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The Stacy Haiduk Interview – The Young and the Restless

stacyMain.jpg

The number one rated daytime soap, The Young and the Restless, has a penchant for finding incredible actresses to fill incredible ‘psycho-babe’ characters.  When Stacy Haiduk arrived on the scene as Mary Jane Benson, a woman whose look and identity has been changed, and who is harboring some very dark secrets, fans took notice of this sultry actress.  Stacy has previously portrayed bad girl Hannah, on All My Children opposite Thorsten Kaye (Zach), only to have that character slip on a cliff and plummet to her death.

Now, Stacy is becoming a runaway hit with the fans and soap pundits for her performances along side her co-star…
her dead stuffed cat, Mr. Kitty.  Stacy Haiduk is revealing to soap viewers a tormented character gone haywire.
She is exacting revenge on the man who wronged her, Jack Abbott, but at the same time wanting him!  Just look at last week alone. She gave poor Summer Newman anaphylactic shock by kissing her on the lips with remnants of a peanut butter cookie… knowing the little one was allergic.  This was all done in the hope of getting Jack Abbott away from Phyllis, and her estranged husband Nick, back with Phyllis!

A few weeks back, online reports stated that young actress Tammy Barr is set to play a young Patty Williams in Mary Jane’s dream sequence this Thursday.  So, On-Air On-Soaps wanted to get the low down of the bizarre dream and what’s in store for Patty/Mary Jane, and the citizens of Genoa City.  With this whack-job on the loose, everybody in town probably should take cover.  Here’s the amazing Stacy Haiduk to fill us in!

Listen to the audio:

[display_podcast]

MICHAEL:

You have made this role of a whack-job so believable.  Is it difficult making her realistic with the beats of the story, and going off in tangents with Mr. Kitty?

STACY:

Actually, I am really enjoying finding the levels to play her.  It has been a good experience. One thing I wanted was for people to feel for her, and that she was not just a whacko.  I wanted them to feel bad for her.  She is in pain.  I feel sorry for her.

peterStacy.jpgMICHAEL:

Those scenes where you shot the bird, after watching Jack making out with Phyllis… I remember watching you through the window in the rain and the thunderstorm.  You looked so evil and soooo upset. Are those scenes hard to do?

STACY:

Yes.  That one specifically, was hard to find the balance, and not over-exaggerate it.  I gave just a facial expression, and I remember Paul Rauch (co-executive producer, “Y&R) saying, “You have to give it a little bit more.”  I am used to subtlety and sometimes that does not always play to the audience.  So, when he said, “You need to go a little bit more with it,” I just said, “Ok, just find it inside.”  I took a second.  I found a place that was really painful for me, and put my face in the window and they shot it.

MICHAEL:

For a bit of the back-story… Mary Jane had her face redone.

STACY:

She had facial reconstruction surgery.

MICHAEL:

Victor Newman brought her to Genoa City….

STACY:

That’s right.

MICHAEL:

And he found her somewhere?

braeden.jpgSTACY:

Yes, and I don’t even know where that was.

MICHAEL:

Your job is for Victor, who wants revenge on Jack Abbott and you have got it “bad” for Jack Abbott.  In recent episodes, Jack has brought up the fact that he was shot three times below the belt and he drove a woman mad at one point. Obviously, it looks to all of us that you are indeed Patty Williams!

STACY:

Sounds good!  I think you hit it all right on the head.

MICHAEL:

Will we see her unravel more in the coming months?

STACY:

Yes, you will.

MICHAEL:

How is working with Peter Bergman (Jack)?

STACY:

I love him and he is fantastic!  He has been so kind to me, since the audition.  He has been right there for me.  He is amazing; he likes to run lines and is a true professional.

MICHAEL:

What does one have to do when they go in and audition to get the part of a whack-job with a new face?

STACY:

They did not tell me what the character was going to be about.  They gave her an “audition” name that was not Mary Jane.  I went in and played a businesswoman. They did not ask for whack-job.  They asked for a sexy businesswoman.

tammyBar.jpgMICHAEL:

On Thursday, we see a young Patty Williams in a dream played by Tammy Barr.   Is it going to be a painful moment or a shock for the fans?

STACY:

I hope its both…that people will be in for a painful shock as people get to know more about Mary Jane.  I think it’s going to be fantastic.  We are going to understand why she is the way she is.

MICHAEL:

Let’s take a stroll back to what Jack had done to Patty.  He slept with all these women behind her back.  And when she shot him, it was like, “Well, good for her.”  It’s kind of hard to picture the young blond version of Patty now (played originally by Lilibet Stern), as you are much taller and sexier.  What can fans look forward to in the dream sequence?

STACY:

Mary Jane has a dream of her past and she remembers Jack had an affair the moment she tripped and lost her child.  That was another horrible thing that happened.  As the dream progresses, young Patty tells Jack that she wants to die.  He begs her to kill him, so he tells her to shoot him, and she shoots him three times.

MICHAEL:

So, what else is unraveling in the dream for her?

STACY:

It’s an emotional waterfall.  It’s painful, and the audience is going to find it’s disturbing.  All the people who remember what really happened with Jack and Patty will get it.

pattyWilliamsOld.jpgMICHAEL:

So, it is Mary Jane’s take on reality?

STACY:

Yes, it’s totally Mary Jane’s dream and her being able to shine some light on some things. It’s got some other surprising things in the dream, as well. Mr. Kitty is in it, and we love Mr. Kitty.  Sharon and Victor are in it.  So you have the entire dynamic going on of who Mary Jane wants revenge on. She wants revenge on Jack, but she wants the love from him, too.

MICHAEL:

So, she does want revenge on Jack, but she really does want him?

STACY:

Absolutely! I feel when you are coming from a sense Patty/Mary Jane is; it’s this deep, deep, past pain where she lost her baby and then she shot him, but wanted to shoot herself. Now, there is Jack and he does not want to be with her.  Then, Victor says, “Hey, come to Genoa City, and in the end you will have him.”  But then, Jack does not want her.

MICHAEL:

I would think Mary Jane would eventually turn a gun on Victor!  He manipulated her the whole time.

STACY:

I think she is pissed off at him a little bit.  He says he is done with her and washes his hands of her.  And what does a kid do?  They get rebellious and they do something that changes the adults mind.  When I look at her, she seems child-like at times.  She is as smart as can be, and she knows how to manipulate people and things, as well.  That is fun to play, as well as the scenes with Mr. Kitty.

MICHAEL:

So she took Mr. Kitty to a taxidermist?

STACY:

Mary Jane hurt Mr. Kitty and killed Mr. Kitty.  She killed the bird and then went back and talked to Mr. Kitty and said, “You know I did this and it’s similar to what I did to you.  But you understand Kitty, right?”
I think what they are saying is when she does not get what she wants, the pain inside of her begins and the pot is boiling over, and she can’t hold it in anymore, and she does something like that.

MICHAEL:

You know what they say, “You start killing animals, and you can wind up killing people!”

michelleStacy.jpgSTACY:

Maybe that’s where they are going.
But it does make for a good story.

MICHAEL:

Getting to watch you playing with the other great actors on “Y&R”, such as Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) and Eric Braeden (Victor), has been terrific. Fans remember you on “AMC” as Hannah.  It seems like any actor who leaves “AMC” and comes to “Y&R” does amazing work. For example, look at Elizabeth Hendrickson (Chloe), and Billy Miller (Billy)!

STACY:

Well, thank you.  There are a bunch of
us over here.  Everyone here is pretty fabulous.  I love working with actors and seeing their performances.  Eric works very differently than Peter, and they all offer something different that makes it an incredible experience.  Michelle is fun.  We just laugh in rehearsal.  Mr. Kitty is my other co-star that we laugh about here. The crew will say, “So, who do you get to work with today Stacy?” And I go, “Mr. Kitty.  I get to talk to Mr. Kitty all day.”
So there is a running gag going on, and tongue and cheekiness on the set.

MICHAEL:

It has been interesting to see her reaction to Paul played by Doug Davidson. After all, it’s her brother. What does she really feel for him?

STACY:

She loves him and that’s her brother, and she would give anything to tell him who she is. She has this fantasy of telling him who she is.  I don’t know when he will find out.

dougDavid.jpgMICHAEL:

He will be there for her.  I would think Paul would feel so god-awful for Mary Jane!

STACY:

Oh, yeah.  I think so.  But I can’t wait, and I am looking forward to that.

MICHAEL:

What about Patty’s mom, Mary Williams, formerly played by Carolyn Conwell? She needs to find out!

STACY:

Doug has actually told me things about her.  I heard she is a very, very interesting woman.

MICHAEL:

Victor is on to Mary Jane.  Coming up, is he going to send her packing for good this time?

STACY:

Yes. Victor will tell Mary Jane he is sending her away again. But this time, Mary Jane escapes and runs away from him.  However, Mary Jane does not leave Genoa City.  She hides somewhere and it’s good, too!  It’s really good where she hides.

stacyFloor.jpgMICHAEL:

So when you go home and leave the set and put her behind for the night, does she ever disturb you?

STACY:

At first, when I read that Mary Jane talks to a taxidermal (stuffed) cat, my first initial thing was that people are going to hate her.  I did not know that it was
going to be kind of fun, funky, and you know, ‘whack-out’.  People like that.
As I was getting into the character people were laughing and having a good time with her.  Now, I go home and I tell my husband, “I got to talk to Mr. Kitty today.  It was a fabulous day, today!”  I feel good when I go home.  I really love
that I get all my inner demons out on set before I go home. (She laughs)

MICHAEL:

You are married in real life. So does your husband go, “Who is that woman on that TV screen?”

STACY:

Sometimes he does.  For the most part he likes my work and has been a big fan of mine for a long time.  And no, he does not think it’s strange that I am playing a whack-job.  I think he’s thinking it’s right up my alley, to be honest. (She laughs)

MICHAEL:

Well, looking at it, it seems to be right up your alley.

STACY:

Thank you! (She laughs)

stacyMain.jpgMICHAEL:

So, what about Mary Jane’s bizarre scrapbook that she flips through while sipping wine, after a night of passion with Jack?  Who is in the scrapbook?

STACY:

She has pictures of Sharon, Phyllis, and a picture of Victor.  So nobody is safe when Mary Jane is around!

MICHAEL:

In closing, give us the teaser of what can we look forward to from Mary Jane next week.

STACY:

Victor discovers what Mary Jane has been hiding from him, but it’s too late to stop her.

General Hospital

GH’s Chloe Lanier Talks On Nelle’s Twisted Plots, Her Co-Stars & That Cliffhanger “Ending”

Recently on ABC’s General Hospital, Chloe Lanier’s Nelle Benson created even more havoc for Carly (Laura Wright), Michael (Chad Duell), Julian (William deVry), Brook Lynn (Briana Lane), and of course, her son, Wiley.

However, is Nelle really gone after her ‘fall,’ which has left her MIA and Carly believing she is responsible for her sister’s ‘death’? But as we know with Nelle, she keeps secretly planning her next move and loves to slowly torture those who she believes have wronged her. There is also the ongoing mystery of just who is Nina’s (Cynthia Watros) daughter, especially since Nelle has the other half of the necklace so near and dear to Nina; leaving viewers pondering if it could mean they are mother and child, or is this all a red-herring?

One thing is for sure, Daytime Emmy winner, Chloe Lanier brings it each and every time she returns to GH. She gives always give the storylines a much needed injection of drama, drama and more drama. No one is quite like Lanier in the soaps either; she can play tough, vulnerable, manipulative, and street smart, like nobody’s business.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Chloe to get her answers to some of our burning questions for her and her portrayal of naughty Nelle, and how one of her co-stars helped her through a very difficult time in her life.  Here’s what she had to say about it all.

Courtesy/ABC

What did you think of the courtroom antics of Nelle during the custody hearing for Wiley?

CHLOE:  I mean, showing up in a wedding dress was her first mistake. Then antagonizing everyone in the room was probably her second. But she’s so wounded—so broken from her childhood. She doesn’t have the proper emotional tools to combat her self-destructive behavior.

Which showdown or confrontation between Nelle and Michael stands out to you?

CHLOE:  I particularly loved the scenes where Nelle, nine months pregnant, leaves Michael in the rigged car, hoping it would explode. It’s rare that you’re given comedic material on a soap, so that was particularly exciting for me. Also, Chad’s reactions always make me laugh. He’s great.

Photo: ABC

What is it like working with Chad Duell as feuding exes and parents of Wiley? 

CHLOE:  Chad is so easy to work with. He’s been doing the show for so long and is very technically gifted. The writers graced us with some meaty material that we were able to sink our teeth into.

Photo: JPI

What does Nelle think of Willow (Katelyn MacMullen)? She really hates her, huh?

CHLOE: I don’t believe she hates her. She’s envious. Willow is the exact opposite and oftentimes we’re afraid of what we don’t understand. Particularly someone like Nelle, who was raised by a con artist and taught to exploit and manipulate anyone she comes across. So when she sees someone so pure, so innocent, she immediately distrusts her because that behavior is so far outside the lines of how she operates.

What was it like taping the fight scenes between Carly and Nelle, where Nelle “Plummets” to her death?  

CHLOE:  Shout out to Amanda Hall and Heather Bonomo, our amazing stunt doubles for those scenes. They were fantastic.

Courtesy/ABC

When you and Laura Wright get the scripts; where Carly and Nelle are having a huge showdown, are you thrilled about getting the chance to play the emotional beats of those moments? What if it’s a fight scene?

CHLOE:  Those scenes were such a joy, because we got to explore some of the deep roots of Nelle’s trauma, and Carly explicitly said, “I believe you love your son.” That, for me, was important.  Because despite all of her failings, she truly did love her son—in her own warped, off kilter, way.

Photo: Paul Smith

Nelle has really been blackmailing Julian, until he turned the tables on her on the pier?  What has it been like acting opposite Will deVry in those scenes?

CHLOE:  I love Will. He and I actually have the same acting coach, so our prep and how we’re working is from a similar place. What I love about Will is the confidence he has in his stillness. He’s lovely on camera, so connected.

Photo: ABC

Nelle has the other half of the necklace belonging to Nina.  What do you think if it turns out that Nelle is Nina’s daughter?  It is quite possible, tho, that she is not, and it’s all a red herring. How has it been working with Cynthia Watros?

CHLOE:  Cynthia is one of the kindest human beings I’ve ever met, truly. We haven’t known each other for long, but earlier this year, and not many people know this other than my close friends, I was having glaring mental health issues stemming from unresolved trauma. I was going going going for so long that I couldn’t run away from it anymore. I had never dealt with any of it. She saw it and could tell I was silently struggling and reached out. You don’t forget kindness like that. So I’m very grateful for Cynthia—and of course, therapy. I would be flattered if they decided to make Nelle Nina’s daughter.

Photo:ABC

What do you think about how the writers have kept finding ways to have plot points that get all the other characters in trouble and make it look like they did something to Nelle, but she ultimately has her own diabolical plans for them with her actions? She is pretty smart!

CHLOE:  Nelle is the perfect victim, and her love language is sabotage. She’s also a narcissist, so she’s always going to think she’s the smartest person in the room. She’s basically a walking version of Taylor Swift’s song, Look What You Made Me Do. I love that the writers gifted me the opportunity work with almost everyone on the show. Josh (Swickard) and I always had a great time together. And Maurice (Benard)—god he’s hilarious. I would have loved to work with Briana Nicole Henry (Jordan) more though. I love watching her work. She’s going to have an amazing career.

Photo: ABC

Do you think Nelle can ever be redeemed at this point?

CHLOE:  Redemption is a weird one for me, because I don’t believe that people are inherently good or bad. We’re all human. We all have flaws, make mistakes, have regrets, experience shame. We have the ability to grow and we learn from our past. Nelle has done and felt all of those things, to a degree, but continued to do the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. A character either has to change or they die. So, I’ll say this—if Nelle is alive out there somewhere, I hope she’s going to therapy.

Photo: JPI

What has been the hardest scene for you to play emotionally in the time you have been playing Nelle?

CHLOE:  Probably the scene with the newborn, where Nelle runs into Brad on the side of the road. I had never held a newborn baby before, so I was TERRIFIED. I realized I was the only thing in that moment keeping that baby alive…a very bizarre and life altering feeling, I’ll say.

So, have you enjoyed Chloe’s performances? Do you think Nelle is plotting from afar?  What would you like to see happen in the storylines with  baby Wiley, Nina’s child, and more? Comment below.

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Days Of Our Lives

Chandler Massey & Freddie Smith Discuss Their Departure From DAYS, New Beginnings & WilSon’s Journey

This week, Days of our Lives viewers saw the highly-anticipated exit off the canvas, for now,  of Daytime Emmy-winners, Chandler Massey and Freddie Smith as Will and Sonny.

Tuesday marked their final airshow, while the actors found out they were being written-out of the show and had filmed their last six episodes over seven months ago, because at that time and before the pandemic, DAYS was taping far in advance of air.

Now with this leg of their journey complete as the popular Salem duo, Chandler and Freddie are embarking on new chapters of their lives, as Chandler details his move to Atlanta and Freddie in a few weeks to Florida.  But as they discuss in this very special conversation with Michael Fairman on You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel, they are not stopping acting either.

During this “farewell for now” interview with Michael, the two actors open up about their final scripts, their last tape day, how both characters helped many individuals come out and come to terms with who they are via watching Will’s coming out story, Will and Sonny’s on-screen relationship and more.

In addition, Freddie discusses what happened when he auditioned for the role of Sonny and what he thinks helped land him the gig; Chandler shares a story about a fan that is very moving, and that his biggest regret was not getting to play the wedding scenes between Will and Sonny (Guy Wilson at that time had stepped into the role of Will).   The duo also reveal their favorite and least favorite storylines they were involved in, and much more.

Watch the full interview below.

So, what do you think about what Freddie and Chandler had to share during our conversation? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Interviews

Y&R’s Melody Thomas Scott Talks Harrowing Childhood, Growing Up In Hollywood, Nikki’s Storylines

This week, The Young and the Restless’ iconic, Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki Newman) new memoir, Always Young & Restless: My Life on and Off off America’s #1 Daytime Drama,” from Diversion Books, is available everywhere.

For everyone that follows Melody, this book has been several years in the making with some starts and stops, but in it she does not hold back and reveals some very painful details and moments from her upbringing when she was raised by her unstable grandmother and more.

Courtesy/DiversionBooks

Melody also talks about reuniting with her estranged father when he suddenly awoke from his coma while she was by his side.  Throughout her lengthy career in Hollywood, Melody has worked with some of the greats including: Clint Eastwood, Brian DePalma and Alfred Hitchcock.

Now in a conversation with Michael Fairman on The Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube, Melody opens about her decision on the stories she told in the books, her favorite and least favorite storylines as Nikki on Y&R, working with Eric Braeden (Victor) and the entire company of the CBS daytime drama where she has been for over 40 years, and how she hopes her memoir might help others; including those stage moms and children considering life in front of the camera and more.

To watch the full interview with Melody, check it out below.

Then let us know, what have you been most surprised to learn about Melody this past week as her memoir has come out? What is your favorite or least favorite storylines of Nikki’s on Y&R over the years? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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Video du Jour

B&B’s Heather Tom talks with Michael Fairman immediately following her record-tying win in the Lead Actress category during the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards.  Heather and Erika now hold the most wins for an actress with 6! Leave A Comment

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