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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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General Hospital

Dominic Zamprogna Talks Dante’s Torment, His Daytime Emmy Nomination, And If He Might Be Back To GH

If you caught last week’s episodes of General Hospital, you witnessed the heartbreaking goodbye (the second time around) between Dante Falconeri (Dominic Zamprogna) and his wife Lulu (Emme Rylan), after it had been revealed that Dante is suffering deeply and disturbingly from his time in captivity in Turkey, and the mission that sent him away from Port Charles in the first place.  Of course, GH fans know that leg of the story served to facilitate the exit of fan favorite, Zamprogna, who departed the ABC daytime drama series back in 2018.

But since his original exit, Zamprogna has popped up on the series a few times.  First, as bad Dante in the special standalone episode celebrating Maurice Benard’s (Sonny) 25th anniversary with the series, and then again, a few weeks ago with his ten-episode run that set the stage for what might become of the duo known as “Lante”.

In addition, Dominic also learned a few weeks back, that he received a Daytime Emmy nomination for his performances in 2018 in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Daytime Drama category.

Michael Fairman TV spoke to Zamprogna while he was in Tuscany, Italy on the first leg of his three-week European trip with his family (which will also take him to France and Germany) to get his thoughts on: this just completed guest return on General Hospital, receiving the Emmy nod from his peers, and what the future holds for him in, or out, of the world of soaps.

When you came back for this ten-episode run, did you know what the story would be?

DOMINIC:  I knew it would be kind of a Brody from Homeland kind of story.  Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) and I had a conversation, and he said, “Sonny is going to rescue you,” and I said, “With all due respect to Sonny, Dante got himself into this mess.  Let’s kind of help them, help each other get out of this mess,” and he was like, “I like it.”  That’s kind of how that came to fruition.  Then,  he said something along the lines of: how they were going to make it like Dante got messed while he was away, and that he had seen some crazy stuff, and that Dante had to do so some crazy stuff, and he brings it home with him.  So, we knew the story arc would be a little messy, for sure.

Courtesy/ABC

The impetus was to bring Dante back to Lulu, then to separate them again while you were off the canvas, because they left the character of Dante dangling out there previously, right?

DOMINIC:  Frank said, “We don’t believe that this guy would ever take off on his family in this way for this length of time,” and I said, “Oh, I agree with you, so let’s figure out a way to wrap it up.”  So, this is where we ended up.

I’ve been seeing many tweets from fans, like, “Dante’s the best,” and “You’ve got to bring Dominic back full-time.”   The story was very emotional, and I thought it was a good opportunity for you to remind everyone of your acting chops.  And, the writers made a point of making sure Dante said to Lulu, “Don’t wait for me,” which leaves her story kind of open, as well.

DOMINIC:  I know what I want, and that is a good story, and around the time that I left before, we didn’t have a lot of great stuff going on.  I think Dante needed a good shakeup.  Maybe this is a blessing in disguise for a lot of the fans, but I don’t know.  I know that there have been some negative reactions too … like, “Why bring this guy back if he’s going to leave again?”

Yes.  I have seen those reactions as well. 

DOMINIC:  I’d say that you bring this guy back because he did leave thinking he was going to come back sooner than he did, and stuff got a little too crazy, and maybe you can’t leave him hanging out there like that.  You do have to address that.  Dante wouldn’t have left his family for that long, knowingly.  It was ten months.  I think it is valid to bring him back and address it, and then realize that if the actor, or the show, isn’t ready to commit to what’s next, you do whatever creates the most drama.  Isn’t that why people watch these things … to yell at the TV? (Laughs) 

Courtesy/ABC

Let’s talk about the tears Emme Rylan shed in those goodbye scenes that just aired!

DOMINIC:  I think she was really angry at me! (Laughs)

Probably!  She was like, “What are you doing!?”  (Laughs)

DOMINIC:  She was like, “What the hell is happening?” (Laughs)  I think that’s what people watch GH for.  I went on twitter and saw the clip of General Hospital from 56 years ago in honor of their anniversary.  It makes you give pause and think:  “What are you watching this show for?  Are you watching it to feel resolve at the end of it?”  Probably not!  As much as people don’t want to admit it, you don’t really want to feel fantastic after watching the show.  Nine times out of ten, you want to feel conflict and unresolved.  Otherwise, why would you come back the next day?  I feel like we kind of achieved that.  Which is why when you posed the question on Twitter, “What did you think of Dante’s return story arc?”,  I responded by saying, “I thought it was pretty good,” because a lot of fans are going to be pissed off.  However, a lot of viewers are going to be happy with seeing some good drama and some emotional scenes, and a cool arc (because I thought it was a good arc for Dante).

Photo: ABC

When you played Dante on this recent return, he’s obviously been tortured.

DOMINIC:  Yes, he’s been tortured, and he’s had to torture people to prove his worth.  As easily as he killed Raj, he’s probably had to kill other people during this time.  I think that’s a big step for Dante, because he’s never really had to do that.  In the time that he’s been on GH, he’s always been very black and white. I thought it was very good for me to be able to play that, because maybe he’s been pushed to the limit, and in those situations, you have to justify things that you probably would never have had to justify before.

Right!  I thought it was really sad, because you see people with PTSD who have been tortured.  Did you do any research on how being in captivity and how the condition may manifest itself in cases such as this, or someone under mind control?

Photo: ABC

DOMINIC:  I think PTSD is a pretty wide-ranging thing.  There are people who deal with PTSD who haven’t had to kill people and haven’t been tortured.  I think there is PTSD that people deal with in everyday life.  I think for a lot of people, if you had to go back and examine things, you’d be like, “Wait a sec, maybe that’s what this feels like,” and it’s not a comfortable place to be, but for this role, you kind of do go to places like that.

I think there’s been a silver lining for you in a few things since your exit from GH last year.  1) Since you’ve left, you came back, and got to play a bad guy version of Dante in the “Sonny-centric” episode. 2)  You received a Daytime Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series category.  What do you think about what has happened since you have been away from Port Charles?

DOMINIC:  That’s also about betting on yourself …  because it’s kind of like rolling the dice.  It can go either way.  It can be: “Hey, if I step away and no one cares, that’s cool too,” but you have got to be okay with that.  It’s like when I first started the show, and everyone said not to read the message boards, because if you read the good stuff, you’ve got to read the bad stuff, too.  Well, if you roll the dice on yourself, you’ve got to be able to look in the mirror and say, “Hey, it didn’t work out.”  Fortunately for me, in this situation, I rolled the dice, and it worked in my favor.

Courtesy/ABC

Did you love the “Sonny-centric” episode when you got to play mobster Dante?

DOMINIC:  I did.  I thought it was great.  Honestly, Michael, I loved this story too.   It was an experience for me.  It was a cool journey.  I felt like it was a neat exercise as an actor.  It was a cool development for the character.  I had interesting scenes with Sonny, I had interesting scenes with Anna (Finola Hughes), and I had good scenes with Mike (Max Gail), and the stuff with Lulu.  I thought the end of the arc was interesting too, because I’ve already played these goodbyes.  So, as an actor you’re like, “Man, we’ve already done this,” but as the character you still have to protect something.  So, when people ask why he didn’t say certain things to Lulu that he did to Anna, it’s because it’s so much more difficult to say those things to the person who you’re married to, and go to bed with at night, who supposedly knows everything about you.  It’s almost more difficult to reveal that vulnerability that he realized that he had been brainwashed!  You don’t want to admit that you’re at your weakest to the woman who looks to you for all of the strength.  That’s massively important.  I thought it was really interesting.

You received your third Daytime Emmy nomination. Previously you were nominated in 2014 and 2016 in this category.  I was so happy for you.  What scenes did you submit that have you going for gold on May 5th?

DOMINIC:  First off, this year felt kind of extra special.  I think because I left the show and only had four months of material that I could submit within the guidelines of the rules.  I sent the scenes with: Mike in the stables where he is talking with Avery, a scene where Nathan (Ryan Paevey) is dying, one scene with Peter (Wes Ramsey) in the interrogation room at the PCPD, and then the material where Dante says goodbye to Lulu to go off on his mission.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

You’re in with a good group of actors in the Supporting Actor category.  Max Gail is in there, too.

DOMINIC:  Yeah, and I’m so rooting for Max.  He’s one of those guys, like with Maurice Benard, where it just takes very little trying in a scene.  You’re in a place with a person and you’re just speaking, and good things happen.  The other guys who I’m up against, I’ve heard they’re all good dudes and good actors.  I’m not expecting anything.  I just want to go and have a fun night and enjoy being around everybody, and the group who is nominated from GH.  And … we’ve got Maurice, finally, back in the Lead Actor category which I am very happy about.

So, in terms of where you are now with GH, what would like to see happen down the line?

DOMINIC:  I don’t know.  When I left, Frank said, “Let’s have a chat about that future.”   However, I don’t know where I’m at as far as coming back goes.  I’ve been enjoying the freedom of being able to take a little control of my moves, so we’ll have to see.  I miss my friends and my family there, and we’re in a good place on both sides.  I think the story has been received well.

Photo: ABC

So, if GH gives Lulu a new love interest, how would you feel?

DOMINIC:  Oh, totally fine.  She’s dead to me at that point, but I mean, whatever. (Laughs)  Lulu better find somebody at some point.  I think in the long run whatever happens can only create more material for everyone to play, if we do revisit another appearance in town.

For the drama, Lulu will have had to have had sex with somebody by the time Dante reappears.

DOMINIC:  Oh, for sure.  If she doesn’t, I’ll be like, “What are you waiting for? (Laughs)  I told you forever is a long time,” but as long as it’s not like Peter, or Valentin (James Patrick Stuart), then I think Dante would fully expecting her to be with….

Photo: ABC

… Chase (Josh Swickard)?!

DOMINIC:  Oh, Chase.  Yeah, what about that jerk?  (Laughs)  I forgot about him.  You know, if Lulu did do that, it would kind of feel like almost like a “Top Gun” kind of thing … like if Maverick slept with Goose’s wife, or something like that.  Then, if Dante showed up and they were like, “Well, you were gone, and she needed help,” and Dante would be like, “Whatever Chase!  That’s low!”  It would be expected, right?  Chase is a good dude, and Dante left very messed up, so it’s kind of his fault, but I think in the long-run as a human being, she needs to have her needs met.  If it happened right away, then it’s like, “Wow! You didn’t wait forever at all.  Forever was two weeks for you? (Laughs)”

Photo: JPI Studios

So, what did you think of Dante’s return and the performances of Domininc Zamprogna? Are you rooting for Dom to take home the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series?  Who do you think Lulu might fall for while Dante is off the canvas?  Are you hoping Dominic returns on-contract with GH at some point down the line?  Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below!

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General Hospital

Bryan Craig Talks Javi In ‘Grand Hotel’, Recasting GH’s Morgan, And His Post-Daytime Career

When Grand Hotel finally makes its highly-anticipated debut this summer (Monday night, June 17th) on ABC, soap opera fans will see some very familiar faces in primo roles as this sudsy drama, based on the Spanish series Gran Hotel, tells the story of a family-owned hotel in Miami, the people who run it, and all of the secrets they keep from one another.

Brought to you by executive producers Eva Longoria and Ben Spector, the show explores the family dynamic of the Mendoza family. Longoria herself will play a mother in four episodes of the show, as well.

General Hospital fans will take note that Daytime Emmy-winner, Bryan Craig (Ex-Morgan Corinthos) is front and center in the cast as Javi Mendoza, the troubled son of the family who has some major obstacles in front of him.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Craig during the recent ABC TCA’s Press Tour for the network to get some insight into his new role, how he would feel if GH would recast the role of Morgan (he recently propped up former DAYS star Billy Flynn as a potential viable candidate) and what it has been like post-daytime in his burgeoning career in film and TV.  Here’s what he had to say about his TV life past and present.

What has this experience been like for you taping the episodes of Grand Hotel and working with such a stellar cast?

BRYAN:  It’s been incredible   It feels like it went by so fast.  It’s an awesome group of people.  We’ve got a fun show.

How would you say your character of Javi Mendoza stacks up against GH’s Morgan Corinthos?

BRYAN:  I think it’s one of the most layered characters that I’ve ever played.  There’s a lot going on with Javi.  He has a big disability, kind of like Morgan did.  It’s a physical disability, and there are a lot of challenges that come along with that.  He also has a substance problem.  So, some of the same issues and in the same world that Morgan was in.  Javi is a very troubled character, but he is also a lot of fun, and a ladies’ man … and sleeps with a lot of women! (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Do you think the audience will care for Javi, though?  

BRYAN:  Oh yeah, one hundred percent.  He was written in a very kind-hearted manner.  He’s a great guy, who has had a tough life.

Did they put you through a audition process to nab the role in Grand Hotel?

BRYAN:  They had read hundreds and hundreds of people for this role.  I came in at the tail end of it, and then the process went pretty quickly.  I read once, and the next think I knew, I was in a room with Eva Longoria and director, Ken Olin.  Then two days later, I was testing with Eva, and then I got the call that I had the part.

You’re a part of the core family, the Mendozas, on Grand Hotel, and on GH, you were part of the Corinthos clan.  How do the family dynamics stack-up?

BRYAN:  It’s pretty special.  There are a lot of similarities.  It feels like we have kind of shifted GH into prime-time.  In Grand Hotel, we have Demián Bichir, who plays Santiago Mendoza, and he is my Sonny Corinthos now.   They gave us a very heavy, heavy storyline … just like they gave Maurice Benard (Sonny, GH) and me.   So, I think the fans are really going to buy into it.   ABC, (I think) wanted to marry that bond a little bit, and I feel it was very apparent in the writing.  This network has been very good to me.

Courresy/ABC

Did you know that your co-star Denyse Tontz was in Prospect Park’s All My Children reboot as Miranda Montgomery and had a soap past, as well?

BRYAN:  Yes! I did know that.  Denyse plays my sister on Grand Hotel and we work together a lot on the show.  There were quite a few people on the show who came from soaps.  Even some guest stars who came in were big in soap at points.

So, this kind of all  worked out for you!  You left General Hospital, and landed a major primetime series, plus your other movie roles!

BRYAN:  It was a scary move, but it worked out.  I did a few things; a couple of movies, and I did a show for CW for a while, and then this.  So, it’s been back-to-back.  I’ve been fortunate.

Courtesy/ABC

How would you feel if General Hospital, ultimately, recast the role of Morgan?

BRYAN:  You know, if it was to behoove the show, then so be it.   I feel like it was a pretty nice end for me there, but I can’t sit here and be selfish and be like, “I’m the last person who could play that role!”  Would that be awesome?  I mean, yeah!  But, who knows?  They’ve got to do what’s best for the show.

GH’s Maurice Benard had great story in 2018 with the Alzheimer’s storyline involving Sonny’s dad, Mike Corbin (Max Gail).  Had you been checking it out at all?

BRYAN:  I know!   I do keep up with Maurice a lot.   We are good friends.

To remind those who have not seen the trailer to Grand Hotel check it out below.  Will you be watching Bryan in his exciting new role on Grand Hotel? Will you be OK with a Morgan recast on GH, or hope the show will wait for Bryan to return one day? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Interviews

Melody Thomas Scott Chats On 40 Years As The Young and the Restless’ Incomparable Nikki: The Men, The Booze, The Drama

Today marks Y&R icon Melody Thomas Scott’s 40th anniversary with the top-rated daytime drama series.  While CBS plans to air a special standalone episode (Nikki is in the slammer for confessing to J.T.’s murder, and she will reflect on her life in an emotional look-back), Michael Fairman sat down with the popular and beloved star for a deep dive into four decades in the life of stripper-turned-socialite, Nikki Newman for The Michael Fairman Channel.

During the interview, Melody first addresses her sadness at the loss of her longtime friend and co-star Kristoff St. John (Neil Winters): “I adored him.  I love him to bits.  I loved working with him; such a wonderful actor.  I don’t even know if he knew how good he was.”

When discussing Nikki’s colorful past, and when Y&R planned to have Nikki strip again decades later, Melody revealed she did refuse to play it: “That’s right, and I very rarely put the kibosh on anything on this show,  I was 48-years-old.  The head writer called me and I was up in hair and make-up.  They heard me say, ‘I’m 48-years-old .. that’s just not happening.”‘

Photo: TheMichaelFairmanChannel

Over the years, Nikki has faced many battles, perils ,and demons including her addiction to alcohol which has provided many a juicy story for Thomas Scott.  As to the fans always loving to see a ‘boozy’ Nikki, Melody remarked;  “Yes!  They love it!  I have great fun with it and I think it’s wonderful.”

During a segment of the conversation, Michael shows Melody some photos of Nikki’s past loves, and gets her thoughts on why Nikki fell for those men, and what it was like working with her co-stars through the years: John Enos (Bobby), Doug Davidson (Paul), Heath Kizzier (Joshua), Wings Hauser (Greg), Don Diamont (Brad), Vincent Irizarry (David), Peter Bergman (Jack), Sean Kanan (Deacon, and of course, her longtime on-screen partner Eric Braeden (Victor).

Later, Melody reminisces about her time working with the late great Jeanne Cooper (Katherine) and when asked by Fairman what she thinks Jeanne would say about her 40th anniversary milestone, Melody replied: “She would say, ‘I’m (bleeping) proud of you Mel!”‘

Photo: CBS

Check out the entire interview with Melody below (make sure to also subscribe to the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube for more feature interviews), and following that the special CBS promo honoring Melody’s 40th anniversary with Y&R.  Then let us know, what has been your favorite Nikki Newman moment over the last 40 years? Share your thoughts via the comment section below,

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GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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  • liz: “i think it would be nice to see her on general hospital..she would make a interesting Quartermaine
  • Shay: “@Scott....As a longtime GH fan, I have to admit the notion of “bringing a few characters from each soap” to…
  • Shay: “Thank you, Barbara of Atlanta! You have spoken for many fans of those numerous defunct soaps that are NOT AMC…
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Airdate: 4-2-2019

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