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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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Days Of Our Lives

Kevin Spirtas Talks ‘After Forever’s’ Digital Special ‘Riley’s Unforgettable School Project’, The Loss of Michael Slade, and a Chance to Reprise DAYS Craig Wesley

The coronavirus pandemic has put to the test many content creators on just how they would keep their projects moving forward in ways they never dreamed of. However, out of that situation has come some of the most compelling, unique series, specials, and features currently streaming for viewers. One of which is Riley’s Unforgettable School Project, brought to you by the team from the six-time Daytime Emmy Award-winning series, After Forever.

Former Days of our Lives star, Kevin Spirtas (Ex-Craig Wesley) has starred in and created the first two seasons of what has become the most honored Emmy-awarded LGBTQ-themed drama series on any platform.  Along with his ‘After Forever’ writing/producing partner, the late Michael Slade (DAYS, OLTL, Passions, Another World), the two also conceptualized and delivered this latest documentary-style offering now on Amazon Prime Video.

What makes Riley’s Unforgettable School Project so noteworthy is not just how they were able to execute the series based on fictional 11-year-old Riley’s virtual school project and utilize its cast, which includes: Spirtas, Cady Huffman, Jamison Stern, Lenny Wolpe, Erin Cherry, Anita Gillette, Christopher J. Hanke, and Finn Douglas, but that it was made while Slade was succumbing to his battle with cancer, and that this special marks the final script from this talented writer.

 

Michael Fairman TV spoke with Spirtas about making the special during Covid-19, how the death of Michael Slade has made a lasting impact on his life, what After Forever has personally meant to him, and how an official third season is still in the works, and … if he would consider a return to Salem and Days of our Lives, should they come a-calling.  Here’s what Kevin had to say about it all.

Photo: AfterForever

I think the entire story of this digital special has become even more meaningful with Michael Slade’s passing. What was the genesis of the concept? You wanted to continue the telling of the story of After Forever … but we are all in the middle of a pandemic?

KEVIN:  Yes and… when we filmed season 2, we had the scripts for season 3 already completed. It was our hope and desire to film them at the same time, back-to-back, so that we would have had all of our cast and crew together, and we could have gotten through it because we’ve always imagined this story being told in a trilogy so to speak – a beginning, middle, and end to Brian (Spirtas) and Jason, (Mitchell Anderson) and Brian’s healing or his steps towards healing through grief.  Schedules turned out that they couldn’t really work out for us to hold all the people and hold all of the sets for that amount of time.  So, we thought, “We’ve got the scripts for season 3 ready.  We’ll come back to it in the following year,” and that was always the intention, and then the pandemic hit.  So, it was shut down immediately that we weren’t going to do anything, but we wanted to stay current, and instead of going back in and telling the third installment of After Forever as a Covid-19 story as well, Michael and I sat down and looked at a way of staying relevant and current with a story within COVID, and there was born the idea to do this documentary style story/special about the characters of After Forever told through the lens of the character of Riley, the 11-year-old boy, who is now being homeschooled during the pandemic. He gets an assignment to do a project about the most unforgettable person he has ever met, and he, of course, chooses his best friend, the late Jason Adams, and he enlists all of Jason’s friends and family to join in.  Michael actually said, “What if we tell a story about Riley being homeschooled?” And, not only is Riley a technical genius at 11-years-old in the story, but Finn Douglas, who plays Riley, is a technical genius.

And didn’t Finn perform and write the song “Forever There” contained within the special?

KEVIN. Yes. He is this incredible musician.  Michael thought, “What would it be like if we asked to have the character of Finn sing a song for Jason?”  I said, “Well, what kind of song would we have him sing?”  Finn could play anything, I’m sure, because he’s self-taught, he plays by ear – guitar, piano, and drums.  Michael said, “What if we ask him to see if he could write a song?” and when we heard this song, we all called each other and we all got on Zoom and went, “Can you believe this song?  Can you believe this came out of this 11-year-old?”  It’s pretty incredible.  Michael did a gorgeous job of weaving the stories in and out and how they just sort of dove-tailed into each other, and then it was framed by Riley opening the project and ending the project.  During the Zoom reading we wanted to hear the song out loud.  We said to Finn, “Would you want to sing the song?”  We all just watched everybody on that Zoom call just fall apart.  It was just so beautiful. He’s an amazing talent.

Where is your character within this?

KEVIN:  I still stand in the center of the story of Jason because my character, Brian, was married to Jason, and it sort of connects us all, and through Riley’s understanding of how we all connect to Jason, is how we are all sort of spread out throughout the story.  Michael jokingly said, “You know, you’re not going to be the star of this special,” and I said, “I don’t think it’s about being the star.  It’s really about the storytelling.”  The beauty of Riley’s Unforgettable School Project is that we get to see moments of each person’s relationship with Jason, which Riley sets out to say, “Answer these three questions: What did you like most about Jason?  What did you like least about Jason? And what’s your favorite memory?”  Those three things, cut back and forth is where we all kind of fit in.  Nobody has more of a story than the next person, and it’s all telling honest portrayals of how they’re dealing with their loss of their good friend, or their child, or partner.

It’s a very inventive idea during Covid-19 to continue it in a way where you weren’t having to go shoot a full season of episodes.

KEVIN:  Well, we couldn’t. I have to say, Allison Vanore, who not only produced this special, but she also stepped up saying, “I’d love to direct this,” and I said, “Yes, please!”  She knows the characters.  She understands the story because she’s been a part of it for the last two seasons.  Allison also has this extraordinary amount of knowledge and expertise with the camera and what was needed for a remote shoot, and to also be able to organize filming 13 people in 2 different countries and 5 different cities… that’s just the technical side of it, but having that in our back pocket, knowing that it was a remote shoot, we had to send the camera, the computer, the ring light, and the microphone to each person’s house.  We had to location scout over Zoom.  We had to do wardrobe over Zoom.  It was all this big puzzle putting it together, and once you look at that board of storytelling and how we were going to do it, it kind of fell into place.  I feel blessed that a) we still had Michael with us, at that point, and b) Allison had the know-how to do this.  We all feel that at least this pandemic didn’t keep us from doing what we love.

Photo: AfterForever

In terms of the contribution of Michael Slade in this special, was it the construction of the story, and how was he able to work and write this during his illness?

KEVIN:  Michael’s contribution to the special was no less than the contribution to season 1 and season 2, and the future of season 3, because the scripts are written.  We did everything on Zoom, and we worked around his schedule of treatment.  We scheduled 2 people per day, and we spread them out over two weeks.  He was very present, and when there would be a day where he would say, “I’m going to be an hour late, let’s just push that call time,” I would ask, “Is this too much right now?  We can shelve it; we can stop it.” He’d then say, “Absolutely not, otherwise cancer will win.”  He was determined to stay focused and to stay active because it took his mind off of what was happening to him.

Photo: AfterForever

It would be lovely moment if you both were to win a Daytime Emmy for this project. 

KEVIN:  It’s our last collaboration together as a team, as I said, season 3 has been scripted, and it is on the calendar to get made.  We are just waiting for the COVID restrictions to lift a little bit and everyone to get vaccinated.  Michael was really hit hard with cancer – to stay healthy was so challenging for him.  Sadly, he didn’t make it to see the final edit of the special, and he died four days before we launched, but he had seen the cuts before that and was very approving of it, and had made some decisions, and offered some suggestions, and if God gives him an Emmy for this, it’s not because he died.  It’s because it’s great work.  It just happens to be that the work that was involved in this particular special was very tricky.  It brought up everything, like life itself to have to deal with.  Here we are dealing with the loss of a colleague, the loss of a friend, someone’s brother, someone’s son, this is life imitating art, imitating art imitating life. I can’t tell you the darkness that I went through just experiencing the need to stay focused on getting everything edited, and everything ready, and everything aligned for a release of this project that we had put into motion.  On top of it, our editor lost his mother just before Michael passed, and Allison’s mom was sick at the time, as well.  It took a lot of heavy deep breaths with Michael’s death, and the pandemic, and the loss has, for me, on a personal level, sent me back to really questioning my spiritual muscle and to help remind me that we have to come out of this better than we went into this.  I had many dark nights of the soul this last year, and December was probably the darkest.  I feel like I’m just kind of coming out of it now with the spring revealing itself.

Photo: AfterForever

It must have been extraordinarily difficult for you to also go to New York during a pandemic and also knowing Michael did not have much time left.

KEVIN:  I will say this: I am grateful that I was able to stay in touch with my heart and my instinct and go out to New York to let that be my remote location.  Yes, maybe there was some risk involved.  I wore my mask; I was Covid-19 negative, and I was determined to be fine.  Once I got to New York, I would visit him very protectively with our masks and our gloves, and I’d sit across the room, and then I’d go back to the house I was at.  It was a gift that I was able to see him at that time.  We had some good talks then about how he was feeling, and I think he was still being optimistic, and then once we got the project in the can there was maybe this psychic letting go. That’s when everything really started to reveal itself as this could be the end.  I did go back to see him when he was in hospice.  I think I was there the last two days that he really was able to really stay coherent.  He would close his eyes and be at peace and quiet for a minute, and he would finish a conversation and sort of close his eyes, not to sleep and not to go away, but I remember watching him going, “Look how peaceful he is,” and then he’d open his eyes and he’d remember that he is in this body that has been given a time limit of life, and he’s on his way out.  I’d watch the fear go back in his eyes.  At one point, he did say, “I’m so scared,” and I just held his hand, and I said, “I’m scared too.  Let’s be scared through this together.”  I don’t know how to navigate grief like that.  We are all going to be in a position at some point where we are going to be on the other side of the hand holding.  The wonderful thing is that we were able to have honest communication about our feelings.  I thanked him for everything that he has done for me and how he believed in my talent and creativity and our partnership.  I will always take that with me.  I waved my finger at him, and I said, “Listen.  Now, we wrote a series about a man talking to his deceased husband.  You’d better talk to me!”  So, we laughed about that.

Photo: AfterForever

You’ve done a lot of things in your career from Broadway to television, and of course, daytime fans know you best as Dr. Craig Wesley on DAYS.  How does the entire After Forever project stack up to you within all that you have done?

KEVIN:  Former DAYS casting director Fran Bascom, sought me out and offered me this 2-day role on Days of Our Lives, and those 2 days turned into 8 years, and unbeknownst to me at the time, the final 3 months of that contract of those 8 years, Michael Slade was brought in to write.  We didn’t cross paths at that point, but years later, when we did cross paths in New York, and then After Forever was born, that was that universal crossing point.  I am most proud of the fact that we were able create something fresh, and real, and personal to ourselves that we didn’t have to cater to any “powers that be” that had their vision and their tinkering, that they thought that it could be better in this way or that way.  Then for After Forever to gain such recognition, within the film festivals, and the Emmys, and then, just after Michael died, we won the GLAAD award for Special Recognition this year.  We don’t even fit into one of their categories!  They found a way to acknowledge this project.  If another Emmy happens again, that might be another one to put up on the shelf for After Forever that would be beautiful, and I couldn’t have done it without Michael.

For the Daytime Emmys this year, what category have you entered Riley’s Unforgettable School Project?

KEVIN:  We are not a series this year, we are a daytime fiction special, and the “Daytime Fiction Special” category is a special class.  It’s anything that’s digital in the construct of less than 40 minutes.  NATAS (National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) is being bombarded with so much content, they’re trying to find ways to put categories together.

Photo: JPI

So, now, when we last saw Days of Lives’ Dr. Craig Wesley, where was he? (Laughs)

KEVIN: (Laughs) He was in a flash from the past or something in the DOOL app’s Last Blast Reunion series. I had a fun time working with Patrika Darbo (Nancy) and Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe), once again.

So, if they were to want Craig to come back to DAYS, would you be all for it?

KEVIN:  Hell yes!

Photo: JPI

Now, what story would you want to be told involving Craig? 

KEVIN:  When Craig was first on the canvas in Salem, there was a lot of mustache twirling and a lot of hand wringing.  He was always plotting; most of the time with Nancy.  It was kind of this high drama, evil villain storyline being told, but when the writers created an opportunity for us to be on after those first three months by bringing on Chloe without a father, there was something real about it.  It may have been told under the construct of soap opera storytelling, but there was a reality-based story about, “You have a daughter, and we are just now finding out about it?”  Then, finding a cure to her health was another realistic story, and finding out that Craig was her real father.  Anything that’s reality based is what I’m getting to.  I would welcome any job that brings me back and gives me an opportunity to dive into something real.

Photo: JPI

Would you welcome the opportunity to play a gay character on daytime; in a medium where there are very few represented in storylines?

KEVIN:  I’d have no problem with that.  Do you know anybody who is starting that?  Let’s do it!  (Laughs) First of all, there’s nothing to hide anymore.  There’s nothing to pretend you’re not anymore.  I would think that bringing in a storyline that deals with anything outside the norm that we are used to seeing would be interesting.  How many times can you retell a story?  How many times can you set the same story up with another couple?  So, why not be diverse and have a stylized story being told through the lens of a gay person.

Photo: AfterForever

In closing, so many go through life without acknowledging people who had an impact them.  We don’t give pats on the back, often enough, and especially in Hollywood, where people can be very self-involved.  You have already paid tribute to Michael Slade in our discussion, but what gift from him is your personal takeaway?

KEVIN:  The gift that Michael really gave to me is to remember to be kind to myself and to others, and to acknowledge and salute the person who is in front of us, because we don’t know when we will have, or if we will have, another moment to do that.

Now below, check out the trailer for Riley’s Unforgettable School Project.  Then let us know, what do you think of its concept? Kevin’s thoughts on the passing of his collaborator on the project, Michael Slade? And, do you hope DAYS brings back Dr. Craig Wesley? Share your thoughts via the comment section.

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General Hospital

GH’s Kin Shriner Talks on Franco’s Demise, Scott’s Budding Romance with Obrecht, and His Enduring On-Screen Partnership with Genie Francis

One of the most beloved actors in the history of General Hospital, Kin Shriner, currently finds his alter-ego, Scott Baldwin, in a new budding on-screen romance with none other than Liesl Obrecht (Kathleen Gati).

This comes on the heels of Scott learning the devastating news that his son, Franco Baldwin was shot and killed, thus writing-off the ABC daytime drama series, for now, popular actor, Roger Howarth.

Photo: JPI

Throughout his now almost 44-year-run on the ABC daytime drama series, Kin Shriner has brought his unique acting chops that helped mold the character of legal eagle Scott Baldwin into the humorous, at times cutthroat, endearing and many times heartbreaking character we have all come to love.’

 

In a brand new exclusive virtual sit-down interview with Michael Fairman on You Tube’s The Michael Fairman Channel, Shriner opens up about his history with GH and the times he stepped away to take on roles on Texas and As the World Turns, and then back again to the town of Port Charles and GH.

Photo: ABC

As well, Kin reveals his reaction to learning the news that Roger Howarth would be exiting the show as his TV son and how he shot the key emotional scene where Laura (Genie Francis) tells Scott that Franco had died.  Shriner shares that he does not see how when Howarth returns to the show in as a yet-to-be-revealed character, that it would be a stretch if the two were some how related, but that he will miss working with the talented Howarth as a scene-partner.

Photo: JPI

As to the women in Scott’s life, Kin addresses each of them from: Lucy (Lynn Herring), Bobbie (Jackie Zeman), Dominque (Shell Danielson), Laura (Francis), Ava (Maura West) – to which the character could never get that close to – and now Liesl (Gati), and working opposite all the powerhouse actresses who portray them.

Photo: ABC

For fans of General Hospital who have watched the series for decades, Kin also shares memories of working with his late TV parents, Peter Hansen (Lee), Susan Brown (Gail) and his friend and former GH castmate John Reilly (Sean), plus backstage stories with his longtime scene partner, Genie Francis.

Watch the entire conversation with Kin below.

Now let us know, are you all for the Scott and Liesl romance? Will you miss scenes between Scott and Franco?  Would you ever want to see Scott and Laura reunite romantically? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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Interviews

Y&R’s Newman Kids Talk 48th Anniversary, Storylines, Camaraderie, and Take the Trivia Challenge

On Friday, to celebrate the 48th anniversary of The Young and the Restless (which premiered back on March 26th,1973) Michael Fairman chatted virtually with the actors who comprise the adult Newman family children; Joshua Morrow (Nick), Amelia Heinle (Victoria), Mark Grossman (Adam), Hunter King (Summer) and Melissa Ordway (Abby).

During the conversation, on You Tube’s the Michael Fairman Channel, the actors discussed what it was like coming into the iconic Newman clan when they first debuted, behind-the-scenes moments and laughs they share working with each other, and what it has been like for them to share scenes with their iconic TV father, Eric Braeden (Victor) and for some of the kids, their on-screen mother, Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki).

In addition, each touch upon their current Y&R storyline where:Nick is involved with Phyllis again, Adam is on to Chelsea, Victoria is trying to be in the woman in charge of the company and she finds herself boyfriend-less, Summer has her hands full with the arrival of Tara Locke and Sally Spectra who may all destroy her relationship with Kyle, and Abby wanting to have a baby via surrogacy with the sperm donor being Devon.

Later, Michael plays a round of “Stump the Newman” trivia where the actors are put to the test to see just who knows the history of the Newman clan best. Watch what happens when the mention of the notorious and ill-fated reliquary storyline is brought up!

Joshua, Amelia, Mark, Hunter, and Melissa also express what it has meant to them to be a part of the legacy of The Young and the Restless, and still later Joshua’s daughter, Charlie, even makes a special guest appearance.

Now watch the conversation in full with the Newman kids below. 

Then let us know, what was your favorite moment of the interview? How do you hope their current storylines resolve? What was your favorite and least favorite storyline of all-time for Nick, Victoria, Adam, Abby, and Summer? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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Y&R’s Joshua Morrow, Amelie Heinle, Mark Grossman, Hunter King and Melissa Ordway chat with Michael Fairman about being a part of and portraying the Newman Children as the show celebrates its 48th anniversary.Leave A Comment

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