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Y&R’s Gina Tognoni Opens Up About Billy’s Bombshell With Summer & What’s Next For Phyllis

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Talk about walking in at the wrong moment and getting an earful!  That’s exactly what happened to The Young and the Restless’ Phyllis on Wednesday’s episode.  Taking the moment to level his revenge and payback for Phyllis’ romp with Nick (Joshua Morrow), her beau Billy (Jason Thompson) tells Phyllis that he slept with her daughter, Summer (Hunter King), right as Summer is standing there!   With that moment now out in the open, and Billy’s intention behind it, look for fireworks to fly!

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Daytime Emmy-winning gem, Gina Tognoni, who brings the complex Phyllis to life on the CBS daytime drama series, to get her take on how Phyllis handles this shocker, and the ramifications it poses to her, and the key relationships in her life.

As to what happens in the near future, looks like Phyllis is not going to do too well with what has just come to light, and that may set her on a whole new trajectory!  But will it be to Jack (Peter Bergman), to Nick (Joshua Morrow), or to someone else?  And, oh, there is that little item of her part in the death of J.T. Hellstrom.  Will that ultimately prove to be her downfall?  Here’s what Gina dished on the latest developments from GC.

When Phyllis gets the bombshell dropped upon her that Billy had sex with Summer, in that immediate moment what does this mean for Phyllis’ relationship with her daughter?

GINA:  Phyllis never saw this coming.  She is gutted and disgusted with her daughter in the moment, and in disbelief that her daughter would turn on her like this.

What about Billy saying to Phyllis and Summer that he had revenge sex with Summer to get back at Phyllis for sleeping with Nick?  Is she disgusted with him?

GINA:  I mean, she is speechless with him.  She’s speechless that he would stoop so low.  In her mind, this is a different offense.  Her sleeping with Nick is something that can’t be put in the same ballpark as Billy sleeping with her daughter.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Do you think Phyllis knew in her gut that Billy would sleep with Summer; after the truth about her tryst with Nick came out at Sharon and Nick’s wedding?

GINA:  I think she was consumed with her own guilt and her own loss of control that it was not in the forefront of her mind.  So, when he plops that on her, that’s what leaves her to be absolutely speechless.  Whether you call it karma, or whatever, she got knocked with some of that, and she doesn’t know what else to say.  She’s devastated by both of these people.  In Phyllis’ mind she had moved on and was trying to make things right, but Billy sleeping with her daughter just crosses a boundary.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

I actually thought Phyllis knew in her gut that Billy would go to Summer, after the Shick wedding busted wide open, as she drank out those tiny liquor bottles!

GINA:  She was drinking the bottles, and it was all out, and her life was beginning to unravel, which caused her to want to numb the pain, because it was getting so intense.  It came out at the wedding that she slept with Nick, but what she was upset about was how Billy and she had now imploded, and their relationship has been forever changed.  That’s what that drinking was about.  They had overcome so much.  Here they were trusting each other, she was supporting him, brought him out of his gambling addiction, and she ‘drowns’ herself, and then we come to today. She walks in, and he just unloads it, and says, “I slept with Summer.”   From that moment on, we start to see that she has a break, and the break is in her personality.  Not that she’s a multiple personality, but it’s literally so painful for her that it changes something within her, and we’ll see something within the next two to three weeks on-air of what that means.  Phyllis gets really drastic, which has been fun to play.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Does she think at all, that this is her fault, because she did sleep with Nick?

GINA:  Oh, yes.  She’s so confused and so overwhelmed by how screwed up it’s gotten that she is in survival mode.  We’ve seen Phyllis go in and out of that during the almost five years that I have played her. This is good stuff to play, and the writing is much more detailed than I have ever seen it.  When you see the scenes that are airing the rest of this week, they were done in one take.  Jason Thompson’s performance is so good, and Hunter King is really wrapping her arms around this role in such a cool way, that I just think the viewers are going to feel something.  Phyllis is just wrecked.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

One of the great scenes that you’ve had this year was when Phyllis realized that Summer is going after her man and she confronts her.  Phyllis slapped her own daughter and then went on the offense to keep her daughter from meeting up with Billy.  Summer did try to seduce Billy, and his gambling addiction wouldn’t have resurfaced at this time in his life, if it weren’t for her.

GINA:  Yes. Summer did push it.   I think in life, people disappoint us in such a profound way.  People are human.  We will be disappointed.   You pray to God that it’s not to certain levels, but it happens.  At the end of the day this is still her daughter, and it’s that bond that you have forever, and you love them, and you have to find a way to forgive because it’s natural: that love in your heart for your child.  That’s all I can say about this story, because it’s bizarre. (Laughs)  It sounds so funny, “My daughter slept with my boyfriend.” (Laughs)  You know what I mean?  However, when you really think about it, Summer broke her mother’s heart.

Even though Summer was a big contributor to the combustion of Billy and Phyllis’ relationship, Phyllis wants what’s best for her?

GINA: That’s the way Mal Young (EP and head writer, Y&R) is writing it.  I think that’s the most human way to do it.  It doesn’t mean that you can’t be angry, or that you have to be trusting in a situation like this.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

What does this mean for any future for the duo known as “Philly”?

GINA:  I was just saying to Jason Thompson: “I don’t feel like we’ve really worked together or hung out, because we’ve broken up on this show, so I never see you,” and he said, “I know! It’s so bizarre,” and it really is, because you get into such a rhythm with somebody.  You develop this shorthand where you understand each other’s rhythms.  Now, I’m getting to work with different groups of people.  Phyllis and Billy have such a very good dynamic.  It works.  So, to mess with something that’s not broken, (I mean, obviously it’s broken in Genoa City) it’s a bummer.  The good news is, maybe we’ll find our way back to one another.  She loved Billy very much.  That’s very much her soulmate.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Where does Phyllis see Jack in all of this?  At times, in scenes, it looks like maybe she could rekindle her relationship with Jack.

GINA:  Here’s the thing … Jack represented wisdom to her.  Jack is the type of man that no woman should ever walk away from.   Phyllis screwed that up.  She also screwed up her relationship with Billy, but I actually think that Billy had a lot to do with that too.  They both have demons.  Billy and Jack are two great men that she has failed at.  How does she live with that much failure?  How does she see herself?  What does she do?  She can’t make Billy come back, and she can’t be forced to love him.  They’re both so hurt by all of this.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Joshua Morrow was on my podcast Soap Nation Live recently, and we were talking about the hotness that is Phyllis, and how there’s this constant sexual tension between Nick and Phyllis, and how they play videogames as their foreplay, before they have sex.  (Laughs) Where is that relationship at now?

GINA:  Yes, there is that foreplay with the video games. (Laughs)  Gina and Joshua have never really explored the dynamic of Phyllis and Nick.  It was Michelle Stafford (Ex-Phyllis, Y&R, now Nina, GH) and Joshua who played that.   Now we are getting a chance to get Gina and Joshua’s take on it.  Joshua is very present when you work with hum, and that’s a very powerful thing.   So, we’ll see what happens with those two, but right now it seems to be a very physical thing between them.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Then, there are the ramifications of Phyllis’ part in J.T.’s death and the four women in collusion to hide what happened to him. What is it like for Phyllis having to work with Sharon on this, when Phyllis was the cause of Sharon’s wedding to Nick to blow up?

GINA:  Well, she’s compartmentalizing.  She’s got the J.T. thing that she wants to control as much as she can, and she’s got to also be successful in her business career.  She’s proving something to herself, and she’s proving something as a woman.  Phyllis wants to be taken seriously, but she’s got this conflict that’s telling her that she’s a fraud.  She’s got this murder cover-up that she’s involved with.  Again, like in life, you try to go forward, but everyone has demons and things inside them that take them off their game.

Is there any part of her that thinks she could wind up in prison for this crime?

GINA: Yeah!  Her whole life could just blow up to a whole other level! That’s how I see it!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

I know throughout your soap opera career; the writers and producers have loaded you up with heavy material, because you are an accomplished actress who can always deliver.  But, how do you feel now getting all of this material and trying to work through it?

GINA:  I’m getting to a place just now where I’m going, “Okay.  We’ve got this.”   For the last month and a half to two months, it’s been a lot.   Now, I’m starting to find my center and balance.  At first, it was a lot to digest.  I even felt emotional not working with Jason, and not working with Peter Bergman.  There is that attachment, were you go as an actor: “That was ours.  We built that, man!”  Then it moves on and it takes its shape, and you have to remind yourself that’s your job: that you are the chameleon.  You have to come in and sell it, and commit emotionally, because that’s your job.  There are certain days that I feel too much, and I have to remember to just breathe.  Day by day is how I take it, but I feel good.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

If you could preview to the audience what they should watch for with Phyllis, what would you tell them? 

GINA:  Watch the subtle differences within Phyllis.  There is even a different look in my eyes.  I’m bringing her to a place, and she’s bringing me to a place that I have never

So, what do you think Phyllis should do now in her relationships with Summer and Billy? Are you glad the truth is out that Billy had sex with Summer? Who should be the new man in Phyllis’ life? What changes do you think will happen to her personality as previewed by Gina in this interview? Comment below.

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ShayAVPsonniorsolitarebecca1Soaphound Recent comment authors
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AVP
AVP

I love Gina and Jason as Phyllis and Billy. I dislike Summer VERY much. Her storyline (and angst) just doesn’t make sense to me. But, Gina and Jason make-up for the holes in the storyline, and the lackluster character/acting on the other end. They are just soapy-goodness! I don’t see ANY chemistry between Gina and Joshua.

Denise A Daniel
Denise A Daniel

Gina is simply the Best. I truly hope Phyllis/Billy can eventually work through all of this because Gina/Jason are perfect together. They’ve both hurt each other terribly but time & love can heal them. I do not want to see Phyllis bending over backwards anytime soon for Summer. That girl is so entitled & petulant. She needs all her financial support stopped. She needs to be humbled.

jaybird369
jaybird369

Denise…I DO NOT LIKE Summer…PERIOD!!!!! Never have, never will. So whenever that WHINY BRAT pops up on my TV screen, I usually do 1 of 3 things: I either yell at my TV screen, press the MUTE button on my remote control or I hit the FAST-FORWARD button. Works for me…lol.

Have a good one, Denise.

Celia
Celia

As far as I’m concerned, ThisBilly, thisPhyllis, Nick, and definitely Summer got their just desserts.
However, the reason for my post is sort of relevant/or not…..depends how invested one is in following the ‘norms’ of good grammar.
For years I’ve had to endure the bad grammar on all the remaining soaps. I have tried not to say anything because I do not want to look like a Miss-know-it-all…..nonetheless, the teacher in me is stronger than I am. Cannot seem to stop the devil in my head.
I will give an example. Today, Mariah said, “…..for Tessa and I” . WRONG!!!!!!
This is one of the most common grammar mistakes ( completely independent of spelling mistakes and typos) people make.
‘For’ is a preposition, which is ALWAYS followed by an object. In this case, ME is the object. “I” is in the subjective case—-in other words, “I” is ALWAYS the subject. It never ever follows a preposition. Learn your prepositions, writers!!
The writers also need to brush up on their pronouns in other parts of speech—parsing of sentences ( singular or plural). The wayward direction of the English language will undoubtedly lead us to speaking in sign. LOL.
We need to get rid of COMMON CORE. It is ruining Academia. This is one of the promises Trump made. I commend him in many promises he has kept. But, education shoukd not be put on the back burner, albeit I’m pretty confident ( too much is going on, I get it) he will get to it…..condidering he has a young son.
I apologize for the rant, but not for my good intention.
I hope this obsevation gets posted.
❤️

DonnaRaye64
DonnaRaye64

You misspelled “shoukd”, teacher…

Celia
Celia

I hope you get the sarcasm–I purposely mistyped ” student”. Spelling is not following any grammar rule…..one either knows how to spell or not. And, everyone makes typos.
Do you feel vindicated, Donna? Ha!!

Lew S.
Lew S.

Celia. I am in total agreement!

Celia
Celia

Thank you, my friend!!❤️

Soaphound
Soaphound

Celia, Celia, this is way off topic but I can’t help it…I had to contact you. Just watched Friday’s episode of GH and am just now recovering from an hour-long giggle-fest. Sam Spadeless and Spinelli doing another “super sleuth” assignment! When she wears those “power suits” and tries to act sophisticated, I just start howling! Walking/stalking around Margaux’s mom’s house like she’s doing a dust inspection!? And WHO exactly is babysitting this time? These Sam Spy tales give me such a tickle…though probably not in the way the writers intend. Anyway, THANKS for indulging me.

Celia
Celia

Hello, Soaphound,
Oh, I get it!! I was subbing for a few days last week…..so, I caught up late last night. And, I am more than happy and willing to indulge.
I was giggling just as hard….albeit, it is such a somber time…( RIP).
Who lets anybody into her house? Did they give Margaux’s mother a curtesy call before invading her ‘space’ ? Bad acting all around!! Child’s play….
I did laugh, but when the giggles stopped, I realized how stereotypical this show is. Why the matronly spinster hair style? Do all female agents, executives etc. dress so conservatively? So wacky? I guess the same goes for teachers? A bun and thick, miopic glasses; wearing homely clothes? That blouse!! I didn’t get a look at her footware…..was she wearing her usual stilettos?……would sort of negate the rest of her garb.
Aside from that, and I will take every tomato and shoe thrown at me, Monaco is such an inproficient actress. Protocol for acting is getting more and more eschewed.
How long does it take to drink a glass of water? I thought they were doing …….well, you know… takes less than that for a qu!ck!€ ( I know, I’m so naughty–I apologize to any sensitively delicate minds, LOL). Sooo well-timed, that….returned from the kitchen at the nick of time. Usually, in such situation, suspense builds. I would usually call out-loud , ” Hurry up!”. Nothing!!
I’d love to see Sam impersonating a nun, Soaphound. Perhaps, she did in the past?
Spinelli? What can I say? I don’t know why, but when I see him, I always have the urge to get jittery….he stresses me out….he seems neurotic.
Babysitting? Danny takes care of Scout, don’t you know?!?!?! LOL.

Soaphound
Soaphound

Oh Celia, you reminded me of my 1980s guilty pleasure “DYNASTY”, which I’ve been rewatching via DVD. What campy fun…especially the arc when Joan Collins’ vitriolic, trampy Alexis disguised herself as “Sister Marie” in efforts to free an ex-lover from a terrorist prison! Natch, this Sister Marie had full eyelashes, kohl eyeliner, and passion pink lipstick. Not even Sam Spadeless could carry that off! I don’t dislike Kelly, especially since our Billy speaks so highly of her, but she often seems to lack the emotional resources of most major actresses, like Maura West, Michelle Stafford, and Jane Elliott (how I miss Tracy Quartermaine!) As far as Spinelli, I used to like him until he turned on Drew. Now all I can say is that he has really nice hair. Danny babysitting Scout, LOL! But on the plus side, he couldn’t do any worse!

Shay
Shay

“Sam Spadeless???” Very cute, indeed! However, I do have to inquire whatever happened to the previous dictate that forbade us from creating clever nicknames for soap characters…Has the ban (finally) been lifted or does it only remain in effect for certain posters???? Just wondering….

Soaphound
Soaphound

Cheap shot, DonnaRaye. A simple keystroke error doesn’t lessen the import of what she’s saying.

Celia
Celia

Thank you, my love!!
Back to Y&R…… I have the sneaking suspicion that the blackmailer is ….yup…you guessed it (LOL).. ta-da: JT.
Am I ever wrong?! HaHa and LOL.
What say you, Soaphound?❤️

Soaphound
Soaphound

Celia, I guess you’re right about J.T. It’s the only plausible explanation. Unless Rey was taking a midnight stroll that night and…..oh heck, it’d better not be ANOTHER new character!

AVP
AVP

I can’t stand Rey! The character is inserted into every scene/storyline. Lola is another unnecessary character. Their characters/scenes come off as awkward.

Celia
Celia

Agreed, my friend. Rey is an unsympathetic puzzle. I’d say ‘enigma’, but he doesn’t exude any sort of ‘enticing’ mystery to even be given that ‘honor’….I didn’t like him as Dario (Days), and I don’t like him as Rey. Arturo, I like even less. ….not sure about baby-sister, yet.LOL.
This new development, with Ashley as owning every Abbott patent ( if I understood correctly), is ‘sorta’, “kinda” scrambling for an inspiring storyline….don’t like that either…
On a more positive note: the women’s fashion/ wardrobe is fantistique!!

Soaphound
Soaphound

Celia, Rey is so unappealing he reminds me of something Sophia on “THE GOLDEN GIRLS” once said: “There’s something about him I don’t like. I can’t put my finger on it, but if I did I’d have to wash it.”

sonniorsolita
sonniorsolita

Ha! I disagree about Rey’s appeal (or, in your opinion, lack thereof) but that’s a great line. “The Golden Girls” really had great writers and no one could deliver a zinger like those four women. Thanks for today’s chuckle!

AVP
AVP

OMG, “I love The Golden Girls!” Great quote! & agreed, I can’t stand the character or his family!

Celia
Celia

Hi, again, Soaphound,
Yes, it looks like JT is playing mind games with the women.
I have a second possibility.
How about Rey? Perhaps, he has gotten a hint—-suspects something, somehow?
Is he pushing the envelope so far as to see if all of the women, or one of them will crack?
Blackmailing them is a ploy? He is just laying in wait—hungry like the wolf?
If my theory is conceivable, I think there will be one small, big problem…..Rey is falling for Sharon. He will find himself between a rock and a hard place.
I recently got the vibe that Rey is honorable ( I could be wrong and should stick to my first-impression theory-LOL). What to do? Love vs righteousness, or vice versa? What a quandary!!
❤️

rebecca1
rebecca1

Sorry, CeeCee; Trump couldn’t speak proper English if his life depended on it. Not only does he speak nonsense; he’s barely legible when he TWEETS his nonsense. Although I do so appreciate the enormous material he supplies the late night shows. Has me rolling!

Celia
Celia

Actually, Rebecca, I beg to differ. His grammar, compared to Obama’s is impeccable. I notice these things.
I really do not want to get into politics….nor bashing the President. I’ve heard enough to last me a lifetime…..you have the right to say as you wish! Not here, I beg you.
I mentioned him because of Common Core….which has to do with education….not politics.❤️

cathy shoemaker
cathy shoemaker

You are kidding right? You need to listen to some of Obamas speeches again. You can’t possible compare his articulate responses to the crazy rambling of Trump.

rose
rose

Cathy & All…And not just Barack. Michelle as well, and she doesn’t have to plagiarize. Trump may fire up his supporters with negatives and bullying. But he doesn’t even come close to the Obamas, and how they speak and inspire audiences in a positive way. You know…Aim High. Michelle did it when she was First lady. And again on NBC Today show last week on International Day of the Girl which was mainly devoted to her launching an international girls alliance, especially devoted to education. It was an incredible show which included around 1000 girls from over the world who have overcome what their countries did not offer them and other girls.
I can only think some teachers here must for some unfathomable reason I will never understand give Trump a pass (especially about women), and make him a teacher’s pet. Even though they can at times give a fail to characters and actors on the soaps for bad behaviors, in their opinion.

Patrick
Patrick

“… the Obamas, and how they speak and inspire audiences in a positive way. You know…Aim High.”

Hi Rose… simply want to state how whew at ease this all sounds… finding common ground… “make it like it was” I don’t know.. I just know.. i’m keeping the faith … rallying till Nov 6th… when at the very least my hope is that the democrat take control of the house… CLEAN UP

stop the bleeding.. the complete obliteration and desecration of our judicial system… all I want.. WAKE UP CALL PEOPLE.. together we’ve all walked the walk… same step

Soaphound
Soaphound

Rose, THANKS for saying this, particularly about Michelle Obama. I admire her and can’t wait to read her upcoming memoir. Her dignity, values, and intelligence sure beats the current crop.

Soaphound
Soaphound

I know, rebecca1. And why does he repeat everything twice or more? And who knew so many cruel, torturing despots were really “terrific guys”? We learn something new every day, don’t We?

rebecca1
rebecca1

Im telling you, Soaphound, late night is our friend. Not sure if you watch Kimmel, Colbert, or Meyers but their recaps of what he says and does is beyond hilarious while managing to show the irony, the sheer lunacy. They’re getting me through this. It’s a camaraderie of humor in a twisted, surreal, dark time.

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

Hello Rebecca! I hope all is well!

Great humor, indeed! We need to have a few laughs with all that is going on. I looked you up here in attempts to reply to you again. I left a reply to you in the Genie Francis interview thread. Even though my comment is partially given in the “Recent Comments” area, the actual comment does not appear in the thread. I have no idea what happened… Suffice it to say that I attempted to give you accolades and agreement for your political commentary. Even if my particular reply there has been “lost,” hopefully this one will appear and allow me to say this: Keep up the good fight, Friend! 🙂

rebecca1
rebecca1

Weird. I was able to “edit” on my tablet but didn’t see the edit option from my desktop.

rose
rose

rebecca1…FYI in case you hadn’t heard. New show with potential called “Legacies. Girl is a cross between vampire and werewolf. show has ties to Vampire Diaries, the Originals and a Salvatore School. :))

rebecca1
rebecca1

Hey, rose. Yes. It’s the story of Hope Mikaelson, the daughter of Klaus and Haley (Originals vampire and hybrid mom, the werewolf). I was soooo upset when The Originals was cancelled. Absolutely loved it. So, I gave Legacies a shot and so fair I’m not impressed. Maybe for the younger set as in teens. I will, however, give it another shot or two to see if it improves and if there are enough adults to hold my interest.

The Vampire Diaries, though also about a younger set somehow seemed more mature both in characters and stories. Also, the cast started heading up toward mid 20s/30s in addition to those in their 40s, 50s. And The Originals barely had any teens; more of an adult supernatural society again with mid 20s on up.

So, we shall see. Thanks for the heads up! Been watching Poldark; it’s so good. Eagerly awaiting Outlander.

rose
rose

Rebecca1…I liked Vampire Diaries, but never took the time to get into The Originals, even though I “liked” Klaus when on VD. I have been trying out the new Charmed. Hard to compete with the original where even Finola was mom. We shall see. What I am liking are reruns of The Closer and the followup Major Crimes. Great ensemble cast and stories. Even the occasional soap actor like James Patrick Stuart. And like you, eagerly awaiting Outlander.

rebecca1
rebecca1

I recommend these if you’re not watching: Ray Donovan, The Flash, The Gifted, Westworld, The Walking Dead, Ballers, Billions, Counterpart, Chesapeake Shores, 911, Animal Kingdom (NOT about animals; crime show.) That’s a helluava lot of TV! LOL; thank you OnDemand! Binging is my friend. 😉

If you’re not watching any or all of these read the synopses. Some may be too violent for you; not sure. But they’re all excellent shows.

Soaphound
Soaphound

Celia, Celia, our language is dying more deaths than Helena Cassadine. I agree about “I and me” and would like to include people saying “ecscape” and switching affect & effect. I also love watching the ‘crawl’ on news shows…Do they even employ a proofer? Misplaced apostrophes on its and it’s, ambassador spelled with one S, and countless others. To some it’s nitpicking. To me, it’s a sign of laziness, lack of interest, and the general apathy of people during the last three decades. That’s why I continually go back to Charles Dickens, Joan Didion, John Updike, Charlotte Bronte, F. Scott Fitzgerald and others who know how to make our language beautiful and meaningful. Poor grammar and sloppy writing are not just rare anomalies. They are sad facts.

AVP
AVP

I love F. Scott Fitzgerald. My pet peeves regarding our language/poor grammar include:
its/it’s, there/their/they’re, your/you’re, etc. My personal opinion, I think it’s a lack of reading/wanting to learn. I love to read, and try to make time for it. The explosion of social media is not helping, it dumbs people down, IMO.

Celia
Celia

Oh, man, AVP….Your comment is music to my ears. I’ve, actually, replied to Shay about the same pronouns and adverbs as you just have.
My other pet peeve is using a singular subject followed by a plural verb and/or pronoun.
As far as reading; I consistently find grammar mistakes in books, as well. What to do? I don’t know.
Perhaps we should hit the streets and calmly protest the evils of bad grammar in a civilized way? It’s a worthier cause than the violence out there.
Later, my friend.❤️

Shay
Shay

But, of course your reply to me never posted, as is the case for mine directed to you. Never mind they discussed actual, valid pet peeves in terms of poor grammar and English usage. Yet, others get to have their say…petty, petty!!!

Celia
Celia

I am a grammar fiend, my dear Soaphound. Nonetheless, people confuse grammar with spelling and typos ( which when typing –LOL–amounts to the same thing). …..I am an optimum speller when not on an electrical devise.
And, I am always in a hurry, especially when my 4-year old is not in pre-school.
I’m with you on all points. Soap characters are the worst….many use correct grammar. ….such as, ” Neither you nor I is going out”. Most people insist on using a plural verb ( are). “Neither” is a singulr subject….What about, “your”, “you’re”, “there”, “their”, or “they’re”?. It’s not laziness….it’s not knowing the difference or carelessness.
My son said “brung” yesterday….This tells me that children’s grammar ( in homes) is not corrected. Well, I set him straight.
You named some of my favorite classical authors! You gave me goosebumps. LOL.
Maura Wells has perfect diction and is grammatically “poised” LOL. I have yet to catch her in a grammar mistake. Eric Braeden, Melody Thomas Scott and Peter Bergman are Ok, as well.
I guess I’m making too much out of this, but schools, in general, hardly stress grammar….or spend enough time on the subject. It stops in middle school.
I have family in Toronto, where grammar in not co-ordinated within English class….it is a separate subject from English Literature. Most importantly, it continues throughout High School in most disctricts. We should adopt such programs.
Great chat—great minds and all that jazz. Ciao. ❤️

Shay
Shay

Amen to the electronic device notion! Both autocorrect and spellchecks can be absolute menaces! I cannot tell you how many times I’ve typed a more obscure word and either the computer doesn’t recognize it and automatically changes it to something I didn’t intend or it insists there is an error in spelling, only for me to double check and find that I was right all along! As much as I enjoy the many pleasures of cyber life, I have to admit that it’s hastening the demise of literacy and proper usage of the English language….especially amongst those who never had the benefit of enjoying an education during more luddite times.

AVP
AVP

“Brung” is another pet-peeve of mine!

Celia
Celia

Be careful there, AVP….good grammar is out of style. Don’t rock the boat, or the fangs and claws come out!! LOL.
❤️

Shay
Shay

Well put, as usual, CeeCeeGirl!!! Could not agree more with you over “Common Core.” It’s an absolute disgrace, especially when you consider the outrageous amount of taxpayer dollars which have been squandered in order not to “educate,” but “indoctrinate,” the youth of America. Same for “Academia” at its highest levels….I am so grateful I obtained my college degrees when they actually meant that one had mastered their chosen subjects, rather than simply been inculcated with politically-correct, SJW nonsense that leaves today’s students totally unprepared for the real world, not to mention, reality, in general! And you are also correct about the dearth of proper English usage in modern society….that’s one of the reasons I refuse to even watch domestic programming anymore…the scripts are so poorly written that they are simply atrocious! Give me a proper British series any day…listening to their intelligent dialogue and beautifully-spoken word is absolute music to my ears! As for Twitter…considering the utter profusion of profanity and often general lack of intelligent thought displayed there, I would hardly conclude that our president is one of the worst offenders found on that platform. The fact is, he successfully uses that cyber cesspool to go over the heads of the MSM in order to deliver his message and that is quite frankly, brilliant! I love the way he hammers his critics again and again…of course, he’s no Shakespeare, yet he is indisputably “effective!” (That one is for you, Soaphound….) But if you want truly witty tweets and rapier sharp retorts phrased with the most carefully-composed grammar and punctuation, I must suggest one particularly talented actor’s page, although I shan’t names names. However, let me just add that he is Mensa-level smart, attended M.I.T….and it shows! Bet you can already guess to whom I am referring, mia amica!….Later!

rose
rose

I’m all for good grammar, even though mine’s probably not perfect. But even good grammar can’t make up for what is being said, especially out of the country’s highest office. And not just for young sons, who may have the advantage of going to the better schools, but daughters too. You know, examples of how you refer to, treat, or address others for instance. And that’s just for starters.

Abruzzfan
Abruzzfan

Thank you, Rose. Well said!

Dr Helen Ruth
Dr Helen Ruth

Thank you for saying this, Celia. I am also a teacher, and am horrified at the awful grammar on soaps and in the general population. I agree, too, with your comments about POTUS.

Karenwexler
Karenwexler

Hey Miss English teacher you misspelled considering you typed condidering
.. preach to your self… oh by the way you also misspelled Should you typed shoulkd…lol…

Celia
Celia

PS. I am a Physics teacher with a PhD… that’s Doctor to you. LOL….but I sub English class on Fridays. This term is all about Willy!!
I don’t understand your angst and sarcasm. Is everything ok?
❤️

Vivian
Vivian

Great great interview! Love Gina! She’s always so smart and insightful.

Soaphound
Soaphound

Well, it’s hard to have much sympathy for serial cheaters, particularly Phyllis or Nick. But it makes for dependable drama and a great chance for actors to really let loose. I imagine Gina will not disappoint. As for the duplicitous Summer and childish Billy — flush ’em. I have no use for either, especially the JT version of Billy, all snark, overconfidence, and not a hint of warmth for ANYONE. Phyllis needs to go into therapy and find out why she continually self-sabotages and to stay “manless” for a while. As for Billy, who cares? Kyle is much more interesting.

Celia
Celia

Hello, my friend,
Phyllis does need help….I would never have the audacity to delve into anyone’s brain….not a psychiatrist. But, Soaphound, perhaps, Phyllis is insecure? Perhaps, she has never felt loved? Is crawling into bed after a fight, or a presumed break-up a self-gratifying ( not in a sexual way), indulgence…..is it to maintain her self-esteem?
I appreciate Gina; loved her as Kelly (OLTL)–great actress. Yet, there’s always that little impish ‘but’….she’s not Michelle Stafford.
JT? No, No, No. No charisma. I didn’t take to his role as Patrick ( GH) either. No Billy Miller, he.
❤️

Iakovos
Iakovos

“… Daytime Emmy-winning gem…” SO TRUE!

Thanks for the great interview, Mr. Fairman. Ms. Tognoni is a force, a genuine talent I have enjoyed on all her soap stops. Thanks goodness the genre hangs on to give her a strong series and role as she continues her career. Phyllis is a complex character and was so identified with its originator. But Ms. Tognoni has made Phyllis her own, to the point I forget there was a previous actor in the part. Lover and hate her, Phyllis is an awesome creation. Keep going, Ms Tognoni! (You too, Mr. Fairman! I rely on this site for my sudsy news and features.)

cathy shoemaker
cathy shoemaker

I agree. Thank you.

Jeanne
Jeanne

Philly are the reason I watch this show.

Gina and Jason are too great together to be wasted on other people.

Teresa Reynolds
Teresa Reynolds

I love Gina, she’s an amazing actress and brings a lot of her talent to the character. I don’t think Phyllis should be linked up with another guy though, she need to work on her other demons and work on her. I also don’t think she should be so quick to forgive Summer ” person I still don’t care for”, Summer came back with a motive to break Billy and Phyllis up and then slept with him just to get back at her mother. Summer need a reality check and a lot of growing to do. she need to work hard to gain trust and stop being a spoil entitled brat.

Genna Corsentino
Genna Corsentino

I love this character! However, I don’t see her as such a failure at all. In fact, she and Lauren and Jill are the strongest women on this show. They are career women. They can take care of themselves but they, all three, are very hard on themselves. Phyllis has been stronger than every man she has ever been with, except Damian, many years ago. He really loved Phyllis and taught her how to see the best in herself. I see this story with Summer, in the same way the writers do, except, I believe that Summer has a deeper problem and going after Billy is just a symptom of that problem. I believe that Phyllis and Billy were good, at the time, but they have moved apart, in every way. I knew that when Phyllis slept with Nick and Nick slept with Phyllis. Nick doesn’t love Sharon either. She is his old shoe. Nick and Phyllis should reunite and become a family again. They have a fire! A chemistry together and they need to bring back Lauren and Michael as their friends as well. Right now, Phyllis is in a place that is overwhelming. Nick can help her. They both need the distraction of what is wrong with Summer. That is what should bring them back together. Phyllis can help Nick in his company and she would embrace the new house and a new start. Phyllis and Nick both still love each other and they should be able to explore that again. They both need a breath of fresh air. Watching Nick chase the loser, Sharon, is really stupid. He needs to move on. I don’t want to see Phyllis let this unravel her. She might become more cautious and a little more emotionally removed but I believe that Nick could be there for her, because he knows her and he knows how shattered she is. THE THING THAT ALWAYS GETS ME ABOUT HOW THEY WRITE FOR PHYLLIS IS HOW THEY ALWAYS SCREW HER OVER. She has been there for her men, good and bad but when it comes to her and something happens, where she needs a strong support, they always bail on her. Nick always called her his “warrior princess’ because she fights for her family, her kids. She loves deeply and that is why she is so shattered. I would like to see Phyllis take Nick into he confidence and tell him about Nikki and the JT incident and I would like to see them both work to get to the bottom of who is blackmailing them. It has been a long time since we have had a good story like this could be. I am looking for something new and different out of Y&R and this would be a good start toward that.

Violet Lemm
Violet Lemm

I have been disgusted with Summer ever since her return, never understanding her beef with her mother. Didn’t even understand her answer when Phyllis asked her point blank, what exactly did she ever do to her, to be acting like she hates her, and ultimately going after her boyfriend. She’s always been her parent’s “Supergirl”, and they did not deserve this treatment. I have not one ounce of pity or compassion for this girl, now or the events to follow.
We have seen a mother going after the daughter’s boyfriend,as on GH and DOOL, but my memory not being as good as it was, can not remember this situation. One of the worst has got to be on B&B with Bill taking advantage of his daughter-in-law, having sex with her and pursuing her openly. Boggles the mind, how far these writers go, to get and hold on to viewers, not realizing that in some cases, it sickens and chases them away.

Conni Kroeger
Conni Kroeger

I watch Y&R BECAUSE of Billy (Jason Thompson) and Phyllis (Gina Tognoni). They are why I tune in every day/week/month… To mess with their chemistry would be hammering a nail in the proverbial coffin of Y&R.

Karen Ross
Karen Ross

Love Phyllis and Billy together. I agree Phyllis and Nick have no chemistry together.
I think Billy and Phyllis need to kiss and make up.
I also do not like Billy and Victoria together, please don’t put them back together.
Summer needs to grow up. Spoiled brat, however Hunter King does a awesome job in her role.

Kimmie Walter
Kimmie Walter

Extremely Hard for this Philly Fan to watch the decimation of My beloved couple I don’t even watch YR if they aren’t on ‍♀️.. I hate what Mal has done to them and like Gina said “they worked, why mess it up?” Gina and Jason are Fantastic Actors who always bring their best to the table but I’m so hurt they have to be broken again and Mal is destroying such greatness Gina said she was “emotional” not working with Jason.. Trust me Gina the fans feel it way more I can only hope that somehow out of this mess, comes a beautiful love story that can be recreated with Philly

Judy
Judy

Totally enjoyed this article. Thank you

Alexandria
Alexandria

Nick and Phyllis burned up the sheets there. I kinda like their dynamic. Very interested to see Gina and Joshua’s interpretation of Nick and Phyllis if they go there. It would be cool to see them as friends before entering into a sexual relationship.

Phyllis and Billy are great, but they need a break. Send that dirty Summer away.

Gina is such a flawless actress to watch. I love watching her. She’s a joy.

Alicia
Alicia

Phick friends and sexual partners is 2006 lol

Karen
Karen

Phyllis was shocked to be told that her daughter,Summer,slept with her boyfriend,Billy.

Grand Hotel

Denyse Tontz and Lincoln Younes Preview Forbidden Romance & Intrigue As ‘Grand Hotel’ Premieres

When Grand Hotel opens its doors to its audience tonight on ABC (10PMET/PT), it will have a very familiar feel to soap fans for several of its series regulars and its executive producer all come from the world of daytime or serialized storytelling.

Executive Producer, Eva Longoria (Ex-Y&R, Desperate Housewives, Devious Maids, Telenovela) brought to the screens a provocative drama with Miami Beach as its backdrop of the last family-owned hotel (by the Mendozas) with a contemporary take of an upstairs/downstairs story of 2019.

Former General Hospital’s Bryan Craig plays Javi, who is joined by two other soap notables; former All My Children reboot star, Denyse Tontz (Ex-Miranda Montgomery) and Australian-born actor, Lincoln Younes (Ex-Casey, Home and Away) who’s characters are interlocked in some very sexy and mysterious ways.

Tontz, plays Alicia Mendoza the strong-willed daughter of the Mendoza clan, who is fresh out of business school… and who will make a huge discovery about her dad, but is also set to embark on a romance with a new staff hire!  And that staff hire is Danny played by Younes, whose character Danny is not who he says he is at all … and he has one goal in my mind which brought him to the hotel … but things get complicated for him when he feels a massive attraction to the hotel owner’s daughter … Alicia!

Michael Fairman TV took part in a press roundtable discussion with Tontz and Younes to get some teasers of what’s to come when Grand Hotel premieres.  Here’s what they shared in some questions posed by us and others below.

Photo: ABC

Danny and Alicia definitely have an instant attraction in the season premiere. Where can you tease that it might go?

LINCOLN:  Well, it can go in a number of directions, but hopefully towards a positive one.  They each have their own motivations for why they’re at the hotel.

DENYSE:  Alicia’s main goal, or at least from the beginning, is to prove herself, just having graduated business school and sort of step into her mother’s shoes a little bit. She’s had a lot of pressure on her for most of her life to sort of fill that role and keep the family together.  I think it’s really tough to have to juggle that and the desire to explore this potential romance with this person who is so intriguing to her.

LINCOLN:  I think with Danny, his reasons are kind of unknown as to why he’s at the hotel.  He comes in as a new employee, but there is something off about him.  It is complicated by the arrival of Alicia and the chemistry the kind of ensues between them.  I think that’s kind of the interesting thing to watch is them navigating their priorities and their initial motivations with the inevitable chemistry and dynamic that has appeared.

Photo: ABC

The main family in Grand Hotel is Hispanic.  And what is intriguing about the premise is that their ethnicity is not the backdrop of the story, it’s just who they are.  Would you agree?

LINCOLN:  Eva is kind of a trailblazer in that way because this is about the story of a family, and a hotel, and the guests, and the employees, and the employers, and all of the different things these people go through.  It’s not so much the color of their skin and their background.  I think as soon as you take away the magnifying glass of how a person appears and really look at what is going on inside, that’s a step in the right direction.

DENYSE:  I think that even though we are really a diverse cast and crew, that really has nothing to do with the actual premise of the show, and I think that’s really cool even to just see that.  To just play a character who happens to be Hispanic, and that’s not the central theme of this character, I think there really are no stereotypes that are perpetuated in any way.

LINCOLN:  It’s the perfect melting pot of culture, and the fact that it is set in a hotel where anyone from any part of the world can come into, it creates this show that I don’t see anything like this on TV, and that’s very exciting.

Do you see Danny and Alicia as a duo to root for with their dysfunction and all throughout the series?

DENYSE:  I think there is this sort of allure to the forbidden romance aspect of it all.

LINCOLN:  They have these obstacles in front of them.

DENYSE:  But you want it to happen. (Laughs)

LINCOLN:  You want it to happen, and it’s just against all odds.  That complicates things.

Photo: ABC

You have such a great cast to work with; chief among them Demián Bichir, Roselyn Sanchez (Devious Maids)!

DENYSE:  Oh man, working with Demián and Roselyn and Eva Longoria was a dream.  They’re each so special in their own way.

LINCOLN:  Three powerhouses.

DENYSE:  Yeah, three powerhouses and very different.  They each have their own way of approaching a scene.  Demián is mostly a movie actor, and it really shows in the way he approaches scenes, and the way he is not glued to the lines, and it’s kind of cool to watch him and learn from him in that way.  He’s so funny too.  He makes it a really comfortable environment, and you feel safe to try stuff.   Eva … same thing.  She has a clear vision for what she wants.  She can direct in such a way that I think a lot of directors can’t, because she has been on the other side of the camera, and she has got a really good perspective.  I think she’s really great at articulating what she wants you to do.

LINCOLN:  Yeah, she’s very meticulous.  I think the thing about all of the people who you’ve just mentioned is that they all have levity.  They are all very specific, but they are all very authentic.  That carries through in both their acting and how they carry themselves off set.  That was really great to kind of learn from them.

Photo: ABC

Many in the cast are from daytime dramas, or soap operas previously, including both of you!  Was that a coincidence in the producers casting choices, you think?

LINCOLN: I think, just knowing Eva so well now, and Brian and Ben, the creators behind it, they searched long and hard for the people they wanted to play the roles.  So, it might just be a happy coincidence.

When the scripts came out, how did the cast handle the twists?

LINCOLN:  There was a lot of speculation going on.  There was a lot of gossiping on set and off set.

DENYSE:  Lots of gossiping, stealing scripts… a lot of bombshells though.  There really is no shortage of plot twists.  A lot of these characters you think are going to start out a certain way, and then you find yourself completely changing your opinion of them halfway through the season. Without giving too much away, nobody is really who they appear to be.

Photo: ABC

How do you both feel about the fact that the wait is over and Grand Hotel is finally premiering?

DENYSE:  It’s super exciting.

LINCOLN:  It’s very surreal.  This is my first American show, so I have no idea what to expect.  I just go to Denyse for advice.  I’m like, “What do I do?”  (Laughs).  It’s all very exciting.  I think when you love a project; there is another element when it is released to the public.  Everyone on the show loves it.  Everyone is so passionate about it.  So, I just hope that the audience feels the same and that we get to keep doing it.

So will you be checking out Denyse, Lincoln, Bryan, Eva and more on Grand Hotel?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below. But first check out this promo for the kick-off tonight!

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General Hospital

GH’s Cynthia Watros Talks On Taking Over The Role Of Nina & Ingo Rademacher Dishes Jax’s New Love Interest

Today on June 3rd, Daytime Emmy winner, Cynthia Watros is set to begin taping all-new episodes of General Hospital as she steps into the role of Nina Cassadine, last played by Michelle Stafford, who has left the ABC daytime drama series and headed back to The Young and the Restless to reprise her signature role of Phyllis Summers.

Watros, best-known for her delicious portrayal of Annie Dutton on Guiding Light, and who was last seen on daytime on Y&R, is back to the grind of the soaps taking on the complex Nina.  Add to that, it is clear that GH is setting up a potential love triangle, or new love interest for her, now that Jasper Jacks is back in Port Charles with GH fan favorite Ingo Rademacher returning to the show.

Last month on the recent GH Nurses’ Ball episodes, we saw Nina (then Stafford) lock eyes with Jax, and the two demonstrated an instant attraction to each other.  Add to that in story; Jax was revealed to be the new 50 percent owner of Aurora Media, which Nina’s Crimson Magazine falls under, putting them in each other’s path in more ways than one.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Cynthia and Ingo along with other members of the media at last week’s ABC Summer Press Roundtable junket, and here were some intriguing and insightful moments from the conversations below.

When we asked if Cynthia had a conversation with Michelle Stafford on taking over the role of Nina, Watros responded: “I did.  We had lunch together, and I have to say, Michelle is an amazing, lovely, giving woman.  Just to be able to sit across from her and talk about Nina and to talk about the show, I was just in awe of her generosity.  I will always be a fan of Michelle’s.  She actually reached out to me and said, ‘If you ever want to call or text…’ and I said, ‘Let’s have lunch!’  So, we found and afternoon and spent like three hours just talking about it.”

Photo Credit: ABC

Since Watros has brought the cray-cray to her best known role of Annie on GL and is so adept as an actress to go from that to playing grave reality, Cynthia weighed in on how she sees Nina and the challenges of being a recast in a soap role: “Nina has all of this stuff that I can’t wait to play.  She’s got stuff that she hasn’t explored for a long time because her life is going pretty well right now.  What happens though when your life doesn’t go really well?  You start exploring those things that you thought were sleeping a little bit, you know, that weren’t necessarily bubbling up to the surface.  So, I like it all: when a character’s life is going well and when a character’s life is not going well. Because I’m playing Nina now, it’s going to be different.  It’s going to be challenging.  It’s the first time I’ve ever taken over a role that someone else has played.  I don’t want to totally go off, so people go, “Wow.  Nina’s totally different,” but of course, I want to make it my own.  Again, I’m an actor who likes to use all of the tools.  I like it all … the funny, the not so funny, the playful, and the crazy.”

As to the timing of Watros returning to the soaps at this time in her life … and how it went down that she landed her new gig at GH, she revealed: “It sounds not very dramatic, but I got a phone call.  Just a phone call asking, ‘Would you be interested?’  Guiding Light will always be in my heart because I had such a good time doing Annie, and I was on Young and the Restless and Another World for half of a second.  So, daytime has always been in my life and in my world.  My last show was in Atlanta, and my daughters were in high school in LA, and it’s hard to go back and forth for them, for me, and for my life as a mom.  So, I kind of took my acting and said, ‘Well, I’m going to slow it all down until they graduate high school.’  They graduate high school June 2nd and I start GH June 3rd.  So, it just seemed like it just made sense.”

Photo: ABC

As to what the future holds for Nina as she takes over the role, Watros shared: “I can tease that I get to play with this guy (Ingo) a lot, and Nina is trying to find a stronger role in the magazine where she is really going to step up in making that a success and her love for the magazine , and trying to navigate her relationship with Jax.”

Cynthia will also get to work with Nina’s present love interest, James Patrick Stuart (Valentin), which the actress is also excited about:“I have to say, I have not met him, but I have been watching the show, and he is just phenomenal.  I love his character.  I love how he is this sort of like bad guy, but it seems like the women really dig him.”

Watros says she is excited to work with Maura West (Ava), Laura Wright (Carly), and Billy Miller (Drew) from the cast.  She has previously worked with Laura and Billy in her soap career. As to her nerves for her first week at the ABC studios where GH is taped, Cynthia shared that she is: “Less nervous, more excited. I feel like a 20-year-old back in soaps.  I remember Kim Zimmer (Ex-Reva, Guiding Light) back in the rehearsal room, and I was off script, and she was on the show for a long time before me, and I was new. I was yelling my lines, and she goes, ‘Excuse me! Can you tell this actress not to act so early in the morning?’ (Laughs) I feel like I’m going to do that again.  So, I’ve got to tone it all down.” (Laughs)

Photo: ABC

For Ingo, he certainly has a view as to how Jax fits into the canvas of Port Charles: “Jax is to me, and I’ve only just been able to put it into words now that Captain America came out, but he’s ‘Captain America’.  He’s all about fairness.  If he sees a bully, he will stand up for the person who is being bullied.  So, that’s who he is.  He’s the white knight.  He’s the person who will always do the right thing.”

Now that Jax has big time ownership in Aurora Media and thus Crimson, does he see the sparks flying with Nina? Ingo reveals: “Yeah, basically he walks in, and she goes, ‘What are you doing in my office?’ and he goes, ‘Actually, it’s my office.’  When I heard about him doing that magazine, I was a little surprised because that’s usually much too small for Jax.  He’s more of a Richard Gere in Pretty Woman character, corporate leader, takes corporations apart, sells pieces … this is, I think really for his daughter, Josslyn (Eden McCoy).  He’s thinking about the future.  Also, to keep him busy in an actual job that he might be good at.   I think it’s a big change in lifestyle for him where before it was about businesses which were much more global.”

Photo: CBS

As to what is behind Jax’s attraction to Nina, Ingo summed it up by sharing: I think Jax is attracted to Nina the first time he sees her.  I have a feeling he already knew who she was the first time he sees her at the Nurses’ Ball, because he’s been studying Aurora Media before purchasing it.  He’s done his background work, and to piss off a Cassadine is just a bonus.  Also, I think what is interesting for Nina’s character is the two different guys.  She’s engaged to this more mysterious character, and then, you’ve got this jolly, upfront one going, ‘Hey!  How’s it going?  Everybody having a good day?’ (Laughs)  He’s very confident as well, but in a different way.  I think it’s nice for the story for Nina to be tugged between two completely different men.”

So, excited to see the debut of Cynthia in the role of Nina? Are you up for a triangle between Jax/Nina/Valentin? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.  But first, watch Cynthia’s Emmy-winning moment as Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her work on Guiding Light.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Arianne Zucker, Stacy Haiduk & Paul Telfer Talk On Masks, Villainy & Their Wildest Storyline Yet

Take three great actors, add a prosthetic mask into the equation, and let them have at it! That’s just what NBC’s Days of our Lives is in the midst of serving up to its fans with this latest plot device and twist.  Last week, it was revealed that the nefarious Kristen DiMera (Stacy Haiduk) is alive and well and pretending to be Nicole Walker (Arianne Zucker) donning a mask, a voice alternating device, and some other body tweaks!  The goal …  to be with Brady Black (Eric Martsolf) and she will do anything to accomplish that!

Enter Xander (Paul Telfer) who has been in the thick of the plot being the only one we know of, so far, who knows that Kristen is parading around as Nicole.  They hatch their next moves inside a room at the Salem Inn.  They even went so far as to set it up to appear that Nicole’s daughter, Holly was killed, so she could blame Eric (Greg Vaughan) and cause a break-up of the long-suffering lovebirds and play it off as she needs to be consoled by Brady!

Michael Fairman TV chatted in an entertaining and wickedly funny interview with Arianne Zucker, Stacy Haiduk, and Paul Telfer to get the lowdown on what happened when they learned they would be wearing or working with a mask, how they pulled off the emotions in the storyline twist, and what to look forward to from here.  Under the clever pen of head writer, Ron Carlivati looks for the hits and twists to keep coming as this storyline continues to rock the world of Salem for some time to come.  Here’s what Arianne, Stacy, and Paul had to say about their latest on-screen predicaments and schemes!

Ari, at what point did you know that you really weren’t Nicole … and that you were Kristen playing Nicole?

ARIANNE:  I actually didn’t find out until a little bit after the van went off the road in the storyline; thinking it was Holly who was killed.  Sometimes, the less I know makes it fresher, and I think if I had known before those scenes, and the scenes with Eric (Greg Vaughan), and when I first came back, I would have had a little too much Kristen on my mind, and I don’t know if I could have been as raw as I felt in those scenes.  So, anyway that’s my long explanation.  I found out after I started back on the show! (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Additionally, did you have a conversation with Stacy about certain mannerisms hat Kristen has if you’re “masquerading” as Nicole?

ARIANNE:  Our co-executive producer, Albert Alaar had talked to me about watching Stacy because everything was happening fast.  Stacy and I really hadn’t had a chance to even talk to each other even from the last round of me being thereI remember Stacy was inundated with dialogue up the wazoo when I came back for that twelve-episode arc.  So, because of all of that, Albert said, “Watch Stacy! Watch her mannerisms, watch what she does,” and then I’ll throw a little Ari in it.  I just hope that I do as good of a job as Stacy does.

Paul, you and I talked about this on the NBC ‘Inside Salem’ podcast, when we played back for you (for the first time) the clip of Kristen taking off her Nicole mask.  Xander had the perfect set-up line for the reveal: “The part of Nicole Walker is being played by Kristen DiMera!”  Did you not have a good laugh doing that scene?  How did you get through doing that moment?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

PAUL:  Oh, yeah, I was laughing my ass off the whole time.  This is an insane storyline with masks and doppelgängers.  But, it looks great on-screen, and that way it’s edited.  So, I was really happy.

STACY:  There was one moment when Nicole would hold steady to unfold the neck.   So, Ari started that to the point where I’m pulling it off completely.  I think it’s cool.  It’s “Mission Impossible”.  How nice!

PAUL:  That’s what I going to say.  If Tom Cruise can make a hundred million dollars doing this stuff …

STACY:  … then, we can do it!

ARIANNE:  Right?  We can make a quarter of a quarter of a quarter of a quarter of that.

STACY:  We’ll make it look good!

What is the real deal between Xander and Kristen?  They are conspiring and in cahoots, but there’s this underlying sexual tension between them.  I think Xander respects Kristen in a way, because she can one-up him!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

PAUL:  I think every character who Xander has interacted with who isn’t a member of his family, he’s trying to either get something from, or get into bed with, and he can’t really do either with Kristen, because she’s crazier and more dangerous that he is up until this point.  That’s certainly the way that it feels.  The way Stacy plays it, she is not to be messed around with. Honestly, I think that turns him on.

STACY:  Yeah, there you go.  That sounds good. (Laughs)

PAUL:  I mean, it makes sense.  Just like, “Wait a minute.  This is a bit spicier than I’m used to,” so, he’s excited, but at the same time he knows which side his bread is buttered on, and he doesn’t want her to murder him!  (Laughs)

STACY:  Well said.  I like that. (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

So, what does Kristen think of Xander at this point?

PAUL:  That, he’s a useful idiot.

STACY:  She actually needs him to go out into the world because she can’t leave.  When she does, she has to leave as Nicole, and then it becomes a whole other storyline.

PAUL:  It’s fun because Kristen is actually the boss, and Xander is convinced that they’re actually partners and that becomes our whole dynamic where she’s treating him as her lackey, but he’s like, “No, we’re partners, because I know your secret.”  Then, it becomes kind of a bargaining chip between the mask and all of that.  It’s so crazy because certain evil characters when they come back, they have to come back in disguise; whereas Xander’s always quite happy to be just jogging through town square with his shirt off after holding someone ransom or kidnapping a baby like, “Ah, whatever.”

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Arianne, it’s been awhile since you got to play the villainess side of Nicole, and with this return to DAYS you get to play that side of her as well, even though it’s really Kristen. Do you enjoy playing the bad girl?

ARIANNE:  Stacy and I were just saying today that you have these conversations about the villain character, (and Paul, I’m sure you’ve felt a lot of this too) people hate you or they love to hate you, and you’re like, “Hey, it’s a good thing because I’m doing my job if you hate me,” but in order for the storyline to move, you’ve got to have a villain.  Nicole used to be kind of villain-ish but playing someone like Kristen who is such a valued villain on this show is just … oh, my God!

Stacy and Paul, what do you think is the most heinous thing your characters have done so far?

STACY:  The most heinous?  (Laughs). Wow.  You know what’s funny is that she’s done all of these things, and I don’t think she thinks what she does is bad.

PAUL:  It’s so funny because you totally would expect her to be like, “The other characters are evil.  We’re the good guys!”

STACY:  I mean honestly, so she kidnapped Nicole, and took her baby.  There’s Marlena and the window.  I mean, it’s hard when she’s done all of these crazy, horrible things.  I’ve just really enjoyed playing her because she’s smart, she’s sassy, she’s this brilliant, deviant person who just wants one thing, and there’s one thing on her mind, and everything else gets in her way.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Is the one thing Brady?

STACY:  Brady, Brady, Brady, and I think even Xander has to repeat it over and over again.  We were playing in rehearsal, and I think I had him do that.  I don’t remember the line, but I said something, and he goes, “Brady Black,” and I go, “Say it again,” just because I want to hear him say it again.  That’s her driving force.

What did Greg Vaughan and Eric Martsolf say when they found out about what the twist was?  Did you tell them?  How did they find out?

ARIANNE:  Well, Eric Martsolf always has a great chuckle.  He has a great laugh, and I think Greg Vaughan just stared at me for a minute.  Then, I told him about the mask process … about making the mask …. and how I thought I was going to pass out and die.  (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Is putting on the mask an extremely weird experience?  How long does it take to put on? 

STACY:  About an hour?  It’s quick, and I thought we were going to suffocate when we were under that because I’ve never done my whole face before, but I’ve done body things. Make-up department is like, “You’re going to be fine.”  It was heavy too, really heavy.

ARIANNE:  Yeah, and because it’s so heavy, after a while, it starts to pull your skin down a little bit, and you’re like, “No, no!” (Laughs)

Did anybody else go running around with the mask on?

PAUL:  Oh yeah.  Everybody!

I knew it!

ARIANNE:  How could you not?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

So, what is the relationship between the real Nicole and Xander, which we saw play out before her death?

PAUL:  She’s my wife!

So, Xander sees Nicole as his wife?

PAUL:  I’m happy to give Xander’s perspective on Nicole, and then Arianne can feel free to correct it.  (Laughs)

ARIANNE:  Alright, that sounds good.

Photo Credit JPI Studios

PAUL:  The way I’ve tried to handle it over the years in our ins and outs of this failed romance is that they’ve saddled poor Arianne with: this psycho chasing after her, and kidnapping her and her baby, and whisking her off to foreign lands – and also to Nashville.  When Xander first came into town, before they decided to make him a total psychopath, it was all working nicely, and Nicole wasn’t really on the up and up with Xander, and she wasn’t really honest about what her intentions were.  Meanwhile, Xander was involved in all of this chicanery with Serena, so once that metastasized into full-blown evil, and Nicole was aware of this, it shifted from, “I just really wanted to take this girl to the movies,” to, “Well, I guess I have to kill her now.”  (Laughs)  So, I think he’s just been playing that out ever since.  “Well, if I can’t date her, and if she won’t love me, then I guess I just have to torture her for the rest of her days.”  I think now on the other side of her supposed death, I think Xander has probably reconciled that his twisted romantic notions, or torture, or whatever he was doing with Nicole, is probably over, and he’s moving on to greener, more alive pastures like Sarah.  To be fair, I do think they’ve purposely made it confusing.  Not just for the audience, but for us.  There’s a real sense of, “Am I playing this to Nicole as Kristen, or do you want me to play this just to Nicole?”  Very often they just go, “No, just play it to Nicole,” because it’s funnier if for Xander it just occasionally slips his mind because she looks just like Nicole.  I’m kissing her… like he’s just enjoying the fact that he can.  “I never really got to kiss Nicole much, but this is Nicole’s face, so I’m going to.”  (Laughs)

ARIANNE:  That’s hilarious.

Ari, what would you say is their relationship?

ARIANNE:  Well, I’m certainly not as long-winded as that.  (Laughs)

PAUL:  He’s a creep!

ARIANNE:  He is a creep.  What cracks me up coming from Nicole is, “Ew, what a jerk.  He’s so gross.  Yuck, yuck!”  Like, really?  You’re not going to make that one work, huh Nicole?  When you reach that far back to the history of Xander and Nicole, it doesn’t have a lot of depth for the two characters because the next thing you know he’s trying to kill her and Eric.  It’s like that scary online dating when you go on one date and it didn’t work out because that guy is going to kill you.

PAUL:  Xander is like the ultimate bad Tinder date.

ARIANNE:  Totally. (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

That is classic.  The bad Tinder date.  That’s basically it.  Xander also apparently feels bad for Maggie (Suzanne Rogers) as she is having her bout with alcoholism.  Is that correct?

PAUL:  Yeah, I’m actually excited to see some of that stuff.  It was great doing it because I love Suzanne to bits.  I was very afraid of ruining Xander by making him too nice, but at the same time when I was first brought on to Days, I wasn’t offered a villain role originally.  Xander morphed into a more severe villain than I’d been led to believe he would be, and it happened quite quickly.  So, I’m actually quite happy to right the ship a little bit back towards he’s bad but he has some occasional glimmers of goodness in him.  So, Maggie really represents that because she’s actually quite nice to him and nurturing in a way that no other character on the show is.  When she has her dalliance with alcohol, he’s one of the few people who doesn’t judge her for it, and we finally get a little bit of Xander’s back story.  I’m actually excited to see those scenes because they felt nice to do, so hopefully they come across well.

Stacy, how did you track this storyline, when Arianne would be playing Kristen as Nicole? 

STACY:  Well if I didn’t get the script, I didn’t know about it.  So, if I wasn’t in the script that time, then I would be looking at Paul going, “What are we talking about?” and then, Ari had obviously already shot those scenes, so they were written for me, so I’m like, “What did I do?  What did I do?” It’s just scenes between Xander and Kristen at the Salem Inn.  Occasionally, you’d get somebody knocking at the door, but then I’d have to quickly put on my mask. (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

So, Ari did you ever have to go to Stacy to get tips about Kristen’s past or anything?

ARIANNE:  It was all about the future moving forward.  I think old, former Nicole had some crazy similarities with current Kristen because it felt kind the same as pulling some things from what she used to do … you know, just a couple of crazy chicks in one crazy character. (Laughs).

The other big part of this is Rolf’s diary that Xander has in his possession.  Is Kristen in cahoots with him on that?  Is she trying to get that from him?

STACY:  I think she is.

PAUL:  Yeah, that’s when she starts to get mad at him; when she realizes that he’s not just being her underling and he’s off scurrying around with his own agenda in the meantime.

ARIANNE:  He’s manipulating and doing his own thing.

PAUL:  I use it to start manipulating Eve (Kassie DePaiva).

So, what would you say to the fans to look forward to?  “You never know who you’re talking to on DAYS?” “Gird your masks?”

ARIANNE:  I definitely think fans know that’s not Nicole the way she is.  And, you never know who is going to give you a shot in the butt and turn you into somebody else.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Well, that’s true.  You never know.  One day they’re going to tell you that you’re playing Julie today! (Laughs)

ARIANNE: “Today the character of Julie will be played by…”

STACY: “… you will never guess by whom!”

PAUL:  This was fun.  This is a fun way to do it.  Let’s all do all of our interviews together moving forward!

So, what have you thought of the plot twist? What do you think of the Nicole mask and the performances and comments made here by Arianne, Stacy, and Paul? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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