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THE TUC WATKINS INTERVIEW – ONE LIFE TO LIVE

TucMain66.jpg

This week on One Life to Live, “David Vickeroshi”, will be on the receiving end of a marriage proposal by a very deceitful Dorian, as PI Rex is hot on their trail. With the “Go Red Ball” just around the corner, David’s story will take front and center stage. Will he finally come to realize he is Asa Buchanan’s son?

I chatted with the one and only Tuc Watkins, star of “One Life to Live” and the primetime series “Desperate Housewives”, about his latest Llanview Buddhist incarnation, and playing the bumbling con man. We also discussed the Daytime Emmys, and working on Wisteria Lane, playing one half of the snarkiest gay neighbors you’d ever want to meet, Bob and Lee.

One of the most talented and innovative performers ever to grace the daytime screen, Tuc’s interview is one of our favorites at “On-Air On-Soaps”.

Listen to the audio:

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MICHAEL:

Tuc, Namaste’! Namaste’!

TUC:

Oh, my goodness, if I had a nickel for every time I heard that word.

MICHAEL:

Are people coming up to you and saying, “Namaste’”?

TUC:

Every now and then I do hear it on the subway. I hear it a lot on airplanes, usually places where you can’t run away. (He laughs)

MICHAEL:

I thought your performances have been just great. Every time you come back to “One Life to Live”, it just adds so much and spruces up the show. This time you are “David Vickeroshi.” What did you think when they told you how they were bringing you back this time?

TucBudah1.jpgTUC:

When I first heard the acorn of the idea, Frank Valentini (executive producer, “OLTL”) called and said, “Do you want to know what you are going to be doing?” I said, “If you want to tell me.” Because the great thing about going back to play David Vickers is it really doesn’t matter what we are going to do. It’s always fun doing it, because it’s all about the means rather than the end. I said, “Sure. What’s it going to be?” He said, “You are going to come back as a Buddhist monk and you are all enlightened.” I said, “All I see is the comedy. So I assume this is going to be comedic?” He said, “Yes.” I thought it was a great idea. When you play a character on and off for fourteen years, sometimes you have to go far a field to keep things fresh. Obviously, this is not something that will stick around for a long time, this transformation. So, it’s been a lot of fun to
explore a character that you
know really well, in a way you
have not seen him before. It’s
really a fish out of water story,
so it’s been a lot of fun.

MICHAEL:

Ron Carlivati (head writer, “OLTL”) and you are brilliant together. Do you ever ad lib your lines, or are those the lines that are written by Ron and the writing team on the page?

TUC:

The great thing about Ron coming on is that is not often that a character, a writer, and an actor, all sort of get it together. Sometimes an actor does not have a handle on what the writer and director is gunning for, and not have the full grasp on something that you are very familiar with. I think Ron appreciated the same characteristics of David that I appreciated. So, we kind of turned up the volume on David. It has been great. You know, I have been through a lot of different writers on the show. I have never really noticed that much difference in the writing, but I really did notice a difference when Ron started. I remember going up to Frank’s office going, “The writing is different and I really do think it had made several strides forward,” and for the first time in a long time, I thought it was really noteworthy. So I said something out loud. Actors like to say a lot of things out loud (He laughs). ‘Namaste’’ takes on a lot of different meanings!

MICHAEL:

So what do you think the meaning of ‘Namaste’’ is?

TUC:

I was told early on the literal meaning of ‘Namaste’ was “I bow to you.” It started out as that, and then it meant “I am hot for you”, and then it also meant, “Thanks for the food.” So, it’s sort of a catch-all, in a way. ((He laughs).

Robin1.jpgMICHAEL:

Is there anytime when you are working with the incomparable Robin Strasser (Dorian), or Erika Slezak (Viki), or any of the actors on the show, when you guys just break up in laughter?

TUC:

Well, we usually get the laughing done at rehearsals in the morning. But, that is also when and where we find stuff. It’s where we tweak what’s there, or punch up a word you might not have punched up, if you had not been rehearsing it with the other actor. We get the ‘funny’ out of the way in the morning or during dress, so when we get to tape we are not wasting anyone’s time.

MICHAEL:

When you first got to work with Robin and Erika, who I think are probably two of the best actresses on the daytime canvas, did you think, “Wow. This is really great?” Did you even know who Erika and Robin were?

TUC:

Well, I first started on “OLTL’ in 1927, so I have known them for a long time. (He laughs) But seriously, I started on the show fourteen years ago, and I never watched soap operas. Some friends of mine in school would plan their course schedule around soaps, but I never quite got it. I mean, I understood that people could become addicted to them. You either get it, or you don’t. And that’s just not one of the things I got. So, when I first started on the show, I did not know who anyone was. But, I did know that they had been there for awhile. I think it’s like starting in a company. You tend to look up to someone who has been around for a number of years and respect them. You figure these people know what they are doing, so I am going to learn from them as opposed to telling them what to do. I remember one of the first days I started working on the show, I was doing a scene with Erika and I was pretending to be her brother. She said, “Can someone please give this kid some light? You can’t even see him!” That’s not something you consider when you are young and starting out. You just want to say your lines and not throw up. When I first met them both, they were the standard to learn from then, and they continue to be.

MICHAEL:

Will David finally find out this time out, that he is really Asa Buchanan’s son?

TUC:

You know, they have been teasing this story for eternity. Talk about dragging out a story! Even by soap terms, it’s taking a long time. I remember when the previous head writer was there and I went back under contract for three years starting in 2003. They told me, “We are going to reveal you are Asa Buchanan’s son.” I thought,” That’s cool, because he is the patriarch of the show, and that means I will be working a lot!” Well, I tell you now, it is going to be revealed, but it is six years later! This is 2009!

MICHAEL:

The only thing that redeems it is you and David come and go from the canvas. So it’s a setup where there are months when you are not on screen.

TUC:

I left contract in 2006, and things have worked out scheduling wise so I can go back. When you have a character like David who is a bumbling con man, it makes sense that he is not always on the canvas. It makes sense that he goes out into the world and tries to pull the wool over other people’s eyes in Bangladesh, or New Delphi, or other cities that I cannot point to on a map. So, when it finally came around, it feels like it has been taking a long time, but fortunately we have been telling other story that has been interesting. The timing is just right to tell it.

TucNora1.jpgMICHAEL:

Does David attend the upcoming, “Go Red Ball”?

TUC:

David does attend the Red Ball, and I will say, something happens at the “Go Red Ball” that changes David’s life.

MICHAEL:

In a good or bad way?

TUC:

A little bit of both. (He laughs)

MICHAEL:

I see that “OLTL” has put you up for one of the two actors in the in-house voting, for the pre-nominations for Supporting Actor for the Daytime Emmys.

TUC:

Oh, I did not know that. I am thrilled!

MICHAEL:

Well, you have been my pick for many years to get an Outstanding Supporting Actor nod at the Emmys, but you never got the chance to compete for the prize. So, what are your thoughts?

TUC:

I think everyone’s an idiot! (He laughs) To tell you the truth, what I get to do on “OLTL” is so much fun, and not traditional to what daytime has carved out for itself. So I understand when they look at a bunch of tapes of people to be considered for Emmys and a nomination. I come on and cross my eyes, and fall down the stairs, and they look at it like, “Is this guy for real?” So, it’s sort of a double-edged sword. I am very lucky that I have been able to play this character that doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the people that inhabit the town of Llanview. But having said that, part of what allows me to do that prevents me from doing terribly dramatic stuff. I know you are supposed to cry on cue on daytime, and I can’t do that. So, anytime I try to play anything dramatic I tend to turn the car in a different direction. I guess it could be said I err on the side of trying to find something that is funny. That’s not always the best choice. In fact, Robin Strasser is always getting on me about that.

TucVickie1.jpgMICHAEL:

But, I think there have been such beautiful, nice, and at times, emotional scenes between David and Viki.

TUC:

If I can have poignant moments, but with a hump and mole with hair coming out of my face, then I am happy doing those poignant moments. They brought me on to be this cool mysterious guy in 1994. I did it for a year, and to tell you the truth, I was pretty unremarkable at it. It wasn’t until one day I woke up and realized, “David Vickers is not a cool mysterious person. He thinks he is a cool mysterious person.” And that s when the David we know today was really born, and that is when I kind of hit my stride with this character. You’ve got to figure out how to play the character among the other people you are with. And it’s not that easy. It took me a year on “OLTL” to figure out what makes David special. Luckily, when I was turning their mysterious cool character into the town buffoon, they supported it rather than say, “You don’t get it. You’re out.” So I have been pretty fortunate.

MICHAEL:

You pull double duty at times, as Bob on “Desperate Housewives”. Will you be continuing on that?

ColorTucKevin1.jpgTUC:

Yes. They signed me and Kevin Rahm (Lee) to a recurring contract this year. On a show like that, it’s always going to be about those five women, as it should be. I mean, it’s called “Desperate Housewives”, but we have gotten a little more involved this year. Kevin has gotten more involved with Teri Hatcher’s (Susan) character, and I started representing Felicity Huffman’s (Lynette) kid, because they decided my character was a lawyer. As it is, it’s also a soap opera, when you boil it down. They just have better lighting and hair styling. So, one day they sent me a script and I went to the table read and head writer Marc Cherry went, “Oh, by the way, you are a lawyer now.” That involved me a bit more. They have our characters in that house between Teri Hatcher and Eva Longoria (Gabrielle), and we are sort of a new color on the canvas. A lot of story is told through us…

MICHAEL:

….they are reactionary instead of propelling story, right?

TUC:

Yes. The end game is how it affects the women on the show. It is a lot of fun to work on that show. It is the funniest set I have ever been on. That’s probably because you go to work on a neighborhood street where it’s mostly sunny, and they have really good snacks, and you just hang out. And any drama that happened on that show, happened a long time ago. And everyone in between takes are playing games and catching ‘rays’.

MICHAEL:

How is working with these powerhouse actresses?

TUC:

They are all very different. I remember Kevin and I started around the same time Dana Delaney (Katherine) started. I thought, “Oh, this poor woman has her work cut out for her because she has such strong archetypes that have been set up and established.” I thought she did an amazing job of finding something new that was also necessary. Kevin and I are in the supporting cast, but all those women on there are all fun in a different way. Eva Longoria takes nothing seriously, in the best of ways. She is always cutting up and laughing. Felicity is knowledgeable and it’s great to talk about acting with her.

DH1.jpgMICHAEL:

You and Kevin play the gay couple on the show. Is there one thing you would like to see them involved in, if you were writing the show?

TUC:

The thing that I like about the way Marc Cherry brought that couple on was, he brought them on as a gay couple, and one of the first lines they say is, “We’re gay. We are life partners.” So there was no dancing around that, and it was not issue-oriented. I think a lot of times when they brought in gay characters, or minority characters in the 70’s or 80’s on television, black or Asians had to explain why they were there! We don’t need that anymore. I thought it was great that we got to go on… everyone knew we were gay… but that wasn’t the story. Why we went there was part of the story, and how we get involved in other peoples lives is the story. We are not this cookie-cutter, great super hero, gay couple, where everything we say is kind and friendly. We are not that couple from “American Beauty”. They were the only normal people on that street, but we are kind of mean!

MICHAEL:

Yeah, I like that they are these ‘snarky’ gay guys. It’s not the issue that they are gay; it’s just the ‘snarky’ guys that live down the street.

TUC:

I describe it as: I am Andy Griffith and Kevin is Barney Fife. Kevin says all the funny lines and I stand behind him and roll my eyes, and that’s what Andy did with Barney.

TucRed1.jpgMICHAEL:

Is there a lot of Tuc in David Vickers on “OLTL”, and in Bob on “Desperate Housewives”?

TUC:

I will tell you this: I am not a method actor. I studied that in school, and I think that’s how most students of acting learn about acting. That’s where you become the character and eat for breakfast what that character ate for breakfast, and you think about how that character was treated when they were a child. That didn’t work for me. I am more of a behaviorist. I am more about how a character behaves in the environment he is in. I would say most of the characters I play, especially in television; you are usually hired to play pretty close to who you are. So, I would say Bob on “Desperate Housewives” is very similar to me, because I am a neatnik in a way, and I maintain a sense of humor. But I am fairly straight laced in what I think. David, on “OLTL”, is also a side of me where I like to cut up. So, it’s two sides of a coin in many ways to me. I would have to say, that both those characters are pretty close to me without being mutually exclusive, if you know what I mean?

Days Of Our Lives

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

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

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

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

 

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

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

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

Where is your character within this?

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

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

KEVIN:  Hell yes!

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

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

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General Hospital

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

 

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

Photo: ABC

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

Photo: JPI

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

Photo: ABC

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

Watch the entire conversation with Kin below.

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

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Interviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Video du Jour

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

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Airdates: 4-8-2021

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