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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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65 Comments

  1. AVP

    October 18, 2018 at 9:34 am

    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.

  2. Denise A Daniel

    October 18, 2018 at 9:36 am

    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

      October 20, 2018 at 6:08 pm

      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.

  3. Celia

    October 18, 2018 at 10:27 am

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

    • DonnaRaye64

      October 18, 2018 at 4:00 pm

      You misspelled “shoukd”, teacher…

      • Celia

        October 18, 2018 at 6:10 pm

        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.

          October 19, 2018 at 8:03 pm

          Celia. I am in total agreement!

          • Celia

            October 20, 2018 at 8:47 pm

            Thank you, my friend!!❤️

        • Soaphound

          October 28, 2018 at 12:51 pm

          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

            October 29, 2018 at 8:59 am

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

          • Soaphound

            October 30, 2018 at 12:05 pm

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

          • Shay

            November 3, 2018 at 9:44 pm

            “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

        October 18, 2018 at 9:18 pm

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

        • Celia

          October 19, 2018 at 10:33 am

          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

            October 22, 2018 at 1:59 pm

            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

            October 23, 2018 at 5:14 am

            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

            October 23, 2018 at 1:00 pm

            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

            October 30, 2018 at 12:10 pm

            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

            October 30, 2018 at 8:53 pm

            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

            October 31, 2018 at 7:13 am

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

          • Celia

            October 30, 2018 at 10:40 am

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

    • rebecca1

      October 18, 2018 at 8:42 pm

      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

        October 19, 2018 at 9:40 am

        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

          October 20, 2018 at 2:21 pm

          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

            October 22, 2018 at 3:04 pm

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

          • Patrick

            October 24, 2018 at 10:12 pm

            “… 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

            October 30, 2018 at 12:13 pm

            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

        October 19, 2018 at 9:48 am

        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

          October 20, 2018 at 11:22 am

          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

            October 28, 2018 at 8:25 pm

            Hello Rebecca! I hope all is well!

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

        • rebecca1

          October 21, 2018 at 3:46 pm

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

          • rose

            October 23, 2018 at 3:31 pm

            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

            October 29, 2018 at 9:22 am

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

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

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

          • rose

            October 29, 2018 at 10:35 pm

            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

            October 30, 2018 at 2:18 pm

            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

      October 18, 2018 at 9:16 pm

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

      • AVP

        October 19, 2018 at 9:01 am

        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

          October 20, 2018 at 9:04 pm

          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

            October 24, 2018 at 8:44 am

            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

        October 19, 2018 at 9:26 am

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

        • Shay

          October 21, 2018 at 2:28 am

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

        • AVP

          October 23, 2018 at 5:11 am

          “Brung” is another pet-peeve of mine!

          • Celia

            October 23, 2018 at 1:02 pm

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

    • Shay

      October 19, 2018 at 2:24 pm

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

    • rose

      October 20, 2018 at 8:32 pm

      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

        October 22, 2018 at 9:23 pm

        Thank you, Rose. Well said!

    • Dr Helen Ruth

      October 21, 2018 at 7:59 am

      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

      October 21, 2018 at 6:19 pm

      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

        October 23, 2018 at 12:38 pm

        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?
        ❤️

  4. Vivian

    October 18, 2018 at 10:36 am

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

  5. Soaphound

    October 18, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    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

      October 18, 2018 at 6:20 pm

      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.
      ❤️

  6. Iakovos

    October 18, 2018 at 1:20 pm

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

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

    • cathy shoemaker

      October 20, 2018 at 2:27 pm

      I agree. Thank you.

  7. Jeanne

    October 18, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    Philly are the reason I watch this show.

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

  8. Teresa Reynolds

    October 18, 2018 at 4:17 pm

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

  9. Genna Corsentino

    October 18, 2018 at 5:58 pm

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

  10. Violet Lemm

    October 18, 2018 at 6:01 pm

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

  11. Conni Kroeger

    October 18, 2018 at 6:49 pm

    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.

  12. Karen Ross

    October 18, 2018 at 11:55 pm

    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.

  13. Kimmie Walter

    October 19, 2018 at 5:29 am

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

  14. Judy

    October 19, 2018 at 6:59 am

    Totally enjoyed this article. Thank you

  15. Alexandria

    October 19, 2018 at 8:09 am

    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

      October 20, 2018 at 10:23 am

      Phick friends and sexual partners is 2006 lol

  16. Karen

    October 24, 2018 at 10:54 am

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

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Interviews

Y&R’s Executive Producer Anthony Morina Talks On Daytime Emmy Drama Series Win For Neil’s Memorial & Honoring Kristoff St. John

Last Friday night, The Young and the Restless was named the Outstanding Drama Series at the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards broadcast on CBS. The show won on the strength of their submissions, which centered on the death of Neil Winters; including when the residents of Genoa City find out of his passing, and the subsequent heartbreaking memorial service in his honor.

However, what made those hours of television unlike anything seldom seen; were not only was Genoa City saying goodbye to Neil, but the cast was saying their goodbyes to their beloved friend and colleague, Kristoff St. John (Neil) who had passed away suddenly back in February of 2019.

Y&R’s executive producer, Anthony (Tony) Morina accepted the award for the top-rated CBS Daytime drama during the Emmy telecast, which now makes Morina a five-time Daytime Emmy winner himself!

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Tony on the series emotional Emmy win, and what it meant for him to win the gold for these incredibly moving and special episodes that were at its epicenter paying tribute to Kristoff in the best way the soap opera could. Here’s what Tony shared on the Y&R Drama Series victory and more.

Photo: JPI

Congratulations on your Outstanding Drama Series win. The episodes that you submitted were at every level, so gut-wrenching, sincere, and beautiful.  What did you think about the process that you went through to make these right for Kristoff and the character of Neil?

TONY:  Occasionally, when you are in this business, as you know, you work so hard to achieve certain things, sometimes you think you’re achieving something, and you’re not, and sometimes something shows up that surprises the heck out of you, and this was kind of it for me.  But what didn’t surprise me, of course, were the actors’ ability, the director’s ability, and the crews’ ability, and for these episodes it was at such a high level.  Sometimes there is an emotional element, or an otherworldliness thing that takes over.

Photo: CBS

Yes, because it was all so real and raw; in that we were watching the characters who loved Neil Winters mourn him, but we were also watching all the actors who loved their co-star.

TONY: When everybody was in that church set and were giving their eulogies, it felt like everybody was so behind each other, and everybody just cared for each other so much because they cared so much for Kristoff.  All the eulogies that people were doing were a page and a half to two pages.  They were really long, but you could feel the emotional tension, and you could feel how people just felt.  Kristoff was a very unique special person, who ended up going through some rough times, but he really was beloved.  Sometimes you love people, and sometimes you say somebody is beloved.  Whenever you saw him, he put a smile on your face.  He made you feel like he really cared about you.  Those shows came together really out of this feeling of love.  We did two whole shows that day.  We did that whole show and the show that came after it.  I don’t know how many hours of a day it was, but people had so much emotion attached to it that those shows really kind of took over themselves with everybody just trusting and letting go and supporting each other.  I got a text from Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R) saying how it was one of the greatest experiences he’d ever had in terms of how it all came together.  Those shows just meant a lot to us, and I really felt that if we didn’t win, I’d be perfectly fine with that, because I was just so glad that we were able to do these episodes, and people got to see it.

Photo: JPI

At what point did you decide, “We are going with this to submit for the Emmy!”

TONY:  I actually knew that day.  I think, I actually said to Josh Griffith (head writer and Co-EP Y&R), “This is going to be our Emmy show … or one of our Emmy shows.”  The other show when everybody finds out Neil died was an incredibly powerful show to me too, but I knew that day when we shot the funeral that you rarely see that kind of rawness.  When you get into this business, and you want to become an actor, it’s tough, but you know that in the end what you want is to get into a position where you can share who you are as a person in an artistic way.  I think the Neil memorial gave people a way to say, “This is why I do this because I get to really share myself, and I get to express how passionate I am and how much I care about other people.”

Photo: JPI

Shemar Moore (Ex-Malcolm) came back to honor his dear friend and on-screen Y&R brother.  How was it having him on set with you to share this experience?

TONY:  Shemar was amazing.  He was there until the bitter end of our tape day.  He could not have been kinder and more supportive of everybody, and really laid out his emotions, and it was like that with everybody.  I would say this was the the most amazing experience I have ever had.

What do you think Kristoff would say?  I think he would be very proud that you gave Neil a real proper sendoff.

TONY:  Absolutely.  I also think Kristoff, would have thought that Neil deserved it, and would have loved it, a, it’s an interesting question because you have got to say to yourself, “Does Kristoff feel he deserves it?” As a character, he’d definitely feel he deserved it.  He was a part of that community.  He was a part of Genoa City.  Those were his friends and his family.  Would Kristoff feel he deserves that?  I don’t know if he would have felt he deserved it, but I know he would have loved knowing how much people cared for him.  I think that would have meant the world to him.  I really do.

Photo: CBS

I loved your acceptance speech.  I thought it was one of the better ones of Emmy night. 

TONY:  Thanks so much.  Matt Kane (publicist, Y&R) has been amazing.   He gave me a lot of guidance on where to go, and my wife, Sally (Sussman Morina) really helped write the speech because the rules were you’ve got 30 seconds.  I really believe in the notion that when you have an opportunity to speak in front of people about something, it has some meaning to you and to other people.  I think you have to put thought into it because how many opportunities do you get in life to share about yourself and how you feel about people?  So, I really appreciate you saying that.

Photo: CBS

What did you think of your Y&R actors: Bryton James’ (Devon) and Jason Thompson’s (Billy) major Emmy victories?

TONY:  Well, personally, I am enormous fans of both people.  I like when nice, good people have nice things happen to them, and you know them.  First off, I was so happy for Bryton because I know he and Kristoff were close, and I know he was deeply affected, as Christel Khalil (Lily, Y&R) was, as everybody was, but they were like family.  I love Bryton personally, and he laid his heart out there.  As for Jason Thompson, people think the world of him, and I think he is an unbelievable actor.  I taught for years, and I have worked with a lot of actors, and I think Jason has such control of his work.  I’m impressed by him.  I’m just as impressed by who Jason is.  I think he’s deserved it other times too, and this was his first win; which must be very special for him.

Photo: deCazotteFacebookPage

During the In-Memoriam tribute on the Emmy broadcast, former producer, Lisa de Cazotte was also featured.  What can you say about your time working with her at Y&R and over your career?

TONY: I’ve known Lisa De Cazotte since Santa Barbara when Paul Rauch (former executive producer) brought her there, and that’s where we first met. Lisa was probably my favorite producer to ever be in the booth with because she let you be yourself, and she let you do your job, and yet, she still had control over the room and the studio.  She was a great touchstone for me, because when you are in this position, you need someone to bounce stuff off of or just say, “Am I really being an idiot here?” because we were old friends, she could say, “Tony, you’re being an idiot.”  (Laughs)  We miss her terribly.  She was really a loved person, and she was just fantastic at what she did.  I just miss her as a friend.

Photo: JPI

And of course, the In-Memoriam featured the late Y&R co-creator, Lee Philip Bell who also passed recently. 

TONY:  Yes, and that’s what was interesting about that speech I gave, because you had to mention those three people: Lee, of course, Kristoff, and Lisa – three truly linchpin important people in daytime drama for many years. Losing all three made it a particularly rough year for The Young and the Restless family.

I also wanted to talk about Eve LaRue (Ex-Celeste Rosales), who had never won a Daytime Emmy but she did for her work on Y&R! She was very emotional and moved by her win as Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series.  What can you say about Eva?

TONY:  She is such a lovely person and she did a great job for us.  I’m just glad for her because I know she had ever won before.

Photo: JPI

One of the clips shown on the Emmy broadcast that Y&R chose for air from Neil’s memorial was Victor’s emotional eulogy; which Eric Braeden delivered so beautifully.   I know how found he was of Kristoff; so it made that on-screen moment all the more heartbreaking. What can you say about Eric?

TONY:  Eric feels as deeply as anybody who I have ever known.  Really, he can come across sometimes as a certain kind of image for people on-screen, but he cares deeply, and is the most supportive actor of every other actor.  Eric has a depth and is a fantastic actor, and he knows how to use his talent.  He actually called me last night and left a message.  He just said, “Hey, I saw you on TV,” and then he just laughed for 5 minutes.  It was really very funny.  He’s not used to seeing me on TV, and so he just laughed.  It was hilarious.

What did you think of Y&R’s win for Outstanding Drama Series knowing they submitted the episodes of Genoa City finding out Neil had passed, and his funeral? Share your thoughts on Tony’s remarks via the comment section below.

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Interviews

Daytime Emmy Winners: Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, Scott Clifton & Heather Tom Talk Winning the Gold & Returning to Work at B&B

This week, The Bold and the Beautiful has been airing encore presentation of Daytime Emmy-winning performances from some of the cast over the years as a prelude to tomorrow night’s 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards on CBS.

The weeklong Emmy celebration concludes tomorrow with Jacqueline MacInnes Wood’s (Steffy) Emmy-winning performance from last year which won the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series prize for the first-time in her daytime career.

Michael Fairman chatted with Jacqui, along with five-time Daytime Emmy-winner and a nominee for Lead Actress again this year, Heather Tom (Katie) and three-time Daytime Emmy winner, Scott Clifton (Liam).  As daytime soap fans know, Heather and Scott hold the distinction of being the only actors to win in all three acting categories: Younger, Supporting and Lead.

In this candid and fun conversation on the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube, Jacqui, Scott and Heather remember the nights the won Emmy gold, their acceptance speeches, things they wish they would have said, and what it was like waiting for their names to be called, plus taking a stroll down memory lane and remembering when they taped their Emmy-winning performances.

Scott reveals why he chose not to submit himself in Lead Actor this year, even though he has some of the finest performances throughout the Baby Beth baby switch storyline,.

Later the trio talk about The Bold and the Beautiful being the first U.S. soap opera and first U.S. broadcast show back in production following the shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic and how B&B is looking to shoot episodes during the times we live.

Watch the full video interview below.

Then let us know, what was your favorite part of the moments shared by Jacqui, Scott, and Heather in the Emmy conversation?  Do you think Heather might tie Erika Slezak (Ex-Viki, OLTL) tomorrow night with her sixth win in the Lead Actress category?  What do you think of B&B’s return to production following the sentiments shared.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Thaao Penghlis Chats on His Daytime Emmy Nomination & How He Makes Tony DiMera One of a Kind

He has been one of the longstanding cast members of Days of our Lives and certainly of Salem’s notorious DiMera Clan; and while Thaao Penghlis may be off our screens for a time and then comes back again; though the years one thing has been true, he delivers top-notch performances in a way that is uniquely ‘Thaao’.

This year at the 47th annual Daytime Emmy Awards to be broadcast on Friday night, June 26th at 8 p. m. EST, Thaao is vying for the Outstanding Lead Actor prize amongst a formidable group of other daytime favorites.  And this makes it two years in a row that Penghlis has received an Emmy nomination although this time in a different category.

As fans know, Penghlis takes the art of acting seriously, and expects other he works with to bring their A-game, just as he does time and time again; whether it be playing DAYS dashing Tony or the evil Andre or when he portrayed Victor Cassadine on General Hospital.

Michael Fairman TV spoke to Thaao to get his thoughts on: receiving the Emmy recognition and what it means to him what he thought about his nominated scenes, plus what he might be doing at home during the ceremony, and where he hopes Tony DiMera’s future is headed.   Here’s what Thaao shared.

Photo: JPI

Tell me about what scenes you submitted that landed you a Lead Actor Emmy nod!

THAAO:  Well, the week I came back to DAYS, I had 11 shows, and this material was from one show of three I did one day!  When you think of other actors doing 150 shows, and I did less than 50 this past year, my choice is kind of limited.  So, when I came across these particular scenes, which were with Eric Martsolf (Brady) and with Arianne Zucker (Nicole), what I liked about it is that usually when you see other peoples’ work, its histrionic, it’s great tears, it’s drama – and what I was able to put together had a through line and an arc from beginning to end.  It makes it very logical when somebody is following your story, and you can show a whole ebb that makes sense.  I had some lines that were really difficult to say, like, “Coming back from the dead is not easy.”  When I get lines like that, I throw it away, and because of that, it becomes humorous.  I have to say I work well with Arianne.  She was great.  I found in the past, when I have worked with some actors, they step on your lines.  I found the best way to stop that is I put my hand up, and I say, “Hey!” and everything goes silent.  They go into shock mode, and I say, “I haven’t finished,” and then I go on.  (Laughs)  So, when Kristen as Nicole starts to talk to Tony the way she does, and she says, “You’d better behave…” I thought, “This is a DiMera you are talking to,” so, I just snapped back at her.  I gave her a, “Hey!”  So, she shut up, froze, and I went on.

Photo: JPI

Would you say your reel was more comedic … or both funny and serious?

THAAO:  It is both.  There are subtleties to it.  There is a teacher I know in Australia, and she is very critical.  She said, “I want to see your work.”  I showed it to her, and she wrote back, “Oh my, God.  How did you make those transitions so readily?”  I went, “Oh.  How did I do it?”  I didn’t think of that.  I think it’s an old technique.  It’s called having to do 3 shows in one day, and you had better get your stuff right, and it’s about how do you make a scene work?  There is one director who I did a miniseries with who said to me, “Where did you get your training from?”  I said, “Daytime.”  He said, “My God.  You certainly know how to have a camera follow you,”   Well, the camera has to follow your movement.  So, when I finished a transition, I’d move to another spot, and the camera had to follow me.  So, what happened in the arc of this Emmy-nominated piece is that I took charge and controlled the scene so that it became a scene of lots of transitions. And of course, charm, I did all of what I thought Tony would be.  He is a DiMera.  I have one of those looks. I don’t know where it comes from, maybe it’s as I get older, but I’ve learned how to work the camera where I may slam something first to get your attention, and then the camera comes onto your face, and you’re going, “Oh, what the hell is he thinking?”  So, I can play the dark side quite readily, and yet in my real life, I’m not so bad. (Laughs)

Courtesy/ABC

You have Thorsten Kaye (Ridge, B&B) and Steve Burton (Jason, GH) also in your category, and these guys who are obviously been soap veterans like yourself.  What do you think about the group you have been nominated with? 

THAAO:  I never worked with Steve Burton, but hear good things.  I know Jon Lindstrom (Kevin/Ryan, GH).  He’s a lovely actor.  I have worked with Jason Thompson (Billy, Y&R).  He’s a lovely actor.  He is well-trained.  So, it is nice to see that the nominees are all vets.

Right, they are all vets.  It seems like a good group to be with. 

THAAO:  I agree, and I love that the Daytime Emmys are coming back to television.  I think it is an upswing when they think of daytime dying.  I think whoever made this happen is taking on the responsibility of taking daytime back.  It is why people love novellas.  People love the story, they love to follow the characters, and we’ve got fantastic fans.  I mean, what would we do without them?  You can’t sustain the show without them, and you pay a price, you have to know how to entertain them because once they know who you are and what you’re about, they get bored.  So, you have to be ahead of your audience all of the time.  That’s what I have always tried to do with both characters that I’ve played on DAYS

Photo: JPI

They’re doing a virtual ceremony this year.  How do you think you would dress while watching the ceremony?

THAAO:  You don’t wear a tux in your house, do you? So, I’ve invited some people for a celebratory time.  Lauren Koslow (Kate, DAYS) and her husband Nick Schillace (head of make-up, DAYS) and Leann Hunley (Anna, DAYS) are some of my great friends who have been very supportive of me through some tough times this year, and I’ve got a friend who has got  a wonderful restaurant, and he is going to cater it.  Probably it will be a group of 10.  You know, could you imagine being here on your own, in a tuxedo, with a glass of champagne? (Laughs)

I know, kind of awkward! (Laughs)  You’ll put something nice on for the big night, right?

THAAO:  Yes, you know me.  I’m always dressed.  What would you suggest?  Sweatpants on the bottom and a tuxedo jacket!  How about that? (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

Now, you have been previously nominated for Daytime Emmys, too!

THAAO:  Yes, and last year I was nominated as well for Outstanding Guest Performer.  So, it’s kind of nice to be back-to-back, and in 2008, I was nominated for Lead Actor when I played the clown in the Tony and Andre storyline.  Thank God, DAYS recently DAYS had James Reynolds (Abe) wining in the Lead Actor category.  I thought, “Wow.”  That was for years and years of good work that he’s done, and also, Greg Vaughan (Eric) wining for Supporting Actor was very nice, but we haven’t had that many wins in the acting categories over the years.

Photo: JPI

DAYS tapes so far ahead of air; that what was once a seemingly major concern has paid off swimmingly during the coronavirus pandemic.  The soap is the only show to have enough episodes in the bank for months ahead when production shut down and enough even when other shows go back into production.  Who would have thought?

THAAO:  We used to think it was ridiculous that DAYS taped eight months ahead, but look at us now! Who would have thought is right?

What would you love to see happen with Tony when DAYS does resume filming new episodes again? 

THAAO:  I’d like to go back and play the head of the DiMera family.  I’ve never been granted that, and I think, at this stage, with the way I worked with Joe Mascolo (Ex-Stefano) it would be nice to see the transition just like Michael Corleone did in Godfather.

So will you be rooting for Thaao to take home the gold as Lead Actor in a Drama Series come Emmy night?  Do you hope DAYS writes Tony into upcoming story, and if so, how would you like to see him on the canvas? Comment below.

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