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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
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
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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.

Interviews

Y&R’s Brytni Sarpy Talks On Her Emotional Week of Scenes & The Fallout From Elena and Devon’s Break-Up

Talk about self-sabotage! Over the last few weeks, fans of CBS’ The Young and the Restless have seen how one decision, or moment in time, can have an effect on several residents of Genoa City, such as the case with Elena Dawson (Brytni Sarpy), after she had sex with her colleague Dr. Nate Hastings (Sean Dominic) … at the clinic they work at!

It all starts unraveling for Elena when her fears get the best of her thinking that the current-love-of-her-life, Devon (Bryton James) will fall for the sister of his late wife, Hilary, in the form of Amanda Sinclair (Mishael Morgan).  And thus sets the stage for a potential quadrangle, and perhaps … some baby drama?

Since coming to Y&R from General Hospital, actress Brytni Sarpy has been developing the character of Elena and playing her for all she is worth and then some in recent heavy-duty heart-tugging scenes where viewers saw Elena confess to Devon that she cheated on him with his cousin, Nate! Then later, she gets kicked to the curb by the man she loves, leaving her wondering, “What did I just do … and why?”

 

Well, Michael Fairman TV has some of the answers as we chatted with Brytni to get the lowdown and the insight on these pivotal moments in Elevon’s love story, and if there is even a future for them, or is it on ice for good? Plus, Brytni opens up about falling for her co-star and recent Daytime Emmy winner, Bryton James, and taping what would normally look like a red-hot passionate sex scene on the soaps with Sean Dominic, but having to do it under strict CDC Covid-19 protocols. Here’s what Ms. Sarpy had to say about it all!

Courtesy/CBS

You’ve got this big storyline unfolding now on Y&R.  Did you know when they brought on Sean Dominic that they were going to bust up  Elena and Devon?

BRYTNI:  Yes and no.  When Sean was first brought in, there had been another actor playing his role, so technically his character has already been on-screen.  So, I didn’t necessarily think it was going to cause any type of conflict, or a love triangle, or anything like that.  However, I think that there were little hints about it along the way in the writing, and our characters similarities in both being doctors.  The writers are pretty tight-lipped, so I only know things two or three weeks in advance.

Were you playing that Elena had this attraction to Nate for a while now?

BRYTNI:  There was a point where I decided to play it, and that is when I felt that it was in the material. It was when things got a little crazier with Amanda coming around and Elena being at the height of her insecurity about that, and her really choosing to only confide in Nate.  I think that kind of relationship and comfortability that she was finding and that dynamic of being at the clinic with Nate, and establishing that with him, she was not having with Devon.

Courtesy/CBS

Right, and so do you think once Elena knew Amanda was interested in Nate, she subconsciously stepped up her own interest in him?

BRYTNI:  No, I think around this time she was hoping for Amanda to date Nate, and she was asking a lot of questions and things to egg on that whole relationship.  I think in her subconscious she really felt like, “Oh good, if I can put these two together, then my fears about this woman who looks exactly like my boyfriend’s dead wife… that resolves that.”  I think for Elena it was just kind of putting them together.  It wasn’t about Nate.  It was about someone to occupy Amanda so that Elena’s insecurities didn’t have to come out and she didn’t have to worry about Devon, or anything with those two being together.

But didn’t Elena have a nightmare/dream about Amanda and Devon having sex?  Wasn’t she freaked out about Amanda being Hilary’s sister?

BRYTNI:  This was when she had already jumped down the rabbit hole of being insecure about what was going on about Amanda and Devon and how much time they were spending together and hoping that he didn’t fall back into those feelings he had for Hilary that he had just gotten through.  For Elena, I think it was a lot of PTSD; for her.  She felt the first half of their relationship was trying to get over Hilary.  Once it finally turned to a point where Amanda was spending a lot of time with Devon. and she had started only confiding in Nate and not Devon about how she felt, that’s when I think those insecure feelings came up, and her talking about it so much manifested into her dreams, and she set herself up for her own trauma.

Courtesy/CBS

So, you have to do this sex scene amidst Covid-19 protocols with Sean Dominic.  How was filming that scene with Sean because Nate looks at Elena, she looks at him, signaling they want to have sex right now, right there at the clinic, and then it cuts out.  Was it awkward filming it?

BRYTNI:  Yes, it was certainly awkward because his double was Bryton, so it’s hard to play that you’re cheating on a character with the actor who plays the character that you’re cheating on. (Laughs)

We are going to give you the Emmy right there for that!  (Laughs)

BRYTNI:  Right! (Laughs) Then in some of the scenes we are looking into each other’s eyes, and we appear to be close, but of course we are not that way.  So, I am staring up at a mannequin that it is at Sean’s eye-level, and he is staring down at a mannequin that is at mine.  It is not easy to try to sell that energy that is between two people in such an electric, heated moment, so it was definitely challenging.

Do you buy Elena’s rationale that they were on a euphoric high from saving Jared’s life at the clinic, as the impetus that leads her and Nate to have sex?

BRYTNI:  I don’t think she really understands what happened.  I think she is trying to put it together.  Right after it happens, she goes into that whole monologue about how, “I’m not blaming you, but this happened, and we were just coming down from a high.”  I think it’s just her trying to figure out why her emotions brought her to this place because I think this is one of the few times in someone like Elena’s life when she has acted without thinking or without forethought to the consequences.  I think she has just been exhausted with trying to battle her emotions, trying to be a doctor with a residency in a hospital, and then also trying to do as much work as she is doing at a clinic.  Then, coming off of an emotionally-charged partnership with Devon after seeing what he was going through with the ghost of Hilary for so long, and going back into this after finally having a calm and peaceful few months, it rocked the whole boat again.

Courtesy/CBS

Viewers have seen what played out over the last week and half, a lot of scenes were you as Elena are called upon to do a lot of breaking down, and crying.  So, how are those scenes to perform? Do you like those types of scenes, or are you like, “Oh, God! These are so soapy!”

BRYTNI:  For me, personally playing that, I think with all the tears and all of that, it’s been exhausting, because there are certainly levels of reality to this where I have to go for it to not be me just trying to emote on-screen, but actually feel the depths of what my character would be going through.  It’s a lot.  I’ve had a few migraines after work sometimes, but I do enjoy it.  I enjoy getting those emotions out.  I think that because of what I’ve established with her character for a little over a year, I’ve been building up Elena, and more importantly, building up her relationship with Devon.  I think to understand her actions, it had to come from a really solid place.  I don’t think she is ill-intended in any of her emotions.  I think she really cares about and wants to protect her partner, Devon throughout all of this, and then she finds herself unprotected and vulnerable in making decisions that inevitably do the complete opposite.  So, I think at the end of it, she really is disappointed in herself and also, she has just created this entire disruption of her life in the matter of a moment, and I think there is a lot of mourning, and there is a lot of guilt.  I just don’t think that it is intentional of her character to do something like what she did.  I think that for me to make it what it was… something that my character would do or did … it had to come from a real place that didn’t sit well with her, and it just happened, and she feels guilt-ridden.  It’s as serious as a character attempting to murder someone, or any other kind of character who would go to the extremes of who they are in their characteristics.

Courtesy/CBS

For you, since you are romantically-involved with Bryton James in real life, does that make it harder or easier to play?

BRYTNI:  I’d say both.  It makes it harder because it’s more real, but it also makes it easier because it’s more real.  These are situations that could at some point come up or have come up, and to put yourself in those positions, and to have him look at me the way that he does and to jeopardize something that real, to go to that place, is a dark place to have to portray.

… And then Devon throws her out! 

BRYTNI:  He does.

Devon tells her to leave the penthouse and he tells her to pack her stuff and go.

BRYTNI:  Rightfully so.

Courtesy/CBS

Doesn’t Elena deserve that reaction for her actions?

BRYTNI:  I think so.  She made a mistake, and she has to learn from it.  I think if there is any potential for these two to ever reconcile, there has to be space given, and there has to be understanding.  You can’t just pretend like everything is normal even though she is sorry.  Sorry isn’t a reason why and sorry isn’t proactive.  She has to fix the issue.

They brought Jared (Michael Maclane) back to be the catalyst that was ended up being the spark that ignited Nate and Elena’s passionate moment together at the clinic. What did you think of that plot point?

BRYTNI:  The point was actually, that it was a patient who they had invested in and cared about, and she was able to do something for this kid and save his life with someone who she has been leaning on, someone who she has had a shared connection with, someone who shares her perspective, and helped her through situations with Devon, and who has seen her ugly side and her insecure side, and it was a bonding moment, I guess, that they were able to save a kid’s life who they both knew added another layer to their relationship that caused things to go grey.

Coming up, it appears that Amanda is going to be instigating a lot of stuff, and Nate is going to still have feelings for Elena.

BRYTNI:  Yeah, I mean, it’s not over.  Now that the cat has been let out of the bag, they still have residual feelings.  I think Nate is starting to make it very clear why he went the direction he went.  I think he has more of an understanding of where his feelings lie and that they are with Elena.  I think with Amanda, maybe a part of her ego just got bruised, and maybe she wants to unearth the truth of all of this because she was kind of caught in the middle of it.

When you and Bryton are together in real life, are you rehearsing all of these scenes and playing all of the other characters in them?

BRYTNI:  Typically, we run lines together.  I have voices for everyone.  I have a Nate voice.  (Laughs)  I have an Amanda voice; I have a Lily (Christel Khalil) voice.

Photo: Sonja Fleming/CBS

You are in one of those interesting situations where you are with the person in real-life and in story.  I have talked to Bryton about this, but what was the moment when you knew it clicked with him? 

BRYTNI:  We certainly liked each other since day one just as people.  He was a great scene partner to do a screen-test with, very giving, just really professional, but just a down-to-earth nice guy. Then, just moving forward from that and working with him as my scene partner on Y&R, I think it was during our first group scene, it was the opening of Society, and we did a tribute to Neil Winters (Kristoff St. John), and that was the first time I had spent long hours on a Y&R set.  You’re with the whole group all day because you’re doing group scenes.  We just discovered and learned that we are both really goofy, and we were just laughing and talking about stories.  I think we found that we had a lot more in common than we would have realized… very similar pop-cultural references, and upbringings, and all of that.  From there, we’ve just gotten along really well, and it progressed.

Photo: Sonja Fleming/CBS

Back in late June,  there was this viral video of you jumping up and down when Bryon’s name was called as the winner of the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series during the 47th annual Daytime Emmys telecast.  What do you remember of that night with him?  You seemed more excited than he was!

BRYTNI:  Yeah!  I was really excited for him.  The year before – well, I didn’t know that it was our first date –  but,  I guess it was our first date at the 46th Daytime Emmys, because I honestly thought that Matt Kane (publicist, Y&R) had asked me if I wanted to go along, and apparently, Bryton had asked if he could invite me.  So, we spent that time together, and he was nominated that year as well and lost.  Cut to this year where Bryton is a person who I have actually worked with and have seen how he works, and after Kristoff’s passing, and just seeing the amount of work that Y&R put into it, and the time that they spent on those episodes, and how beautiful they came out, everyone deserved an Emmy for that.  It was really beautiful work, and it was really touching, and it was really true and honest.  I really thought Bryton deserved it.  I think he was just as happy.  He’s just more reserved than I am.

What do you want to see happen for Elena moving-forward?  Do you want to see more of her extended family pop up so she is a character who has more ties to Genoa City?

BRYTNI:  I do, I do.  A lot of the characters never know who their father is.  I’d love to know who that is. (Laughs)  Like when I played Valerie on General Hospital, she didn’t know who her father was either.  Things like that are interesting to play.  I’d love to start closing those little holes about her because that helps me.  It helps me to create more dimensions in her character and to make firmer choices, and give her somewhere to go, and it gives more richness in her story.  I would love to also cement her to the Y&R canvas if she has any relation to anyone else there.

Courtesy/CBS

There have been rumors that Elena will become pregnant.  What would you say to that?

BRYTNI:  What do I think of that?  I don’t know.  It could happen.  Crazier things have happened on soaps.  Will it be the classic, “Whodunit?”

You mean, who could be the baby daddy?

BRYTNI:  (Laughs) Yes, that would be interesting, and yes, I’ve seen those rumors, too.

Do you think Elena will fight and claw her way back to Devon, or do you think she is going to let it be? 

BRYTNI:  I think even from the scenes that aired this past week, you can see the extent of how sorry she is.  She is laying it all out there, in a puddle of tears, exactly how she feels even though she is not able to really understand why she did what she did, her sorrow is there.  I don’t think there is really much more for her to do as far as pleading to get him back until he is ready, if he ever is ready.  I think her respecting his wishes in the situation is probably the best thing that she can do at this point.

Photo: IG

Meanwhile, if you have any more romantic scenes with Sean Dominic, Bryton will step in, so you will still be in scenes with him, even if Elena and Devon aren’t together. 

BRYTNI:  (Laughs) Yes, that’s true!

So, are you rooting for Devon and Elena to get back together quickly?  Do you think she may end up in a relationship with Nate? What have you thought of Brytni’s performances in this storyline? Comment below, but first watch Devon tell Elena to move out!

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Interviews

Y&R’s Peter Bergman Talks On Dina’s Death & How It Will Impact Jack, His Final Scenes With Marla Adams & Taping During COVID-19

The Abbott family is reeling from the death of their mother, Dina Mergeron, who passed away from complications from Alzheimer’s disease at the end of last Friday’s episode; signaling the end of an era for Dina’s portrayer, Marla Adams.  In a pivotal and heart-breaking scene, Dina shares one last goodbye with her children: Traci (Beth Maitland), Ashley (Eileen Davidson) and of course, Jack (Peter Bergman).

Today, the drama continues as the Abbott’s grieve Dina’s death and its aftermath while they remember the life of their flawed mother. This puts Jack at the epicenter of the family, and like it, or not, the new head of the clan.  What does the future hold for him now?

Michael Fairman TV chatted with three-time Daytime Emmy winner, Peter Bergman, who has embodied Jack for over 30 years on the top-rated CBS Daytime drama, to get his thoughts on: how Y&R needed to handle Dina’s death within the confines of the coronavirus pandemic and its safety protocols, what he felt about playing those final scenes with Marla Adams and the significance of the ‘teardrop of love’, and a preview of what fans can expect in the coming days as the impact of Dina’s death will be felt by the Abbott children and extended family.

 

An actor’s actor, you can always expect a conversation with Peter to be forthright, candid and enlightening, and this one was no different.  Here’s what one of the genre’s absolute best had to share about the significance of this story and more.

How has it been returning to Y&R during the pandemic?  I bet you never thought in all of your years in daytime, that you would be doing your scenes socially-distanced, sitting or standing, so far apart from your castmates.

Courtesy/CBD

PETER:  Just getting back to work felt great, loved that.  I wasn’t involved really in romantic scenes at this point, so that I didn’t have to do.  So, all in all, I was very happy to be back, and socially-distancing didn’t really bother me at all, and then Dina died.  Doing that from six feet away was just awful.  You saw the limits at a time where not any of us could be within six feet of each other; where you would usually hold a hand, stroke a brow, and talk softly.  So, I think the writers did what they needed to do to make it work for Dina’s exit.  We are in the middle of COVID, in case anybody forgot, and so you have to ask, ‘Does America really want to watch an elderly woman die in the middle of the Abbott living room or anywhere else?’  So, we had to have Dina’s exit without looking at a dead body, out of respect for the times we are living in.  We had to do a strong, powerful, pivotal scene with our hands tied behind our backs.

Courtesy/CBS

It’s so interesting that you say that because that’s how I felt watching it, knowing what it would have been like, if Jack, Ashley and Traci would have been with Dina at her bedside, up till the end, for instance.  But all of that said, Peter, I got so choked up in your last moments with Marla.  Jack is just sitting there and Dina is telling him how much she loved him and you’re doing the thing that only Peter Bergman can do as the tears well-up in your eyes.  As we have talked about previously, my mom died from complications from Alzheimer’s, so these are always tough types of scenes for me to watch.  I am sure it was also for those in the audience, who have lost a loved one to this disease, many of whom reached out to me on social media following its airing.

PETER:  It’s got to be tough for you to watch.  I get that.

Photo: Ed McGowan/Plain Joe Studios

Yes, so I felt for Jack and Dina in the moment as a son and his mother.  But what did you think about how the scene was written, and what Dina was saying to Jack and his sisters as her final goodbyes to her children and their reactions to it?

PETER:  As written, something in this necklace triggers something in Dina that brings her out of a stupor, brings her out of the murk, the fog for a brief instant to tell the people who she cares the most about that she loves them in slightly different ways.  I have, with everything in me, a struggle to always add in there, “I have a complicated relationship with my mother.”  I’ve added that line in there so many times over the years, you have no idea.  It was a complicated relationship because by the time she dies, there is no kind of straightening that out, there is no kind of Jack looking for answers. The depth of what Ashley is feeling, what Traci is feeling, what Jack is feeling, were kind of lost because of the way we had to do it. The writers had to do it, so I’m not blaming anyone, but because of the way we had to do it, there was no, “Wow, why isn’t Ashley crying?  Why is she just so stoic that this isn’t touching her at all?” because she can’t go there. Traci feeling like she found her place in the family simply by Dina saying, “You’re the beating heart of this family,” and Jack, who is doing the right thing, “She should leave peacefully, she should leave feeling loved, we should all be here, we should give her nothing but love,” damn, this is complicated.  You couldn’t have any of those things.  .  Hopefully, some of that slid in there and we wedged some of those complexities into it, but it was hard to write a complex scene with the situation as it was.  We needed to get it done it one day.  We did not need to drag this out.  Again, were it not COVID time, sure, let’s drag it out.  Let’s spend some time on this.  People die.  Let’s watch the family process a death.

Photo: CBS

I just think of what it all means for Jack moving forward.  Dina basically tells him, “You’re in charge of the family. Look after the family.” That’s kind of where it’s been going for Jack this whole time.  I don’t know if that’s what Jack wanted, but that’s where he is ending up.

PETER:  Right!  That’s where he ends up, and you know, this has been a long time coming.  Dad dies, and it is pretty clear that he’s got to step up, and his mom comes into town, and she’s not just his mother.  She’s Ashley’s mother; she’s Traci’s mother, we’ve got to look out for her and give her the dignity and things like that.  Now, there is just no getting around it.  Jack is the head of the family.  That’s the way it fell.  Twenty-five years ago, was Jack ready to be head of anything?  Absolutely not, but I think enough has happened to Jack now: enough heartache, enough growth, enough introspection, enough losing people, that Jack might just be ready for this job.

Courtesy/CBS

When Marla Adams came back to Y&R 2017, and they started telling the Alzheimer’s storyline, it brought up such abandonment issues for Jack and rightfully so, about how a mother could just leave her family and children,  Throughout all that,  you did such poignant work.

PETER:  I wanted that to be in there at the very end.  One of the powerful parts in this whole thing is that Jack wanted to scream at Dina every bit as much as he wanted to hug her.  That was there for quite a while, and Jack had to kind of come to terms with, “Hey, you’ve been leaning on this excuse for quite a time.  She’s here.  She can’t do you any harm.  She feels bad about what happened.  What do you want, Jack?”

Photo: CBS

One of the highlights of this storyline was when Y&R explored the history and relationship between the siblings, Jack, Ashley and Traci.  We saw their younger versions as the show flash-backed to when Dina left John and the Abbott family.

PETER:  Between the writers and Peter Bergman, we built this story that the night that Dina left, Dad was upstairs with the girls, they were weeping inconsolably, there was no fixing it, there was no telling them that everything was going to be all right.  He didn’t want to lie to them and say she will be right back, he told them, “She’s not coming back,” and he comes downstairs, and Jack is fourteen-years-old, and a little confused, but decided to say to his dad, “Hey, can I help?”  He looks across the room, and his dad is weeping, first time he had ever seen that.  His father is weeping, and he said, “Jack, you’re going to have to help me with the girls.  I can’t do all of this,” and it changed Jack’s life forever.  Jack was a parent to Ashley for a good part of their relationship.  So, all of this stuff with Jack’s identity, all of the fighting with Ashley, all of the Jabot madness is Ashley finally getting to say, “I don’t need a father!  You’re not my father.  Stop talking to me like you’re going to fix things for me!  I’m sick of it.”  All done by Dina … all truly caused by Dina.

Courtesy/CBD

In my interview with Marla, she told me that at the end of her last scene, you and many others came back to the set to pay tribute to her.

PETER:  We did.  The show had arranged it, and Tony Morina, the executive producer, stepped out on the soundstage with a microphone, and Marla sat on the sofa in the Abbott living room. Tony began telling a lovely, lovely story about how far back his relationship with her goes because Marla and Tony wife’s, Sally Sussman (Ex- head writer, Y&R), also had a long-standing relationship.  Tony was just so grand and gracious in saying that there are some people who, if they weren’t an actor, they’d be this or that or the other thing, but that Marla was born to be an actress.  That’s what she is, and it was so generous.  I think she got three and a half years that she didn’t expect to get out of this.  It was supposed to be a six-month storyline, and four years later, she was still there, and it was a good thing for her, and a unique story turn for the rest of us.  It really was.  It was a powerful thing, and now the Abbott family has a new shape.  There are three adults there: Ashley has established her independence, she is not around as much, she is back and forth between Paris, and Genoa City, Traci is trying to be as supportive and kind as she can be, but essentially, Jack is in the big house by himself.

Yep!  Well, now we’ve got to find Jack a good woman.

PETER:  Yes, or a bad woman.

… Or a bad woman!  I’ll take him in a relationship with someone to stir things up.  I also hear coming up, there will be the reading of Dina’s will.  Is there anything you can tease about that?

PETER:  There is a will read, yes.  No one knows what to expect, and Dina … in the end… comes through for almost everybody…

Courtesy/CBS

Well … that ought to be good.

PETER:  Yep… really comes through for almost everybody, and you know, the Abbott children are wealthier, and all three of them are alone, and in no small thanks to Dina for that.  These are three adults who have been very unlucky in love.  Of course, this is the next challenge.  I don’t mean to assume that I have any idea of what you went through in losing your mom, but there is a point at which you also have to let go and say, “Okay, now it is just me, and what do I want to do with this life?  I’ve used this as a reason not to move forward for a good while.  What am I going to do now?”  I think the next turn in the Jack Abbott story comes pretty organically.  Dina’s death frees Jack to be just as alone as he has ever been.

No matter what Jack does, including the bad things, you always see the inner-pain that is very palpable within him, as you have portrayed him.

PETER:  Yes, but he really has grown in the last 30 years.  Jack is hungry for more right now, and he couldn’t really be that way with Mom in the house.  He didn’t have time for that.  Now he has all of the time in the world.  So, we’ll see what he does with that.

Courtesy/CBD

I understand there is a funeral for Dina, but it will be off-camera?  I guess, because of COVID, it is better that way.

PETER:  That’s true and it’s off camera, that’s correct.  What’s important at most of these things isn’t what happens at the gravesite, it is what happens at the reception afterwards, and that is also a fun turn.  So, they all agree as a family they are going to do it at Society, and they kind of close the joint and make it their own little party, and someone shows up who isn’t expected, and it throws a really, really different vibe into the whole thing, and everybody has to adapt.  It’s actually fun, what it turns into.  It turns into a memory fest with crazy stories of Dina.

Courtesy/CBS

Do you have a favorite moment, or memory, of a scene you played with Marla?

PETER:  I think I had a day where Jack tried to get through to her and tell her, “Do you realize the damage you did?  Do you realize?” and she wasn’t able to take it in, and he went to Traci, and he said, “I want to shake her.  I want to yell at her… and I want to protect her.”  I thought there was something just so rich about that.  That was my favorite moment, my favorite part of it, when Jack finally said, “She’s going, man.  We’ve got to get this conversation done now.  We’ve got to talk this through,” and he was too late.   She was too far along with Alzheimer’s.  She wasn’t up to it.  She couldn’t do it.

Photo: JPI

And now here is Jack; and his parents are both gone.  There is no Jerry Douglas or Marla Adams on the show as both John and Dina have passed on within the history of The Young and the Restless.

PETER:  Again, you were generous enough to share your own personal experience, but isn’t it amazing?  Wow, you’re the grownup now.  Isn’t it amazing?  That’s what the Abbott’s are going through: just what you went through.  There is no older generation to turn to for anything.  We are the older generation.  It’s powerful stuff, and I’m really, really grateful for anytime that Ashley, Jack, and Traci are together talking about those things, talking about, “Wow, okay, that just happened… where do we go from here?”  It’s going to be really interesting.  If you asked me, “Over the last 30 years that you’ve played Jack Abbott, have there been many times where you’ve thought, ‘I’ve got no idea where this is going!’”  I would say, “Yeah, right now.”  I’ve got no idea where we are going with this.

Courtesy/CBS

There has been much speculation that the “teardrop of love” necklace will lead Jack to a new romance, or some new adventure in his life.  They spent a lot of time mentioning it in short order, that it would seem it’s not just to bring Dina some closure.  What are your thoughts on it?

PETER:  I think it has legs.  I think you’re going to hear about it again. There is something in there, and I don’t know if it’s the teardrop’s magic charm or that its history is not what it was, or it gets stolen.  I don’t know, but I think we have spent enough time saying ‘teardrop of love’, that there could be a story there.

In Dina’s final moments where Jack brings her the ‘teardrop of love’, wasn’t it symbolic to her because it was her acknowledgement of having her family back together and with her at all times? There is a back-story to that piece of jewelry as well.

PETER:  The point of the necklace is, “This was when I was truly happy, when I had this necklace, when it is all back together,” and maybe we are to know something more about the teardrop…?  I don’t know.  So, this was a gift to her before Jack was born.  She wore it home from the hospital when she brought him home, but we don’t know exactly what year she got it, and we don’t know exactly what year she lost it.  It was stolen, and it was on the black market for a while, and Victor (Eric Braeden) was looking into it.  It was clear that it was very important to Dina.  So, Jack, against his own wishes, said, “No, I’ve got to do the right thing.  I’ve got to try to trace this thing down.  It clearly means something to her.  Maybe she is trying to tell us something.  God only knows.”  So, he did the right thing, not because, “I want to make Mommy happy,” but because he forced himself to do the right thing, to find the damn necklace, and to see what this is about.  Then, we saw the affect it had when he gave it to her.

Photo: CBS

It’s always good to chat and check-in with you during these key and historical moments in the life of the character of Jack Abbott.  There have been many throughout your time on Y&R, and it will be interesting to see where this goes from here.

PETER:  It will be, and I’m telling you, this is a real moment.  Normally, we just go from one story into the next, into the next, and this one has been hanging for so long that, “Okay, now that it is over, wow, what is going to happen to Jack?”  I’m just as curious as everybody else.

So, what do you think will happen next for Jack?  Did you reach for the hankies in Peter’s final scenes with Marla Adams?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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Interviews

Marla Adams Talks Her Final Scenes As Dina Mergeron, The Alzheimer’s Storyline, and Her Touching Farewell

Today on The Young and the Restless marks the end of the enduring run of Marla Adams in the role of Dina Mergeron. In story, Dina passes away from complications from Alzheimer’s disease. It’s a storyline that started four years ago when the CBS Daytime drama brought back the character and Adams; and one that has deeply affected many in the viewing audience who have also had their own personal experience of losing a loved one to this dreadful disease.

If you have not seen today’s episode yet, you may not want to read any further, but needless to say, make sure you have the hankies ready for Dina’s final moments with her children and how she leaves this earth, which will be remembered for quite some time to come.

Marla originated the role of the rich and spoiled Abbott matriarch back in 1983 and portrayed the role on and off for what amounts to five decades. Her classic scenes with Jerry Douglas (Ex-John), Eileen Davidson (Ashley) and so many more from the iconic soap, always made for great and complex stories.

 

With this her final airdate on Y&R, it also puts an exclamation point for Marla on an incredible daytime career having also appeared on: The Bold and the Beautiful. Capitol, Days of our Lives, Generations and The Secret Storm

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Adams in this very special conversation where she shared with us how it was to play these heartbreaking last scenes, the importance of the ‘teardrop of love’ necklace to the story, how Y&R gave her the most overwhelming and beautiful send-off, and her ‘thank you’s’ to all of you, who have been her extended family and are sad to see her go. She is one-of-a-kind …and now, here’s Marla.

Photo: Getty

Marla, I am so glad we have the opportunity to chat in this full-circle moment as you have brought the character of Dina to a close.

MARLA:  It’s such a joy to talk to you.  It seems like yesterday and an eternity as well.   I thought of you so much, and I remember talking to you specifically with all of the different interviews over the years, when I was at the studio.  But I will always remember the interview you did with me and Beth Maitland (Traci), my darling soul sister, and you talked to me about your mother who has since passed on from Alzheimer’s.  I’ll never forget what you had to say all those months ago

Photo: HallmarkChannel

Yes, and when as audience members we watch these stories unfold with characters we have loved, or watched on our screens for years, and there is a death, we feel connected to them as well.  And in this case, as a child who has lost a parent to Alzheimer’s, like many in the audience, you ask yourself first, “Can I watch this?” It hits very close to home, but I’m sure when people watch today’s episode of Y&R and see Dina pass away, they will be extraordinarily moved.

MARLA:  Oh, my gosh.  Wait until you people see Friday’s show.  I know they will be moved.  They should be!  I’ve got friends who I’ve already said to, “Get your Kleenex box out.”  It’s so beautiful what happens at the end of the episode.

Courtesy/CBD

How did you feel about playing Dina’s final scenes?

MARLA:  It was wonderful because it showed her lifetime of sorrow and regret, and what was so wonderful was the fact that the hero of the whole thing is the kindness and respect that she really did have for her whole family.  They had the most beautiful sendoff for me.  They sent me a limo!  I went to the studio, and dear Patti Denney (Make-up artist, Y&R) was there, of course with all kinds of makeup and everything else, and she looked like she was entering the ER room for Covid-19, because of all the safety protocols we must have.  It was unbelievable, the kindness that was served to me.  After we finished taping my final scenes, I came back to the soundstage and they totally surprised me.  Dear Tony Morina (executive producer, Y&R) and Sally Sussman (Ex-head writer, Y&R) were there, and Tony spoke about me, and so did my Y&R extended family and on-screen children: Peter Bergman (Jack), and Beth Maitland, and Eileen Davidson, and much of it was put on tape (see excerpts in video below).  Afterwards, Tony gave me beautiful flowers.  I was driven back home after this, and I felt really special, and it was just amazing to me. I had written Josh Griffith (Current head-writer and co-executive producer, Y&R) a ‘thank you’ for writing the show with his wonderful people, but I never heard back, but when I walked in my apartment, the phone was ringing.  Guess who?  It’s Josh!  He said, “I waited until I knew you would be home to thank you,” and I felt so lovey-doved up, I couldn’t believe it.  I want to read something to you that I received in the wonderful flowers that came the next day from CBS Daytime executive Margot Wain and others.  The flowers were so big that they didn’t fit on the bar!  The card read: “Thank you for bringing the amazing force that is Abbott matriarch, Dina Mergeron to countless fans of The Young and the Restless.  Your vast contribution to Y&R and CBS for more than five decades is unparalleled.  We are forever grateful for all you’ve brought to Y&R as both a consummate professional and a cherished co-worker.  All our best wishes.”  I was just so touched by the sentiments.

Photo: CBS

I also want to share something with you.  When it was revealed in the promo that came out last week that this would be your last show, I received so many notifications on social media, saying, “Oh, my God!  We love Marla!  You have to interview her!”  You are loved by the Y&R fans.  I hope you know that!  They’re sad to see you go, because you’re a legacy character to them, and soap fans have deep connections to characters that have been on their favorite soaps for decades.

MARLA:  Five decades!  My God!  I’m eighty-freaking-two.  I can’t believe it.

Courtesy/CBS

In story, Jack was on a mission to get the ‘teardrop of love’ necklace back to Dina before she died, hoping that she would have one last moment of lucidity and would recall it and it would hopefully make her happy.   He moves heaven on earth to get it, and does, and brings it to her and viewers saw her reaction. 

MARLA:  The necklace had never been anywhere before in story except recently, but I said to myself that I would play it ‘quietly and graciously’, because it made for such a beautiful moment for Dina with her children.

Courtesy/CBS

For Dina, the necklace was a symbol of remaining connected to her family and her children, even when she was not with them all of those years.  In your final scenes, Dina had these moments to say goodbye to each of your children.  Do you remember looking at Eileen, Traci, and Peter taping those highly emotional beats?

MARLA:  Yes, they were so there for me.  They are an extended family that is so precious to me, and playing this iconic character has been, too.  I remember when Sally Sussman told me a few years ago, “ I’m going to bring you back on The Young and the Restless, but you’ve got Alzheimer’s,” and I said, ‘What!?  You’re bringing me back so you can kill me off?’ and she said, “Oh no, it’ll be about a year.”  That dissolved into four years, and now five decades had passed and I was still on Y&R.  I am beyond grateful.

Courtesy/CBD

As an actress, was it hard to play Dina’s final moments when she goes to the light to join her beloved, John?

MARLA:  It was heart-wrenching for me.  In the story, Dina died when she went outside and to the front door of the Abbott home.  They did not tell me before-hand, and that’s why it was so wonderful.  I hope they came in for a closeup of that because I had no makeup on, it was beautiful, and then, Dina said, “Oh, John.”  I’ve done everything from movies, to daytime, to nighttime, to Broadway, but that was the iconic moment for me, to do this gig with wonderful, wonderful actors and friends, and to do this particular storyline.

Photo: CBS

It was 1983 when you first appeared on Y&R.  And through the years, Dina did not do such great things! She had an affair with Brent Davis who was the biological father of Ashley that caused such a rift between mother and daughter for years.  She abandoned the Abbott children and walked out on them and her marriage to John, and that’s just for starters! Dina was a complicated character. Did you love the fact that she could be very selfish at times?

MARLA:  You think?  That’s why I loved her.  Of course!  I can be very selfish, too.  You have to be selfish if you’re an actor, good God. (Laughs).

Courtesy/CBS

It was great that The Young and the Restless brought you back four years ago so that through the telling of the Alzheimer’s storyline that Dina was able to somewhat repair her relationships with her children.  Obviously, over the last many months the audience could not witness the more day to day progression and toll the disease took on Dina and her family in its final stages, but unfortunately with the way COVID-19 has affected shooting daytime soap operas, and all of our lives, including safety protocols, I am sure plans had to be altered,

MARLA:  Of course.  As an actress, this was the most important role of my life, and to have her final moments spread out in one day really is because of all of the fans who have been writing in and wanting to see Dina again,

Photo: CBS

People were rooting for you to win the Daytime Emmy back in 2018 when you were nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. That must be a nice moment to carry with you from playing Dina’s final storyline.

MARLA:  Yes, and I should have won!  Eric Braeden (Victor, Y&R) was furious. (Laughs)  He said, “What do you mean, darling, you should have won!  Goddammit!” He’s a wonderful man and a good friend.  He came to pick me up several times to go to the studio for my last few shows, and that’s the kind of mensch he is. So, I feel just so blessed and I feel great love and loss.  I would like Dina to come back as a ghost, but I have no idea, if that will happen or not. But if the fans would be interested in seeing Dina as a ghost … make sure to write in to the show and tell them!

Courtesy/CBS

Speaking of the fans that have followed you for decades on Y&R, what would you want to say to them now that Dina has passed on?

MARLA:  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for all of the love, the support, and the chance to play Dina out… and I’m thankful that you cared, and loved her, up till the end.

So what did you think about Dina’s final moments on today’s Y&R? Will you miss Marla Adams?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below.  But first check out the special behind the scenes tribute for Marla, followed by The Michael Fairman Channel’s interview with Marla and Beth Maitland from Y&R’s 45th anniversary celebration referred to during the above conversation.

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B&B’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood deliver the Power Performance of the Week as Steffy’s drug addiction leads to a confrontation and intervention by her loved ones with dire consequences.  Here is the last seven minutes that featured Emmy-winner Wood at her best. Leave A Comment

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