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(INTERVIEW) William deVry Talks on His Roles in Hallmark’s ‘A Whitewater Romance’, New Film ‘Pocket of Hope’ and His Time on the Soaps

Photo: Hallmark

For soap favorite, William deVry life-after-daytime has been reinvigorating, filled with new projects and new directions. This Saturday, May 11th he can be seen in the latest rom-com from Hallmark, A Whitewater Romance (8pm ET/PT) starring Cindy Busby as Maya and Ben Hollingsworth as Matt who play intense business rivals, and featuring Will as Jim Burdett, set against the backdrop of the outdoors and Canada.

In addition, Wil has been busy prepping other projects in which he is executive producing and starring including: Colt & McQueen and Christmas in Bordeaux, and producing and starring in a very dramatic departure for deVry, as the lead in the new true-life story feature film, Pocket of Hope.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Wil to get the lowdown on his latest and upcoming roles, his expanding career aspirations, and to get his reflections on his three main soap roles: Julian Jerome on General Hospital, Storm Logan on The Bold and the Beautiful and Michael Cambias on All My Children. Read on for what deVry has been up to of late and his reflections of the past.

Courtesy/Hallmark

In A Whitewater Romance, you play the character of Jim Burdett, tell me about him?

WIL: My character runs this whitewater rafting company and the deal is that there’s a corporate retreat that is organized at my company. Jim is sort of old school. He’s been running the company for quite a lot of years. Jim’s not social media savvy. In the story, Maya and Matt get there, and they end up obviously enjoying themselves at this corporate bonding retreat. They discover that Jim was going to close down the company. He stayed open specifically to accommodate this corporate retreat. And then, of course, Cindy Busby’s character, and Ben Hollingsworth character do this little online thing for Jim and get business booming. Before he knows it, the entire summer is booked with clients and they basically saved his company. It’s a feel-good movie with beautiful, stunning locations.

And, are you a good guy in this?

WIL: It’s almost like, wait!  Will is playing good guy? It’s funny because our director, Jason Bourque knows I’ve been playing bad guys for so long. Even the Christmas movie that I did with Terry Hatcher, Christmas at the Chalet, I went through such an arc. My character was so focused in his business and kind of unhappy because he was living his life for other people, and you don’t really realize that you might be slightly unhappy because you don’t take time to do inventory for yourself. In A Whitewater Romance, Jason had this idea that I was this really kind of ‘happy-go-lucky’ guy. And by the second day of shooting, he goes, “I think maybe Jim is a former military …” We both laughed because it was a subtle joke, because you know, I can be a little bit serious.

Photo: Willdevry

How was it to work with Ben and Cindy?

WIL: Great. Cindy being a lead, they set an example for everybody. Cindy is so low key and very friendly, and basically the trailer door is open if you want to discuss anything. Ben was also a producer on this. He might have had a little more stress on him than just sort of acting. But honestly, you couldn’t tell. Both of them had a good sense of humor. I would work with either one of them in a heartbeat again.

You have some exciting news to share; as you are about to be the lead in a new film?

WIL: Yes, I’m the lead in a new film called Pocket of Hope. It’s based on the true story of Chad Gaines, and I am playing Chad. It’s a beautiful movie. It’s in the present day with Chad talking with his daughter. He’s always been reluctant to share his past with her, and because there was a lot of trauma involved, he didn’t really want to put her through that. She’s no longer a young lady and so he feels now is the time to share that. There are a lot of strong flashbacks in the movie. It goes back between the past and the present, which I think is really engaging. The budget is well over a million dollars. We start filming at the end of May in Los Angeles, and then we will go on location in August to shoot the remaining scenes.

Courtesy/Willdevry

How do you feel about tackling a dramatic role such as this with tough subject matter?

WIL: It’s a heavy-duty role. There’s a lot of responsibility. I’ve prepared my whole life for these kinds of roles. It’s really exciting to play a true life individual, who has a story to tell. I think it’s a great honor for me and for the director/producer David Kohner Zuckerman, as well. David is wanting to do Chad’s story justice. We’ve got a good team for this. Robert Altman Jr’s, Cora Atlman, is playing my daughter. When you find a troupe that you like to work with and you can collaborate with, you stick together. So, we have David, as I mentioned and also Deran Sarafian, who is consulting on the project. Deran and I have been working on my other project together, Colt & McQueen. We are the luckiest people in the business right now to be working with Deran. He has had a lot of successful pilots that he’s done for Fox, ABC, and NBC and also Marvel and Netflix shows. He was also a producer on House for Fox.

Photo: Willdevry

In Colt & McQueen, you play a former LAPD detective, right?

WIL: Correct. He was basically dishonorably discharged for something that he didn’t do. He is going be trying to clear his name of any wrongdoings. However, in order to make a living, he sort of does these unsanctioned assignments for the captain of the LAPD, who is also on his way out. He’s a good guy. Kin Shriner (Scott, GH) is in it and he kind of plays a man of the streets who goes by “The Professor.” Rebecca Staab (Elizabeth, Port Charles, et al) is in it, and she plays the character with the code name “Leather Jacket” within the LAPD system. We go into production on it in July.

You’re doing your own projects now. That must be liberating in some ways and harder in others.

WIL: I just said, “Look, if I’m going to stay in this business, I have to have some control over my career now as opposed to just auditioning blindly.” That can be a frustrating process. I am learning a lot because I’ve never produced before or executive produced, but the effort is there, and the will to do so is there.

Photo: RStaabIG

Speaking of projects, you have another one you are working on, a romantic comedy called Christmas in Bordeaux. What is the theme of that one?

WIL: It’s a tale of family traditions, renewed passions, for love and life and spiritual and cultural awakenings. Finding value in the time we have left. And of course, a happy ending for all involved.

As an actor, when you finally get to the point where you get to act you probably really enjoy that. It’s just the challenges of all the things it takes to get there that can be daunting for a performer.

WIL: As an actor, you have to be so good and so comfortable and embrace the rejection. The rejection has to feed you. It can’t defeat you. However, I kind of do take everything personally. If a casting director doesn’t want to bring me in for something that’s their prerogative. I don’t really get angry about it, but I take it personally because I kind of feel like, they should bring me. I can’t just sit back and accept my fate based on other people’s ideas of what I’m capable of or not capable of. Sometimes my resume is a benefit, and sometimes it’s a detriment. It’s up to me to change the narrative.

Photo: JPI

What would you want to say to the GH fans who had been so supportive of you through the years?

WIL: It blows me away how loyal they are, and their passion. I want them to be of aware that. I’m excited to work for myself, and if that doesn’t work out, I am very comfortable going on to do something else with my life. Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis, GH) and I had talked about it at one point, and how she absolutely loves the business. I have other things that interest me and move me. I hope every single fan of Julian Jerome comes along on this journey with me.

Photo: JPI

Looking back, do you think your best role on the soaps was Michael Cambias on All My Children?

WIL: I think with Michael Cambias that All My Children destroyed the character. I sat down with the executive producer at the time, Jean Dadario Burke, and she said, “You’ll be here as long as you want. We did a focus group and you’ve got a 96% approval rating. That’s through the roof.” Two days later, I was called back into her office as they had fired the head writer. I was told Megan McTavish was coming back and they were going to make my character irredeemable, which as everybody knows, Michael Cambias went on to do horrible things to Erica Kane’s (Susan Lucci) family and then he was off the show.

Photo: JPI

Then, you went on to portray Storm Logan on The Bold and the Beautiful and the heartbreaking suicide storyline which saved Katie’s (Heather Tom) life, but cost Storm his.

WIL: Storm had a lot of potential. When you’re going through such a beautiful, heart-wrenching, horrific story like that, I wanted to give the audience a lot of credit. Soaps have a smart audience. I wanted them to go on the journey with me. I didn’t want to ruin it for them by playing the problem. I didn’t want to create the drama before it was time to pay the price, if you know what I mean. I allowed it to play out on-screen without any foreshadowing. I think that’s why it worked and that’s why it broke everybody’s heart, and I think that’s why it won a Daytime Emmy for Best Drama Series. Brad Bell (executive producer and head writer, B&B) trusted me with a vehicle that ended up being the Ferrari for that year. I’m eternally grateful to him.

Photo: JPI

Do you ever check out General Hospital nowadays to see how your old castmates are doing and what is happening in Port Charles?

WIL:  I like to check in. I like to see what Kin Shriner (Scott) is up to, and I like to see who’s showing up and who’s going. I like to see Maura West (Ava) who is such a terrific actress and who played my on-screen sister. We had such a good working relationship and I hope she is on the show forever.  I was happy with my eight years on the show. I knew for 18 months it was time for me to leave. I knew in my heart the character was done. Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) was thrilled with how I left the show. Those six and a half years on General Hospital were a lot of fun. I really loved going to work.

So, will you be watching William deVry in ‘A Whitewater Romance’ this weekend on Hallmark? What do you think about his upcoming projects and roles? Miss him on daytime? Comment below.

 

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Wonderful interview…TOTALLY!!!!!

Will’s great. One of GH’s dumbest decisions ever to write “Julian” and Will off the show. He’s “leading man” material; there was so much they could have and should have written for him; he should still be with the show today. But, yes, I’ll check out his other projects.

It’d be great if Ben Hollingsworth could get him a spot on Virgin River. Such a fantastic show!

Good interview…

Rebecca you are so right! DUMBEST decision ever to not keep him front burner! Those last three years could have been used to boost their ratings through the roof with him front and center!!!

Doesn’t make sense. But so many firings didn’t. Did you watch when they out-of-the-blue fired Stuart Damon who played Alan Quartermaine? That was shocking. How many times did they kill off AJ? Legacy characters from legacy families which is why so many of those great families barely have any original characters left. So many had a “crush” on Julian, lol. And it would have been interesting to see him rival Sonny; instead they watered him down and had him owning the bar which was the beginng of the end for the character. He never even had another relationship after Alexis, other than a brief thing with Kim. Completely baffling…

General Hospital

Giovanni Mazza On Contract at General Hospital: What Are Your First Impressions?

This week, General Hospital introduced newcomer Giovanni Mazza in the role of Giovanni Palmieri, who apparently is Brook Lynn’s (Amanda Setton) second cousin, one removed or so the story goes.

The character of Gio showed up at Brook Lynn’s wedding to Harrison Chase (Josh Swickard) and played the violin at the ceremony. As has been previously reported, Mazza in real-life is a professional violinist and actor.

Upon making his first appearance on the ABC daytime drama series back on May 15th, fans wondered if Gio will be sticking around and that was confirmed by the closing credits of the May 17th episode where Mazza’s name is included along with other contract players.

Photo: ABC

When the news of Mazza’s casting was announced, the talent young man took to his Instagram and shared the good news, expressing, “I am so honored, grateful, and ecstatic to announce the big news! The biggest thank you to General Hospital for bringing me.” He closed his sentiments with “So much love and joy to my new fam! YAY!!! ”

Commenting on his post included new castmates Evan Hofer (Dex) saying, “Happy to have you brother,” plus Tabyana Ali (Trina), Eden McCoy (Joss) and ABC executive Nathan Varni who said, “Congratulations! Welcome to GH!

Photo: ABC

During the May 17th episode, Gio had an exchange with Dex, where he mentioned that his father was in the military back in early 2000’s.  Previously, Gio revealed to Chase that his father died in the military when he was young. So this begs the question, who is Gio’s dad?

What were you first impressions of Giovanni Mazza in the role of Gio? Who do you think he might be romantically involved with and might be also related to other than the Cerullos? Comment below.

 

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A post shared by Giovannni Mazza (@giovanniviolin)

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General Hospital

Michael Easton Shares on the Loss of Kamar de los Reyes, “I Was Holding His Hand When He Passed”

For the first time publicly, General Hospital’s Michael Easton (Finn) opened up about losing his best friend, the late Kamar de los Reyes (ex-Antonio, OLTL) to cancer.

The former One Life to Live and All American star lost his battle to cancer back on December 24, 2023 at the age of 56. De los Reyes leaves behind his wife, actress Sherri Saum (ex-Sunset Beach, OLTL) and their twin boys, Michael and John, and his eldest son, Caylen from a previous relationship.

Easton along with Y&R’s Trevor St. John (Tucker) were both castmates with Kamar during their time on One Life to Live. The two shared their remembrances this past Thursday night during’s live virtual event, Daytime Stands Up – A Benefit for Stand Up To Cancer … We All Have a Story.

Photo: Robin Platzer

In tribute, Michael expressed, “It was a 30-year friendship with Kamar. We did our first movie together in 1990. I was scared and I was quiet and I was instantly drawn to his bravado and his sense of himself. Kamar was larger than life. He was the best man at my wedding, and I am the godfather to his son, Michael. His loss was profound on all of us.”

He added, “There hasn’t been a day gone by that I haven’t thought of him, and his family and what he brought to this world, and the contributions he made, not only to this acting community. He loved being an actor and he was a great actor. I always like to say Kamar was such a good actor that they cast him as a priest, not just once, not twice, like seven times. I mean, he was often shirtless. But, if you needed a shirtless priest, Kamar was your guy.”

Photo: Facebook

When discussion turned to the end of Kamar’s life, Michael shared, “I was holding his hand when he passed, and he was surrounded by family and, and friends. There was so much love around him. I mean, he touched so many lives. I mean, Trevor knows that at his memorial, it was the biggest, at Forrest Lawn. They couldn’t even fit everybody in. There was people stretched out all the way to outside. People showed that hadn’t seen him in 20 years. That was the effect. So many of the One Life cast members came and cast from All American.”

Michael also spoke to Kamar’s determination till the end and his incredible work ethic, “Extraordinarily enough, he went to work two weeks before he passed at All American.  He was fierce to the end. He never talked about being sick. Even though the odds were stacked from the very beginning, and it’s still really hard for me to talk about, but I was in awe of his strength and his resolve. I would’ve shut down long before he did.”

If you haven’t done so watch below 46:47 mark for Michael and Trevor’s emotional appearances on Daytime Stands Up as they share their memories on Kamar.

Then let us know, what you thought of Michael’s candid tribute to his best friend via the comment section below.

 

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Brook Lynn and Chase’s Wedding Reception Brings a Beatdown for Dex

On Friday’s, May 17th episode of General Hospital, Brook Lynn (Amanda Setton) and Chase’s (Josh Swickard) wedding reception was the focal point as the touching celebration for the newlyweds got underway.

Sonny (Maurice Benard) was seething over seeing Dex mingle with the guests. With Dex becoming a cop, and ratting him out to Anna, previously Sonny feels betrayed by his former hit man. However, Sonny’s growing paranoia and mental stability is in question, in particular, because he has been off the proper dosage of meds for months now.

Later, when Sonny sees Dex talking with Gio (Giovanni Mazza) about serving in the military, and later chumming it up with Cerullos, he is about to go postal.

Photo: ABC

Outside the ballroom. Sonny confronts Dex about chatting it up with the Cerullos, who he says are his people. He warns Dex to stay away from his family. Dex says he was invited to the reception.

Next, Sonny calls Dex a snitch, a spy, and lets him know he is “lucky to be breathing.”  Sonny issues Dex a warning to stay away from his family, or he may not be breathing much longer.

As Sonny turns to walk away., Dex grabs him by the arm to try to reason with him and to and say he’s not his enemy. However, Sonny throws a punch. In the pickup, Sonny continues to bloody and beatdown Dex, until Jason (Steve Burton) arrives on the scene and restrains Sonny.

Photo: ABC

Kristina (Kate Mansi) walks in on the moment. She sees her father is yelling that both Jason and Dex are traitors. Sonny screams that they are both dead and he’s going to put a gun to their heads.

Photo: ABC

In happy news, Brook Lynn and Chase finally begin their wedding night when they jump onto of their bed in their honeymoon suite. Chase says now they have a great wedding night, which will be followed by a great honeymoon, and that will be followed by their entire life together. They share a kiss.

So, what did you think of Sonny’s explosive words and actions against Dex and Sonny? Will Kristina figure out what is going on with her dad, once and for all? Comment below.

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