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The Steve Burton Interview – The Young and the Restless

Courtesy/CBS

Photo Credit: CBS

One of the biggest stars in the soap genre landed in Genoa City two and half years ago, and since that time there has been no looking back for Daytime Emmy winner and fan favorite, Steve Burton.  Playing the role of a war vet and all around good guy, Dylan McAvoy on CBS’ The Young and the Restless, and learning about his on-screen family ties has been the backdrop for plenty of drama.  After all, it turned out Dylan is the bio-child of none other than rich, and often boozing socialite, Nikki Newman (Melody Thomas Scott), and the man always on the right side of the law, Paul Williams (Doug Davidson).  But while trying to adjust to his new connections, Dylan’s former flame Avery Bailey Clark (Jessica Collins) was also in town, and the two struck up their romance that had many ups and downs.  But in the end the two parted ways, especially when it became apparent that Dylan had fallen for the often misunderstood, often troubled, but loveable and beautiful Sharon Newman (Sharon Case), who has been doing everything she can to get her life back on track.  Now Sharon is pregnant with Dylan’s child.  The question is can the duo known as “Shylan” build a family, and find happiness that will last?

On-Air On-Soaps sat down with Steve Burton to get his thoughts on the rollercoaster ride that his character has gone through in the love department of late, and to chat with him about his co-stars, past and present.  Recently, Jessica Collins finished her four year run on the series as Avery, and shared heart-tugging final scenes with Dylan.  Steve fills us in on the dramatic and emotional finish to their on-screen relationship, and moving on to work with Y&R stalwart Sharon Case as his leading lady.

During our conversation Steve teases upcoming episodes where Dylan will work very closely with Paul.  And he pays tribute to his former General Hospital cast mate, Tony Geary (Luke Spencer) as the legend ended his 37-year-run on-air this week.  Steve also reflects on the joy of being a dad for the third time, and finding a new lease on life working at The Young and the Restless.  With great candor, charm, humor, and professionalism, you can’t get much better then Mr. B.  Here’s what he shared.

MICHAEL:

Viewers of Y&R recently saw the poignant goodbye scenes between Dylan and Avery, as Jessica Collins (Avery) left the series.  Major kudos has to go to both of you.  First, for the touching performances in your final on-screen moments together, and also for having the ability to bring to a life a back-story that no one saw previously on-air … and to make it work.

STEVE:

Courtesy/CBS

It was different for me to come on and have this back-story that we didn’t know.  All we knew was that Avery (Jessica Collins) was married, and it was then, “OK, now do your scene!” (Laughs)  Jessica is an amazing actress, and an all-around anything you can ask for in a scene partner, and always willing to work.  We worked on our stuff a lot, and trusted each other.  And when you trust each other, things can happen on the stage that are not planned, or aren’t on the page.  It’s the kind of relationship we had, and obviously the goodbyes are difficult.  We hate to lose her, and I loved working with her.  It wasn’t really acting, because you are saying goodbye to someone who you have a great working relationship with.  Those are not easy scenes, in general.

MICHAEL:

Did you rehearse those scenes, or did you let them organically happen, because the emotional stakes were high, in that it was Jessica’s final scenes with you?

STEVE:

It’s weird.  The person is leaving and your relationship on the show is ending.  I learned the dialogue, of course, but I don’t really want to say it out loud till we tape.  Everybody knew it was going to be emotional.  Christian LeBlanc (Michael) and all of her friends were there, and hanging around the set.  Those scenes you have to really hold back more on than cry.  That is what we really should be doing all the time.  For me, the more difficult one was the moment in the hotel room with Joe (Scott Elrod), and Dylan kind of said goodbye to her there, first.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/CBS

The most touching moment occurred after Dylan and Avery said their goodbyes. Dylan goes behind the coffee house counter, and pulls out his journal with a beautiful picture of Avery that he has kept with him all this time, and even through the war. What did you think of that little accent on the scene that gave it even more heart?

STEVE:

Actors leave and things change. They have to figure out how to give the person a good send off, and wrap it up and button up story.  I thought the picture was actually a very nice touch.  I haven’t had the journal that Dylan writes in on camera with me, so I thought it was nice that they did that for my character when she left.

MICHAEL:

What do you think about the contentious relationship that you have built on-screen with Scott Elrod (Joe) as the thorn in Dylan’s side?

STEVE:

We have had fun doing those types of scenes.  I like punching people! (Laughs) He is very punchable. (Laughs)  Scott is a great guy.  I liked the tension between the two guys.

MICHAEL:

Courtest/CBS

So when you found out that the powers-that-be were now going to pair the character of Dylan with Sharon (Sharon Case), I am assuming you clearly saw the writing on the wall that they were going to become another major duo on the canvas?

STEVE:

You could kind of tell that they were going that way.  The two brilliant things were: Josh Griffith (former head writer, Y&R, now co-head writer DAYS) doing it when I first got here as a friendship, instead of going romantically that way in the beginning.  If he hadn’t done that, we wouldn’t have had the payoff that we do now with the way Chuck Pratt (EP and head writer, Y&R) is writing us.  And it works!  The audience seems to respond to it, and it’s working!  It’s fun, and we have a lot of great story coming up.

MICHAEL:

I think these two characters have both suffered from forms of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) in different points in their lives, so they probably have a deep understanding of what tragedy and stress can do to someone, which draws them even closer.   Do you think Sharon could calm Dylan down if he has an episode of PTSD?

STEVE:

(Laughs) I am the calming element in Sharon’s life right now.  Sharon has been very stable lately, and it’s great to show that side of her.  I enjoy the pacing of what we are doing, but who knows what’s down the line … or what could be coming?

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

MICHAEL:

Is it at all hard for you to play the good guy all the time?  I know Y&R head writer Chuck Pratt Jr. does see that as one of your strengths that you are, and can play a lovable, sincere, real good guy with emotional substance.  Do you think that is what you bring to the table?

STEVE:

I think more of my personality has probably shown than I could ever do before in my role as Dylan, which is great.  I don’t want to say I am playing myself, but a lot of times I am myself.  It’s much easier for me to play this role, because I can have fun, and can joke and smile! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Sharon is pregnant, and Dylan had a very difficult time upon learning the son that he thought he had with Chelsea (Melissa Claire Egan), then baby Connor, was actually Adam’s (Justin Hartley).  Because of his previous heartbreak, is there just a twinge in him that thinks that the rug could be pulled out from under him, again?

STEVE:

Courtesy/CBS

I don’t know.  Dylan wants a kid so bad.  He wants a family. That’s the one thing he wants, and the normalcy of having a family.  And with him being off to war, and coming back and having issues with how Dylan and Avery’s relationship was, and they couldn’t really get together, that was hard on him.  Joe came back into the picture, and there was never any amount of serenity at all in Dylan’s life, including finding out who his biological parents were – all of the things that have happened in his life in the last two and half years.  Sharon’s pregnant now, and we are going to go down that road, and let’s see what happens!

MICHAEL:

Y&R is much faster-paced right now than it was in recent years.  It has more action, and less traditional two-person scenes.  Which do you prefer?

STEVE:

My personal opinion does not matter, because the ratings are the ratings right now.  Number one: they are doing something right.  Number two: I don’t mind the fast pace because for a while it was very slow.  Things weren’t moving, and Chuck Pratt came in and started moving things.  I know some fans like it, and some fans don’t, but again the ratings are what they are right now, and it’s pretty impressive.  I’ve got to say, I am impressed!  For a soap to have its highest rating in five years, in the daytime landscape now … people are tuning-back in!  That’s cool!  The great thing about coming to work at Y&R is I get to come to work and focus on it, and then I get to go home, and be with my family in Nashville.

MICHAEL:

Tony Geary’s (Luke Spencer) last episode on General Hospital aired on Monday, which means it’s the end of an era for a man that broke the mold in our genre.  What can you share about your time working with Tony while at GH, and his legacy?

STEVE:

Courtesy/ABC

When I came to GH, and I don’t want to take any credit away from any other daytime person who was before Tony Geary, but Tony changed the ballgame for daytime, and changed everything.  You had this guy who was such a phenomenal actor in this space that the story he was put in with Luke and Laura (Genie Francis), and the rape, and the fact that their wedding became the most watched television event in the history of daytime … you can’t forget that!  That was in 1981, and we are now 30 years plus past that.  He changed a lot for guys like me to come along, and be on a show, and do what we do.  Tony was always a great mentor, always a great guy, and professional when you worked with him. You’ve got to step up your game when you work with Tony Geary.  I know he is really appreciated by a lot of people.  He deserves all of the accolades he gets.  Tony is just a great person, and such a cool guy that he doesn’t make you nervous.  Now, Maurice Benard (Sonny, GH) he makes you nervous! (Laughs) And he knows what I am talking about! (Laughs)  But I remember I had one scene in Luke’s bar, where we were actually short.  It was right after I became Jason Morgan, and they basically let us improv a scene, which has never happened since then in my life.  They would go, “So, this has to be kind of about this.  So just go!”  It was cool to do that with him.  I am so glad Tony gets to go to his home in Amsterdam, because we would have conversations about it all of the time.  It’s been his last year for the last 20 years (Laughs)!  He would say to me, “Yeah. I think this is it, Steve.  I am going to leave.  I think it’s time.”  And I would go, “Get out of here!  Go home, man.” (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

The incomparable Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki) plays your mother on Y&R. How was it when you first met Mel, and the two of you created this mother and son bond?

STEVE:

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

With Melody, she was, and is awesome, and was open to me immediately.  I have the same chemistry with her as I did with Leslie Charleson on GH (Monica), where no matter how long we didn’t work together, when we did, it just felt like mother and son.  Same thing with Mel.  It was just kind of there. 

MICHAEL:

Doug Davidson plays your on-screen dad.  Paul is always telling Dylan to stop getting in his way during his official police investigations! (Laughs)  How was creating the relationship with Doug as father and son?

STEVE:

It was very easy.  Doug and I are close in real life, and that was a no-brainer.  I have spent a lot of time after work with him, and I love the guy.   It’s great that he is my dad on the show, because we are going to start working together a lot coming up.  There is some good stuff we are playing that will emphasize the father and son relationship.

MICHAEL:

In real life, you and your wife Sheree welcomed your third child almost a year ago at this time.  How has it been being a dad with three kids now?  Shocking? (Laughs)

STEVE:

Courtesy/SBurtonTwitter

It was surprise baby Brooklyn!  It is awesome!  I thought it was going to be a horrible drag being older now, and having an 11-year-old and a 9-year-old, and having such a huge gap.  I was like, “I don’t know if this is going to be good, or what’s going to happen.”  It’s amazing!   The kids love having her.  It changed the dynamic in the house.  As kids get older they start doing their own thing.  They are upstairs by themselves watching movies, or hanging out, so you might not see your kids for three hours, or be hanging out with them.  But now with the baby, everybody is always together.

MICHAEL:

How is Nashville working out for you?  It seems like all your buddies have moved out there, too!

STEVE:

I love it there.  I actually have a social life there, after 43 years I figure I could have one! (Laughs)  Scott Reeves (Ex-Y&R, DAYS, GH)  is there, Jonathan Jackson (Ex-GH, now Nashville) is there, and one of my wife’s best friend’s husband, who she went to school with got a job there as an Athletic Director at a private girl’s school.  We are all there, and it’s a lot of fun.

MICHAEL:

Does your wife ever watch your work on Y&R?

STEVE:

Photo Credit: Kushalagband

No, not really.  She is usually just asking, “So what’s happening on the show now?”  And I will go, “Well, you know I am at the coffee house, and Avery’s baking cakes.” (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

What would you still like to explore with the character of Dylan?  Would you be interested to delve into more back-story about what happened to him in the war?

STEVE:

I don’t think the war thing should ever be over with.  We just haven’t gone back and addressed it.  We dabbled in it.  I don’t know if we want to get into it so deeply, but it’s always a great thing to have, from a character aspect.  Anytime something can pop up!  I would like to work more with Melody and Doug, and do the brother thing with Joshua Morrow (Nick).

MICHAEL:

Ummm, the brothers have slept with each other’s girls! (Laughs)

STEVE:

Courtesy/CBS

It’s a soap opera!  I can’t even keep track of who’s sleeping with who on this show, and who’s been where.  It’s a small city, quite honestly! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

What have been some of your personal favorite scenes you have gotten the opportunity to play during your time at Y&R thus far?

STEVE:

It seems like I have had a lot of good scenes to play since being at Y&R.  I liked going down the road a bit with PTSD, and the material with Dylan and Avery being highly emotional.  The first year when Dylan found out that Connor was not his, was amazing to get to do.  Then, I would say the reveal with Paul that he is, in fact, Dylan’s biological father.  And I would say, I liked the scenes that just aired where Dylan and Avery say goodbye.

MICHAEL:

What are your thoughts about working with the iconic Eric Braeden (Victor)?

STEVE:

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Oh, I love Eric!  He has an energy about him that you just don’t know what he is going to do in a scene.  He could say something else that’s not even on the page, and you just roll with it.  We did this one scene, and it really wasn’t on the page and it ended up being a good scene.  Eric said, “Thanks for rolling with me on that!”  And I said, “Thank you Mr. Braeden.  I will have your coffee in your room in about an hour!” (Laughs)  By the way. I paid my dues here with Joshua and Eric.  I will be serving the Newmans for the next few years! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Dylan looks to be truly in love with Sharon right now.  What are your thoughts on that, coming out of having this long-standing relationship with Avery?

STEVE:

He has a great relationship with Sharon right now, and Dylan loves her.  But I do want to say what has been unique, and this is one thing I never got to play as an actor … I never had to play that I had feelings for two women at the same time.  That is a very interesting dynamic for me, because that is so not what I was used to before.  As an actor, I found it very challenging where things weren’t really great between Dylan and Avery.  She is up with Joe taking care of this guy who is using her, and she can’t see through it.  But then there is this girl over here who is a friend, who is attractive, and wait a minute … I am feeling something here, too!  Then, there was no communication between Dylan and Avery, and there were a lot of assumptions.  Then a lot of things happened where Dylan just kept going towards Sharon, and taking care of her, and finding that she needed him.  So it was interesting, because as an actor I can see that he loves Avery, but I also could see how Sharon and he are friends, and it could be more one day … and it ended up going there.

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Ashtonion Twitter

When Avery was raped, Dylan was just ripped up inside.  When he went to see her following that, it was just heartbreaking. What made it interesting also is that he had to leave Sharon to go check on Avery to make sure she was alright, because that it the kind of guy he is.

STEVE:

If it was even a friend, or an acquaintance of someone who got raped, I would be torn up.  And if it was someone you love and wanted to be with forever, and that happened, I would kill somebody.  I get goose bumps now thinking about when Dylan saw her for the first time after she was raped.  It was also how Jessica played it, too.  And you are right, Michael, at that point you could see that Dylan was leaning towards Sharon.  Then all of a sudden the rape happened!  He was like, “I’ve got to go over there and take care of Avery real quick.”  He likes to take care of people!  I don’t know if this is a serial bad habit (laughs), or a good thing?

MICHAEL:

So for all the Shylan fans out there, can you tell them that this relationship has legs?

STEVE:

I believe it does.  It’s a love story.  I don’t see any other way it would go right now. Working with Sharon Case (Sharon) is fun, and she is never in a bad mood   She has a very positive outlook on life.  I am in good hands at Y&R, and I know I have said it a million times, but it’s true.  The cast and the crew have been so welcoming.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/Pinterest

In closing, when you look back at when it was announced that you were coming to Y&R and showed up at this fantastic new place for you to work, you don’t think anyone was going, “Oh, God!  Burton’s coming?” (Laughs)

STEVE:

Well, I am sure a lot were, because someone new was coming on to the show, and I am not joking when I say, I started over here.  It’s great, and making that transition, and going to Nashville, and coming here has turned out to have been life-changing for me, personally.  Once there was an end, there was a new beginning for me.  I could not be more grateful.

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Sheila
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Sheila

This is one great interview Michael and Steve…..thanks from Beautiful BC.

Nanci
Guest
Nanci

I doubt I could ever enjoy Dylan and Sharon
as a couple! They lack chemistry that way in
my opinion. Some say they are good together,
but I am not seeing it, and in fact, I can see
Sharon just dragging him down soon enough.

I like Steve Burton a lot, and glad he seems
so happy on the soap and in his life in general.

Karen backer
Guest
Karen backer

I do not see Steve and Sharon together

Meg
Guest
Meg

thx michal

Meg
Guest
Meg

luv Dylan n Sharon ,

isa
Guest
isa

I have long been a fan of Steve & Sharon albeit on different shows,I am still a fan of both.Thx.for the interview.

robert
Guest
robert

Great interview. Steve sounds like a good person to be around. Liked what he said about Shylan being a love story.

DL
Guest
DL

Awesome interview! Steve is doing an amazing job on Y&R! So glad he’s there. Love his on screen chemistry with so many. Especially loving what he and Sharon Case are bringing together on screen with Shylan!

Shirley Strickler
Guest
Shirley Strickler

Great interview and the good buy scenes between Dylan & Avery were heart breaking ,love Steve Burton and will Miss Jessica Collins. Thanks for the interview.

Joanne
Guest
Joanne

Thanks for the interview Micheal. Love Steve’s comment about the scene in the hotel room, I could see Steve’s true emotion coming out there as he fought to get the words out, it was similar to when he was interviewed when he left GH.. I love all the scenes he does with Paul, you can see they are comfortable with one another. I just hope that with his relationship with Sharon the writers mix romance with the angst. I have been disappointed with recent scenes the way the cut off and leave us hanging in the romance department.

mollie
Guest
mollie

I, too, love Steve and Doug’s scenes as son/father. I LOVE that Dylan in Nikki and Paul’s bio-son. Their scenes are seamless and they really seem to care for each other as a new-found family. Great acting all around by Steve, Doug and Melody.

Laurie McRae
Guest
Laurie McRae

Thank you BOTH, Michael & Steve, for this wonderful, candid, insightful interview! Although I’m a total Shylan “shipper,” as I’ve said before, I don’t care who Dylan is with, as long as Steve Burton is in the role & happy playing him!

elm51
Guest
elm51

nice interview michael – thank you!

Harry
Guest
Harry

Ah, loved this interview, Mr Fairman–thank you.
Steve Burton has the bluest eyes in show business and he has a self effacing humor which comes through in both his interviews and in his acting.
I enjoyed what he said about Tony Geary and Eric Braeden.

PS. Is it me, or does Donald Trump remind anyone else of Victor Newman? I mean, think about it—Trump had a dark mustache and a German accent, he’d morph into Victor Newman.

Tricia
Guest
Tricia

I like that Dylan and Sharon are together and seeing sharon happy again and not bothering anyone else. Let her and Dylan move on the interview was great!!

Laine
Guest
Laine

U R right on! This guy picked up & carries it away! He conquered Victor (Eric)for Lord sake! A bit, just a bit of that JASON control we all love & know…he’ll never loose that! Loosing Avery, huge mistake, HUGE..Jessica Collins was a shining force, clean upstanding character the writers can’t figure out, or deal with AND she can COOK!!! Like the writers think we didn’t appreciate the recipes?………Sad we lost her, she and Phylis would have made such a perfect sounding board…worth a million in my book…AND so it goes, THEY just don’t listen! …..BURTON Love Sam & Liz… Read more »

Karen backer
Guest
Karen backer

No I disagree trump is loud and a pompous ass. Victor is low key and very controlling. Trump is a shiowoff. Victor is for his family and himself. Trump is out to try and conquer the world

Harry
Guest
Harry

One thing came to mind while reading this interview. Burton says he was finally given the opportunity to play a man in love with two women (Avery and Sharon) at the same time on Y&R.
When he played Jason Morgan, I clearly recall him being in love with both Lizzy and Sam at the same time.

Karen backer
Guest
Karen backer

Yes u r correct and I likes Jason much more on gh. On y&r he seems rto flounder between stories on gh he seemed more confident and solid

mpmajor
Guest
mpmajor

A Huge Big Thanks for this interview, Mr. Fairman and Steve Burton. I have been a viewer of Y&R only through the years of 1980’s, 1990’s, and 2000’s basically. So, only have watch this actor, Steve Burton, until he joined the cast of Y&R. I instantly love this actor SB as Dylan and how he met Sharon literally bumping into each others at Crimson Lights and the first person he became acquainted with after he arrived in a new place. How Dylan became friends with both Sharon and Faith are one of my favorite storyline and how Faith was smitten… Read more »

scyren
Guest
scyren

Hate Sharon but I love me some Steve so I’m trying to hang in there; just really bummed he’s stuck with Sharon now since she’s pregnant. Great interview. I’m so glad he’s still on daytime so I can get my daily fix. I do wish they’d stop making him such a bully though. They are making him one note and Dylan has so much more to offer than kissing Sharon’s butt and punching people. I want some depth to the character. I keep praying things will change. He was actually more likeable when he was with Chelsea but they always… Read more »

Kaylie Smith
Guest
Kaylie Smith

I watched Steve Burton for a very long time on GH and I’ve been watching him as Dylan on Young and the Restless and I’m sorry to say his character has lost the edge which, in my opinion has made him very boring to watch. He is a way better actor on General Hospital then he is on Young and the Restless the two don’t even begin to compare

Karen backer
Guest
Karen backer

Yes I agree

Nicole
Guest
Nicole

This is one leading man who is better than the average soap actor. Someone like Sharon can match and challenge him and they have great chemistry. I hope the writers let them marry and have a normal family unit.

edaem
Guest
edaem

Nice interview, Michael. I love Shylan and how this relationship began as friends. I remember wanting Sharon and Dylan to be siblings when he first came to Genoa City. I was still holding out for a permanent Shick reunion. Once that was torched with the terrible writing of the paternity story line, and Nick’s refusal to ever stand by Sharon, my desire for that couple was over. Shylan is the most root-worthy couple on Y&R. These writers have been known the throw a rock to a drowning man so I truly hope they don’t eff this story up. Go Shylan!

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

Steve is a great guy. I would love to meet him. I just dont see or remember anything that he has done on Y&R that is memorable, YET!

Dawn D
Guest
Dawn D

Great interview Michael. Steve comes across as a really genuine person. Been a fan of his since he started GH. I’ve gone to 2 of his concerts of Port Chuck and all of them seem great. I wish them all the best. I will say I’m not a fan of Sharon/Dylan as a pairing. Sharon should be a much stronger character.

nancy
Guest
nancy

I really enjoyed this interview. SB seems to be a great guy and I really enjoy watching him on the Y & R.
I am hoping that they will give him more of a story and get him out of the coffee shop more often. It seems such a waste of his talent.

Lisa
Guest
Lisa

Yes he needs to ho back to gh

Lucky
Guest
Lucky

I’m happy to know someone agrees with me. Let the real Jason come back! For some strange reason, TJ’s mother who is actually playing a FED on GH is actually Keesha Ward. I just had that strange feeling. I read a peice of article a few years ago with the possibility that GH was trying to recast members of the Ward family who was active in the 1990s. Senaiti Ashanti who played Keesha Ward was starting out her acting career and I thought she was brilliant. But I didn’t think GH writers were not ready to have a black female… Read more »

Lucky
Guest
Lucky

What do you think about that? GH ratings will go through the roof!

Harry
Guest
Harry

What? Keehsa who once dated Jason Q.? Oh, remember that and you’re wright. GH writers were racist back in the 1990s. I don’t think They would put them together becouse Jason is a different person; even back then. That shit wouldn’t work and Keesha has been off the rador for over 20 years. She would too old to play that role and Sam McCall got Jasom Morgan’s heart. He is can’t remember who is is right now.

Bella Brown
Guest
Bella Brown

I loved the Keesha Ward and Jason Q pairing but I don’t see the new Jason being able to pull it off and the only reason this last year of storyline and the bug reveal was set was so that the Liason fans could get the Liz Jason pairing they have always wanted and still somehow honor the JaSam fans as well. I didn’t buy the Patrick and Sam thing but Liason could have worked if he didn’t care about being his old self. Honestly I would like to see a different actor play Jason sense Steve is likely never… Read more »

scyren
Guest
scyren

Agree with you on many of your points. I just am not feeling nuJason or Billy. He is not Jason and I don’t want Jason to just be a normal guy. He was the most unique character on daytime. It’s like they have just wiped away his brain damage or something but he still is not like JQ. He’s a new character. I don’t want to see Jasam because I’m still pissed that Sam has not paid for her past. Most of the town doesn’t even know what she did to little Jake. She was never publicly exposed like Liz… Read more »

Lucky
Guest
Lucky

I see what you mean, but the only reason Jason Q. lost his memory, was due to a car accident that his brother AJ caused. He was a jealous kid who resented his parents for favoring Jason over him. However, he actually loved Keesha while struggling with alcohol addiction. I think they should have work things out and got married. I also thought the Quartemaines were more comfortable with AJ having someone to simpathize with him and not them directly deal with that issue. I can also understand why AJ statred drinking.

scyren
Guest
scyren

AJ started drinking before Jason came into the picture. He was away at boarding school. His drinking at the time had nothing to do with Jason. Understandable or not, he trashed his own life. He could have made different choices and manned up but he didn’t.

Harry
Guest
Harry

Dam, You have a good memory of that show back then. I’m impressed. I agree, The Quartermaine were a little prejudice and they didn’t want their “prize Jason” be with a black girl. I remember when Jason and Keesha went to Paris and how the 2 families were shocked and did not want them to go. I loved it because I know how white viewers react to that kind of thing. ha! ha!

Bella Brown
Guest
Bella Brown

The Shylan story is being well played and obviously baby Sullivan is either going to turn out to be Cristian Newman or he will be taken away or kidnapped or something. It’s Faith”s storyline all over again when she was born so it’s not a surprise that she’s living at the house now that Sullivan is there. I hope that means eventually Dylan and Sharon will somehow split. Maybe the PTSD thing will come up again for both of them and they just won’t be able to find their way back. I want Dylan with someone younger and more interesting.… Read more »

scyren
Guest
scyren

The baby story line is unbelievably cruel. I’m not enjoying it at all. That will be 3 babies that Dylan has lost—enough already. I also find Shylan believable as friends but do not have good sexual chem at all. It seems so forced and they don’t look really comfortable together. Dylan is supposed to be in his 40’s. The math wouldn’t work if he wasn’t. Sharon is supposed to be around 40. They sorased the kids but not the adults. I think mid 20’s would be way to young for him, but I would love to see him with someone… Read more »

Mary
Guest
Mary

I like Steve Burton the actor . I liked him better on General Hospital though.
I wish he had not left General Hospital . I would like to see him back on General Hospital someday . Maybe it is wishful thinking on my part.

He is a good actor though.

Delos Wilson
Guest
Delos Wilson

Steve Burton is one of the best emotional actors

Delos Wilson
Guest
Delos Wilson

Steve Burton is one of the best actors on the young an the restless I hope he don’t leave the show, as I stated one of the best emotional actors on the show bar none thanks

Keffen
Guest
Keffen

I wouldn’t Mind if Steve came back to Gh…he can come back to Gh and be the real Jason…and be surprise to see Sam is pregnant by the guy posing as Jason Morgan

Keffen
Guest
Keffen

Yes bring him back to Gh ..and let Sam Morgan be
Pregnant by Billy Miller…that will be a good storyline

Interviews

Y&R’s Peter Bergman Talks On Dina’s Death & How It Will Impact Jack, His Final Scenes With Marla Adams & Taping During COVID-19

The Abbott family is reeling from the death of their mother, Dina Mergeron, who passed away from complications from Alzheimer’s disease at the end of last Friday’s episode; signaling the end of an era for Dina’s portrayer, Marla Adams.  In a pivotal and heart-breaking scene, Dina shares one last goodbye with her children: Traci (Beth Maitland), Ashley (Eileen Davidson) and of course, Jack (Peter Bergman).

Today, the drama continues as the Abbott’s grieve Dina’s death and its aftermath while they remember the life of their flawed mother. This puts Jack at the epicenter of the family, and like it, or not, the new head of the clan.  What does the future hold for him now?

Michael Fairman TV chatted with three-time Daytime Emmy winner, Peter Bergman, who has embodied Jack for over 30 years on the top-rated CBS Daytime drama, to get his thoughts on: how Y&R needed to handle Dina’s death within the confines of the coronavirus pandemic and its safety protocols, what he felt about playing those final scenes with Marla Adams and the significance of the ‘teardrop of love’, and a preview of what fans can expect in the coming days as the impact of Dina’s death will be felt by the Abbott children and extended family.

 

An actor’s actor, you can always expect a conversation with Peter to be forthright, candid and enlightening, and this one was no different.  Here’s what one of the genre’s absolute best had to share about the significance of this story and more.

How has it been returning to Y&R during the pandemic?  I bet you never thought in all of your years in daytime, that you would be doing your scenes socially-distanced, sitting or standing, so far apart from your castmates.

Courtesy/CBD

PETER:  Just getting back to work felt great, loved that.  I wasn’t involved really in romantic scenes at this point, so that I didn’t have to do.  So, all in all, I was very happy to be back, and socially-distancing didn’t really bother me at all, and then Dina died.  Doing that from six feet away was just awful.  You saw the limits at a time where not any of us could be within six feet of each other; where you would usually hold a hand, stroke a brow, and talk softly.  So, I think the writers did what they needed to do to make it work for Dina’s exit.  We are in the middle of COVID, in case anybody forgot, and so you have to ask, ‘Does America really want to watch an elderly woman die in the middle of the Abbott living room or anywhere else?’  So, we had to have Dina’s exit without looking at a dead body, out of respect for the times we are living in.  We had to do a strong, powerful, pivotal scene with our hands tied behind our backs.

Courtesy/CBS

It’s so interesting that you say that because that’s how I felt watching it, knowing what it would have been like, if Jack, Ashley and Traci would have been with Dina at her bedside, up till the end, for instance.  But all of that said, Peter, I got so choked up in your last moments with Marla.  Jack is just sitting there and Dina is telling him how much she loved him and you’re doing the thing that only Peter Bergman can do as the tears well-up in your eyes.  As we have talked about previously, my mom died from complications from Alzheimer’s, so these are always tough types of scenes for me to watch.  I am sure it was also for those in the audience, who have lost a loved one to this disease, many of whom reached out to me on social media following its airing.

PETER:  It’s got to be tough for you to watch.  I get that.

Photo: Ed McGowan/Plain Joe Studios

Yes, so I felt for Jack and Dina in the moment as a son and his mother.  But what did you think about how the scene was written, and what Dina was saying to Jack and his sisters as her final goodbyes to her children and their reactions to it?

PETER:  As written, something in this necklace triggers something in Dina that brings her out of a stupor, brings her out of the murk, the fog for a brief instant to tell the people who she cares the most about that she loves them in slightly different ways.  I have, with everything in me, a struggle to always add in there, “I have a complicated relationship with my mother.”  I’ve added that line in there so many times over the years, you have no idea.  It was a complicated relationship because by the time she dies, there is no kind of straightening that out, there is no kind of Jack looking for answers. The depth of what Ashley is feeling, what Traci is feeling, what Jack is feeling, were kind of lost because of the way we had to do it. The writers had to do it, so I’m not blaming anyone, but because of the way we had to do it, there was no, “Wow, why isn’t Ashley crying?  Why is she just so stoic that this isn’t touching her at all?” because she can’t go there. Traci feeling like she found her place in the family simply by Dina saying, “You’re the beating heart of this family,” and Jack, who is doing the right thing, “She should leave peacefully, she should leave feeling loved, we should all be here, we should give her nothing but love,” damn, this is complicated.  You couldn’t have any of those things.  .  Hopefully, some of that slid in there and we wedged some of those complexities into it, but it was hard to write a complex scene with the situation as it was.  We needed to get it done it one day.  We did not need to drag this out.  Again, were it not COVID time, sure, let’s drag it out.  Let’s spend some time on this.  People die.  Let’s watch the family process a death.

Photo: CBS

I just think of what it all means for Jack moving forward.  Dina basically tells him, “You’re in charge of the family. Look after the family.” That’s kind of where it’s been going for Jack this whole time.  I don’t know if that’s what Jack wanted, but that’s where he is ending up.

PETER:  Right!  That’s where he ends up, and you know, this has been a long time coming.  Dad dies, and it is pretty clear that he’s got to step up, and his mom comes into town, and she’s not just his mother.  She’s Ashley’s mother; she’s Traci’s mother, we’ve got to look out for her and give her the dignity and things like that.  Now, there is just no getting around it.  Jack is the head of the family.  That’s the way it fell.  Twenty-five years ago, was Jack ready to be head of anything?  Absolutely not, but I think enough has happened to Jack now: enough heartache, enough growth, enough introspection, enough losing people, that Jack might just be ready for this job.

Courtesy/CBS

When Marla Adams came back to Y&R 2017, and they started telling the Alzheimer’s storyline, it brought up such abandonment issues for Jack and rightfully so, about how a mother could just leave her family and children,  Throughout all that,  you did such poignant work.

PETER:  I wanted that to be in there at the very end.  One of the powerful parts in this whole thing is that Jack wanted to scream at Dina every bit as much as he wanted to hug her.  That was there for quite a while, and Jack had to kind of come to terms with, “Hey, you’ve been leaning on this excuse for quite a time.  She’s here.  She can’t do you any harm.  She feels bad about what happened.  What do you want, Jack?”

Photo: CBS

One of the highlights of this storyline was when Y&R explored the history and relationship between the siblings, Jack, Ashley and Traci.  We saw their younger versions as the show flash-backed to when Dina left John and the Abbott family.

PETER:  Between the writers and Peter Bergman, we built this story that the night that Dina left, Dad was upstairs with the girls, they were weeping inconsolably, there was no fixing it, there was no telling them that everything was going to be all right.  He didn’t want to lie to them and say she will be right back, he told them, “She’s not coming back,” and he comes downstairs, and Jack is fourteen-years-old, and a little confused, but decided to say to his dad, “Hey, can I help?”  He looks across the room, and his dad is weeping, first time he had ever seen that.  His father is weeping, and he said, “Jack, you’re going to have to help me with the girls.  I can’t do all of this,” and it changed Jack’s life forever.  Jack was a parent to Ashley for a good part of their relationship.  So, all of this stuff with Jack’s identity, all of the fighting with Ashley, all of the Jabot madness is Ashley finally getting to say, “I don’t need a father!  You’re not my father.  Stop talking to me like you’re going to fix things for me!  I’m sick of it.”  All done by Dina … all truly caused by Dina.

Courtesy/CBD

In my interview with Marla, she told me that at the end of her last scene, you and many others came back to the set to pay tribute to her.

PETER:  We did.  The show had arranged it, and Tony Morina, the executive producer, stepped out on the soundstage with a microphone, and Marla sat on the sofa in the Abbott living room. Tony began telling a lovely, lovely story about how far back his relationship with her goes because Marla and Tony wife’s, Sally Sussman (Ex- head writer, Y&R), also had a long-standing relationship.  Tony was just so grand and gracious in saying that there are some people who, if they weren’t an actor, they’d be this or that or the other thing, but that Marla was born to be an actress.  That’s what she is, and it was so generous.  I think she got three and a half years that she didn’t expect to get out of this.  It was supposed to be a six-month storyline, and four years later, she was still there, and it was a good thing for her, and a unique story turn for the rest of us.  It really was.  It was a powerful thing, and now the Abbott family has a new shape.  There are three adults there: Ashley has established her independence, she is not around as much, she is back and forth between Paris, and Genoa City, Traci is trying to be as supportive and kind as she can be, but essentially, Jack is in the big house by himself.

Yep!  Well, now we’ve got to find Jack a good woman.

PETER:  Yes, or a bad woman.

… Or a bad woman!  I’ll take him in a relationship with someone to stir things up.  I also hear coming up, there will be the reading of Dina’s will.  Is there anything you can tease about that?

PETER:  There is a will read, yes.  No one knows what to expect, and Dina … in the end… comes through for almost everybody…

Courtesy/CBS

Well … that ought to be good.

PETER:  Yep… really comes through for almost everybody, and you know, the Abbott children are wealthier, and all three of them are alone, and in no small thanks to Dina for that.  These are three adults who have been very unlucky in love.  Of course, this is the next challenge.  I don’t mean to assume that I have any idea of what you went through in losing your mom, but there is a point at which you also have to let go and say, “Okay, now it is just me, and what do I want to do with this life?  I’ve used this as a reason not to move forward for a good while.  What am I going to do now?”  I think the next turn in the Jack Abbott story comes pretty organically.  Dina’s death frees Jack to be just as alone as he has ever been.

No matter what Jack does, including the bad things, you always see the inner-pain that is very palpable within him, as you have portrayed him.

PETER:  Yes, but he really has grown in the last 30 years.  Jack is hungry for more right now, and he couldn’t really be that way with Mom in the house.  He didn’t have time for that.  Now he has all of the time in the world.  So, we’ll see what he does with that.

Courtesy/CBD

I understand there is a funeral for Dina, but it will be off-camera?  I guess, because of COVID, it is better that way.

PETER:  That’s true and it’s off camera, that’s correct.  What’s important at most of these things isn’t what happens at the gravesite, it is what happens at the reception afterwards, and that is also a fun turn.  So, they all agree as a family they are going to do it at Society, and they kind of close the joint and make it their own little party, and someone shows up who isn’t expected, and it throws a really, really different vibe into the whole thing, and everybody has to adapt.  It’s actually fun, what it turns into.  It turns into a memory fest with crazy stories of Dina.

Courtesy/CBS

Do you have a favorite moment, or memory, of a scene you played with Marla?

PETER:  I think I had a day where Jack tried to get through to her and tell her, “Do you realize the damage you did?  Do you realize?” and she wasn’t able to take it in, and he went to Traci, and he said, “I want to shake her.  I want to yell at her… and I want to protect her.”  I thought there was something just so rich about that.  That was my favorite moment, my favorite part of it, when Jack finally said, “She’s going, man.  We’ve got to get this conversation done now.  We’ve got to talk this through,” and he was too late.   She was too far along with Alzheimer’s.  She wasn’t up to it.  She couldn’t do it.

Photo: JPI

And now here is Jack; and his parents are both gone.  There is no Jerry Douglas or Marla Adams on the show as both John and Dina have passed on within the history of The Young and the Restless.

PETER:  Again, you were generous enough to share your own personal experience, but isn’t it amazing?  Wow, you’re the grownup now.  Isn’t it amazing?  That’s what the Abbott’s are going through: just what you went through.  There is no older generation to turn to for anything.  We are the older generation.  It’s powerful stuff, and I’m really, really grateful for anytime that Ashley, Jack, and Traci are together talking about those things, talking about, “Wow, okay, that just happened… where do we go from here?”  It’s going to be really interesting.  If you asked me, “Over the last 30 years that you’ve played Jack Abbott, have there been many times where you’ve thought, ‘I’ve got no idea where this is going!’”  I would say, “Yeah, right now.”  I’ve got no idea where we are going with this.

Courtesy/CBS

There has been much speculation that the “teardrop of love” necklace will lead Jack to a new romance, or some new adventure in his life.  They spent a lot of time mentioning it in short order, that it would seem it’s not just to bring Dina some closure.  What are your thoughts on it?

PETER:  I think it has legs.  I think you’re going to hear about it again. There is something in there, and I don’t know if it’s the teardrop’s magic charm or that its history is not what it was, or it gets stolen.  I don’t know, but I think we have spent enough time saying ‘teardrop of love’, that there could be a story there.

In Dina’s final moments where Jack brings her the ‘teardrop of love’, wasn’t it symbolic to her because it was her acknowledgement of having her family back together and with her at all times? There is a back-story to that piece of jewelry as well.

PETER:  The point of the necklace is, “This was when I was truly happy, when I had this necklace, when it is all back together,” and maybe we are to know something more about the teardrop…?  I don’t know.  So, this was a gift to her before Jack was born.  She wore it home from the hospital when she brought him home, but we don’t know exactly what year she got it, and we don’t know exactly what year she lost it.  It was stolen, and it was on the black market for a while, and Victor (Eric Braeden) was looking into it.  It was clear that it was very important to Dina.  So, Jack, against his own wishes, said, “No, I’ve got to do the right thing.  I’ve got to try to trace this thing down.  It clearly means something to her.  Maybe she is trying to tell us something.  God only knows.”  So, he did the right thing, not because, “I want to make Mommy happy,” but because he forced himself to do the right thing, to find the damn necklace, and to see what this is about.  Then, we saw the affect it had when he gave it to her.

Photo: CBS

It’s always good to chat and check-in with you during these key and historical moments in the life of the character of Jack Abbott.  There have been many throughout your time on Y&R, and it will be interesting to see where this goes from here.

PETER:  It will be, and I’m telling you, this is a real moment.  Normally, we just go from one story into the next, into the next, and this one has been hanging for so long that, “Okay, now that it is over, wow, what is going to happen to Jack?”  I’m just as curious as everybody else.

So, what do you think will happen next for Jack?  Did you reach for the hankies in Peter’s final scenes with Marla Adams?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Interviews

Marla Adams Talks Her Final Scenes As Dina Mergeron, The Alzheimer’s Storyline, and Her Touching Farewell

Today on The Young and the Restless marks the end of the enduring run of Marla Adams in the role of Dina Mergeron. In story, Dina passes away from complications from Alzheimer’s disease. It’s a storyline that started four years ago when the CBS Daytime drama brought back the character and Adams; and one that has deeply affected many in the viewing audience who have also had their own personal experience of losing a loved one to this dreadful disease.

If you have not seen today’s episode yet, you may not want to read any further, but needless to say, make sure you have the hankies ready for Dina’s final moments with her children and how she leaves this earth, which will be remembered for quite some time to come.

Marla originated the role of the rich and spoiled Abbott matriarch back in 1983 and portrayed the role on and off for what amounts to five decades. Her classic scenes with Jerry Douglas (Ex-John), Eileen Davidson (Ashley) and so many more from the iconic soap, always made for great and complex stories.

 

With this her final airdate on Y&R, it also puts an exclamation point for Marla on an incredible daytime career having also appeared on: The Bold and the Beautiful. Capitol, Days of our Lives, Generations and The Secret Storm

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Adams in this very special conversation where she shared with us how it was to play these heartbreaking last scenes, the importance of the ‘teardrop of love’ necklace to the story, how Y&R gave her the most overwhelming and beautiful send-off, and her ‘thank you’s’ to all of you, who have been her extended family and are sad to see her go. She is one-of-a-kind …and now, here’s Marla.

Photo: Getty

Marla, I am so glad we have the opportunity to chat in this full-circle moment as you have brought the character of Dina to a close.

MARLA:  It’s such a joy to talk to you.  It seems like yesterday and an eternity as well.   I thought of you so much, and I remember talking to you specifically with all of the different interviews over the years, when I was at the studio.  But I will always remember the interview you did with me and Beth Maitland (Traci), my darling soul sister, and you talked to me about your mother who has since passed on from Alzheimer’s.  I’ll never forget what you had to say all those months ago

Photo: HallmarkChannel

Yes, and when as audience members we watch these stories unfold with characters we have loved, or watched on our screens for years, and there is a death, we feel connected to them as well.  And in this case, as a child who has lost a parent to Alzheimer’s, like many in the audience, you ask yourself first, “Can I watch this?” It hits very close to home, but I’m sure when people watch today’s episode of Y&R and see Dina pass away, they will be extraordinarily moved.

MARLA:  Oh, my gosh.  Wait until you people see Friday’s show.  I know they will be moved.  They should be!  I’ve got friends who I’ve already said to, “Get your Kleenex box out.”  It’s so beautiful what happens at the end of the episode.

Courtesy/CBD

How did you feel about playing Dina’s final scenes?

MARLA:  It was wonderful because it showed her lifetime of sorrow and regret, and what was so wonderful was the fact that the hero of the whole thing is the kindness and respect that she really did have for her whole family.  They had the most beautiful sendoff for me.  They sent me a limo!  I went to the studio, and dear Patti Denney (Make-up artist, Y&R) was there, of course with all kinds of makeup and everything else, and she looked like she was entering the ER room for Covid-19, because of all the safety protocols we must have.  It was unbelievable, the kindness that was served to me.  After we finished taping my final scenes, I came back to the soundstage and they totally surprised me.  Dear Tony Morina (executive producer, Y&R) and Sally Sussman (Ex-head writer, Y&R) were there, and Tony spoke about me, and so did my Y&R extended family and on-screen children: Peter Bergman (Jack), and Beth Maitland, and Eileen Davidson, and much of it was put on tape (see excerpts in video below).  Afterwards, Tony gave me beautiful flowers.  I was driven back home after this, and I felt really special, and it was just amazing to me. I had written Josh Griffith (Current head-writer and co-executive producer, Y&R) a ‘thank you’ for writing the show with his wonderful people, but I never heard back, but when I walked in my apartment, the phone was ringing.  Guess who?  It’s Josh!  He said, “I waited until I knew you would be home to thank you,” and I felt so lovey-doved up, I couldn’t believe it.  I want to read something to you that I received in the wonderful flowers that came the next day from CBS Daytime executive Margot Wain and others.  The flowers were so big that they didn’t fit on the bar!  The card read: “Thank you for bringing the amazing force that is Abbott matriarch, Dina Mergeron to countless fans of The Young and the Restless.  Your vast contribution to Y&R and CBS for more than five decades is unparalleled.  We are forever grateful for all you’ve brought to Y&R as both a consummate professional and a cherished co-worker.  All our best wishes.”  I was just so touched by the sentiments.

Photo: CBS

I also want to share something with you.  When it was revealed in the promo that came out last week that this would be your last show, I received so many notifications on social media, saying, “Oh, my God!  We love Marla!  You have to interview her!”  You are loved by the Y&R fans.  I hope you know that!  They’re sad to see you go, because you’re a legacy character to them, and soap fans have deep connections to characters that have been on their favorite soaps for decades.

MARLA:  Five decades!  My God!  I’m eighty-freaking-two.  I can’t believe it.

Courtesy/CBS

In story, Jack was on a mission to get the ‘teardrop of love’ necklace back to Dina before she died, hoping that she would have one last moment of lucidity and would recall it and it would hopefully make her happy.   He moves heaven on earth to get it, and does, and brings it to her and viewers saw her reaction. 

MARLA:  The necklace had never been anywhere before in story except recently, but I said to myself that I would play it ‘quietly and graciously’, because it made for such a beautiful moment for Dina with her children.

Courtesy/CBS

For Dina, the necklace was a symbol of remaining connected to her family and her children, even when she was not with them all of those years.  In your final scenes, Dina had these moments to say goodbye to each of your children.  Do you remember looking at Eileen, Traci, and Peter taping those highly emotional beats?

MARLA:  Yes, they were so there for me.  They are an extended family that is so precious to me, and playing this iconic character has been, too.  I remember when Sally Sussman told me a few years ago, “ I’m going to bring you back on The Young and the Restless, but you’ve got Alzheimer’s,” and I said, ‘What!?  You’re bringing me back so you can kill me off?’ and she said, “Oh no, it’ll be about a year.”  That dissolved into four years, and now five decades had passed and I was still on Y&R.  I am beyond grateful.

Courtesy/CBD

As an actress, was it hard to play Dina’s final moments when she goes to the light to join her beloved, John?

MARLA:  It was heart-wrenching for me.  In the story, Dina died when she went outside and to the front door of the Abbott home.  They did not tell me before-hand, and that’s why it was so wonderful.  I hope they came in for a closeup of that because I had no makeup on, it was beautiful, and then, Dina said, “Oh, John.”  I’ve done everything from movies, to daytime, to nighttime, to Broadway, but that was the iconic moment for me, to do this gig with wonderful, wonderful actors and friends, and to do this particular storyline.

Photo: CBS

It was 1983 when you first appeared on Y&R.  And through the years, Dina did not do such great things! She had an affair with Brent Davis who was the biological father of Ashley that caused such a rift between mother and daughter for years.  She abandoned the Abbott children and walked out on them and her marriage to John, and that’s just for starters! Dina was a complicated character. Did you love the fact that she could be very selfish at times?

MARLA:  You think?  That’s why I loved her.  Of course!  I can be very selfish, too.  You have to be selfish if you’re an actor, good God. (Laughs).

Courtesy/CBS

It was great that The Young and the Restless brought you back four years ago so that through the telling of the Alzheimer’s storyline that Dina was able to somewhat repair her relationships with her children.  Obviously, over the last many months the audience could not witness the more day to day progression and toll the disease took on Dina and her family in its final stages, but unfortunately with the way COVID-19 has affected shooting daytime soap operas, and all of our lives, including safety protocols, I am sure plans had to be altered,

MARLA:  Of course.  As an actress, this was the most important role of my life, and to have her final moments spread out in one day really is because of all of the fans who have been writing in and wanting to see Dina again,

Photo: CBS

People were rooting for you to win the Daytime Emmy back in 2018 when you were nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. That must be a nice moment to carry with you from playing Dina’s final storyline.

MARLA:  Yes, and I should have won!  Eric Braeden (Victor, Y&R) was furious. (Laughs)  He said, “What do you mean, darling, you should have won!  Goddammit!” He’s a wonderful man and a good friend.  He came to pick me up several times to go to the studio for my last few shows, and that’s the kind of mensch he is. So, I feel just so blessed and I feel great love and loss.  I would like Dina to come back as a ghost, but I have no idea, if that will happen or not. But if the fans would be interested in seeing Dina as a ghost … make sure to write in to the show and tell them!

Courtesy/CBS

Speaking of the fans that have followed you for decades on Y&R, what would you want to say to them now that Dina has passed on?

MARLA:  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for all of the love, the support, and the chance to play Dina out… and I’m thankful that you cared, and loved her, up till the end.

So what did you think about Dina’s final moments on today’s Y&R? Will you miss Marla Adams?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below.  But first check out the special behind the scenes tribute for Marla, followed by The Michael Fairman Channel’s interview with Marla and Beth Maitland from Y&R’s 45th anniversary celebration referred to during the above conversation.

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Interviews

B&B’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood Talks Steffy’s Opioid Addiction Storyline, The Emotional Scenes & Adjustments Made Due To COVID-19

If you have been watching CBS’ The Bold and the Beautiful over the last two weeks, you have witnessed the compelling and important storyline unfold with Steffy Forrester (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood) at its epicenter.  In a harrowing tale of opioid addiction that can so easily happen to anyone given the circumstances, the daytime drama took on a social issue prevalent and rising in our society today.

This story gave Daytime Emmy-winner, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood another chance to shine in some of the most deeply affecting episodes and scenes in soaps of 2020.  In story, after Bill Spencer (Don Diamont) accidently hit Steffy with his car while she was on her motorcycle; she became hospitalized to treat her injuries. Once there, she met new love interest, Dr. Finnegan or as the show calls him “Finn” played by newcomer, Tanner Novlan. Finn prescribes pain medication for her. But before you know it, once Steffy is out of the hospital and back at home she struggles with the pain and the isolation of her life, and the losses she has experienced over the last many months, and before you know it, she is addicted, and no longer getting the pills from her doctor, but by any means possible.

Last week, we named Jacqui’s work the ‘Power Performance of the Week’, but we are also giving it to her again this week for her masterful performance on Tuesday’s episode, where Steffy breaks down after being confronted by Finn, Liam (Scott Clifton) and her father, Ridge (Thorsten Kaye) and finally coming to the stark realization that she is an addict.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Jacqueline MacInnes Wood after all the key scenes had aired to: get the inside Intel on what went down taping those moments, and how the show made some important decisions amid the coronavirus pandemic about the telling of this storyline. Here is what Jacqui had to say about: her co-stars, herself, and what she learned about those who struggle with addiction.

Courtesy/CBS

How did you feel about being handed the ball to tell this important story, and how much were you told ahead of time?

JACQUELINE: Originally, I was told that we were going to tell this story, and that was before Covid-19.  So, it was literally the week before we went into lockdown, and we were about to dive into this story. Obviously, I am so grateful to be able to tell this story because traditionally The Bold and the Beautiful has a long list of social stories that we are known for telling.  It is something that that we need to talk about because it is happening, and it is happening everywhere.  Someone knows somebody – it is in our family, or our friends are dealing with this, and I didn’t realize how close to home it was for so many people.  I think that with our show, the way we balance drama, and romance, and real social issues that really touch people, is special.  I noticed that throughout this week with so many people reaching out to me.  People who are police officers, to people who actually work with people who are addicted, people who were addicted have reached out to me.  There have been a lot, but I’m very honored, again, to dive into this story.

A lot of fans and viewers remarked along the lines of “Wow, Steffy got addicted very fast,” because it felt like the story kind of accelerated itself, and some people are like, “Well, they just told it too fast.”  I wondered how you felt about that, knowing what you know about soap operas and research you may have done on addictions.

JACQUELINE:  I did some research on YouTube on opioid addiction from first-hand accounts of addicts and the effect on just them, but also on the grief it had caused their families. I originally had mistakenly thought, “It must take years to become addicted,” and I was very surprised by how quickly and easily one can be trapped in pain management, and many cases are heartbreaking.  You always think, with opioids, “Oh, this can’t happen to a lot of people,” but it’s not just, “Oh, the ‘crackhead’ down the street…”  It could be a mom, or these people who have a surgery, or an accident, and then they just get on these pills, and it happens so quickly.  Yes, the storyline happened extremely fast, but there is truth to it because addiction does happen very quickly in this world.  The other thing I have to say, I think what Brad Bell (executive producer and head writer, B&B) did so elegantly, is that we were going to tell this story, and we were going to tell this story for a very long time.  I love that he was very perceptive to this – that we are in a dark time right now.  It’s a dark world, and I think that it is important, again, to shed some light on this, but we didn’t want to necessarily drag it on too long because it’s like, you watch every news outlet, and it’s depressing, and it’s depressing everywhere.  Before Covid-19, this story would have been a lot longer, and I think it was kind of realizing, “Let’s take it back.  But, let’s dive into this.” I think we were also being mindful of the viewers because we are shedding light on this, but also, opioid addiction had now skyrocketed through this pandemic, and this quarantine.  I think, again, it’s important to tell this story, but we didn’t want to be another show that is just so depressing right now during such a depressing time.

Photo: JPI

Right, so the story won’t be as elongated , but obviously, she will always have this addiction now, which is always great as a character, to delve back into, that Steffy will have in her physical and emotional make-up now.

JACQUELINE:  Absolutely.  She will always have that.  She will always have to be mindful of it.

What did you think about Dr. Finn in all of this?  Do you think that he should have caught on earlier that this was happening to Steffy?

JACQUELINE:  (Laughs) Yes, absolutely.  I think, Steffy was pretty good at hiding it from him, especially the last time when she invited him over, and she said she didn’t need the pills.  However, on Tuesday’s episode when there was that huge explosion, and he really got to see that visceral side of Steffy as defiant and angry, that was a lot for him to take in.  Tanner has been doing such an incredible job of diving into this and telling this story, but yeah, you wonder if Finn noticed, but again, I do think Steffy was pretty good at hiding it.

She was pretty slick, but when she got the pills from Vinny, I kept thinking, “What did he give her?”, because they seemed awfully strong, or laced obviously with another drug. 

JACQUELINE:  When Steffy got the pills from Vinny, that was the first thing I said, “Is this just opioids?” Now, she’s getting it off the street, and we just don’t know.  It’s laced with God-knows-what.  She has no idea because she’s not getting it from an actual doctor; she’s getting it from Vinny.

Courtesy/CBS

So, when Tanner came to the show, did you read screen-test with him?  What was your initial thought of him and Steffy finally having a potential new relationship?

JACQUELINE:  He is absolutely wonderful.  It’s funny because we have a lot of friends in common, and he is a fellow Canadian, and we bonded over that.  He originally screen-tested, I think, a few days before we went into lockdown.  So, who knew that we were not going to be able to work with each other for months and months and months, but he has been completely added to the group, and it is a different world that we are navigating, especially with how we are filming on set and the 8 feet apart rules, and you have these emotional scenes, and you feel like you just want to grab someone, and hold them, and cry.  I have so many fans going, “My God, I just wanted one of the characters to hold you!” and then you’re like, “COVID,” and nobody can really touch me, so…

Photo: JPI

Isn’t he kissing his wife though as your stand-in?  B&B alum, Kayla Ewell?

JACQUELINE: Yes, yes he is!  I just thought it was priceless that, how long have I been on the show, that Steffy has just been pining away for Liam for years, and years, and years, and finally gets the go-ahead, and she’s going to get a new love interest, and I’m like, “Woo-hoo!” and then, COVID happened, and I find out, “Your love interest is going to be a doll!”  So, he gets his wife, which is great.  My husband has been completely supportive, but my husband has not come in.  I don’t think it would work playing opposite him as Tanner, but his wife actually has a very similar look to me, which is great.  So, she’s been in a few times, which has been amazing!  I get the foam doll. (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

I was just thinking it’s so funny, too.  Steffy FINALLY gets a new man, but she is with a doll! 

JACQUELINE:  I know, I know.

Photo: JPI

What’s great about when you get to play these kinds of emotional levels in an addiction storyline … or anything that kind of flips the character’s mental state, is that you get to see the anguish.  You know, we’ve never seen Steffy discuss or really say anything about having Beth taken from her, whom she raised her as ‘Phoebe’, and then losing Liam to Hope, and this is kind of addressing her pain through this story arc, which I thought was really good, that it wasn’t just swept under the table.  The characters, the audience, and Steffy were realizing that she had emotional baggage and distress over those losses.  How did you feel when taping those scenes with the confrontation where she pulls out a switchblade on Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang), Ridge, Liam and Hope (Annika Noelle)? Those were great scenes. 

JACQUELINE:  Thank you, thank you.  We didn’t know how we were going to be able to do these scenes.

Because of the social distancing?

JACQUELINE:  Well, yeah, social distancing!  We did it in one take.  It was a long 10-12 page scene.

Photo: Gilles Toucas/Bell-Phillip Television

Well, the final 7 minutes of that episode were just a riveting; which included that knife scene, which in itself was gut-wrenching to watch, as I assume it must have been to play?

JACQUELINE:  It was a big scene, and it was a big, emotional week for all of us, obviously, and I couldn’t have done it without my cast.  They were so phenomenal as well.  We were trying to think, “How are we going to do this?”  Thorsten Kaye came up with this idea that Steffy should have a knife because Ridge would want to go to her and grab her, and the only thing that would maybe keep him away.  She is so angry, and she does have so much emotional baggage, and yes, she is in pain from her motorcycle accident, but I think that a lot of people saw in that phone call from Hope, where Hope said, “Oh, Kelly wants to spend another night,” that was that whole mental shift of, “Oh, my God, this is my worst fear.  It’s finally happening.  My daughter doesn’t want to stay here.  I am truly alone.  I don’t have anybody.”  Her life up to now has been about raising Kelly, and then that was that whole baggage unload – the pain of all of the years of what the Logans had done to the Forresters – it was just a domino effect. She obviously is not dealing with the pain in a pragmatic way.  I think Steffy was using the pills to mitigate her misery, physically and emotionally.

Courtesy/CBS

I think there were two turning points … after the switchblade incident, when she finally realized, “Oh, my God, what am I doing?  I’ve got this knife,” and she gets rid of it.  She does seem to have these moments (in that episode and the one that aired Tuesday) where she realizes, “Oh, my God, I’m messed up,” which were heartbreaking moments.  Do you remember playing that moment of, “Oh, my God, I’m an addict,” where Steffy admitted it out loud?

JACQUELINE:  Yeah!  It was extremely difficult.  I’m really good at being able to work on set and being able to leave it behind.  That’s the one thing that people will say to me, “What is it like off of set?  It must be so emotional for you!”  Once we say cut, I’m done.  I don’t mentally check out from the scenes, but I’m just able to let go because we just have so many episodes and so many emotional scenes, but I have to say this took a little while to shake.  I had to get into my car, and I was still emotional, and I had to put some good music on, and blare it, and drive home.  To know that these things are happening in the world and it is happening to so many people, it just breaks my heart, and I still get emotional about it.  It is gut-wrenching to know that this happens.  When I have those emotional scenes, (especially like that) I can’t fake it.  That’s just not who I am.  I can’t just fake cry to get through it.  Yeah, I’m an actor, but even though we film so quickly, even though it’s usually just one take, even though we are crying all day with all of these scenes, I really like to emotionally get there.  Obviously, over the years, I’ve learned to get there quicker, and I am really proud of myself for that, but what you see is what you get.  Those are real emotions.  I am just as present as I possibly can be in that scene and just listening to Ridge, and Liam, and Finn and just taking it all in – then Steffy realizes that she is addicted, just that moment of everything breaking down; her whole world was falling apart.  I think it was an important moment, but we were just really there for one another in that scene.

 

Scott Clifton, I just really want to say, throughout that week, had to play annoyingly holier-than-thou with you as Steffy.  People were annoyed with Liam.  He was the perfect annoyance to get her really pissed off!

JACQUELINE:  Yeah, I know!  It was actually funny at one point because so many fans were like, “Steffy was out of her mind!  She was clearly on drugs!”  I love the Steffy fans who were like, “Liam is so wrong!”  You could see how loyal the fans were.

Courtesy/CBS

They were!  It was great, but Liam was super annoying. That being said; did you watch back last Friday’s episode where after Steffy runs out, the camera pans to Scott, and Liam breaks down and cries?  So good. 

JACQUELINE:  Yep, yep.  I know, it was so good, and that was him!  That’s what I find so beautiful is that when you are in that scene, you don’t know what the reactions are going to be, and I know that was so true and authentic of Scott.  It was a genuine emotion that came out of him. I hadn’t seen him break down in a long time, but it was so unexpected, but I was glad to see it, really glad.

Photo: JPI

We haven’t seen Bill Spencer come to Steffy yet.  How does she feel about that?

JACQUELINE:  That’s a good question.  I don’t know how Steffy is going to feel about that.  I think, obviously before the addiction happened, she would blame him for hitting her on her motorcycle, but you never know, things could change coming up with Bill and Steffy.

Well, he will probably blame himself now for the addiction, I would think, because he hit her.

JACQUELINE:  I think so, too.  That’s one of the things he may be playing in those scenes.  So, we shall see.

Courtesy./CBS

Talk to me about Thorsten Kaye in those scene with you as the dad, because in the episode we saw Tuesday, there was a powerful moment when he just sat beside Steffy, but not holding her at the very end.  I thought that was a very nice touch given also Covid-19 protocols.  At that point they weren’t dragging Steffy out into a rehab facility.  We just watched him sitting there quietly while Steffy had this reckoning to herself. 

JACQUELINE:  I really liked it.  I liked that we had a lot of those chill moments of taking each other in. Thorsten and I get along so well.  We’ve just always had a bond, and I love working with him because in rehearsal, we do something one way, and then, again, when you’re filming, it’s always so unexpected, you don’t know what he is going to throw at you, which makes you be even more present.  It’s a tough scene.  I was feeding off of him and vice versa, and I’m sure he was putting himself in that situation of God-forbid if his daughters were in this situation, and you know, I’m looking at him in that father-daughter moment and seeing him become emotional for his daughter.  It just kills you, it really does, but it was a heartbreaking moment, but I like how we ended the scene: with something as very simple as sitting beside each other.

Courtesy/CBS

Your fans and the soap pundits are saying that obviously you have your Emmy reel for next year, it’s done.  It’s right there.  This may just make you a two-time Lead Actress Daytime Emmy winner.

JACQUELINE:  Aw, that’s so sweet.

It is great for you because you have an arc of a story there to tell, and we’ve talked about this before – an arc of a story for a submission in Emmy competition seems what many of the judges like to see and can understand because they watch the performer in scenes from the progression of a story.   

JACQUELINE:  Definitely, and it was nice to know that I was going to do this story and that we were going to tell this story, but once we came back months later, I didn’t know that we were still going to dive into opioid addiction with Steffy, because again, with our show, and with a lot of soaps, storylines change all of the time. I am very grateful for it.

 

So, what can we tease?  Will Steffy get Kelly back, or will she be estranged from her for a little bit?  What do you think?

JACQUELINE: I think that Steffy is a strong woman, and I think she will come back stronger than ever, and I think she will get her daughter.

Courtesy/CBS

You should be very, very proud of this work, Jacqui!

JACQUELINE:  Thank you.  I am.  During the week, when we had all of the dialogue to do, and it’s a different world now when you’re taking care of a toddler, and then with the Covid-19 protocols, and then you get the story, (and again, so grateful for it), but it was so much dialogue, and going back and forth, and making sure you’re bringing it emotionally, and it was extremely challenging, to say the least,  But, I am really proud of myself that come that Friday I was like, “Oh, my God, we did it.  We did it!”

What have you thought of Jacqueline’s performances in the opioid addiction storyline? Were you glad to hear the show decided not to drag out the story due to the times we are all in? Do you feel this storyline was powerful and could help those in need of help? Share your thoughts on the interview with Jacqui and more via the comment section below.

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B&B’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood deliver the Power Performance of the Week as Steffy’s drug addiction leads to a confrontation and intervention by her loved ones with dire consequences.  Here is the last seven minutes that featured Emmy-winner Wood at her best. Leave A Comment

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Power Performance

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General Hospital

Airdate: 10-08-2020

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