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The Stacy Haiduk Interview – The Young and the Restless

© JPI Studios

© JPI Studios

Who has been consistently captivating soap opera audiences with her mesmerizing performances of Patty Williams and Emily Peterson, and let’s not forget, when Patty was pretending to be a woman named Mary Jane Benson?  Who kept us on the edge of our seats through most of 2009, and into 2010, not knowing whether we were going to scream in horror, or cry for her sad existence?   Who got snubbed for an Outstanding Supporting Actress nomination for the 37th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards?  And finally, who is really the cat’s meow?  Well, the answer is quite simply, actress Stacy Haiduk from The Young and the Restless.

Now, with Patty locked up and regressed to a little girl, and Emily falling apart at the seams trying to get her own life back, and Adam’s “murder” still not close to being solved, Stacy Haiduk is still turning out riveting performances.  On-Air On-Soaps caught up with Stacy to talk about: Kitties, Emmy reels, competition, the heartbreak of playing Patty, working with her co-stars, Doug Davidson (Paul) and Peter Bergman (Jack), and how her actor husband, Bradford Tatum, was a calming and steady force during some of Stacy’s most traumatic on-set days.

And in the end, find out who does Stacy think is truly the better psychologist, Emily or the deranged Patty?  Her answer may surprise you.  It’s always great to speak with the emotionally raw and edgy Ms. Haiduk, and I hope you will enjoy her even more after reading her revealing comments below.

MICHAEL:

Ok, Stacy let’s get right to this.  Your Emmy snub is probably one of the most talked about in the history of the Daytime Emmy nominations.  Everyone was certain that you were a lock for your performance as Emily/Patty/Mary Jane this past year, and unfortunately it did not happen.  How are you feeling at this moment?  It has to be extremely, extremely disappointing for you.

STACY:

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It was shocking, and I was really disappointed.  I was excited about it because I really wanted to be a part of this group this year.  And you have to also know it is what it is.  I always have to say that I still won in my own mind because of the people I got to work with, and it’s continuing, and that is a success right now.  I know that is not the disappointing part of how I am feeling, but I try not to go into that part of it.  It’s hard.  You sit there and go, “Was my tape not good enough?  Or, what happened?”

MICHAEL:

What reel did you decide to submit for Emmy contention?

STACY:

I submitted the remote with Eric Braeden as Victor, and Peter Bergman as Jack, and I had the gun   Patty was getting upset with Jack for not seeing her as his wife and loving her, and feeling how could he do that?  I thought it had enough emotional levels to show where I could go as an actress.  It sucks that you can’t have two shows to show your work.  One show is not easy to do to choose from.  You have the build up in one, and the finale in the other, which is why I like the idea of two tapes.  However, I thought this is enough to get me in.  I am working with two leading actors, and I thought it would be a good enough tape to show people.  You just kind of go, “OK.  Or, maybe the wig scared them!”  You know, the blonde wig! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

This whole Emmy judging process is as much of a game as about the performance itself.  Do you think it hurt you that perhaps the blue ribbon panel could not follow the story, as it is taken out of context?  They do not know what happened before or after those scenes.

STACY:

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Right.  No, they don’t see the arc, and don’t see what is going on.  A lot of times you have your friends who have been working to be nominees for so long, and they finally get in, and it’s like, you know what?  They deserve it.  Maybe next year, it will work for me.

MICHAEL:

I think you have received more emails, letters, and have certainly become talked about more than anyone ever online, about someone not getting a nod.  Somehow, the Emmy snub got you more publicity than someone who was nominated for Lead Actress!

STACY:

The publicity has been more than if I got a nomination.  It’s crazy, isn’t it?  You know what I love?  It’s when I went on facebook and just read so many people’s thoughts, and how they love the character, and you can’t beat that.  I have to go back to why I do this and the process of it all.  Yes, it would have been fun to get all dressed up, and hope you can win one of the most beautiful awards.  It’s one of my favorites, actually.  But, I have had a really good time and it continues again.  The fans see that, and that is really what this is about.

MICHAEL:

If you were to have been nominated, would Mr. Kitty have accompanied you to Vegas?  Last year, you wore him as a shoulder bag to the red carpet.

STACY:

Yes.  I would have come with Mr. Kitty, and we could put him on wheels.  It would have been awesome.

MICHAEL:

© JPI Studios

But, let’s talk about these recent amazing scenes that aired.  Did you like how they resolved the end of the Patty/Emily final switcheroo?

STACY:

I finally ended up watching it.  Usually, I don’t because I am very critical of myself.  I finally watched it because somebody said to me, “Have you seen your scenes?”  And I said, “No, I haven’t,” and so I did.  And I was sad!  I was sad the last time Patty went to an insane asylum. I like Patty, even though she is crazy and whacked-out. The wig was scary. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Patty regressed back into her little childhood self.

STACY:

Didn’t it just break your heart?  Me, too.  It did also when Mr. Kitty died.  You have to understand, when they told me Mr. Kitty, in my script, gets chewed up by Zapato, I went like, “You’ve got to be joking with me?”  I mean, I literally went through withdrawals because I had been working with that cat for so long.  I know that sounds silly.  But, I get heart to heart with my co-stars, and here it was again.  I love working with Doug Davidson. He is such a joy, and Peter, also.  And, when I got to look at him in the end, my hair looked like crap, and it was all going to one side, but there was this look.  When you are in it, you don’t see what other people are seeing.  So, when I was able to see it from the audience’s perspective, I went “Oh, my God!  That poor thing, and what she went through.”  All she wanted was that man to love her, and how desperate and sad she is at the same time.  I got weepy.

MICHAEL:

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I said to Doug Davidson recently, that if you were to take your story with him, as a brother and sister, as an isolated story, you could see that as a motion picture.  It is such a beautiful story.

STACY:

I think that is why they continued it.  It taps into so many people’s relationships with family.  I look at his eyes when we work, and there is that love… that brotherly and sisterly love…and we root for each other.  So if one makes a mistake in the line, the other one of us tries to figure out what the person is going to say.  It’s wonderful!

MICHAEL:

And now on-air, Emily is having all sorts of psychological problems!  Is this now just an adjustment issue for her?  I mean, she is so pissed off that Jack can’t tell the difference between her and Patty in bed, which I think is great!

STACY:

I know, it’s so crazy.  Thank God.  I am so glad they brought that up.  I mean, how can you not?   Even Patty says it in my Emmy tape; she says to Jack, “How could you not know I was your ex-wife?  Are you that blind?” And then here, Emily says pretty much the same thing to him, “How could you not know that was not me?   How could you do that?”  Emily now has to take some time and figure this out.  She gets screwed from every which way, from all the stuff that Patty did.  She is trying to hold it together, and she is not one to just emote, while Patty is the most emotional and runs with it.  Emily is stoic and trying to hold it together.

MICHAEL:

Do you think Emily is even a good psychiatrist?  Or, is Patty a better one? (Laughs)

STACY:

I think Patty was. “Go to your Happy Place!” (Laughs)  The woman playing opposite me, who was one of Emily’s patients says to Patty, “What do you mean? Go to my Happy Place?  As Stacy, “I went, yeah; go to your Happy Place. What else do you want to do?”  That is what a therapist would say, except, maybe, “I understand.”  (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

© JPI Studios

Will we see Patty again, perhaps more and more?  Is the doppelganger story really over?

STACY:

Maybe.  All I can say is that I love Patty, and doppelganger may not be over. We shall see.

MICHAEL:

You must have gone home to your family completely exhausted some days, after the emotional toll it takes on an actress to play very complex dual roles that border on insanity or the edge of insanity.

STACY:

When I was going through all the stuff with Patty and Emily at the end, and the whole knife thing, that was the first time Peter and I were going to get off work early.  I am referring to the scene where Patty stabs the portrait of Emily.  She goes to town. We were jamming through the scenes, and the last part where I open the dang cutter I cut my hand!  So, I had to go get stitches.  So, Peter and I are at the doctor’s office.  Even the stage manager said, “And, you didn’t stop the scene?  You kept going with it?”  And I go, “I can’t stop.”   But now the stitches are out and healing and I am fine.  But, that was the first time I had to call my husband and say, “I just want you to know, I won’t be home by ten today.  I am going to the hospital to get stitches.”  And, he is like, “What?”  I said, “Well, they had this box cutter, and you know me with props.”  I have this thing where I go with it.  And even before they gave me the prop on set, they said to me, “Are you going to be OK with this?”  You see, I have a tendency to go overboard, like when I was stabbing the little picture with the baby scissors in the hospital scene.  That time, I ended up stabbing the baby scissors into my hands.  The prop guys were like, “Um, Stace. You’ve got to know…”   I am going to be so conscious of it, but it’s hard when your adrenaline is going.  I get done with the scenes, and then I go, “Oh, God.”

MICHAEL:

© JPI Studios

What did your husband, actor Bradford Tatum, think of all this?  Was he a big support to you during the emotionally draining material?

STACY:

He has been a big support.  I come home, and yeah, we don’t have long, long evenings because of the emotional dynamics of these two characters, Emily and Patty, and because when I come home I have to work on my script for the next day.  I mean, I would literally call home and say, “Honey, I need cuddly.  I need you to be tender with me because I am so fragile.”  But I love going to these places, and sometimes it’s really difficult, but it’s a good challenge, and I am sure you do this, too, Michael.  You like to see how far you can push yourself.

MICHAEL:

Yes, I do push myself.  But you are super competitive, right?

STACY:

Your body and your mind want to work well, and so yeah, I am competitive.  And my husband laughs at me about it.  But, I think that’s what keeps me going, and doing what I do.

MICHAEL:

Will you be on-air as Emily for a while?   Many fans are concerned of where the Y&R writing team will go next with all of this.  Could that spell the end for Stacy Haiduk on Y&R?

STACY:

Courtesy/Luis Martinez

No, you are not losing me as Emily.  I think it touches people.  It’s this beautiful balance of creating something from the writer’s point of view, the actor’s point of view, and it’s all-creative, and that is what is so amazing.  I think people feel that from the outside, too.  It’s not just watching something and going, “Yeah, that was a great performance”.  These are daily performances and I think people love to watch Emily or Patty and what she will do next.  It’s very complex.

MICHAEL:

OK, so if I was producing a Stacy Haiduk tribute reel of the best moments of your performance last year on Y&R, and I had three and half minutes to feature you, tell me what would be on that?  What would you choose?

STACY:

You have to start out with Mr. Kitty, and having that performance with a dead stuffed cat was pretty fabulous.  I really like that kind of material.  I would go in to this January with shows where Patty goes back to the switcheroo, when she puts Emily into the nut house and then looks in the mirror and dyes her hair. And still one of my other favorite scenes is the remote with Kitty Kitty.  It was with Paul and Patty.  She is turning herself in and she has to give up Kitty Kitty.  I know they are silly scenes, but they get to me sometimes.

MICHAEL:

What about the great Patty and Adam scenes?  There were so many great ones towards the end before his “murder”.  And, we still never know if Patty has something more to reveal about what went on the night Adam was “killed”.

STACY:

© JPI Studios

Everything’s a possibility, and you just never know.  I like working with Michael Muhney (Adam).  We have a good time. Michael and I click with each other, because we were both new to the show.  I was thrilled to have scenes with him in the potting shed, and those were fun.  I even liked when I go to Adam in the hospital and Patty is pretending to be Emily and she pinches him in the hospital and says, “You know, I just want to see if you are faking it or not.” I love those scenes. I love the way Michael plays right off of me. I have a soft spot for Michael because of that.

MICHAEL:

As we end this little chat, tell me what can I relate back to the many, many fans and admirers of your work, day in and day out.  Are you really doing OK?  We all want to give you a giant hug!  So, since I am here with you now, here is a hug representing everyone’s embrace of your outstanding performance this past year.

STACY:

I am doing great.  I got through my disappointment.  I am here to support The Young and the Restless. I am thrilled that the actors I work with on a daily basis both got nominated. (Laughs).  No, really I am.  So, maybe we will see what happens next year with that, but right now when I work, I am happy.

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0 Comments

  1. waldo doe

    June 3, 2010 at 2:45 am

    Thanks for another great interview MF! I got to see a side of SH that we never get a glimpse of. She really seems like a nice, down to earth, funny and all around cool person. I’m STEAMING about her Emmy snub too! Ridiculous!.

  2. Kalamaty

    June 3, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Brava for so, so many brilliant performances this past year, Stacy. You have become the one to watch on The Young and the Restless and I’m horrified that you didn’t get the Emmy nom. Shame to the academy for this outrageous snub!!!! You are a brilliant, beautiful actress!

  3. Doe

    June 5, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Well, the Emmy pople blew it again. Stacy has been mesmerizing. To pull of dual roles is so demanding and exhausting, it’s a wonder the actress doesn’t go bonkers. I hope she gets the satisfaction next year at least. I don’t know how she can even top this role. An actor dies for such a role! Kudos to Stacy for convincing us she was mentally ill and then believing she was this pschiatrist who treated ill patients. I have been enthralled when she is on the screen and couldn’t take my eyes off her. So, congratulations, Stacy, for your great performances

  4. Darogr

    June 6, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Love, LOVE, LOVE her.
    She certainly did deserve the Emmy nomination and the Emmy. Patty/Emily/Mary Jo has been one of the few reasons to stick with Y&R with all the silliness going on there.
    I hope Emily and Patty are around for a while and we get to see more from Stacy.
    Thanks for the great interview! It’s really interesting to hear the actor’s thoughts on the characters and the scenes and some of the behind the scenes chemistry.

  5. Heather

    June 9, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Love her! Glad to hear she will be sticking around Y&R. She definitely should have been nominated. I think a lot of these award shows are more about politics than who actually deserves the award.

  6. shelia

    October 22, 2011 at 6:45 am

    love her !!!!!!!!!!!!!! glad she coming back

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Interviews

Y&R’s Executive Producer Anthony Morina Talks On Daytime Emmy Drama Series Win For Neil’s Memorial & Honoring Kristoff St. John

Last Friday night, The Young and the Restless was named the Outstanding Drama Series at the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards broadcast on CBS. The show won on the strength of their submissions, which centered on the death of Neil Winters; including when the residents of Genoa City find out of his passing, and the subsequent heartbreaking memorial service in his honor.

However, what made those hours of television unlike anything seldom seen; were not only was Genoa City saying goodbye to Neil, but the cast was saying their goodbyes to their beloved friend and colleague, Kristoff St. John (Neil) who had passed away suddenly back in February of 2019.

Y&R’s executive producer, Anthony (Tony) Morina accepted the award for the top-rated CBS Daytime drama during the Emmy telecast, which now makes Morina a five-time Daytime Emmy winner himself!

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Tony on the series emotional Emmy win, and what it meant for him to win the gold for these incredibly moving and special episodes that were at its epicenter paying tribute to Kristoff in the best way the soap opera could. Here’s what Tony shared on the Y&R Drama Series victory and more.

Photo: JPI

Congratulations on your Outstanding Drama Series win. The episodes that you submitted were at every level, so gut-wrenching, sincere, and beautiful.  What did you think about the process that you went through to make these right for Kristoff and the character of Neil?

TONY:  Occasionally, when you are in this business, as you know, you work so hard to achieve certain things, sometimes you think you’re achieving something, and you’re not, and sometimes something shows up that surprises the heck out of you, and this was kind of it for me.  But what didn’t surprise me, of course, were the actors’ ability, the director’s ability, and the crews’ ability, and for these episodes it was at such a high level.  Sometimes there is an emotional element, or an otherworldliness thing that takes over.

Photo: CBS

Yes, because it was all so real and raw; in that we were watching the characters who loved Neil Winters mourn him, but we were also watching all the actors who loved their co-star.

TONY: When everybody was in that church set and were giving their eulogies, it felt like everybody was so behind each other, and everybody just cared for each other so much because they cared so much for Kristoff.  All the eulogies that people were doing were a page and a half to two pages.  They were really long, but you could feel the emotional tension, and you could feel how people just felt.  Kristoff was a very unique special person, who ended up going through some rough times, but he really was beloved.  Sometimes you love people, and sometimes you say somebody is beloved.  Whenever you saw him, he put a smile on your face.  He made you feel like he really cared about you.  Those shows came together really out of this feeling of love.  We did two whole shows that day.  We did that whole show and the show that came after it.  I don’t know how many hours of a day it was, but people had so much emotion attached to it that those shows really kind of took over themselves with everybody just trusting and letting go and supporting each other.  I got a text from Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R) saying how it was one of the greatest experiences he’d ever had in terms of how it all came together.  Those shows just meant a lot to us, and I really felt that if we didn’t win, I’d be perfectly fine with that, because I was just so glad that we were able to do these episodes, and people got to see it.

Photo: JPI

At what point did you decide, “We are going with this to submit for the Emmy!”

TONY:  I actually knew that day.  I think, I actually said to Josh Griffith (head writer and Co-EP Y&R), “This is going to be our Emmy show … or one of our Emmy shows.”  The other show when everybody finds out Neil died was an incredibly powerful show to me too, but I knew that day when we shot the funeral that you rarely see that kind of rawness.  When you get into this business, and you want to become an actor, it’s tough, but you know that in the end what you want is to get into a position where you can share who you are as a person in an artistic way.  I think the Neil memorial gave people a way to say, “This is why I do this because I get to really share myself, and I get to express how passionate I am and how much I care about other people.”

Photo: JPI

Shemar Moore (Ex-Malcolm) came back to honor his dear friend and on-screen Y&R brother.  How was it having him on set with you to share this experience?

TONY:  Shemar was amazing.  He was there until the bitter end of our tape day.  He could not have been kinder and more supportive of everybody, and really laid out his emotions, and it was like that with everybody.  I would say this was the the most amazing experience I have ever had.

What do you think Kristoff would say?  I think he would be very proud that you gave Neil a real proper sendoff.

TONY:  Absolutely.  I also think Kristoff, would have thought that Neil deserved it, and would have loved it, a, it’s an interesting question because you have got to say to yourself, “Does Kristoff feel he deserves it?” As a character, he’d definitely feel he deserved it.  He was a part of that community.  He was a part of Genoa City.  Those were his friends and his family.  Would Kristoff feel he deserves that?  I don’t know if he would have felt he deserved it, but I know he would have loved knowing how much people cared for him.  I think that would have meant the world to him.  I really do.

Photo: CBS

I loved your acceptance speech.  I thought it was one of the better ones of Emmy night. 

TONY:  Thanks so much.  Matt Kane (publicist, Y&R) has been amazing.   He gave me a lot of guidance on where to go, and my wife, Sally (Sussman Morina) really helped write the speech because the rules were you’ve got 30 seconds.  I really believe in the notion that when you have an opportunity to speak in front of people about something, it has some meaning to you and to other people.  I think you have to put thought into it because how many opportunities do you get in life to share about yourself and how you feel about people?  So, I really appreciate you saying that.

Photo: CBS

What did you think of your Y&R actors: Bryton James’ (Devon) and Jason Thompson’s (Billy) major Emmy victories?

TONY:  Well, personally, I am enormous fans of both people.  I like when nice, good people have nice things happen to them, and you know them.  First off, I was so happy for Bryton because I know he and Kristoff were close, and I know he was deeply affected, as Christel Khalil (Lily, Y&R) was, as everybody was, but they were like family.  I love Bryton personally, and he laid his heart out there.  As for Jason Thompson, people think the world of him, and I think he is an unbelievable actor.  I taught for years, and I have worked with a lot of actors, and I think Jason has such control of his work.  I’m impressed by him.  I’m just as impressed by who Jason is.  I think he’s deserved it other times too, and this was his first win; which must be very special for him.

Photo: deCazotteFacebookPage

During the In-Memoriam tribute on the Emmy broadcast, former producer, Lisa de Cazotte was also featured.  What can you say about your time working with her at Y&R and over your career?

TONY: I’ve known Lisa De Cazotte since Santa Barbara when Paul Rauch (former executive producer) brought her there, and that’s where we first met. Lisa was probably my favorite producer to ever be in the booth with because she let you be yourself, and she let you do your job, and yet, she still had control over the room and the studio.  She was a great touchstone for me, because when you are in this position, you need someone to bounce stuff off of or just say, “Am I really being an idiot here?” because we were old friends, she could say, “Tony, you’re being an idiot.”  (Laughs)  We miss her terribly.  She was really a loved person, and she was just fantastic at what she did.  I just miss her as a friend.

Photo: JPI

And of course, the In-Memoriam featured the late Y&R co-creator, Lee Philip Bell who also passed recently. 

TONY:  Yes, and that’s what was interesting about that speech I gave, because you had to mention those three people: Lee, of course, Kristoff, and Lisa – three truly linchpin important people in daytime drama for many years. Losing all three made it a particularly rough year for The Young and the Restless family.

I also wanted to talk about Eve LaRue (Ex-Celeste Rosales), who had never won a Daytime Emmy but she did for her work on Y&R! She was very emotional and moved by her win as Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series.  What can you say about Eva?

TONY:  She is such a lovely person and she did a great job for us.  I’m just glad for her because I know she had ever won before.

Photo: JPI

One of the clips shown on the Emmy broadcast that Y&R chose for air from Neil’s memorial was Victor’s emotional eulogy; which Eric Braeden delivered so beautifully.   I know how found he was of Kristoff; so it made that on-screen moment all the more heartbreaking. What can you say about Eric?

TONY:  Eric feels as deeply as anybody who I have ever known.  Really, he can come across sometimes as a certain kind of image for people on-screen, but he cares deeply, and is the most supportive actor of every other actor.  Eric has a depth and is a fantastic actor, and he knows how to use his talent.  He actually called me last night and left a message.  He just said, “Hey, I saw you on TV,” and then he just laughed for 5 minutes.  It was really very funny.  He’s not used to seeing me on TV, and so he just laughed.  It was hilarious.

What did you think of Y&R’s win for Outstanding Drama Series knowing they submitted the episodes of Genoa City finding out Neil had passed, and his funeral? Share your thoughts on Tony’s remarks via the comment section below.

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Interviews

Daytime Emmy Winners: Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, Scott Clifton & Heather Tom Talk Winning the Gold & Returning to Work at B&B

This week, The Bold and the Beautiful has been airing encore presentation of Daytime Emmy-winning performances from some of the cast over the years as a prelude to tomorrow night’s 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards on CBS.

The weeklong Emmy celebration concludes tomorrow with Jacqueline MacInnes Wood’s (Steffy) Emmy-winning performance from last year which won the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series prize for the first-time in her daytime career.

Michael Fairman chatted with Jacqui, along with five-time Daytime Emmy-winner and a nominee for Lead Actress again this year, Heather Tom (Katie) and three-time Daytime Emmy winner, Scott Clifton (Liam).  As daytime soap fans know, Heather and Scott hold the distinction of being the only actors to win in all three acting categories: Younger, Supporting and Lead.

In this candid and fun conversation on the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube, Jacqui, Scott and Heather remember the nights the won Emmy gold, their acceptance speeches, things they wish they would have said, and what it was like waiting for their names to be called, plus taking a stroll down memory lane and remembering when they taped their Emmy-winning performances.

Scott reveals why he chose not to submit himself in Lead Actor this year, even though he has some of the finest performances throughout the Baby Beth baby switch storyline,.

Later the trio talk about The Bold and the Beautiful being the first U.S. soap opera and first U.S. broadcast show back in production following the shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic and how B&B is looking to shoot episodes during the times we live.

Watch the full video interview below.

Then let us know, what was your favorite part of the moments shared by Jacqui, Scott, and Heather in the Emmy conversation?  Do you think Heather might tie Erika Slezak (Ex-Viki, OLTL) tomorrow night with her sixth win in the Lead Actress category?  What do you think of B&B’s return to production following the sentiments shared.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Thaao Penghlis Chats on His Daytime Emmy Nomination & How He Makes Tony DiMera One of a Kind

He has been one of the longstanding cast members of Days of our Lives and certainly of Salem’s notorious DiMera Clan; and while Thaao Penghlis may be off our screens for a time and then comes back again; though the years one thing has been true, he delivers top-notch performances in a way that is uniquely ‘Thaao’.

This year at the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards to be broadcast on Friday night, June 26th at 8 p. m. EST, Thaao is vying for the Outstanding Lead Actor prize amongst a formidable group of other daytime favorites.  And this makes it two years in a row that Penghlis has received an Emmy nomination although this time in a different category.

As fans know, Penghlis takes the art of acting seriously, and expects other he works with to bring their A-game, just as he does time and time again; whether it be playing DAYS dashing Tony or the evil Andre or when he portrayed Victor Cassadine on General Hospital.

Michael Fairman TV spoke to Thaao to get his thoughts on: receiving the Emmy recognition and what it means to him what he thought about his nominated scenes, plus what he might be doing at home during the ceremony, and where he hopes Tony DiMera’s future is headed.   Here’s what Thaao shared.

Photo: JPI

Tell me about what scenes you submitted that landed you a Lead Actor Emmy nod!

THAAO:  Well, the week I came back to DAYS, I had 11 shows, and this material was from one show of three I did one day!  When you think of other actors doing 150 shows, and I did less than 50 this past year, my choice is kind of limited.  So, when I came across these particular scenes, which were with Eric Martsolf (Brady) and with Arianne Zucker (Nicole), what I liked about it is that usually when you see other peoples’ work, its histrionic, it’s great tears, it’s drama – and what I was able to put together had a through line and an arc from beginning to end.  It makes it very logical when somebody is following your story, and you can show a whole ebb that makes sense.  I had some lines that were really difficult to say, like, “Coming back from the dead is not easy.”  When I get lines like that, I throw it away, and because of that, it becomes humorous.  I have to say I work well with Arianne.  She was great.  I found in the past, when I have worked with some actors, they step on your lines.  I found the best way to stop that is I put my hand up, and I say, “Hey!” and everything goes silent.  They go into shock mode, and I say, “I haven’t finished,” and then I go on.  (Laughs)  So, when Kristen as Nicole starts to talk to Tony the way she does, and she says, “You’d better behave…” I thought, “This is a DiMera you are talking to,” so, I just snapped back at her.  I gave her a, “Hey!”  So, she shut up, froze, and I went on.

Photo: JPI

Would you say your reel was more comedic … or both funny and serious?

THAAO:  It is both.  There are subtleties to it.  There is a teacher I know in Australia, and she is very critical.  She said, “I want to see your work.”  I showed it to her, and she wrote back, “Oh my, God.  How did you make those transitions so readily?”  I went, “Oh.  How did I do it?”  I didn’t think of that.  I think it’s an old technique.  It’s called having to do 3 shows in one day, and you had better get your stuff right, and it’s about how do you make a scene work?  There is one director who I did a miniseries with who said to me, “Where did you get your training from?”  I said, “Daytime.”  He said, “My God.  You certainly know how to have a camera follow you,”   Well, the camera has to follow your movement.  So, when I finished a transition, I’d move to another spot, and the camera had to follow me.  So, what happened in the arc of this Emmy-nominated piece is that I took charge and controlled the scene so that it became a scene of lots of transitions. And of course, charm, I did all of what I thought Tony would be.  He is a DiMera.  I have one of those looks. I don’t know where it comes from, maybe it’s as I get older, but I’ve learned how to work the camera where I may slam something first to get your attention, and then the camera comes onto your face, and you’re going, “Oh, what the hell is he thinking?”  So, I can play the dark side quite readily, and yet in my real life, I’m not so bad. (Laughs)

Courtesy/ABC

You have Thorsten Kaye (Ridge, B&B) and Steve Burton (Jason, GH) also in your category, and these guys who are obviously been soap veterans like yourself.  What do you think about the group you have been nominated with? 

THAAO:  I never worked with Steve Burton, but hear good things.  I know Jon Lindstrom (Kevin/Ryan, GH).  He’s a lovely actor.  I have worked with Jason Thompson (Billy, Y&R).  He’s a lovely actor.  He is well-trained.  So, it is nice to see that the nominees are all vets.

Right, they are all vets.  It seems like a good group to be with. 

THAAO:  I agree, and I love that the Daytime Emmys are coming back to television.  I think it is an upswing when they think of daytime dying.  I think whoever made this happen is taking on the responsibility of taking daytime back.  It is why people love novellas.  People love the story, they love to follow the characters, and we’ve got fantastic fans.  I mean, what would we do without them?  You can’t sustain the show without them, and you pay a price, you have to know how to entertain them because once they know who you are and what you’re about, they get bored.  So, you have to be ahead of your audience all of the time.  That’s what I have always tried to do with both characters that I’ve played on DAYS

Photo: JPI

They’re doing a virtual ceremony this year.  How do you think you would dress while watching the ceremony?

THAAO:  You don’t wear a tux in your house, do you? So, I’ve invited some people for a celebratory time.  Lauren Koslow (Kate, DAYS) and her husband Nick Schillace (head of make-up, DAYS) and Leann Hunley (Anna, DAYS) are some of my great friends who have been very supportive of me through some tough times this year, and I’ve got a friend who has got  a wonderful restaurant, and he is going to cater it.  Probably it will be a group of 10.  You know, could you imagine being here on your own, in a tuxedo, with a glass of champagne? (Laughs)

I know, kind of awkward! (Laughs)  You’ll put something nice on for the big night, right?

THAAO:  Yes, you know me.  I’m always dressed.  What would you suggest?  Sweatpants on the bottom and a tuxedo jacket!  How about that? (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

Now, you have been previously nominated for Daytime Emmys, too!

THAAO:  Yes, and last year I was nominated as well for Outstanding Guest Performer.  So, it’s kind of nice to be back-to-back, and in 2008, I was nominated for Lead Actor when I played the clown in the Tony and Andre storyline.  Thank God, DAYS recently DAYS had James Reynolds (Abe) wining in the Lead Actor category.  I thought, “Wow.”  That was for years and years of good work that he’s done, and also, Greg Vaughan (Eric) wining for Supporting Actor was very nice, but we haven’t had that many wins in the acting categories over the years.

Photo: JPI

DAYS tapes so far ahead of air; that what was once a seemingly major concern has paid off swimmingly during the coronavirus pandemic.  The soap is the only show to have enough episodes in the bank for months ahead when production shut down and enough even when other shows go back into production.  Who would have thought?

THAAO:  We used to think it was ridiculous that DAYS taped eight months ahead, but look at us now! Who would have thought is right?

What would you love to see happen with Tony when DAYS does resume filming new episodes again? 

THAAO:  I’d like to go back and play the head of the DiMera family.  I’ve never been granted that, and I think, at this stage, with the way I worked with Joe Mascolo (Ex-Stefano) it would be nice to see the transition just like Michael Corleone did in Godfather.

So will you be rooting for Thaao to take home the gold as Lead Actor in a Drama Series come Emmy night?  Do you hope DAYS writes Tony into upcoming story, and if so, how would you like to see him on the canvas? Comment below.

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