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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
Sheila

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

Nanci
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
Karen backer

I do not see Steve and Sharon together

Meg
Meg

thx michal

Meg
Meg

luv Dylan n Sharon ,

isa
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
robert

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

DL
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
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
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
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
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
elm51

nice interview michael – thank you!

Harry
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
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
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 a bet??? Kinda 4got, huh! Huh! U look like Jeter too by the way! Not a bad thing! Love U more thAn my luggage too by the way!

Karen backer
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
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
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
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 with Dylan and how he found her after getting lost in the woods and how he kissed Faith to get her to wake up was one of the endearing scenes between Dylan and Faith and how they bonded ever since. Sharon has been disappointed and treated horribly by her ex-husband and childhood love, Nick Newman, and taking Faith away from her or taking away the 50/50 custody was not necessary. I really hope Sharon and Faith have a happy ending with Dylan and that Sharon will finally have some sense of security and a future with a life with Dylan, Faith, and possibly a baby in the future. So, loving Shylan and happy to see my favorites Sharon and Dylan and of course Faith. Thanks again for this interview.

scyren
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 make him appear to be dumb.

Kaylie Smith
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
Karen backer

Yes I agree

Nicole
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
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
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
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
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
Lisa

Yes he needs to ho back to gh

Lucky
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 playing a major role with an upcoming white actor during that time. Then, Steve Burton wanted to play a meaner role in order to keep his job as an actor. However, GH still could’ve built Keesha ward’s character as time progressed. That was the 1990s. This the second decade of the millinium and a lot has changed since. It would be nice to see Keesha again; even if another black female actress can sell the role. What do you think?

Lucky
Lucky

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

Harry
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
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 to return. He moved to Nashville. That was nail in the coffin on staying at GH. But Billy Miller is not doing it for me. He’s the complete opposite of Jason Morgan. Hes super expressive in emotional scenes but in a ackward way. Hes very in your face when he talks and he leans ALOT. Jason was stoic and seemingly unresponsive in very important scenes. I think the leaning and super ackward closeness he gets in scenes is Billy’s way of trying to hide nerves when working with veteran actors that have more of a role in his story than he does right now. I’d like to see JaSam but apart of me just wished they left him dead. STEVE had an incredible chemistry with all of those actors that flowed very naturally. Romance can’t be forced and it looks like that’s exactly what they are doing to please the crowd. That being the case I wish this Jason turned out to be a clone or something because he doesn’t do it for me in this character at all. I don’t think he can do JaSam justice and Liason is over. Let them all move on. Keesha would be great with Rick I think. I’d also like to see her and Carl become friends and also complicate things for Sonny the Jeromes and the Quartermaines. She could be great and also would make a great catalyst for bringing back Robin to PC with Anna’s help and hunting down Jerry Jacks. She could be a very key player if the writers would make the effort

scyren
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 always is. That should have never been forgotten. Heck Jason even remember or know about that tidbit but every one of Liz’s sins is exposed. They even had Sam joke about sleeping with men and conning them. Ewww. Jason should have never gotten back with her because it was a slap in the face of his son who he willingly walked away from. So, I have no desire to see them. They bored me. I just don’t like the Jake character at all. He was a bump on the log for most of the time since he appeared. They are forcing everything. I agree with that for sure.

Lucky
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
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
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
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. Sharon is beautiful and interesting but in a more old fashion sense. They made Steve lose wait so the character could look younger but then they’ve paired him with women that seem to be in the early 40”s stage. Sharonville has teenage an adult kids. I’d like to see him with a mid to late 20 something with a bit of a wilder or troublemaker side. I’m not saying another Sam McCall, been there done that, but this playing house thing is boring. Maybe a younger girl with no kids and a one nightstand or something simple and it starts out where she can’t stand that’s he’s so nice and always trying to help her. Maybe she resents him or something. But Steve has the chops to do pretty much anything except play the antagonist. He can make it work. Right him into a corner and then let him struggle with getting out if it. Adam is a perfect example. He tries to do what’s right sometimes but he makes huge mistakes. I’d like to see a lit more that way with Dylan but less evil

scyren
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 in their 30’s. They need to give Dylan more layers. They had him blindly kissing Sharon’s butt and it made him look like an idiot. He never follows directions (Paul) and it makes him look stupid. I’m tired of them making him look brainless. You’re telling me that no one but the crazy person Patty noticed that Sharon didn’t have a belly? Really? He barely gave Sharon a 2nd thought while she was in Fairview. The writing was so horrible. Please break Sharon and Dylan up. They are just not lighting up the screen. They do nothing for me and give Dylan his brain back.

Mary
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
Delos Wilson

Steve Burton is one of the best emotional actors

Delos Wilson
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
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
Keffen

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

Interviews

B&B’s Katherine Kelly Lang on That ‘Brill’ Kiss, 33 Years as Brooke, Her Co-Stars & International Success

Just when you think Brooke will finally score a moral victory in her vendetta with Thomas Forrester, (who’s manipulations almost destroyed her marriage to his father, Ridge), then she finds herself once again in hot water, and with a secret that in the wrong hands could cause a seismic shift to several relationships – that would he hers and her sister Katie’s – thanks to that ill-timed smooch with Bill!

But what else is new for Brooke? For 33 years, the character has captivated audiences with bold moves, questionable choices, enduring romances and plenty of gusto, all in the more than capable hands of her portrayer, the one and only Katherine Kelly Lang.

This week marks Katherine’s 33rd-year in the role of Brooke Logan Forrester, who along with John McCook (Eric Forrester), are the two original cast members since the very inception of the CBS daytime drama; which debuted back on March 23, 1987.  Now over three decades later, Lang is an international favorite. First, due to the success and broad appeal of B&B in foreign countries, but second, from her own entrepreneurship and hustle.  Always with multiple projects going on at once, Lang and her beau, Dom Zoida recently opened the American version of the Italian clothing and leather store in Beverly Hills, California, Benheart USA.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Katherine to get the lowdown on: Brooke’s line-up of nemesis’ which seems to be growing! (Yes, you can put Thomas, Quinn and Shauna on that list, for sure.) Plus, what she feels this B&B anniversary is truly about, how she and others in the cast are coping with the ‘stay at home’ orders in California during the coronavirus pandemic, the recent loss of B&B co-creator, Lee Phillip Bell, and those all-time classic Stephanie and Brooke scenes opposite Susan Flannery and more.  Here’s what this BOLD original had to share with all of you.

Photo: JPI

What did you think about Brooke’s whole relationship with Thomas (Matthew Atkinson) and the tit-for-tat between them?  Brooke really stood up to him and his manipulations, and held her ground. Meanwhile, he was going to do everything he could do ruin her and cause so much trouble for Brooke’s marriage to Ridge (Thorsten Kaye).

KATHERINE: This is my feeling: she was so adamant and so trying to convince people about Thomas and that he was so out for himself;  and out for Brooke’s daughter, Hope (Annika Noelle), and very manipulative, and nobody would listen really.  Only a few people like Liam (Scott Clifton) did and her daughter finally agreed with her.  Then at the wedding of Thomas and Zoe (Kiara Barnes), it proved that Brooke was right all along.  I still don’t feel like Brooke got her due as far as what everybody was saying.

No, she didn’t!  No one really said to her in a grand way, “Oh, my God, Brooke!  You were right about Thomas all along.”

KATHERINE:  I know!  Ridge did say, “You were right,” and that’s great.  However, more people should have apologized and acknowledged her, and said, “Oh, we understand now where you were coming from,” and, “Hey!  Good intuition!”

Photo: JPI

That was must have been so frustrating to Brooke!  She knew the truth, and everybody was treating her so badly and painting her to be the bitch.

KATHERINE:  Yup!  They dubbed herthat crazy one” and the bitch.

Was all of this enjoyable to play?

KATHERINE:  It was enjoyable that it finally came out that Thomas is the manipulative person that he is, even though he is so good at it that he almost makes you feel sorry for him.  But he’s like a good sociopathThat’s why they’re so good at what they do.  They’re good at bringing real emotion into every situation and yet being very manipulative.  Kudos go to Matthew Atkinson for playing Thomas, really well.  He’s been great, and he brings something really different on to our show.

Photo: JPI

Brooke and Ridge’s relationship has been severely tested; almost tearing them apart over Ridge previously standing up for his son.  Now Brooke’s recent kiss with Bill (Don Diamont) threatens it, as that kiss was caught on tape, and landed in the wrong hands.  Is Brooke in freak-out mode yet?

KATHERINE:  I definitely think she is, and she wanted to take that kiss back from the second that it happened.  She allowed it to happen.  It’s a little bit of old Brooke resurfacing there.  Right away she was like, “What are we doing?   This is ridiculous.  You’re with Katie, and I’m with Ridge, and we’re both happy.”  Brooke has had underlying feelings for Bill, and she probably always will (and he for Brooke), but we know that’s not where we want things to be.  So, in Brooke’s mind, it’s “let’s forget about that and carry on, and don’t tell anybody.”  Of course, it comes out to some people, and it’s so embarrassing for Brooke.  Like, how does she explain herself?  I mean, at that point she can’t explain what happened … or why she did that.  She has to kind of succumb to it.

Right! And of course, Shauna (Denise Richards) and Quinn (Rena Sofer) want to take her down with this ammo.

KATHERINE:  Of course!  That’s what they live for. (Laughs)

Photo” JPI

Recently, Quinn spiked Brooke’s drink with some booze after they had quite the argument. Fans were on the edge of their seats that Brooke might start drinking again.  What did you think of the plot point?

KATHERINE:  I think it could have been interesting.  I have no idea if they will bring it up again.  That happens sometimes.  They’ll put in a little teaser and not run with it.  However, you never know if it’s going to resurface down the line, especially when Brooke is really down in the dumps for some reason.

I could see her being down in the dumps if she finally had no man in her life! (Laughs)

KATHERINE: (Laughs) That’s probably what she needs … not having a man in her life!

How is working with Rena Sofer and Denise Richards; especially when they are antagonists in scenes with Brooke?  Do you ever have a good laugh while trying to tape those scenes, as well?

KATHERINE: I think there’s a good chemistry between the three of us, and we have that rivalry going on.  So, I think it’s been working, and it’s been entertaining and interesting.  They’re fun to bounce off of.  Usually we are pretty serious when we do those scenes, especially if they’re more verbally combative.  So, we’ll just be really serious and stay in it.  Of course, sometimes things happen, and you laugh, but we sometimes don’t have the luxury to take the time to laugh and enjoy the moment, because we have to try to get the scene done in one take and move on.

Photo: JPI

There were a few months there that Brooke was slapping everybody! There were plenty of bitch-slaps that needed to go around. What did you think of those scenes?

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KATHERINE: I loved it, but then I felt like it was also maybe getting out of hand because it’s not really PC.  Nobody is supposed to hit people or slap people in anyway.  So, it worked more years and years ago in our genre, as times have changed in our world and culture.

Viewers saw this week that Donna (Jennifer Gareis) knows Brooke kissed Bill and that they have to make sure Katie (Heather Tom) does not find out, while others are out to expose Brooke!

KATHERINE:  I would imagine that everybody would want to see how Brooke unravels.  So, just keep watching!

Photo: JPI

Would you welcome another go round at a Brooke and Bill romance?

KATHERINE: Not when Bill’s with Katie and with everything that Katie’s gone through.  I couldn’t see that.  I don’t think it would be right.  That would mean that Brooke is completely selfish, you know?  There are so many other men.  Why does she have to go for her sister’s man?

Photo: JPI

In recent months, we have witnessed scenes where Brooke has been more confrontational and fighting back and not putting up with the shenanigans of others!  We have seen this in particular with Thomas, Shauna, and Quinn.  Did it seem like they ramped that up for Brooke?

KATHERINE:  Yes, because at some point it’s frustrating because nobody was listening to her.  It all started with the whole Thomas thing, and once she started fighting back, she wanted to fight back on everything.  She’s been lied to about a lot of things.  It’s not been fair.

Does Brooke still think Hope is too vulnerable to make wise decisions for herself; even after she stood up for herself at the wedding of Thomas and Zoe?

KATHERINE: Now. I think she feels much better, because there are moments where Hope is very vulnerable, but then she kicks herself in the butt, and stands up for herself and everybody else.  So, Brooke knows that Hope’s strong, but she also knows that she can be vulnerable.  At this moment, she is proving that she can handle things.

Photo: JPI

B&B turned 33-years-old this week as the show continues to remain so popular in the United States, and of course, is the most watched soap in the world. What can you say about still being with the series since its inception, and all that has happened to you in your life and career, because of playing Brooke, plus a nod to the fans?

KATHERINE: It’s been an amazing opportunity for me.  It’s been my life basically! 33 years on The Bold and the Beautiful, and the show has always kicked butt.  I mean, the show has been going strong ever since it started, and it still is going strong.  It’s just been an honor to be on the show, and remain on the show for so long as one of the original characters.  My heart really goes out to the fans, because honestly, so many of them tell me they’ve watched from day one.  We have a history with them raising their families.  Younger people come up and say, “I’ve been watching the show ever since I was little with my mom.”  So, there’s a wide range of different people who watch the show, and I appreciate them so much.  We all appreciate them so much because really, without them, there would be no show.  I just want to say ‘thank you’ to all of the fans.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Photo: JPI

Brooke is one of the most notable characters of all-time in soap operas and you are the actress playing her. That has to be a very good-feeling for you.

KATHERINE: I think there have been a lot of notable characters on soap operas, who have even been on the air a lot longer than me.  Look at Eric Braeden (Victor, Y&R) who just celebrated his 40th, and Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki, Y&R) who also reached a milestone recently.  What I have learned from all of this is; what matters is when you come on a show that your heart is in it 100%, and you come to your job and you try your hardest.  That to me is what matters and makes you an honorable person.  I’m very flattered that I’ve been on The Bold and the Beautiful for as long as I have.

Photo” JPI

When you look back at 33 years of your time on The Bold and the Beautiful, are your scenes with Susan Flannery and those epic moments between Stephanie and Brooke, the ones that still standout to you the most?

KATHERINE: Those scenes with Susan informed and formed the show and the characters for years.  I had a lot of memorable scenes with Susan.  I’m so lucky to have worked so closely with her.  She’s an amazing actress.  I learned so much from her, and just watching her.  I would hang on her every word – how she would talk about the business, how she would talk about acting, directing (because she loved to direct), and producing.  Susan was very knowledgeable, and she was very tough, but very fair, I thought.  I just loved her work ethic.

You and Thorsten Kaye have created your version of Brooke and Ridge. What do you think about working with Thorsten?  Is it fun? Challenging? How would you define it?

KATHERINE:  He’s very fun to work with.  Thorsten is very serious, very prepared all of the time, and he’s watching everything.  He’s got eagle eyes.  He’s just so on top of it and working with people like that makes you raise your bar.  It makes you want to try 110% to be there and put in the work.  Thorsten’s also so funny, and easy to work with, and so charming, and such a dear friend.   I love working with him.  I do think Brooke and Ridge have an interesting relationship even though some people say, “Oh, they should be over,” or whatever they want to say.  I do think they have created a good banter between them, and almost an understanding without having to say anything.  Thorsten’s a delight!

Photo: JPI

What is your takeaway when you travel overseas and internationally to places such as Italy, Dubai, Monaco or Australia where B&B is so widely popular and the reaction you receive from the fans?

KATHERINE:  Just seeing the overseas reactions in different countries and how popular or how loved The Bold and the Beautiful is truly special.  The fans really do love from their hearts.  They feel a part of it, and they are, but just their enthusiasm and their passion and their love, and they give their whole heart to you and to the show.  I just found that really interesting, and like I said earlier, we owe the success of B&B to the fans who love the show so much.

Photo: JPI

You recently were in Greece appearing for a multi-episode arc on the soap 8 Lexeis.  How was that experience?  I know Greek soap star, Andreas Georgiou, also came over to the States and appeared on B&B afterwards, too.

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KATHERINE:  It was an incredible opportunity.  I love working in other countries, and seeing how other people work, and how they make different projects and things.  8 Lexeis is their top TV show on their top network in Greece, so it was really exciting to go there and work on that.  I did 15 episodes in 5 days; something crazy like that.  We worked all morning through late at night every day, but it was fun.  It was amazing to see how creative they are and how they just run with it.  Everything was really chill on the set, but they still moved really fast and got everything done, and they were all so talented and so nice.  Then later, Andreas came over and did some shows here.  He was supposed to come to visit, but then the Coronavirus happened, so he had to postpone his trip, but we’ll see him soon.

Photo: JPI

B&B is on a production break due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Have you stayed in touch with your co-stars during this time?

KATHERINE: A lot of us talk on Instagram all of the time, and then a lot of people have been going live on their as well.  So, we jump into each other’s live videos!  Have you seen Katrina Bowden (Flo) and Kelly Kruger (Mackenzie, Y&R) do their little workouts together? You should check those out! Ashley Jones (Bridget) is always on, and Annika Noelle, and then our Supervising Producer, Casey Kasprzyk, started doing Zoom.  He did a Zoom with some of the B&B people.  So, we’ve all been texting and keeping in touch and making sure that everybody is okay.  I know it’s very hard times and it can be scary for all.   Hopefully, if everybody does what they should be doing, it will flatten the curve and the Coronavirus will be a lot easier to deal with.

Photo: JPI

You are one of the busiest people I know! Recently, you went to Australia, you opened your new store Benheart USA in Beverly Hills, and you appear on B&B in a lead role.  Is there ever a moment when you’re like, “I can’t do one more thing?” or do you like the go-go-go of it all of the time?

KATHERINE: I like the go-go-go, but I felt that I was going too fast and too hard, and I’ve recently been thinking of what I can take out of our lives and our schedule, and then in thinking of that, I couldn’t really think of what I can take out.  Then, this all happened with life coming to a screeching halt, which I find very interesting because life is set up to go so fast.  Nobody can really enjoy anything.  We have to get up early, we have to go to work, we have to make money to pay for this, we’ve got to take care of the family, do this, do that, maybe just try to be motivated to be successful, whatever your dreams are, you’re going after them, etc.  It’s such a driven world all around that I think with having to self-quarantine that this is a chance to take a good look at what is going on in your life.  Now, we have a lot of down time.  We have time to think, go inside ourselves.  It gives you time to be kind, slow down, think of others.  What can you do for others?  What can you do for the world?  It’s been frightening for a lot of people; especially the ones who have gotten sick, or the ones who are scared of getting sick because they are immunocompromised.  But, at the same time, we need to try to not let that anxiety get to us and try to appreciate what we have.  Like, “Why is this happening?  What is this moment trying to tell us?”  I’m always trying to find the silver lining; or what is this trying to tell us in life?

Photo” JPI

B&B and Y&R co-creator Lee Phillip Bell passed away at the end of February, and it was so heartbreaking.  I know you were close with Lee.  What can you share on her passing?

KATHERINE:  It was heartbreaking.  I always think, “Gosh, I wish I saw her one more time before she passed,” but she was around her family, who are so loving, and supportive, and always there for her.  Lee created an amazing life for herself and for her family, and she was a huge part of The Bold and the Beautiful, and of course, I thank her so much because she hired me.  Lee gave me my life, and this time on the show.  She was amazing.  She cared so much about the show and the people on it.  Lee was such a great mom and such a great friend.  It’s been special knowing her and spending all of that time with her that I was able to through the years.  My heart goes out to the Bell family as well.  I know this must be hard for them.

Photo: JPI

Then, it was so sad that Orson Bean died tragically before that.  Have you talked to Alley Mills (Pam)?

KATHERINE: Yes, a bunch of us went over and spent time with Alley and brought her food.  We brought her goodies, and we just hung out.  We just gave her lots of love, spent time, and that was before I had to run off to Australia as well, but she’s really strong.  That was just very tragic.  Two weeks before Orson died, we had seen them both in the play Bad Habits.  It was so, so funny, and they both had all of us who attended laughing so hard, and it was such a pleasure.

Photo: JPI

In closing, what are your hopes for Brooke moving forward into the future?

KATHERINE: I’ve been saying that I hope she’ll spend time by herself and be alone for a while and focus on her family.  I’ve said that for so long, but I don’t know what’s going to work for her! (Laughs)  However, I’m just so curious to see what will happen next for her.

So, what do you think of Brooke’s latest predicament after her kiss with Bill? Do you hope that Ridge and Brooke stay together? What have you thought of the more recent version of a feisty Brooke who fought back when no one believed her about Thomas? And finally, share your congrats to Katherine for 33 years as Brooke and let us know some of your favorite all-time scenes via the comment section below.

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Interviews

Y&R’s Eric Braeden Talks On 40 Years Of Life In Soaps As Victor Newman

Back in February, Eric Braeden added another milestone to his illustrious career – that of portraying the one and only Victor Newman for 40 years on the top-rated daytime drama, The Young and the Restless.  And boy was he celebrated!  First, there was a one-of-a-kind on set celebration at CBS Television City which was quite the star-studded affair.  That was followed by special episodes of Y&R, where Newman Enterprises turned 50 with a gala that also proved emotional with speeches and retrospective clips.

When you talk daytime dramas to anyone, you would be hard-pressed for the general public to not know the name “Victor Newman”- and that is because of the powerhouse performances and nuances that Braeden brings to his soap opera alter-ego.  For it was Y&R co-creator Bill Bell and Braeden who really shaped what viewers have come to know, expect, and love, forty years later.

Those who know Eric understand he can be at times outspoken, has a heart of gold, stands up for what he believes, can bring the drama, the suspense, the tension, the romance and the tears in any given scene when it is called upon, and that throughout the years he has earned the respect from his peers for an impressive job well-done.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Eric to take a look back at all that had gone down recently in his honor, and to get his thoughts on some major moments in time through over 40 years in Genoa City, and where things are at now.  Check out our special conversation below.

Photo: JPI

When I attended and saw you at your 40th anniversary on set celebration at Y&R last month, I cannot tell you what a special event that was.  I have never seen that for anybody else!  The amount of people who attended, and the love they showed for you, was so special. When you were sitting in that chair on the soundstage and watching and hearing what was being said about you, what was going on in your mind at that point?

ERIC:  Well, first of all, it was the nicest thing that’s ever happened to me in 40 years on that show, and secondly, in moments like that, you try to stay focused on who is giving the speeches, because if I then look around and see all of the people who I have known for so many years, it’s emotional.  There’s a saying in German, “he’s close to the water,” meaning it’s very moving.  I saw my son and my granddaughter there and obviously everyone else, and my old coach and players, and so many others that have been a part of my life.

Photo: JPI

There were some very special guests and speeches.  I loved that Justin Hartley (Ex-Adam, Y&R and now Kevin, This Is Us) came.  I thought that was sweet and cool, and also that ESPN sports personality, Stephen A. Smith was there calling you one of his good friends.  There were so many moments.  You knew who was going to speak, right?

ERIC:  Yes, I did.  We kept it to just family, and in other words, Y&R family, etc.  I want to thank Matt Kane (Publicist, Y&R), who had a lot to do with putting the event together.  I also wanted to thank Tony Morina (executive producer, Y&R). The Y&R art department and David Hoffman (Production Designer) also did a fantastic job with those pictures they had created that was part of a set.  Thinking back on it, again, I would without a doubt say, that the celebration was the most moving moment in 40 years in the business and on that show.

Photo: JPI

A few weeks ago, Y&R and B&B co-creator Lee Phillip Bell passed away.  Obviously the late Bill Bell (co-creator, Y&R) and she were instrumental for you being at Y&R in the first place, and the creation of Victor Newman.  What can you say about Lee? 

ERIC:  We invited Lee to the event, and she apologized and said she was not in a position to attend, and then, shortly thereafter she passed.  In a sense, I’m glad Lee wasn’t there because when I would see her on some occasions, I just am moved to tears.  I would have not been able to really hold it together for long.  Obviously, she was co-responsible for a lot of stuff that happened on Y&R. co-responsible for that show still being number #1, and my heart goes out to her.  I know what I owe them, and she had a lot of influence on the storylines.  Lee was an incredibly smart and bright lady.  Her son, Brad Bell (EP and head writer, B&B) did speak at the 40th event and I appreciated it enormously.

There were a lot of retro clips shown of you show in celebration of your 4oth anniversary from when you started on the show back in 1980 till now.  Did you remember all of those moments?

ERIC:  First of all, they put that together so beautifully.  That was done so extremely well.  When I see it, it comes right back, or in other words it evokes precise memories, but if I weren’t seeing it, it’s all a blur.

Photo: JPI

Y&R brought Meg Bennett (Ex-Julia) and Robert Parucha (Ex-Matt), for the on-screen episodes celebrating Newman Enterprises 50th anniversary.  Was it nice having them back and seeing them, or is it kind of weird, because it can be such a long time in-between since you have all been together?

ERIC:  It is both.  It is very nice to see old colleagues obviously, and very touching, but look, we are in a weird business.  When I saw Meg, you suddenly realize how the show has evolved in many ways.  So, I’m always very grateful to see those who I started out with on the show and of course, doubly grateful to those who are still there.  I think of Melody and Doug Davidson (Paul) for example.  Doug has been there for longer than I have, and what a great job he did emceeing the 40th anniversary event, and as for Melody, that her and my relationship still endues after all of these years is amazing.

Photo: JPI

Let’s talk about those Newman Children.  I thought Joshua Morrow (Nick) gave a hilarious speech and even Mark Grossman (Adam) spoke so sincerely from the heart to you.  You get a sense that the Newmans are a fun group to work with.

ERIC:  I obviously love working with Joshua.  Same for Amelia Heinle (Victoria), I adore her, and Melissa Ordway (Abby).  They all have a great sense of humor, and Mark Grossman, I think is doing a damned good job.  And there is Peter Bergman (Jack).  Peter has been a great nemesis for all of these years.  Of course, Peter was very funny in his speech, and Joshua was very funny, and Ed Scott’s (Producer, B&B) was very good.  Tony Morina also shared a very funny little antidote!

Photo: JPI

What came across loud and clear is what we already knew.  Everyone knows the name “Victor Newman”.  You know when they go, “Victor Newman … Y&R!”  It’s so synonymous, right?  I don’t know what it must be like for you knowing the public has that reaction to you … and you’re that guy.

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TODAY: 'The Talk' Celebrates 40 Years of Y&R's Eric Braeden

ERIC:  I’ll tell you very honestly, I have an ambivalent relationship to that fact.  I deny it on one hand, don’t want to know about it, don’t really want to know about it, and on the other hand, when I hear about it, I say, “Yeah, very happy to hear about it, but is it true?”  I am sort of strange that way.  I have not had a picture of myself or anyone else in my dressing room for these 40 years.  It’s barren, as you know.  I don’t have any pictures hanging up of me; there’s nothing.  Now, I was talking about taking the one picture that David Hoffman had designed beautifully, and I have it on one wall.  I thought, “I’ll be damned,” because the picture includes Melody and some scenes that went on.  I’ve always been funny that way with praise.  Do I like it?  Of course, but …

There’s an uncomfortableness about it, right?

ERIC:  Yes, but I’ve seen too much in this business.  I’ve seen too many extraordinary stars, where you wonder, “Where are they now”?  I take this business with a grain of salt.  I really do.  It’s so easy to succumb to it.   I’ve known many people, including on our show, who used to say, “Well, without me, this thing would go down the drain,” and I said, “Yeah?  No s**t,” and they’re not there anymore.  You have no idea what happens to some actors when they see themselves on the cover of soap magazine.  They go crazy.  I’ve seen it, and the worst thing you can do is to believe in that, and I’ve always been skeptical of that, very skeptical.  Get back to what counts in this business:  do a good job … do the best you can … and where is the money?  I mean really, let’s call a spade a spade, and that’s it.

Photo: JPI

I was just going to say, the one person I so wished was at your 40th celebration was Jeanne Cooper (Ex-Katherine, Y&R).   I wish she could have been there with us, because she would have loved it.  I know she loved you.

ERIC:  She would have spoken, trust me!  She would have said, “Alright, you son of a bitch.  Alright, macho man let’s see what you’ve got!” and then she would grab me by the balls.  The first scene I ever had with her, Jeanne did that.  Absolutely hilarious!  Jeanne and I could not do a scene without laughing.  I’m serious.  We had to pull ourselves together.  She had such a great sense of humor, and we both looked at this, obviously, with an enormous grain of salt, because we’ve been there.  We’d seen it all.

set

Photo: JPI

Through the years, you obviously have been vocal on social media where you will call out things as you see them and as you truly feel, especially through various regime changes, or if there is a noticeable shift away, or focus, from core characters. What are your thoughts on what ultimately makes Y&R, the iconic soap that it is?

ERIC:  Let me put it very simply: the show is based on the comradery and enmity between the Newmans and the Abbotts, and I’ve included on that a go-between, if you will, a Chancellor … Jeanne Cooper.   That was sort of the plan, but the major triangle was sort of the Montagues and the Capulets in Romeo and Juliet.  That is what legendary stories are based on.  It’s family rivalries, and within those rivalries, we tell all kinds of fantastic stories.  It’s father-son, father-daughter, husband-wife, love affairs, disloyalties, ruthless business competition, and it goes on and on.  The scenes with Peter Bergman and me over the years have been legendary, wonderful, and they’re great scenes.  Now, to suddenly bring in whole new characters that no one knows about, which previously happened on our show, you have to ask, “What are you not getting?  You want to reinvent the wheel?”  Go with what is working.  It doesn’t often happen that you have the right cast and the right story.  That is what makes a show successful.  Imagine taking Cosmo Kramer (Michael Richards) out of Seinfeld.  You couldn’t.   It wouldn’t work.  In other words, when you have the right actors and the right storyline, you have a hit.  We’d been number #1 for over 30 years because of it

Photo: JPI

When you get a script, have there been those moments in the 40 years where you will say. “My character would never do this.  I’m not playing it!?”

ERIC:  Of course.  Not that I’m not playing it, but I will make certain adjustments here and there.  I always have, by the way, from the very beginning.  Bill Bell agreed with most of it.  I know my character, and I have and instinctive feel for what is emotionally touching and what is not.  Look, I have always said that I admire writers.  I don’t envy their job.  I really don’t.  I think it is the hardest job in the business, and writing for soaps is even harder.  So, I have great respect.  So therefore, I don’t even want to know who wrote what.  I don’t ever want to be in the position of insulting a writer because I know how difficult it is.  As in everything in this business, it is a cooperative business.  There are very few writer/directors who have earned the right (I’m talking about Martin Scorsese, I’m talking about Ingmar Bergman, I’m taking about a handful) to write and direct their own stuff.  Even they rely on the cooperation of their lead actors.  That’s what is so wonderful about this business in that it’s this precisely cooperative thing.  However, when there are some people who simply don’t listen to those of us who have been around for a while and we know, we really know, then, they’re being foolish.

Photo: JPI

Y&R taped the Newman Enterprises 50th anniversary gala, which was in essence, your on-screen 40th anniversary episodes.  That was another amazing part of this.  I love that they would go to a clip, and one of the characters would say something in speech, and then, they’d go back to a shot of you reacting.  Were you, you, or Victor at that point, because it seemed so genuine and emotional?

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ERIC:  You know, look, one thing sort of blends into the other.  I loved that show by the way.  It was brilliantly done, and they could have easily screwed that up, but they didn’t.  I thought Josh Griffith (head writer, and Co-EP, Y&R) did a hell of a job, and Tony Morina did a wonderful job, they really did.  So, I really can’t say enough about that.

Photo: CBS

When you look back on the enormity of scenes you have performed as Victor Newman; the ones that and you and I always come back to are the scenes between you and Dorothy McGuire as Victor’s mother; and the scenes with you and George Kennedy as Victor’s father.  Do you still consider those your all-time favorites?

ERIC:  I always think about them.  They are my top favorites, plus one other.   No question about it; because the scene with Dorothy McGuire laid the groundwork of what Victor Newman is all about.  That summarized all of his subsequent moments of anger, and upset, and mistrust, and etc.  It was the seminal scene for Victor Newman … period.  One other scene that one of my favorites was the one with Melody, on Christmas Eve where Nikki keeps on bugging Victor to tell her about his past, and he finally does.  It was about that orphanage experience, etc.  Actually, those two scenes early on were responsible for my really wanting to stay and realizing that now I had a chance to play some real emotions, some real feelings, some real conflict.   I remember after Victor told Nikki that story, a moment when I went to my dressing room, I called home, and I said, “Now, I’m going to stay.”  No two ways about that.  I called my wife, and I said, “I’m staying,” because I wasn’t sure if I was going to.  It happened because I had talked to Bill Bell and I said, “Bill, I’m so tired of playing bad guys.  I’ve done it for too many years.  I’m empty.  I’m burnt out.  It’s too dehumanizing.  Let’s imbue this character with a background,” and he did, brilliantly, and that’s the reason I stayed, and that’s the reason I’m here 40 years later, truly.

So, when you were feeding rats to Nick Benedict as Michael Scott, were you ready to leave? (Laughs)

ERIC:  Well, that was a little different story, but I looked at that, and I said, “Are you kidding me?” (Laughs)  Back then, I knew little about what works on soaps … and people still talk about it!  They loved it.

Photo: JPI

The scenes opposite George Kennedy were so emotional … and heavy-duty, too.  It was so sad watching Victor’s father reject him.

ERIC:  It was sad.  It was really, really sad, and George played it wonderfully.  I cannot say enough about that because here is an actor who comes from the outside of our genre.  George lived in Boise. Idaho and he traveled all the way by car to LA with his grandson to do the scenes He wouldn’t take a plane.  George was so damn prepared that we did those scenes in one take!  It’s stunning!  I can’t talk enough about him.  I just so admired and respected him.  George passed away about a year ago, but that’s why I had him in my film, The Man Who Came Back.

Photo: JPI

As a leading man, Victor has had many women in and out of his romantic life for years and of course, his constant, Nikki Newman (Melody Thomas Scott).   You’ve been fortunate to work with so many wonderful actresses such as Eileen Davidson as Ashley.  Which standout to you? 

ERIC:  I have to say obviously Melody, but I have to also say the scenes with Eileen – they meant a lot to me.  I regret that she and I did not have more storylines together.

Photo: CBS

So, the coronavirus is shutting down the world, life in America, and has shut down production on the soaps.  How is everybody dealing with it at the show, and how do you feel it’s being handled?

ERIC:  Well, originally I wanted to continue working, but I said only if everyone was fully supplied with the proper wipes and antiseptics all of the time.  In other words, from the makeup department, from the props department, to someone wiping down all of the handles and all of that, but I completely understand now from a company point of view, they had to shut down because what if you work and someone gets sick because of it… and it goes on and on.  It’s a terrible thing, but I was willing to continue working.  Yes, perhaps stupidly so.  It’s going to be tough when we come back because a lot of work has to be made up, but I understand why we stopped.

What would you say to the fans who have stayed so invested in Victor Newman, and you, even 40 years after your Y&R debut? 

ERIC:  I’ve said it before, and I will happily say it again:  I am deeply grateful to the fans everywhere.  Without them, you and I would not be talking.  That’s really the long and the short of it.  The fans have really everything to do with it.  I’m glad that I am on social media because I am engaged with quite a few people very gladly, and I hear some interesting stories, and some very touching stories.  Y&R has taught me to really not look at that as a sort of nebulous audience.  I put faces behind it because I’ve seen them.  I’ve seen them in the last 30-odd years in public appearances.  I don’t forget them.  I don’t forget what it means to me.  It’s deeply touching.  I’m not at all anesthetized to it, no.  It touches me deeply, and whenever I do a PA, and receive the people’s reactions, I say, “Whoa,” and now I know why I’m in the business.

Courtesy/CBS

In closing, fans have been watching what looks to be another showdown brewing between Victor vs. Adam for control of Newman Enterprises.  Do you think still after all these years; Victor has it in him to out maneuver his black sheep son, as he has done in the past?

ERIC:  Hell, yes.  What do you think?  Bring him on, man.  Bring him on.  Victor’s still full of piss and vinegar.  Okay?  What people don’t know is that I’m a feisty son of a bitch.  I don’t give up.  I fight to the last.  I mean it.

So, what has been your favorite all-time Y&R scenes featuring Eric Braeden? What do you hope happens next for Victor and the Newman clan? What do you think about the sentiments shared throughout our conversation on Eric’s 40th anniversary celebration? Comment below.

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General Hospital

General Hospital’s Johnny Wactor Talks ‘Being Brando Corbin’

This week on General Hospital, viewers saw that Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) has set Port Charles newcomer Brando Corbin (Johnny Wactor) up with a mechanics garage for a place of business, that has left Brando concerned, but also thankful.

Brando came onto the scene when he saved Carly (Laura Wright) from gunfire. The once believed-to-be-dead son of Gladys Corbin (Bonnie Burroughs), has a checkered past, but has been trying to remain on the straight and narrow.  Sonny had previously put into motion protection for teenaged Dev (Ashton Arbab), that he will continue to be passed off as the biological son of Brando to keep him safe.  That, along with a back-story that includes: the Iraqi War, prison time, drug use, PTSD, familial issues, mob wars, and more, has loaded the deck for actor Johnny Wactor to show his acting chops and more within the daytime drama arena.

Since making his debut in the recurring role of Brando back in January of this year, in a short amount of time, Wactor has already displayed that he has solid leading man, and soap anti-hero potential, something that always serves one well amidst the romance, intrigue, and suspense of the genre’s storytelling.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Johnny to get his thoughts on becoming part of the iconic GH and where he hopes Brando’s journey goes from here.  Check out what he had to say below.

Photo: ABC

What do you think about your character’s name being “Brando”? Did GH tell you where the idea for the name came from?

JOHNNY:  Oh, I love it.   No, they didn’t tell me why, but I assume it was in some relation to Marlon Brando; when back in the day he was in a leather jacket … because I come onto the scene wearing a leather jacket as a badass!

What’s your experience been like coming onto a show like GH?  Previously, I know you’ve done a lot of primetime roles and series.  Were you shocked at the pace of shooting a daytime drama?

JOHNNY:  Oh, yeah.  I was made aware of the pace beforehand by my manager, as well as my buddy, Mark Grossman (Adam Newman) who works on The Young and the Restless.  He’s kicking ass over there.  In this genre, you get one rehearsal and one take pretty much, and then, they move on.  It’s definitely been a learning curve, and I’m still getting used to that at times where I’m just like, “Ah, I want one more take!”  I can get a bit obsessive and I’m a perfectionist.  It definitely has been challenging, but I enjoy it.  It’s fun to work at a fast pace.  It’s a lot like working in the theatre.

In story, Johnny is pretending to be Dev’s father.  Did you know that would be part of Brando’s story when you took on this gig?

JOHNNY:  I did not.   I didn’t know that until I read the first script that they sent me.  I’m like, “I also have a son?”   It was a lot to take in, but that’s where the imagination comes in.

What’s great for you, I would think, is that you’re getting to play in scenes with Maurice Benard and Laura Wright and major players who are a part of that core group.  What’s it been like working with them?

JOHNNY:  It’s been a Godsend, really.  Being my first time on a daytime show, for one, anytime you come onto a new project and one that’s been going on for some time, and you’re a newcomer, there’s always that concern like, “What will this set be like?  Is it like a familial atmosphere?  Am I going to be welcomed?”  They’ve made it super easy.  I’m just so lucky that I have people who have so much experience on this show and just daytime shows in general, where they’ve kind of taken me under their wings and are super helpful.  Anytime I have questions, they’re patient.  I’m sure I annoy them sometimes, but they don’t let on to it.   I’m grateful that they’ve sort of “teamed” me up with them to kind of ease me onto the show.

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The fans are seeing a spark between Brando and Carly.  Is Brando into Carly?

JOHNNY:  I’d like to say that he rescued her because she was a beautiful blonde, but that’s not what that was and why he did it … even though I’m not denying that she’s a beautiful blonde.  I think there’s something there, but how far Brando pursues that, I don’t know!  Sonny sets Brando up with the garage and a pretty sweet deal at that.  So, does Brando want to screw this up?  However, not everyone makes logical, levelheaded decisions.  We’ll see.  I’m not ruling it out as something that could possibly happen.

How are you playing Brando right now? Is he a good guy … or, are there secret ulterior motives going down that the audience may not know about, yet?

JOHNNY:  In my opinion, he is a guy who has got a good heart.  I don’t think he is infallible.  I think he is someone who is determined to be on the mend and make up for his decisions and his past, because he is someone who has made poor decisions.  I don’t think you can rule him as a good person who will never make a mistake, or won’t get into trouble, or won’t make some bad decisions.  “Does he have ulterior motives?”  Maybe, but I think that if he does, they might be a little unconscious.  I think he is a genuine good guy.

Photo: ABC

Are the fans swooning over you on social media now that you’ve made your GH debut?  When you get the, “Oh, he’s hot,” do you take those compliments well, or, is it uncomfortable for you, and you deflect that?

JOHNNY:  It’s always flattering to get those compliments.  I think when I was younger, like 22, first getting into this business; I was definitely pining for those compliments and put more weight into it.  I will say; it’s always good to have someone say something positive about you.  I will take, “Hey, he’s good-looking.”  I love the comments.  It’s great.

So, what would you love to see happen with Brando?  Is there anything that you’re seeing with your character that you wish you could do …or get to have the opportunity to be able to drive the direction in which he goes in?

JOHNNY:  That’s a great question.  I love when the writers put Brando on the scene and planted some seeds early on when he was revealing a little of his background to Carly.  He reveals he has PTSD and spent time in prison.  Brando also has got issues with drug addiction.  I would love for those to kind of resurface somehow.  Maybe Brando has a relapse and gets back on the sauce, or drugs, or maybe has some kind of other issues with PTSD, because those are the real things in the world that people deal.

Photo: ABC

What’s great about it is that they kind of loaded you up with a back-story that they can fill in, so that as a viewer, you ultimately root for the guy

JOHNNY:  Absolutely.  Yeah, nobody wants to root for the guy who has everything and just has the perfect life.  We’ve all made mistakes.  So, alright, he’s trying to get back on the horse and make a good life for himself.

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Did you get any pointers from GH vet Steve Burton (Jason), who you have also shared several scenes with since coming to GH?

JOHNNY:  The most pointers I’ve gotten from Steve are about preparation for the scenes.  Every time we have scenes together, he’s just always willing to work with you, and make sure that you’re prepared, and he’s prepared, and the scene is going to be the best that it can be.  Also, he’s been really invaluable with giving me more of a crash course on the background of these characters.  This show has been on for decades and it’s tough to get caught up in the short amount of time between when you find out you have the job, and you start filming, to really know who everybody is.  So, he explained to me who Jason is on the show and who the Corinthos family is and what they represent … these are dangerous guys!

Photo: ABC

Take me through what happened when you learned you got the part of Brando, and were joining the cast of General Hospital?

JOHNNY:  I was at my apartment.  I think it was probably two days after I went in for the producer’s session.  They brought in 4 or 5 guys to read in front of the producers, (at least that I saw) and I felt strong about my reading.  Then, I just kind of tried to forget about it after I left so I wouldn’t get all into my head about whether I got the part, or not.  Then the next day, I didn’t get a phone call.  So, I’m like, “Man, really?  I thought that might have been it.”   But the next day, I was with my girlfriend at the time and my agency was calling.  My manager was on the phone as well, and they shared with me that I got the part, and it was exciting.  It was a relief and an affirmation.  It’s always exciting when you book a job and then to book a major recurring role on a show with a character whose name is “Brando Corbin”, needless to say, was really cool.

Photo: ABC

I think it’s very apparent that you have the “It” factor.  You already have a shown a strong presence on the show and have a very bright future ahead of you.   I have seen a lot of actors come and go, and who launch their careers on daytime over the years, and I think you are going to be one to watch for quite some time to come.

JOHNNY:  First of all, thank you so much for saying that.  That’s really kind of you.  It’s really high praise.  Coming from someone who knows that show and who is a fan of it that means I passed the test!  Thank you, Michael!  I really appreciate that affirmation.  It’s good to get validation from someone whose opinion really matters.

Photo; ABC

Could you see a love interest for Brando coming up in the future?

JOHNNY:  I could definitely see a love interest for him coming up.  Maybe multiple love interests!  Who knows?

I think there are a lot of single ladies in Port Charles.

JOHNNY:  Yeah!  But, why do they have to be single?

Right! Or, they could be married!

JOHNNY:  It’s Port Charles!

Photo: ABC

So, have you been enjoying Johnny’s performances as Brando Corbin thus far?  Who do you hope he becomes involved with romantically on GH? Do you want to know more about his back-story and see what happens next now that Sonny has set him up with a garage? Comment below.

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Knots Landing favorites: Joan Van Ark (Valene), Michele Lee (Karen) and Donna Mills (Abby)  chat with Michael Fairman in honor of Knots Landing’s 40th anniversary. Leave A Comment

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