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The World Magic Award Soap Interviews – St. John, Goddard, Case, Hennesey & Frantz

Daniel Goddard and St. John Magic AwardsCirque du Soaps!

Where else could I find magicians and soap stars gathered in one place? I mean, the drama, the cliffhangers, sawing a woman in half! Saturday night at the Barkar Hanger in Santa Monica, ATI (the producers who brought you this year’s Daytime Emmys) brought in some of the best known from daytime drama to act as presenters to some of the best known magic acts in the world, who were recipients on prestidigitation’s biggest night.

I had the opportunity to chat with The Young and the Restless Kristoff St John (Neil) and Daniel Goddard (Cane) on the red carpet, and then sat down with Y&R’s Sharon Case and GH and Cougar Town’s, Carolyn Hennesy for a joint interview. Later, I met up at the after party dinner with Adrienne Frantz (Amber) and her boyfriend Scott Bailey (Ex-GL), who were sitting with the wonderful Shanelle Workman-Gray (Ex-Flash, OLTL and Gaby, B&B) and her husband, actor, David Barry Gray.

Y&R’s Eric Braeden (Victor), who presented the final award of the evening to the top magician of the year, Greg Frewin, was a no-show on the red carpet, snuck in during the taping of the show for his part in the show, and was in and out of the proceedings. He did not speak to press, hence his absence from this feature. Matt Borlenghi, who was reportedly on, then off, then expected back on General Hospital as a reported “Cassadine”, in late December, and his very pregnant and beautiful wife, Heather, also attended the event.

The World Magic Awards are set to air in November on MyNetworkTV affiliates around the country. Be on the lookout. And now, with the wave of my magic wand…here are the World Magic Award Interviews! Poof!

KRISTOFF ST. JOHN

MICHAEL:

So you are here presenting which Magic Award?

KRISTOFF:

Best Comedy Illusion Award with Goddard.

MICHAEL:

Are you going to ignite the Buzzworthy Radio drama again?

KRISTOFF:

Yes, that is correct. Laugh like me. (Laughs) I am a fan of this show and I have come back as a repeat presenter.

MICHAEL:

So Eric Braeden (Victor) who is a presenter here tonight is in a much publicized contract dispute with your show Y&R. What are your feelings on the situation that have Eric written off the show so far? His spokesperson has informed the media, “He may or he may not be back.”

KRISTOFF:

I think that no comment is the best policy to take when other actors are going through contract talks. I don’t believe Eric Braeden will leave the canvas as the character of Victor Newman, but if he does, it would be sad to see him go at such a critical time in the show’s history. We have a guaranteed two years left on network television. I think in order to survive and to get another contract and licensing agreement out of CBS, the wise decision would be to get him back. Is it the wisest decision for Eric to accept the terms of the contract? I don’t know, and I cannot comment on that. It would be a huge loss to the show and the audience worldwide.

MICHAEL:

Were you at the set a few weeks back, when Eric said his “goodbyes” to the cast and crew?

KRISTOFF:

I was not there, but I heard about it. You know my gut tells me that he will come back, but it is a standoff right now. I have been there in the same situation only it wasn’t much of a stand off. (Laughs) I came to the gunfight without a gun.

MICHAEL:

Now, what about the ongoing situation with a return to “Y&R” by Victoria Rowell (Drucilla)? Recently, comments were made that alluded to some people in the cast who were impeding her return, and seemed like it was aimed at Christel Khalil (Lily)?

KRISTOFF:

I don’t think Christel said anything bad about Victoria. There is this assumption that certain people don’t want to work with Victoria based on past history. I believe those were Victoria Rowell’s comments; that there were individuals in the cast that may not be pleased if she were to return, Christel being one of them. And that is why I believe Christel answered back, “Hey, look, I have not said anything.” So, it’s stirring the pot. And it would be wise to bring her back, too. And, if the powers-that-be could somehow figure things out, it would be great!

DANIEL GODDARD

Daniel GoddardMICHAEL:

Cane and Lily have been battling Lily’s cancer together. Coming up, are we going to see a change in Cane since he has been duplicitous in the past? Perhaps… something shifty?

DANIEL:

I have a scene with Billy Miller (Billy) that we shot yesterday that was a good scene and it puts the dynamic of Billy and Cane back in a point where it does well. People like the push and pull of these two, and Maria Bell (Head writer, and co-executive producer, Y&R) is doing a good job at that.

MICHAEL:

What are your feelings on the Eric Braeden situation? Things are in such a state of upheaval in the industry; with the way contract talks and the state that the industry is in regards to actors and their agreements with the series and networks.

DANIEL:

I don’t have an opinion on what is going on with it, but I am certain whoever is reading the contracts knows what they are doing, and so I don’t think they would do something that would be morally or ethically wrong.

MICHAEL:

How do you feel Lily’s cancer storyline is playing out? Do you feel the show is missing some beats or do you like the approach?

DANIEL:

I think it has played out well, and I like the fact that Lily will turn to Cane and be all ‘angst-y’ and Cane lets it roll off of him, because I think there is humanity in the way she does it. They have pulled us off being on everyday just sitting around the house going, “Oh, we are sick. We’re sick. We’re sick.” That can get a little boring.

MICHAEL:

As the person going through the cancer as the caretaker, do you think it’s being told well from the husband’s perspective?

DANIEL:

That is the thing that makes the most sense. It’s not about what Cane is going through, it’s about what Lily is going through. Then you see his perspective as well and you think, “How could he not be tolerant of what she is going through?” She lost her uterus, her chance at having a child, is faced with death, and her best friend, Colleen just died. I mean, most people in that situation in real life would be “kooky” about now…..

MICHAEL:

Unless, they had Cane with them…..

DANIEL:

….Something like that. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Now Cane’s Australia connection got dropped after Phillip III returned. Are we finally going to delve into this mystery man’s true past and what he is hiding? What’s up with that?

DANIEL:

I would say it was placed in a warm environment waiting to blossom. The soil was warm and moist but the seed needed time to nurture and when it comes, it will be worth it.

MICHAEL:

How is your new little one, Sebastian?

DANIEL:

Sebastian is 10 months old and is a pistol and an animal. He is so physically strong at 10 months old. He’ll drag the chair and he will throw a ball, and he will go down the stairs with my guidance on his hands first. He is so strong; he can take the weight on his upper body. He is just an amazing little guy.

SHARON CASE AND CAROLYN HENNESY

Carolyn Hennesy Magic AwardsMICHAEL:

I am sitting with Sharon Case and Carolyn Hennesy, and the two of you are presenting together tonight!

CAROLYN:

A magical pair at the Magic Awards!

SHARON:

We are not presenting the award to The Twins, we are introducing their act. They are these young European boys and they do this amazing magic act.

CAROLYN:

Young European boys? (She laughs)

MICHAEL:

From the Czech Republic?

CAROLYN:

Who Cares? I am going to try and stay on the stage so I can disappear with one of them as part of the act. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Sharon, its very upsetting and a bit twisted watching yet another soap baby switch whose next victim is poor Sharon. What did you think when you read or heard you were going to be the next actress in soap opera’s notorious baby-switch plot device?

Sharon Case Magic AwardsSHARON:

I have never had a baby switch story. I thought, “Wow, I have never had to play a baby switch story,” and if you are on the show long enough, everything happens to you. That is what I thought. I like that there is always a twist so things keep going. There is always some reason Nick and Sharon can’t be together, and yet they yearn for each other, and I like that we keep that going.

MICHAEL:

Is Sharon going to be crying many more tears before this one is over? One can only expect.

SHARON:

She is trying to come out of this strong and move on with her life, and take this as a sign. Sharon did spend a month in the psychiatric institution so she feels stronger now. She still has sad moments for sure.

MICHAEL:

Is Adam going to go after Sharon to make this really twisted?

SHARON:

I can’t say, because you are going to have to watch. You know Adam, he is trouble!

MICHAEL:

Are you familiar with Cougar Town? Would you like to play a cougar a la Ms. Hennesy?

SHARON:

I love Cougar Town and I would love to play a cougar!

CAROLYN:

Carolyn HennesyThere is nothing more liberating than playing a cougar, especially the kind of Cougar I play on Cougar Town. My cougar had no filter and no morals. Nothing!

MICHAEL:

Good news… the series got picked up by ABC!

CAROLYN:

It got picked up for the entire season.

MICHAEL:

And Sharon, you just wrapped a feature film.

SHARON:

Yes. I just wrapped it a few days ago. It’s a film whose working title was, Love Will Keep Us Together, but for some reason that did not work out, so they are now calling it Man of the House but now there is a conflict with that title. I don’t think it comes out till June 2010, so they have some time to figure that part out. It’s a romantic comedy and I play the lead with David James Elliot. It was fun, and working with David was great.

MICHAEL:

Sharon, Eric Braeden has left the building, so to speak, and for the moment is off Y&R due to contract negotiations. What are your thoughts on the Braeden situation and soap contracts for actors, as we move in 2010 in a tight economic climate and as the genre fights for survival?

SHARON:

It is tough for the actors and the shows, too. Because of the economy and how all the shows are doing on television, the shows are having to make a lot of budgets cuts, and they need to figure out where to make those cuts, and where not to. That is what is important. I think cuts need to be made, but I think where and how the cuts should be made is important to the show, but also keeps the people on the show that the fans want to see.

MICHAEL:

Carolyn, James Franco is coming to GH!

CAROLYN:

Who? Who? Who’s James Franco? Oh, my God! I am so excited! And you know, Max and Diane have broken up for now…

MICHAEL:

…Do I smell a cougar move?

CAROLYN:

So, one can only hope James Franco will find Ms. Miller in his path. I don’t know who he is going to be. I heard he is coming to Port Charles as a mystery person, and I am so excited. I mean, how yummy is James Franco?

MICHAEL:

Pretty yummy! Another yummy favorite for soap fans is Joshua Morrow (Nick), who you have worked with for so many years, Sharon. How do the two of you feel at this point in the story juncture? Do you two still go over material together and discuss what the writers are asking you to play?

Sharon CaseSHARON:

We have worked together a long time, so we know what we want to do in our scenes together and what each of us wants for our characters relationship, so we get it. Every once in awhile we will tell each other, “I want to go in this direction with it and I am just letting you know.” The writing is great and it plays out so naturally. We have done it so long. It used to be our characters were together so long. I mean, there was drama and things would happen, but we were always together. Then when things started to happen: Cassie’s death, Phyllis’s affair, and all these changes that were happening, such as I was working with Peter Bergman (Jack) and Don Diamont (Brad). And Josh and I would talk about it back then and say, “Oh, my God. How do you feel about all this?” Now we are used to it. Storylines change. We are used to working with other people, before we were not, because we would only work with each other.

MICHAEL:

Carolyn, perhaps Diane could have a baby-switch in her future on GH. Every good actress needs one!

CAROLYN:

As long as that baby is Spinelli, I am just fine

MICHAEL:

Sharon, any tips you can give Carolyn on baby swaps on soaps?

SHARON:

Oh, don’t give up, and you will recognize your baby when you see it and probably, the neighbor had it! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

And of course you will be drugged! Wasn’t Sharon?

CAROLYN:

First of all, Diane is not going to have a baby, because it would have to be by Immaculate Conception. However, I think this is one of the reason’s Spinelli drives her up a tree. I think, we as the cast are all trying to play it and focus the writers in on it; that if Spinelli were Diane’s son, it would explain so much.

ADRIENNE FRANTZ (After show interview)

Adrienne FrantzMICHAEL:

Adrienne, what did you think of all the magic acts?

ADRIENNE:

Some of them were really good. I liked the tiger act at the end, and I like the guy and the woman who kept changing her dresses, and the funny guys from Ireland. I felt they were good and fun, though. If you are going to see magic acts, you might as well go to the World Magic Awards.

MICHAEL:

Let’s talk about Y&R. It has been great watching you with Sean Kanan again and seeing Deacon and Amber fighting their attraction and Deacon’s skullduggery. The way your performance is coming across to the viewers is, you don’t know if she likes the guy or hates his guts. Was that intentional?

ADRIENNE:
Of course! It’s a fine line I am playing. We do have history and Deacon does know what Amber likes, and she does like sparkly diamonds. The other day she was wearing a diamond necklace. Amber does want to get money out of Deacon because he has put her though all this stuff. That is part of who she is, though.

MICHAEL:

Did you find those despicable hotel sex scenes that were degrading to Amber and to women, tough to play? It was tough for viewers to watch and quite sad.

ADRIENNE:

It was hard to play because you know she is doing it to save someone she loves, and at the same time it’s a horrible thing. That was the question going around the set. Would you do that? Would you sleep with someone just to save someone you love? That was the million-dollar question that was going around the set and most people said, “Yes, they would.”

MICHAEL:

Did you see those scenes back?

ADRIENNE:

We shot it twice and the first one was worse. We had to go back and reshoot it, and the second one was the one that aired.  The first one was way more degrading.

MICHAEL:

Michael Graziadei (Daniel) and you are good buddies, plus play love interests on the show. But it looks like…things might change between Daniel and Amber. Do you know where their the story is heading? I know you are not at liberty to divulge much.

ADRIENNE:

Yes, I do know where it’s heading.

Adrienne FrantzMICHAEL:

And when you found out where it was heading, how did it sit with you?

ADRIENNE:

Well, I do know one way it’s heading. I know super surprise twists that are going to happen. I am really excited to start playing this.

MICHAEL:

Will the audience still care for Amber when all is said and done?

ADRIENNE:

You will still feel for her, but you will also see why she struggles with the way she feels and understand what she is going through.

MICHAEL:

What did you think of the Terroni painting being part of the plot device to bring Deacon and Amber, Daniel, Kevin, Jana and Gloria into the fold?

ADRIENNE:

I think it’s interesting and creates an interesting arc. Deacon started making forgeries and so it all started from that. I think it’s an interesting loop that its taken and it’s not over yet.

MICHAEL:

Sean had nothing but complimentary things to say about you, when I interviewed him awhile back. Did you know before, that Sean was headed to Genoa City?

ADRIENNE:

I knew he was going to get it way before, and I was not allowed to say anything.

MICHAEL:

Did you put in a good word?

ADRIENNE:

Yeah, I talked to people. (Laughs) I did put the bug in some ears. When I found out it was for sure, I called him up. It’s cool and we have been friends for years and he is a great actor!

MICHAEL:

Eric Braeden has, for the moment, left Y&R during a contract dispute with SONY and the show. What are your thoughts on the hold-out and the stalemate between actor and the powers-that-be?

ADRIENNE:

They are cutting contracts all around. I mean everybody has to bite the bullet. It’s not like anyone gets special treatment. If you don’t want to play fair with everyone, then don’t play. If you want to step out…. everybody is dealing with the same stuff. So if anybody thinks they are better than anyone else, then they should leave if they want to. It’s a cast. We are all working together. We are all working our hardest to make it go, and if you don’t want to work with everyone than you are not helping.

Adrienne Frantz and Scott BailyMICHAEL:

Your former soap B&B won Best Drama Series at the Emmys!

ADRIENNE:

I was so thrilled for them! I went to their after-party and I said, “I should have gotten on stage with you,” to Brad Bell. And Brad said, “I know you should have!” I was there for so many years. They deserve it. I was thrilled for them!

MICHAEL:

In closing, give me a good teaser for Amber fans?

ADRIENNE:

I think you should watch. She is about to have a conflict that would break anybody’s heart in a billion pieces!

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Chandler Massey Chats On His Bittersweet Daytime Emmy Nomination

He’s won three Daytime Emmys in the Outstanding Younger Actor in a Drama Series three years in row in 2012, 2013 and 2014, and now Chandler Massey is going for gold for the second time in his career in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series which in a field where he is competing with two co-stars from Days of our Lives among others.

Massey has long been a stand out performer, giving nuanced and emotional portrayals in the angst-ridden life of Will Horton and the love of his life, Sonny Kiriakis (Freddie Smith).

Back in February of this year, DAYS fans learned that Chandler and Freddie had taped their last episodes, and since the NBC soap tapes more than 6 months ahead of air, that the two will still be on the air into the fall.  That has made this moment of recognition for Massey all the more poignant.

Michael Fairman TV talked with Chandler to get his reaction to the news that he is once again a Daytime Emmy nominee, and here’s what he had to say about it all.

Photo: JPI

 

I thought it was great that you received another Emmy nomination.  What do you think?

CHANDLER:  Yeah.  I thought it was pretty great too, actually.   I was surprised.  I wasn’t keeping up on when they were announcing the nominations.   I was thrilled that Wally (Kurth) and Paul (Telfer) also got nominated too in the same category.  So, hopefully, DAYS, has a decent shot to take it home.

What did you end up submitting that ultimately landed you the nomination?

CHANDLER:  I went with some scenes that aired on December 16th of last year (I just looked that up), where Will basically breaks up with Sonny when Sonny comes to visit him in prison.  I liked those because they were sort of subtle.  I just found myself drawn in when I watched it, and it wasn’t big or dramatic, but it felt like two real people sharing their pain.  So, that’s why I chose it.

Photo: JPI

I remember those.  Those were heartbreaking because he had to get Sonny to let him go.

CHANDLER:  Yes.  He said he has a new prison boyfriend, and that he’s doing really well in prison, so he doesn’t want to be tied down. (Laughs)

You’ve had Freddie Smith as your scene partner for so much of your run on DAYS.  What did he give you in those scenes that helped you, or even further enabled the performance that you gave?

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CHANDLER:  Freddie always gives everything.  He is a consummate professional, so he really commits every time.  I think it is more that we are just so comfortable with each other that we are not afraid, and that there is no hesitation between the two of us, so we just are able to do the work.  We usually know we are there to listen to, and support each other. in the scenes.

Photo: NATAS

Was your entire submission from the prison scenes or did you include something else?

CHANDLER:  It was just that.  I know I could have included something else, but I like to keep it sort of short because I feel like as a judge, I know within a few minutes.  It’s not that I get bored, but it really only takes a scene or two, and then, you’re like, “this is something special.”  You can recognize it pretty quickly.

So, you have won three Daytime Emmys. This is your first nomination in a few years, right?

CHANDLER:  Yeah, I didn’t get nominated the year before.  I had a gap year… to my family’s great shame. (Laughs)  They were not pleased with me.

Photo: JPI

This is your second nomination in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Daytime Drama Series category.

CHANDLER:  Yes. I was nominated in ‘Supporting’ for the first time when I came back to DAYS, and then submitted for “Lead” the next year, didn’t get nominated, and then went back to ‘Supporting’.  I learned my place.  I went back to ‘Supporting’ for this year.  (Laughs)

It’s such a game though, right?  .

CHANDLER:  Yeah, you’ve got to be smart.  I just thought, “What the heck?”  Freddie and I were like, “Maybe there’s a shot that if we pick different categories, we can both get nominated,” but then, after that didn’t work, I said, “Screw that… going back to ‘Supporting”

Now, you’ve been through Emmy night before, and this is obviously going to be a virtual Emmy’s.  Now, if they did a six-shot of all of the nominees, what would you wear?  Would you be dressed up?  Would you be casual?  What would you see yourself doing?

CHANDLER:  That’s a good question. I think maybe… I’ll do a little of both.  I’ll go the middle ground.  I’ll be in my finest bathrobe, a silk bathrobe so it’s casual but also still sort of fancy.

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There you go.  (Laughs)  Is this nomination all the more special for you in that you are no longer working at DAYS? 

CHANDLER:  Oh, totally.  Every year is special, but you know, I’m not on the show anymore, so it’s a nice reminder that the work that I did had an effect on people, and it won’t be forgotten for at least a few more hours.

Photo: JPI

I saw the fan outcry and show of support for you and Freddie, when viewers got wind that you were exiting the series.  It was sad and heartwarming at the same time.  The WilSon fans are so behind you guys.

CHANDLER:  Yeah, if only they knew what horrible people that we were in real life, then they wouldn’t be this way, but thankfully… (Laughs)  Yeah, it’s really nice, but it is sad.  I started in 2009, and that was over 10 years ago, and nothing lasts forever.  I had a really, really great run, and so did Freddie.  I am very satisfied and don’t feel jipped, or like, I was entitled to anything more than I got.

Courtesy/NBC

Obviously, your co-nominees, Wally and Paul you worked with many times.  What can you say about them?

CHANDLER:  I think that both men deserve definitely to get second and third place.  (Laughs)  I have known Wally for a while now.  I love him.  I think his work is phenomenal.  I think he is really, really underrated.  Paul, I don’t know as well, but I think obviously his work speaks for himself.  If only he were physically attractive, I think that would really, really help his career.

Photo: JPI

I know, it’s a shame.

CHANDLER:  Unfortunately, he is kind of schleppy, you know?  (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

Did Freddie reach out to you after you received the nomination?  

CHANDLER:  Oh yes, he sent a text congratulating me, and we talked about it.  It was nice.  I feel like our stories are so intertwined, the scenes we submit are mostly with each other.  So, it’s really kind of a shared accolade.

So, will you be rooting for Chandler to cap off his career on DAYS with an Emmy win on June 26th during the virtual ceremony on CBS? What did you think of the nominated scenes he submitted? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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All My Children

Eva LaRue Talks On Her Daytime Emmy Nomination, And Opens Up About The Loss Of John Callahan

For Eva LaRue, the past two months have been some of the most emotionally gut-wrenching and challenging of her life, following the passing of her ex-husband, father of her child, and dearest friend, John Callahan (Ex-Edmund, All My Children). The outpouring of support she has received not only from her former AMC cast mates, but the soap world in general illustrates just how dear Eva is to all of us, and how many people had special memories of their time with John.

While mourning the loss of Callahan along with their daughter, Kaya, there was some heartwarming and re-affirming news that any actress would love to hear. Eva was nominated for a Daytime Emmy in the Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series for her work as Celeste Rosales on CBS’ The Young and the Restless, and she is great company as her former AMC co-star Michael E. Knight (Ex-Tad) is also nominated along with her for his work on General Hospital.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit our country and world hard, but through it All My Children virtual reunions emerged as fans were engaged by the content, transported to happier times that brought them back to familiar faces in Pine Valley in which Eva participated along with her good friends, Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos and so many more, thanks to the EW. com weeklong event which concluded on Friday.

Michael Fairman TV talked with Eva in this very candid, at times heartbreaking, and open conversation where she shares details into the final days of her beloved John, her last moments with him, and how she tried to plan a memorial in his honor during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For so many of us, 2020 has certainly seen more lows then highs, but in the end for Eva, to receive a nomination now (an award she was last nominated for back in 1997 as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her work as Dr Maria Santos on All My Children) couldn’t have come at a better time. Here now is our conversation with Eva.

Photo: JPI

I’ve been thinking so much about you.  I’m glad we could do this, and in the midst of the tragedy of losing John Callahan, and then receiving a Daytime Emmy nomination.  What was your reaction when you learned you were nominated in a category with none other than your former AMC castmate and good friend, Michael E. Knight (Ex-Tad, AMC, now Martin, GH)?

EVA:  Oh, I know!  He’s the first person I texted!  I was like, “Congratulations, Michael!  Did you ever in a million years think that you and I would be in the same category of anything?”  Then I said, “And when you win this, can I just borrow it for the weekend just to dress it up and take pictures with it… just want to borrow it, just babysit the trophy for a weekend, please?” (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

What did you end up submitting that landed you the nomination for your role as Celeste on Y&R?

EVA: I submitted a scene with Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R), who I have been friends for 30 years, if not more, and in all that time we had never worked together.  I met him when I was married to John O’Hurley (Ex- Dr. James Grainger) because John was over at The Young and the Restless at the time.  I went to a Christmas party with John to Peter and Mariellen’s house, and do you know who else was there?  Lisa Rinna (Ex-Billie, Days), and it was before she had gotten Days of Our Lives. She was dating Peter Barton (Ex-Scott Grainger, Y&R) at the time. We both ended up on soaps at the same time.  So, I submitted a scene with Peter, who is amazing, warm and open and such a great actor. Then I submitted a scene with my on-screen daughter Sasha Calle (Lola, Y&R) – I love that girl, and another one with Michelle Stafford (Phyllis, Y&R) who has also been my great friend for a couple of decades. The other scene I put on my reel was with me and Jordi Vilasuso (Rey, Y&R) who I also adore.  He is awesome and such a sweetheart.  I only had two months worth of material to draw upon.  So, I just submitted the scenes that I liked the best, and they all were within story, and all made sense.

Photo: Getty Images

Where is Celeste supposed to be now?

EVA:  She went back to Florida, and that was that. I would never say never to anything, but it was always supposed to be a short stint, and it was great.

So not only is it you and Michael E. Knight, but Jeffery Vincent Parise, Chrishell Stause, and Elissa Kapneck. This Guest Performer category is loaded!

EVA:  I know! I know and love, Chrishell (Ex-Amanda) because we worked together on All My Children, too, right before I left, and she is a doll.  She just might be the sweetest, kindest, girl on the planet.  She literally might be the sweetest person who ever lived!  I don’t know the other two nominees personally.  So, I’m excited for them too.  It’s such a diverse category.  It’s just really fun to be nominated with all of them.

Photo: Hallmark Channel

You were nominated before, though, for your work as Maria on All My Chldren during the emotional baby switch storyline; working opposite Susan Lucci (Ex-Erica) for a lot in it.

EVA:  Yes.  I was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for All My Children, and I was nominated for Best Original Song.  I wrote a song when Maria came ‘back from the dead’ to All My Children, with a producer friend of mine from Miami Sound Machine.

Photo: Live with Kelly Ryan

So, you’ve been doing all of these All My Children virtual reunions, which is so interesting that in this pandemic, people are looking for content, and they dip back into these beloved shows.  Was it fun doing the EW.com Santos Family reunion with everybody?

EVA:  Oh yeah, it was really, really fun.  I only saw in the big picture everybody else’s photo who was a part of it, and the people who I actually do hang out with the most, and see the most, and talk to the most, are Kelly Ripa (Ex-Hayley), Mark Consuelos (Ex-Mateo), and Sydney Penny (Ex-Julia).  I don’t see Sydney as much, but I do see her probably once every two years at least, but Sarah Michelle Geller (ExKendall) I see all the time and talk to all the time.  Kelly, Mark, and Sarah are the ones who walked me through that first week when John Callahan passed.  They literally were on the phone with me, the three of them, almost every day, but I got beautiful outreach, from what seemed like everyone.  This is when no matter how many years have passed since you have been in daytime, that the daytime family as a group – there used to be fifteen shows, now there are four – and people have bounced around and they are on other shows- – but the entire soap opera community reached out,   I cannot even tell you how much that meant to me.  It was overwhelming, and it was really, spectacularly beautiful.

Photo: JPI

I hope it was some solace to you knowing how much people loved John, and also that they love and care so deeply for you.

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EVA:  I mean, people who did not even work with John reached out.  Every soap was represented by getting a hold of me, sending a text or a phone call, or if they didn’t have my personal information, they tweeted, or whatever it was… literally from every reach of soapdom.  It was amazing.

And your relationship with John was amazing with all of the ups and downs you went through; that you remained such dear friends.

EVA:  We remained really great friends all the way.

Photo: JPI

I so remember when the two of you first got together and it was this storybook real life soap couple romance.  John was always so sweet to me.  I was so, so sad, and you know, my heart just broke for you.

EVA:  I think it was just such a shock.  I don’t think anybody, and even Kaya were talking about it, because she graduated this week, and her dad is not here.  We’re not having a graduation, because of COVID-19, which sucks on top of it, but we were just kind of talking through the feelings of it.  She said, “You know what’s weird?  I guess I never pictured dad getting old, and I always wondered why, and now I know.”  When I would get on John about his heart or his health, he used to always say, ‘Oh, don’t worry Evala, (he always called me “Evala”).  I’m going to be here.  I’m going to be here a long time.  I’m fine.  I’m going to be here to walk Kaya down the aisle and see her kids and all that.  Stop worrying,” Every time he said it to me, something in my gut said, “I don’t think he is.  I don’t think he is,” but I always just dismissed that.  But never in my wildest dreams did I think John wouldn’t make it to her high school graduation.  He was only 66.

Photo: JPI

I had heard you ended up running to Palm Springs to be near John.  I can’t even imagine what that must have been like.

EVA:  The only good thing about this pandemic is that we had been shut down for only two weeks at that point.  Kaya and I got in the car.  John had some heart procedures the day before, on a Thursday.  I called him in the morning before he went in for the procedure.  I said, “Call me as soon as you get out of there.  Call me as soon as you come-to again, and you’re good,” and he said, “Okay, I will.”  I said, “I’m going to send Kaya out to you on Friday for the weekend, just so you have somebody to hang out and watch you, and I might come out too,” And then, I said, “Maybe, I’ll come down too in case you are feeling weak, just to watch out for you for the weekend.”   So, he called me after the procedure.   I said, “I cannot believe they sent you home! You just had some major heart stuff done.”  He said, “Oh no, they said I’m fine.  It was just run-of-the-mill heart stuff, angiogram…”  I was like, “Are you sure?”  He said, “Yeah, I’m fine.  I’m just tired.  I’m going to go to sleep.”  I said, “Do you want me to send Kaya out tonight?” and he was like, “No, no, no.  Send her tomorrow.”  So, in the morning, I called him at 9:00am.  No answer.  I texted him.  He always texted me like Johnny on the spot, and then texts me immediately back.  So, I call him again at 10.  Nothing.  His best friend calls me about a half-hour later, “Hey, I talked to John at about 8:00 this morning.  He said he was feeling really, really shitty and was going to go back to the hospital, and then, I texted him again at like 8:30 to just tell him something, and he hasn’t texted me back, and he always texts me immediately back.”  I said, “Oh my, God, I’ve been trying to get a hold of him for two hours; he hasn’t texted me back,”   I said, “You know what, I’ll call you back.”  So, I called his friend who lives down the street from John, and I said, “Go to his house, please right this second, knock on the door, jump the fence, knock on his bedroom, he might be asleep, I don’t know.”  So, he gets there, nobody is answering.  I said, “Break into the house please.  So, he did, and John was collapsed in the bathroom.  They called the paramedics, and as soon as they called me back and said, “John is unresponsive in the bathroom,” Kaya and I threw everything in the car, and what usually takes us two and a half hours without traffic, we made it down there from Los Angeles in an hour and forty-five minutes.

Photo: JPI

I don’t know how you made it down there in one piece. Thank, God!

EVA:  I drove so fast, like literally broke all land speed records and thank God because we got there just in time.  He was in emergency.  He hadn’t been put up in ICU yet, where we wouldn’t have been able to see him.  They weren’t going to let us in the hospital.  Thank God the person answering the door was an All My Children fan.  She was the one saying, “Sorry, no one is allowed in the hospital, no one can come in,” and I was like, “No, no, no, my ex-husband just came in.”  She said, “Was it Edmund?” and I said, “Yes, it was Edmund!”  She said, “Okay, follow me.”  Thank God for All My Children.  Thank God.  So, we followed this woman secretly, and we get to spend a half-hour with him in Emergency.  He was already on life-support, totally unresponsive, but we got to play John his favorite music, we got to just sit there and hold his hand and talk to him, and tell him how much we loved him.  Sarah Michelle Gellar called right when we were in the hospital in Emergency, and she said, “Put the phone by his ear,” so I put the phone by his ear, and she talked to John too, and she told him how much she loved him.  She used to always call him “GP”, which was short of grandpa, because she came on the show when she was 15, and she didn’t have a dad, and John acted like a dad to her – but she used to always call him “grandpa”, and he hated “grandpa”, so he was like, “You can call me “GP”, but not grandpa,” so she always called him GP.  I just put the phone by John’s ear, and what was crazy is that when she talked to him, his feet started twitching.  He started moving his feet.  Then, when Kaya was talking to him about Yankee season, he started moving his feet.  We were kind of hopeful that something was changing for the better.  We had about a half-hour with him, and then, they took him up to ICU, and then, we knew we couldn’t see him again.  They called us later that night that he had passed.

Photo: JPI

I am just so thankful that you got to see John one last time.

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EVA:  I thank God every day that we got to say goodbye, because if we hadn’t gotten there in time to say goodbye, I just don’t know.

It’s very rare that a couple after a divorce, who have a child, and went from romance to dear friends, end up maintaining that relationship so many years later in their lives.  I know so many people who were together at one point in their lives, for years, and they don’t even talk to each other now.

EVA:  Well, you know, like any divorce, the first four years afterwards were super contentious but then, by year five, we kind of had this major breakthrough, and from then on, he was one of my closest friends, and one of the things we always kept alive for each other was we loved to  dance together. We fell in love, I think, dancing because originally our characters on AMC met at this country-western bar, and we had to take country line dancing lessons on the show.  They hired a choreographer for us so that during those scenes where we were falling in love, we would actually be able to do a two-step! So, we went out and practiced at Denim and Diamonds, which was a big country-western place in New York City at the time.  We used to go out with a whole group of us.  It was me, and Teresa Blake (Ex-Gloria) and Kelly Ripa, and her boyfriend at the time, Winsor Harmon (Ex-Del), sometimes Walt Willey (Ex-Jack); we just had a whole crew of us who would go out country dancing.  John and I also loved singing together.  He had the most amazing gravely kind of rockstar voice, but his real talent was harmonizing.  He could harmonize to anything.  So, when he would come over, we would sit in the kitchen and sing, and sing, and sing until the late hours because that’s what we loved to do, and that’s what he loved to do.  That’s one of my favorite last memories of us.  He was just over the month before, and Kaya’s bedroom is near the kitchen, so she came out and was like, “Can you two shut up?”  It was like two in the morning and we were still singing in the kitchen. (Laughs)  John was my dear friend and my confidant.

Photo: ABC

Were you able to have some kind of service during this stay-at-home pandemic we are all dealing with, in order to mourn the loss of John?

EVA:  It’s been so crazy.  We couldn’t even have a funeral.  That’s what made it all the more heartbreaking.  There were less than twenty of us, and we just got on a Zoom call and memorialized John.   I thought we were going to do a big Zoom memorial, but it seemed so overwhelming and so impersonal, it just was rubbing us wrong in every way.  Every way we were looking at it, we were like, “Oh my, God, we just can’t.”  We wanted to invite everybody he had ever worked with, and we were like, “No, we want to do that when everything can open back up again, and invite every person, and have a party” because John was always the life of every party.  Maybe we can do that in the fall or next year.  I kept trying to write something for the small memorial we did do for three days.  I kept coming back to this one song, because John was always the consummate bartender, too.  I sang a song that Bette Midler sang on the very last episode of Johnny Carson.  It was “One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)” and it’s about a bartender who has got a big personality and a lot to say.   I changed some of the words around a bit just to reflect who John was, and so, I ended up singing for it instead of speaking.  We always talked about that last episode of Carson; how stunningly emotional it was when Bette sang that song to kind of sing Johnny off for of all of his years on the air.  So, that’s what I did and because we loved to sing together, it just made sense.

Photo: HutchinsPhoto

I do think you touched upon something, earlier, too.  I don’t think any other genre would have that kind of unbridled camaraderie.  It’s such a family, like you said.  I don’t think you would find that quite like this; certainly in show business. 

EVA:  I really don’t think you can. Even though there is always a good amount of competition in the soaps as well; between the soaps it’s like they are any sports team, but there is always a level of respect, love, and familial connection within the community.  I think that is why they have stood the test of time.  I really do think that is what hooks our audience, that is what keeps them there after all of these years, even though unfortunately the genre is antiquated looking, there is something about it that is nostalgic, familial, and comfortable for people.

Photo: JPI

Every time I talk about All My Children, why do you think everybody go ga-ga for it, when it’s been off the air for several years now?

EVA:  It speaks to people’s childhoods.  It speaks to how we grew up.  You can’t undo nostalgia.  You can’t.  It’s in the way we grew up, the things we loved, the things that we scheduled our lives around, the people we fell in love with on the shows that we watched, who we cared about and loved their storylines. I grew up watching All My Children, General Hospital, and Days of Our Lives.

It must have been a spectacular moment for you when you realized you were actually in Pine Valley and a member of the cast of All My Children then?

EVA:  It was amazing.  I was a fan when I got the show.  I was a straight up fan.  I fangirled walking through that dressing room hallway for the first time! I was trying to keep it in check, but you know … (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

So, in closing, you would say, “Thrilled to be nominated”?

EVA:  Yes.  So fun.  It has really been a rollercoaster of a couple of months here.  That nomination was literally the bright, shining spot in all of this.

So, happy to hear Eva is in the running for a Daytime Emmy? Were you moved by Eva’s sentiments she shared on her relationship with the late John Callahan? Do you miss Pine Valley’s Dr. Maria Santos? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Interviews

Y&R’s Tracey E. Bregman and Kimberlin Brown Pelzer Talk the Iconic Battles of Lauren & Sheila

As part of “Villains” theme week on The Young and the Restless, Tracey E. Bregman (Lauren) and Kimberlin Brown Pelzer (Sheila) reunited for a walk down memory lane of one of the greatest and most twisted knock-out drag-out feuds in the history of daytime drama.

The longtime iconic duo talk about many of their storylines; complete with baby switches, notorious catfights, doppelgangers, treachery and more, with Michael Fairman for a very special virtual conversation on The Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube.  Tracy and Kimberlin chatted with Michael from their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo: CBS

During the interview, Kimberlin revealed how: she was originally cast as Sheila, what happened when she thought she was exiting Y&R for good and her run with Sheila was over; only to find out that Bill Bell (C0-Creator, Y&R and B&B) had plans for her to move over to The Bold and the Beautiful and continue playing the role.

In addition, Tracey shares: how some of those iconic fight scenes between the two were physically demanding and tough to do, plus the actresses give us insight into filming some of their most popular scenes; including yesterday’s classic episode that aired (which can now be found on CBS All-Access and CBS.com under season 42) where Sheila wreaks havoc on Lauren and Michael’s (Christian LeBlanc) honeymoon with an assist from “Terrible” Tom played by the late Roscoe Born.

Photo: JPI

Finally, the women weigh-in on what they think a solid storyline would be in 2020 or 2021; if Sheila was to re-emerge in Genoa City and reignite the feud with Lauren and her loved ones!

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Watch the virtual conversation with Tracey and Kimberlin below.  Then let us know, would you want to see Sheila come back to Y&R and cause Tracey and her family some serious trouble? Comment below.

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It’s “Villains Week” on Y&R an that means some Sheila Carter, David Kimball, and Isabella Brana, Check out the promo from CBS Daytime here.  Leave A Comment

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