Connect with us

Interviews

65

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.

Leave a comment | 65 Comments
Advertisement

65

avatar
16 Comment threads
49 Thread replies
34 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
30 Comment authors
ShayAVPsonniorsolitarebecca1Soaphound Recent comment authors
newest oldest
AVP
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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!!!!!!… Read more »

DonnaRaye64
Guest
DonnaRaye64

You misspelled “shoukd”, teacher…

Celia
Guest
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.
Guest
Lew S.

Celia. I am in total agreement!

Celia
Guest
Celia

Thank you, my friend!!❤️

Soaphound
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

Soaphound
Guest
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… Read more »

Shay
Guest
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
Guest
Soaphound

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

Celia
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
AVP

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

Celia
Guest
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… Read more »

rebecca1
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

Patrick
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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,”… Read more »

rebecca1
Guest
rebecca1

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

rose
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

rose
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

AVP
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

Shay
Guest
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… Read more »

AVP
Guest
AVP

“Brung” is another pet-peeve of mine!

Celia
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

rose
Guest
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
Guest
Abruzzfan

Thank you, Rose. Well said!

Dr Helen Ruth
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
Vivian

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

Soaphound
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

cathy shoemaker
Guest
cathy shoemaker

I agree. Thank you.

Jeanne
Guest
Jeanne

Philly are the reason I watch this show.

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

Teresa Reynolds
Guest
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… Read more »

Genna Corsentino
Guest
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… Read more »

Violet Lemm
Guest
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… Read more »

Conni Kroeger
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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,… Read more »

Judy
Guest
Judy

Totally enjoyed this article. Thank you

Alexandria
Guest
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
Guest
Alicia

Phick friends and sexual partners is 2006 lol

Karen
Guest
Karen

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

Days Of Our Lives

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

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

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

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

 

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

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

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

Where is your character within this?

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

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

KEVIN:  Hell yes!

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

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

Continue Reading

General Hospital

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

 

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

Photo: ABC

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

Photo: JPI

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

Photo: ABC

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

Watch the entire conversation with Kin below.

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

Continue Reading

Interviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Video du Jour

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

The Michael Channel

Recent Comments

Advertisement

Power Performance

Nancy Lee Grahn as Alexis

General Hospital

Airdates: 4-8-2021

Advertisement

Popular