ledge, and the aftermath, the next episode that followed. It was when Chelsea and Billy are in the hotel room and she’s still going through the stages and she’s angry at him for stopping her. She’s like, “You had no right to stop me on that ledge. That was my choice. You had no right. You don’t get to tell me what to do in my life.”  I like that those scenes showed kind of the levels of it. I talked to Dr. Dan Reidenberg (Managing Director at National Council for Suicide Prevention) a lot in preparing for the scenes about what happens after. i.e., “You’re in shock, and then in anger if you get stuck. You had emotionally planned to die and come to terms with that, and then what happens after that, if it doesn’t happen.” So, I really liked that episode as well, so I put in both of those.

Is it hard for you to watch your work, or are you good with it?

MELISSA: You know, it depends. I don’t watch my work all the time. I did watch these episodes because I wanted to see how they turned out. They were so important to the story, and it’s definitely hard to watch yourself with a critical eye. I don’t always watch, but I did watch these.


You know, this story resonated with so many people. I follow how and what people are reacting to, as part of being a journalist. This was one of those transcendent performances of the nominations. It felt so real, as I’ve told you before. It was really hard to watch, which I think was good. It put people in an uncomfortable place they don’t like to be. Jason Thompson plays the other part of it with the, “Oh, my God” of it all, and the, “What do you do when you’re faced with somebody that’s about to try to end their life?” What reaction did you get from viewers, or people that reached out to you after these performances aired?

MELISSA: Oh, gosh. It was so profound. It was so beyond words. The fans are always supportive, but I couldn’t believe the reaction of just people sharing on Instagram, on Twitter DM’ing me saying, “This was me, ” or saying, “This was my daughter, this was my aunt, this was my mom, this is my son. This was my cousin.”  Some people shared things like, “This happened to my cousin two weeks ago.” I just couldn’t believe how much it resonated with people.  I was so moved and so touched that people were willing to share and that it got a conversation started. It truly meant the world to me. I know for all of us at the show, it’s all you can hope for, is to hopefully help people feel less alone, and feel seen, and feel that it’s hopefully done properly. Like you said, that it is maybe uncomfortable to watch, but maybe in a good way.  It was pretty profound, and I will forever be grateful for that.


I had talked with Jason Thompson about how the two of you approached the emotional scenes together. What happened to get the two of you to the place you were able to deliver these performances? Did you prepare together before hitting the soundstage to tape?

MELISSA: We didn’t really, Obviously, Jason is such an amazing actor. We rehearsed it the way we always do. You know, we ran the lines and then we did each scene in one take, which is the norm there, too. If in the booth and the director, and Josh Griffith (EP and Head Writer, Y&R) who was watching, weren’t happy, obviously, we would’ve done it again. We did every single one of those scenes one time. We ran lines before and then did it. Actually, because of the director’s schedule, we had to shoot out of order. We shot the scenes in the hotel the day before we shot the ones on the ledge. There were definitely challenges involved.  At first, I remember thinking, “Oh gosh, we can’t do this. We have to shoot it in order.” But then, I was like, “You know what? We can, we can do this.” It just becomes a different challenge. We shot the scene in the hotel on a Thursday. We shot the scenes on the ledge late on a Friday night.  Jason did his research on his own. I did mine, but we came together. Obviously, we talked a lot about the scenes leading up to it for week.

Photo: ABC

Now, I remember when you and I have talked in the past and would kid, that you are the “SuLu” of the Daytime Emmy Nominations. Currently, this is your seventh Daytime Emmy nominations, with yet, a win.

MELISSA: I’m the Sulu!  I’ll take it anytime I can be compared to Susan Lucci. I know it’s wild, right? Number seven.

It is wild. However, I feel like this is the strongest reel you have had to enter into the Emmys.  It’s a game.  It’s being judged by people. It’s a competition. And unfortunately, you have to play the game, which is usually about the strategy of, “How does this reel connect to people, and how can people understand what’s going on it if they don’t know the show?” How do you feel about how this submission stacks up with the six previous ones for you?

MELISSA: I’ve always been proud of my reels and I’m so proud of the seven nominations in 17 years of doing soaps. However, because the material is so important and the material is so relevant, and it’s touched people in such a different way, it’s become the work I’m most proud of, for sure. The truth is: I’m so excited to be nominated again, but the real reward has been being able to affect people and touch people and help people. There’s nothing that can compare or compete with that. So, I feel like no matter what happens, I feel like the real reward is being able to tell the story and help people feel less alone. It really is.

Photos: ABC, CBS,

What a “Lead Actress” group to be nominated with.  Two of your castmates, Michelle Stafford (Phyllis, Y&R) and Sharon Case, (Sharon, Y&R) along with Finola Hughes (Anna, GH) and Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy, B&B), are all in the category with you.

MELISSA: I know! It’s so exciting. It’s such a great group of women and great group of actors. And of course, having Michelle and Sharon on there is just icing on the cake. It’s so cool and so special.

You know, Finola Hughes, right?

MELISSA: Yes. I got to know Finola for our girl’s nominee luncheon, two years ago. We were both nominated together two years ago along with Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, too.  She won that year. So, three of us were in this together two years ago, which is weird and fun. I was pregnant then, too. There’s like a lot of similarities. It’s all been these very ‘pinch me’ moments. I’m just so excited and so grateful no matter what happens.

Photo: JPI

If you get the opportunity to give an acceptance speech, will you have something written down if your name is called, or will you just wing?

MELISSA: No. I’ve never written anything down. But again, I haven’t had to. I always kind of think about it in my brain, in my thoughts, of what I would say, but I’ve never put a pen to paper, ever, which is probably not smart. I’m sure I would end up forgetting somebody very important. I just never have written it down. It’s just not my way.

Jason Thompson made a comment to me when he was a special guest on my Daytime Emmy nomination special.  He mentioned, like so many actors have to me in the past, that even as a kid, he would practice in the mirror, winning in Oscar and giving an acceptance speech.  Did you ever do that?

MELISSA: I will say the cool thing about the Emmy is … two years ago, we all got to ‘pretend’ win, and walk on that stage and a hold an Emmy and thank our parents, and then of course, four out of five of us did not win.  However, you got to experience what it would kind of feel like.  I’ll always have that in my back pocket if I continue to be the “SuLu” of my generation.

Photo: NATAS

If for some reason you continue to be the ‘Sulu,’ you’ll have to call Susan Lucci for advice!

MELISSA:  The next time I see her, I will definitely tell her. I mean, I can’t compare it to the ‘Queen’, but, you know, I’ll take any kind of comparison, for sure!

Photo: ABC

Will you be rooting for Melissa Claire Egan to win this year’s Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series? Were you affected and touched by Y&R’s suicide prevention storyline which featured Melissa’s performances as Chelsea, front and center? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Continue Reading

General Hospital

GH’s Maurice Benard Talks On His Daytime Emmy Nomination, Sonny’s Journey with Bipolar Disorder, and His Advocacy for Mental Health

General Hospital’s Maurice Benard has often tapped into his harrowing real-life experience with bipolar disorder and manic episodes, and brought that to the inner life of the character of Sonny Corinthos. Over the years, Benard has been very open with his struggles with mental illness while becoming an advocate and shedding light on mental health through his You Tube series, State of Mind, his autobiography Nothing General About It: How Love (and Lithium) Saved Me On and Off General Hospital, and his numerous talk show and personal appearances.

In the early part of 2022, GH’s Sonny was on a downward spiral, off his meds, and in the throes of having his relationship with Carly (Laura Wright) hit the skids, while turning to Nina (Cynthia Watros) for comfort, help, and much more. Those moments and others, gave Benard powerful scenes to play, and it landed him a Daytime Emmy nomination this year in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series category. This marks the 10th time Maurice has been nominated. He has already racked up three Lead Actor Emmys previously: in 2003, 2019, and 2021.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with the popular star to get his take on: what this Daytime Emmy nomination means to him, how he sees the category in which he is included with four other talented actors, and how he hopes his road, and Sonny’s road to a better emotional place has helped others. We also reminisce on Maurice’s seismic first Emmy victory at Radio City Music Hall in 2003, and the lessons he’s learned for himself along the way, and come Emmy time.

Make sure to watch the 50th annual Daytime Emmy Awards on Friday night June 16th live on CBS (9 pm EST) and streaming on Paramount+.  Now, here’s what Maurice had to say.

Photo: ABC

Congratulations on this Lead Actor Emmy nomination. I understand that you submitted scenes dealing with Sonny’s battle with bipolar disorder. Can you tell me what was on your reel?

MAURICE: First, I have scenes with Michael (Chad Duell) where Sonny wants to reconcile with him, and we talk about how many people have died. You can tell something’s off with Sonny. Then, he has scenes with Carly, where Sonny wants to get back with her and she didn’t want to, and then he’s very emotional, and he leaves, goes to the nightclub and he’s manic. I love those scenes. He goes home with Nina and she has to deal with someone who’s manic. Those scenes happened earlier in the year, and I think it was kind of forgotten about, but I felt really good about them, plus it was dealing with bipolar disorder. So, I’m very proud of the work and the writing was phenomenal.

Photo: ABC

There is this scene where Sonny is sitting with Nina on a bench and he leans his head on her shoulder admitting he needs help. Is that on the reel?

MAURICE: Yes, that’s at the end of my reel.


I remember when I saw it.  It was an episode that aired at the end of January of 2022.  I wrote it up and I gave props to you and Cynthia, because that was such an amazing scene. Sonny was really lost and off his meds, and Nina had never seen him like this and didn’t really know what to do.

MAURICE: Yeah, he had grabbed her really hard before that on the wrist, and it scared her and scared him that he did that. Then, Sonny admitted right after that, he needed help.  They sat on the bench and he was crying.

So, was that a difficult scene to play for you … or are those easy when you have to go into playing the manic-version of Sonny?

MAURICE: Yes, but it’s only hard in terms of what it does to me. I honestly think, if I didn’t have a mental illness, I wouldn’t have as much fear, because I don’t want to have another anxiety attack.  So, that’s the reason when I do those scenes afterwards sometimes, I’m feeling like, “Oh, God. Why did I do this?”

Wasn’t there a time years ago that you couldn’t play those types of scenes at all?

MAURICE: There was a time when I did a bipolar story where the show had it last too long. My wife called them and said, “Stop this already.” I was hearing my mom and dad in the scenes, and I knew I was in trouble.

Photo: ABC

Based on the subject matter of your reel, and where we are in the world today with mental illness, plus how you use your platform on ‘State of Mind’, this kind of would close the loop on your entire journey if you were to receive the Emmy this year.

MAURICE: Yes, It would. I don’t really anticipate trying to win Emmys and this and that. I’m just so proud of the story, that after this I’m not sure I’ll get this kind of story again.

Photo: ABC

Winning the Emmy for these performances, would afford you the opportunity in an acceptance speech, to address mental illness.

MAURICE: Yes! Look, the only thing that made me happy was getting things, and that’s a false happiness. You have to find the happiness within yourself, then everything makes you happy.  I couldn’t do that for 58 years.  Now, this is the first time I got nominated where my initial feeling was like a normal person. Of course, it’s great to be nominated, but I don’t get overly happy, because what happens is when you get overly happy or whatever, you’re gonna fall if things don’t go your way.  So, this time I’m feeling so good either way, but I would love to speak on mental illness. That’s why I would really love to win.

It’s all so prevalent and topical in society today what you are speaking about. In recent weeks, the news cycles have been talking about studies on loneliness that is gripping America right now. People are suffering from loneliness and depression. It has been difficult since Covid, and coming out of that, for so many people. 

MAURICE: Yeah, and I think now is the time that it’s really getting tough because sometimes it takes a while for it to hit and kick in. They say after two years is when it kind of starts kicking in.


And this nomination, like you just spoke to, is different. The last two times you were nominated and won was for the Alzheimer’s storyline. Those were difficult for you to play too, because your dad was going through the same thing at the time. Correct?

MAURICE: Yes. Anything I do that has mental illness or anything like that is very close to my heart.  I was very proud of those two Emmys because of the Alzheimer’s story and because my dad died of it.

Photos: ABC, CBS, NBC

So, what do you think about the actors nominated with you for Lead Actor? You’ve got Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R), Jason Thompson (Billy, Y&R) Billy Flynn (Chad, DAYS), and Thorsten Kaye (Ridge, B&B).

MAURICE: I respect all those actors. I really do. I’m not just saying that. I think they’re all damn good actors. I watch their work, each of ’em. I remember, I watched Thorsten Kaye with Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy, B&B), and it was about drug addiction, if I recall, and they were just nailing those scenes. I watched Billy because he was on my show, State of Mind. Peter’s always, you know, Peter, and Jason is Jason, you know …fantastic! So, I’m into it, man.

When we had my annual Daytime Emmy Nominations Special last month, Jason shared he was stoked to be in the category with you. Did you mentor him at all while he was at GH?

MAURICE: No, no, we just had great talks. I didn’t do what I do with the younger actors. He was a little older, and he’s a hard worker. Jason has talent and it’s amazing. You know, I told him on the State of Mind that it’s not easy to go from being popular in one role and then go to another show and be very popular also. That’s not done very often. So, my hat’s off to him.

Photo: ABC

I also was talking with Finola Hughes (Anna, GH) and the two of you were all over mainstream press representing General Hospital for their 60th anniversary.  How was it for you to go to New York and then do the all of the guest appearances in support of the show? I know it’s hard for you to fly and you flew alone.

MAURICE: Yeah, and I almost got off that plane, but thank God I didn’t.  It’s amazing. I never thought I’d get to a place where people talk to me as much about mental health as they do about General Hospital.  I love it.

So, you have experienced walking down the street, for instance, and people stopping you to discuss mental illness over asking what’s going down on GH?

MAURICE: Yes. The driver that drove me to the airport, you know, it’s just about mental health. Then, in New York on the streets. I love it, obviously, although it can be a little draining. I was just about to get on the plane and this guy was telling me his brother is bipolar, and he’s worried he’s going to commit suicide. I’m thinking, “Oh, man.” But, it’s all good.  I’m proud of Sonny … I’m proud of everything I do with mental health … State of Mind … and everything.

Photo: ABC

I remember your first Emmy win in 2003 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The fans were going crazy for you – it was so loud in there. The only other time I ever recall anything that loud was when Susan Lucci finally won her Emmy after 19 tries. The entire Felt Forum erupted.  Do you remember going on stage to accept the Emmy, and where you were at that point in your life and taking that all in? Everyone was so excited and happy for you.

MAURICE: That one felt like catching the ball in the end zone and we’re all just celebrating. That was a different feeling. I will never feel that again, obviously, it’s your first one. You’ve been waiting 10 years and then ‘boom’ it hits, and it’s at Radio City Musical Hall. I remember my dad was there. Then, the other two wins were a little more subdued, but the second win was difficult because I didn’t have any speech prepared. I thought I was gonna lose for sure, because nobody picked me to win.  So, I was like, “I’m good” And then ‘bam,’ it happens. I’m like, “Oh, man. I don’t have a speech!”

And to your point, I asked all the nominees if they think it’s better to have a speech prepared and or just wing it? How would you respond to that knowing what you went through?

MAURICE: It’s never good to wing it. Somebody said to me, “Well, you didn’t have a speech, but it was great.” I said, “But you could still be great with a speech and it’s not so hard on you.” When you have a speech, at least you have stuff that you can say, and it’s ready to go.

Photo: NATSS

Are you going to attend this year’s Daytime Emmy ceremony?

MAURICE:  Oh yeah, I’m all good. I’m good, win or lose, I don’t care. I’m in a different place. I can have fun now and not feel nervous, or whatever, inside.

That’s amazing. That has to be a relief where you don’t feel that kind of weight coming down on you.  I can only imagine that it makes you feel lighter, emotionally.

MAURICE: There’s no better feeling than where I’m at inside my myself right now. I used to get nervous going to the supermarket, and I couldn’t talk to people. I put my head down. It’s such a different vibe for me now.

Photo: ABC

How did you find out you were Emmy-nominated this year?

MAURICE:  I found out, I think, on Twitter. It’s not like it used to be for me, because I was more intense with it. You have to understand something. I was so crazy that the night before the nominations, I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t sleep at all. That’s where I was, and then if I get nominated or not, I’d have to go through that.

I know we all want some form of validation. I mean, let’s be honest. Of course, we all want to be validated for the work we do, especially in a creative industry.  I think everybody would love to win an Emmy, but as you were figuring out in your journey, it did not define you.

MAURICE: It’s like my friend.  He’s a billionaire, right?  I said, “What’s it like being a billionaire?” He goes, “Listen, I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor. Rich is better.”  That’s the way it is, right?  Of course, you want to get nominated, then not nominated, but it’s just a different feeling that I have now about it from what I used to have.


I was so touched to see Sonya Eddy’s (ex-Epiphany) name in the list of nominees for Outstanding Supporting Actress posthumously. I know you worked with Sonya over the years. What did you think about her receiving this nomination and what can you say about the loss of your colleague?

MAURICE: Sonya was just a ball of happiness. I mean, she was always laughing, always smiling. We had a relationship where I’d make her smile and then I’d kid with her. She was just a beautiful, beautiful person.

Sonny and Epiphany would have some run-ins, but she fought with her feelings.  She liked her friendship with Sonny, and even those he was a mobster, she found the good in him.

MAURICE: Exactly. It was just sweet. It was just nice. And you know, that’s the thing, in life sometimes only the good die young.

Photo: ABC

Lastly, the late Nneka Garland, former producer at GH, was so pivotal to these Emmy nominations and the reels, and working on them for the cast and the show.  I know you worked with her for many years and her passing has been hard on everyone.

MAURICE: That’s a tough one. Nneka was very close to my wife, Paula.  They talked all the time. It’s sad, another one gone, and it’s these people who are just good people. It’s interesting what life brings, but it’s part of life. Nneka cared for all of us at General Hospital.

Photo: ABC

Please note: Jackie Zeman (Bobbie, GH) passed away a few days after our interview with Maurice was conducted, which is why it was not addressed directly in this interview. However, Maurice did take to Instagram to share his grief on the loss of his beloved co-star, expressing: “This hit me really hard, a gut punch. I think because Jackie was such a sweet, delicate soul. And I got to know her really well in the later years, I just loved her spirit I keep telling people life is not fair, we just have to except what is. I will miss you, Jackie we all will✝️”

What do you think about the scenes Maurice chose for his Emmy-nominated reel? Showing Sonny being manic and being off his meds? How Maurice hopes this potential Emmy win might afford him the opportunity to speak to others who live with mental illness? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.


Continue Reading

Video du Jour

Peter Reckell returns for a second visit with Michael Fairman following the wrap-up of his recent run as Bo Brady on Days of our Lives.Leave A Comment

The Michael Channel

Recent Comments

Power Performance

Réal Andrews as Taggert & Finola Hughes as Anna

General Hospital

Airdates: 5-31-2023