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Y&R's Jason Thompson Video Interview: After The "Philly" Affair Is Exposed, Will Billy Get The Woman He Loves?

Photo: MF Soaps, Inc.

Photo: MF Soaps, Inc.

This week on The Young and the Restless, Jack (Peter Bergman) has already learned from his sister, Ashley (Eileen Davidson) that his brother, Billy (Jason Thompson) is in love with Phyllis (Gina Tognoni)! What he is about to find out though is that his wife and Billy have been carrying on an affair off and on behind his back for months!

This drama puts daytime powerhouse performer, Jason Thompson front and center in dramatic scenes with perennial Emmy winner, Peter Bergman. What will happen when the brothers have some major confrontations?  When the secret is completely exposed? On-Air On-Soaps caught up with Jason at last week’s Y&R 11,000th episode celebration on set at CBS Television City, where we got a preview of the fireworks to come as Billy fights for the woman he loves even if it means destroying his brother’s happiness.

Thompson said of the big reveal: “It hits us all hard in a way, but it hits Jack the hardest.  He goes after Billy quite a bit in a couple of scenes. Obviously, Jack and Phyllis they have their run at it.  Peter and Gina are just fantastic.  I sit in my dressing room sometimes and just watch their scenes, and it’s inspiring to then go back out and do my stuff.  It’s nice to have that cat and mouse artistic life, in a way.”

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

As to if there are some more Abbott brother showdowns over Billy’s affair with Phyllis, Jason teased the domino effect: “Obviously, Jill (Jess Walton) found out and then Ashley found out, and then Jack has scenes where he comes in and confronts Billy, and Billy somewhat owns up to it, and it all falls apart from there … which is all the reason you build it up … to tear it down.”

Jason, who left his Emmy-nominated role of Dr. Patrick Drake on General Hospital, has been front and center in story on the CBS Daytime drama series since coming over to the series.  He elaborated on what it has been like for him becoming part of the Genoa City family: “It’s been an amazing seven or eight months.  I have been so grateful for the support that I have been given by the cast and everyone behind the scenes: the writers, producers and Mal Young (EP, Y&R).  I am just grateful to be a part of a legacy like this, and to be part of a cast as accomplished as this one, and to be part of a show that is celebrating 11,000 shows.”

Watch Jason’s video interview below!  Then let us know, what do you hope happens to Billy once Jack knows the full truth about his duplicity and the affair with Phyllis?  Are you rooting for Billy and Phyllis to find their way to each other for good? What have you thoughts of Jason’s run so far on Y&R and becoming a key cast member of this legacy soap opera? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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Jimh(leave it to beaver)
Guest
Jimh(leave it to beaver)

I find Philly Cheesy-lol

Mo
Guest
Mo

I don’t like Billy and Phyllis together. Sometimes I think Phyllis wouldn’t be doing this if Michelle Stafford were still playing her.

Laurene
Guest
Laurene

And Villy would have never happened with Heather and David Tom. That’s why there are recasts.

SS
Guest
SS

Peter – recast.
Jess – recast.
Amelia – recast.
Gina – recast.
Jason – recast.

Considering the entire storyline involves recasts, I wouldn’t be too worried about one character here since you know, who knows how the original portrayers of these characters would have played it out? Or even if some of these characters would have the connection they do as we all know Heather and David Tom are brother/sister in real life and both played Billy and Victoria.

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

I thought the same thing, Michelle wouldnt have been in this story.

Celia
Guest
Celia

No, she would not, Mo. You are so on the mark. TPTB would have never allowed that because of Michelle’s fiery character as Phyllis. Gina’s Phyllis is tame in comparison. Yet, Both Jason T and David T, do not fit the role as adults. David was the perfect Billy, as a kid…now? …… I could envision Michelle with Billy M, but not with Jason T. Laurene has a great point…..Amelia and David?….nah, I don’t see that either. It is so hard to find THAT unique actor who covers all the bases ( as my husband would say). Y&R lucked out… Read more »

Soaphound
Guest
Soaphound

Celia, as we’ve said before, this whole story is reprehensible. I didn’t like the recasting of Billy with Jason Thompson as I simply don’t think he shades the character with enough variations of good and bad; it’s all simply snark and sarcasm. And I’ve never once believed a ” look of love” from him. Gina T is a wonderful actress but one person can’t melt the block of ice that Billy has become. Between the writing and playing, one of my favorite characters, Billy Abbott, is ruined for me. And you’re quite right that this goes to a deeper level… Read more »

Laurene
Guest
Laurene

Team Philly all the way.

Nikki
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Nikki

I’m with you we have to keep on moving we can’t just stay in the past.

whateverwillbewillbe
Guest
whateverwillbewillbe

I’m sure there will be negativity surrounding the pairing of Philly in the comments but I have greatly enjoyed watching their build and the destruction of Phack. It’s soapy goodness that involves several characters and both main families as everyone will feel the ripple of the affair. Not to mention, the great performances that are coming from Peter, Gina and Jason.

Scoma60
Guest
Scoma60

I adore JT as Billy. He came to YR & hit the ground running! He has seamlessly meshed with all the characters,
Philly is my favorite story/pairing. JT & Gina have combustible chemistry .I’m glad the truth’s finally out because everyone will now have to deal & eventually move on.
Philly need to finally seize their happiness & their future together.
GH’s loss is most definitely YR’s gain.

Tucker
Guest
Tucker

Jason Thompson is all wrong for the Billy Abbott character – he has not impressed me since he began the role – all he does is seethe and grimace – that’s not acting. There is no chemistry between he and Gina Tognoni (Phyllis).

I hope the new head writer dismisses this pathetic story!!

Soaphound
Guest
Soaphound

THANK YOU, Tucker! I sometimes feel that only a few of us see this actor’s weaknesses in this role. They should have written him as a new character if they wanted him that badly, because he just ISN’T any Billy Abbott I know. He sure doesn’t have Billy Miller’s range and effortless charm and sex appeal or even Burgess Jenkins’ odd sense of comic timing. He’s like the monolith in 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. He just stands there acting important.

Lynda Westlake
Guest
Lynda Westlake

LOVE Billy & Phyllis together. Hope after all the fall-out with Jack that they both come back together. Team #Philly

Mister Media
Guest
Mister Media

I followed Jason Thompson from GH to Y&R as I was curious to see what he would do in the character of Billy. I think he’s done an incredible job and really shown what he is capable of doing. His switch from GH to Y&R really underscored for me what some of GH’s shortcomings are. He was wasted on GH. His leading man potential was not exploited. He, like every other GH character, appeared only sporadically in story lines that meandered and sputtered out. These days I am actually more invested in Y&R than in GH because there is more… Read more »

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

Jason took a swing at GH when he said his new gig at Y&R, he is working harder than ever before. True. On GH, if you are not Carly, Sonny or a OLTL Frank favorite, you bet back burner-ed!

Raiann
Guest
Raiann

Funny I barely see Sonny or Carly on GH. Maybe once or twice a week. An then usually supporting another SL.

Kimmie
Guest
Kimmie

Phyllis and Billy are soooooo Hot!! That’s what draws me to this show!! I’m ready for Philly to be together for real!! Out in the open as a loving couple in GC!!

Lucky
Guest
Lucky

Jason Thompson is rocking it as Billy. He has really made the role his own. I’m looking forward to seeing all the Philly affair fallout, I know JT and the other actors involved will knock it out of the park.

Meg Reddekopp
Guest
Meg Reddekopp

Although I don’t like Billy with Phyllis , FOR HURTING JACK BUT Jack deserves better anyway I do prefer Gina’s PHYLLIS,And , I finally like Billy for the first time since he was a teen,JASON THOMPSON IS WONDERFUL. I CAN SEE PHYLLIS CHEATING WITH BILLY IF IT WAS B M ,NOT DAVID OR BURGESS ,

Celia
Guest
Celia

Nailed it, Tucker!! You are so right, as far as I am concerned…I, too, see no sexual , psychological or emotional chemistry between him and Phyllis.
I have not felt any stirring from this Billy with any of his ‘girlfriends’.
But, as you can see, many disagree with us. We say ‘tomahhhhto’; others say ‘tomato’. LOL.

Celia
Guest
Celia

Hi, Meg,
Jack deserves everything he gets. His past misdeeds are catching up to him.
Jack did some despicable things to a lot of people. It’s a soap, LOL. As someone said, this is exactly what is to be expected. Later, Meg.

Meg Reddekopp
Guest
Meg Reddekopp

Jack has more paid for what he did in his past ,he isn’t a sociopath like victor, he is a decent human being ,I hope Sally writes him someone better than PHYLLIS..

Celia
Guest
Celia

Hi, again, Meg, I was not comparing Jack to Victor. Victor is in a league of his own. My point was that, albeit TPTB are transforming Jack’s disposition, his sins are catching up to him. Karma. He ruined Patty’s life, and do many more lives. But, I will grant Jack did not act out of intentional evil as Victor. With Victor, it is a compulsion to inflict pain to suit his purposes. However, he is paying as we speak….there’s more to come. He just doesn’t seem to be affected by it. Or, at least, the writers are very selective with… Read more »

Lew S.
Guest
Lew S.

Billy & Phyllis? Aw, heck no!!!

Tani Sterling
Guest
Tani Sterling

Haven’t even watched the programs. Will say Jason is more delightful in person than playing Billy. Then, again, Billy isn’t any Prince Charming. I haven’t quite adjusted to him. Physically he is so different from the previous two. For now, I would let this trio each go their own direction. Give us all a time to recover. Please reconstitute Jack. Make him the strong business person he supposedly is. I don’t know who Phyllis and Billy are; neither appear to have adapted a continuity with the previous players. That’s OK. Change is good. The needed reconstruction hasn’t taken place. Now… Read more »

Lucia
Guest
Lucia

I think it’s so hard for an actor to step into a “classic character” if you will, and I think Jason Thompson and Gina Tognoni do a beautiful job with poorly written material.

Should those two characters be together? Meh. I dunno…I just know that when I watch Jack and Phyllis kiss, I feel gross. The chemistry just isn’t there.

Patricia
Guest
Patricia

I would liked to see Jack and Phyllis work their way back to each other. Phyllis was raped by Marco and has never dealt with it. She and Jack, both, pretended it never happened. The fact that Jack and Marco were identical in looks must have made it difficult to be close to Jack. Billy is just a vulture who wants everything that Jack has. Victor never pays for his crimes !!!!! Enough of this !!!!

2Much
Guest
2Much

I absolutely loathe NewBilly and Phyllis. They are simply gross together and JT is all kinds of wrong to play Billy. The affair was seedy and tawdry and doesn’t deserve support. The fact that Billy has been taunting Jack all along while he’s sleeping with Jack’s wife(!) is odious and so is Billy. This seedy affair also isn’t rootable because both of them have been acting like this is Jack’s fault that he didn’t “get” Phyllis. No, sorry but this story should be about Jack and Phack – NOT Billy and Phyllis! This is abominable writing and Pratt should have… Read more »

Helene
Guest
Helene

What did Jack do during a year when he knew Billy’s daughter’s killer was alive?

jaybird369
Guest
jaybird369

S-o…Jack is ‘hit the hardest’ by Billy and Phyllis’s affair??? Oh, Wah Wah Wah, Cry Me A River and Boo Hoo Hoo!!!!! As far as I’m concerned, Jack WAS ALWAYS, STILL IS AND ALWAYS WILL BE a lying, cheating and two-faced CAD!!!!! Sorry…but Jack gets NO SYMPATHY from me!!!!! NONE!!!!!

padange
Guest
padange

Philly is my favorite daytime couple right now, and “the affair” is (or should I say “was”?) my favorite storyline of 5 years. I liked the depth and subtlety of the buildup, love the incredible chemistry between Gina Tognoni and Jason Thompson. It’s always a treat to watch their scenes. Of course, I want this great on-screen couple “to survive” the turmoil. However, I’m getting more and more confused by some of the writing choices in this storyline. Namely, the change in motives. What I’ve been watching for months was a clear love affair. Now they’re rewriting it into something… Read more »

Geena
Guest
Geena

Really love this storyline and JT has done so well in this role. Very happy to see him enjoying himself so much in this leading role. With Adam gone, it really just leaves him and Nick as the hot leading men.

Days Of Our Lives

Watch the Replay: GH, DAYS, Y&R, B&B & OLTL Stars at Michael Fairman’s Virtual Birthday Party for SAG-AFTRA Foundation Covid-19 Relief Fund

Earlier this week on Monday night, several of the stars of General Hospital, Days of our Lives, The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful, and One Life to Live, took part in a virtual livestream “party” for Michael Fairman’s 60th birthday.

The event was held virtually to help performers in need who have been deeply affected by the Covid-19 pandemic by letting viewers know where to make a donation to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Covid-19 Relief Fund.

Photo: ABC, NBC, CBS

Participating throughout the 90 minute livestream were: The Young and the Restless, Jason Thompson, Sharon Case, and Christian LeBlanc, General Hospital’s Maurice Benard, Laura Wright, Wes Ramsey, and Chloe Lanier, The Bold and the Beautiful’s Katherine Kelly Lang, Days of our Lives’ Rob Scott Wilson, Eric Martsolf, Galen Gering, Arianne Zucker, Shawn Christian, Santa Barbara favorite, A Martinez, One Life to Live’s Kristen Alderson and Eddie Alderson, and Studio City’s Sean Kanan.

You can catch the replay of the birthday benefit event below or on The Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube.

Throughout the evening, the actors shared stories of how they got their SAG card, played a game of Michael’s trivia, and revealed stories about themselves and other “party” guests in a wonderful display of community and camaraderie at all went down live!

Since March of 2o2o, the SAG-AFTRA Foundation has given out more than $6.2 million in emergency aid to over 6,500 SAG-AFTRA performers and their families facing hardship and uncertainty during this pandemic. Thousands of SAG-AFTRA artists have found themselves in dire need of assistance to help pay their rent, buy groceries, cover health care premiums and other bills.  You can still make a donation of any dollar amount to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Covid-19 relief fund here. https://members.sagfoundation.org/donate 

Now, check it out below, and let us know if you enjoyed the virtual birthday party livestream via the comment section.

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General Hospital

GH Co-Head Writers Chris Van Etten and Dan O’ Connor Interview – “Soapmakers of the Year” Honors 2020

In a year which saw production of your favorite soaps shutdown for several months due to the coronavirus pandemic, everyone in daytime had to pivot.  As original episodes aired, they eventually ran out, giving way to rebroadcasts, while the audience eagerly awaited the return of the current stories.

At General Hospital, once production resumed over the summer, head writers, Chris Van Etten and Dan O’ Connor had teed-up: surprising homecomings (Dante, Britt) shocking twists and revelations, the conclusion of what will become an all-time soap classic, the Alzheimer’s storyline, dipping into the rich 57-year history of the iconic soap to tie story to the present (Laura, Cyrus, Martin), and crafting stories for its A-list cast which gave 2020 some of its finest on-screen moments.  GH became can’t-miss television again, coming back even stronger than its pre-pandemic self; which also kicked the year off in high-style with the reveal of Nikolas to his family, alive and well, and the long-awaited truth about baby Wiley.

Chris and Dan’s depiction of Mike’s heartbreaking battle with Alzheimer’s gave viewers many tears through its unrelenting and realistic storytelling, plus their commitment to air the standalone episode to honor the passing of the 19th amendment of the women’s right to vote in November.  Both were noteworthy, and illustrated what daytime can do best.

 

Each year, Michael Fairman TV gives our highest honor to a creative or creatives who most delivered to its audience and whose quality of work continues to keep us engaged, on the edge of our seats, or reaching for the hankies. That is why this year’s Soapmkers of the Year honor goes to GH scribes: Chris Van Etten and Dan O’Connor.  Shortly after receiving their acknowledgement, the duo spoke to us about some of the 2020 highlights in Port Charles, and how they work so well together to bring their stories to life.  Here’s what they shared.

Courtesy/ABC

First, and foremost, I want to commend you for the Alzheimer’s storyline  As I’ve shared publicly, my mother died of Alzheimer’s, and I have seen the progression of this disease and the effects it has on a family and loved ones, and the person afflicted with it.  You did a beautiful job of telling every beat of the story within the context of what you could do within a soap opera.  What can you tell me about crafting that and seeing it through to the end?  You never abandoned the story, which at times, can happen on daytime.

CHRISNo, we didn’t abandon it.  Soap operas have a power that I am sure we have acknowledged before, to allow audiences to really get to know characters in a deeper and more profound way than I think most other mediums do.  We get to see characters’ lives day in and day out.  For us to tell a story about Alzheimer’s, which is a disease that is devastating in so many ways, not the least of which is the fact that it can take years to develop and years to finally claim a life, we felt that among our audience, there had to be many people who had experienced this in an up-close and personal way.  So that to tell the story too expeditiously would really deny their experience and would take away from their appreciation of the show as a reflection of reality.  Of course, soap operas don’t do that in every sense on every episode, but when you’re telling a story about a disease that people experience every day, you have an obligation to reflect the real-world experience.  So, by bringing it to a close too fast and by doing it in a way that didn’t honor what at times is the horror of the disease, felt like it would be a cop-out.  We wanted to do our best within the constrictions of the medium to depict that; while at the same time, of course, not wanting to leave people so depressed as to not want to tune back in.  It was a really delicate dance.  We are very grateful to have had the support of the network and Frank Valentini’s (executive producer, GH) ingenious production team as well as a great repertory of actors who were willing and able to give their all to this story.

Courtesy/ABC

Maurice Benard (Sonny) did some of his finest work of his career in this story, and you gave him the ball to do it, and Max Gail (Mike) was amazing.  Two standout episodes included: when Mike passed and was taken to heaven by Courtney (Alicia Leigh Willis) and Mike’s funeral episode.  Did you realize when you were writing it, the impact it would have on the audience?

DANAs for the funeral, I’d say that we knew as we were writing it that not only did we want to give the characters and the audience a chance to say goodbye to Mike, but we also wanted to give the performers a chance to say a goodbye to their relationship with the actor, Max Gail as well.  Max is a fantastic, phenomenal actor, and he formed close relationships with many of our performers.  So, when we wrote the episode, yes, we did want to give the audience a chance to say goodbye to the character, but we also knew that because of the close relationships that these performers have made with each other that the actors were going to bring their all, and it was going to provide the audience with some powerhouse performances.

Did you get emotional seeing it? 

CHRIS:  Oh, personally, I cried.

Courtesy/ABC

I know you both love and appreciate the soap genre and understand that the audience often wants a good cry and is invested in these characters.  So because of that; what’s it like for you when you see these emotional moments play out that start in your mind, go to the page, then to the stage, and now are out in the world for people to see and experience?

CHRIS:  I can’t speak for any of the other writers, but I’m not crying when I’m writing it, but I’m crying when I see it realized and how the actors, and the producers, and the directors realize it.  I personally am always surprised by the nuance and the beats that they find that we, in our first draft kind-of-lifestyle that we have as soap opera writers; where we are writing six or seven episodes per week, we don’t have the time or the luxury to really sit with an episode and mine it for every single beat and every emotion. That’s why we have great directors and great actors who take these scripts and find these extra moments.  So, it is really gratifying to watch – yes, to see something that we’ve imagined be produced and personified, but then to see how the production then takes it in other directions, that’s the best.  I think that’s the most gratifying part of writing for a show, not seeing what you’ve written produced, but seeing how it was parented into life.  When you have a baby, I think you have all sorts of ideas about what the baby will be, and then the baby becomes something else as the result of its environment and of the people who are influencing and guiding it along and that may be a bit of a stretched metaphor, but it kind of feels relative.

As co-head writers of General Hospital, how do you work together to come up with long-term story?  What is your process?

DAN:  Chris and I will meet regularly and discuss the long-term stories that we are telling, and plan to tell, and maybe some adjustments that we have to make along the way.  We get to meet with our writers several days every week as we figure out the best way to tell that story in the form of however many episodes we write a week.  Chris and I also write episodes along with our great breakdown script team, and every week we figure out the best way to either stay on the path of the story we are intending to tell, or find new opportunities or new twists and turns we can take along the way.

Photo: ABC

Do you get into friendly, creative disagreements? Is one of you more protective of a certain character than the other? 

DAN:  Chris and I have known each other for close to 15 years at this point, and we are not just colleagues, we are also friends.  There is a certain amount of shorthand that we have with each other which is just invaluable in telling story.  What’s great is that we sometimes come at the story from different angles or we have a different point of view, much like any two fans of the show wouldn’t agree on necessarily everything, but in our discussions about the show’s needs, wants, and haves, and the story trajectory, we ultimately get somewhere better than where either of us could have come up with on our own.  At the same time, there are those moments where we both come to the same idea at the same moment, and that’s definitely when we go, “Okay, we’re onto something good.”

CHRIS:  I can add as a partial translation that I can get really snippy, and Dan has the patience of a saint.  So, often times, I need 24 hours to go away, and sleep on something, and wake up, and say, “Oh Dan, you were totally right about that.  I’m so sorry I was snippy the other day,” and he doesn’t seem to hold it against me.

Do you ever get a writer’s block; as has to happen often with scribes in the unrelenting medium of daytime drama, and if so, I would think having a writing partner would be an asset during those times?

DAN:  I think it’s the nature of the beast.  At a certain point, you might hit a roadblock somewhere, but that’s why having a partner is so valuable that there is somebody else that you can bounce ideas along with, and just as, if not more importantly, our team of writers are always there to sometimes give us even better ideas than what we would have come up with on our own.

Courtesy/ABC

This year you utilized and delved back into a lot of GH history.  How did the idea come about to bring back the character of Jackie Templeton and have former All My Children and NYPD Blue favorite, Kim Delaney, take on the role?

DAN:  Jackie Templeton is a character who has been an Easter egg on the show for many years now.  Whenever we needed to namedrop a famous journalist, she was always our go-to.  It always felt like the character was in the ether of Port Charles for awhile, and we were excited to bring this take-no-prisoners character back and explore her history with Robert (Tristan Rogers), and at the same time, we were finally teed up to tell the story of Finn’s (Michael Easton) falling out with his father and step-mother, and we realized we had a great opportunity to have the character serve both stories and collide with not just Anna (Finola Hughes) and Finn, but Robert as well. Those three played wonderfully with each other. When we heard that Kim Delaney was interested in playing with us, we were just over the moon.  .

Courtesy/ABC

You have also been delving back into Laura’s childhood past and her history. I love that you brought up the death of David Hamilton and her teenage years, which hasn’t been discussed for a very long time on the show while tying it into the present.

DAN:  We were always aware of the story just because we love General Hospital and we love the character of Laura, and there is nothing else like daytime drama, and one of the great things about it is that you can reach decades into the past and expand on stories and themes that the audience actually witnessed. Long reaching history is a tool in our toolbox that not many other series have.  Chris and I love honoring and using our characters’ histories to propel the show into the future with some serious momentum.

Photo: ABC

You created and brought the character of  Cyrus Renault (Jeff Kober) on to the canvas. Was it originally a case of, “We need an uber-villain to come and shake things up,” and then you decided to connect him to Laura?  It’s been an intriguing shocker for viewers.  Jeff is playing the multi-levels of Cyrus with great finesse, and whenever you give Genie something, the fans go nuts, and she, in turn, delivers every time.

CHRIS:  The story of Cyrus has a couple of phases to it.  We wanted to bring on a villain who would not only be an adversary to Sonny, but someone who we could use to really test Jordan (Briana Nicole Henry) and Curtis (Donnell Turner), and we knew going in that the first phase of this story would really hit the Corinthos family and also the Ashfords, and as we developed it, we thought about what the act two would be, and we knew that we had an opportunity to really engage Genie Francis and to expand her sphere and expand her footprint on the show, and by connecting her to Cyrus, who is not your typical face or presence for a soap, but is also not your typical person who I think Laura would encounter in her daily life.  So, we knew, as we really developed Cyrus as a villain, that for Laura to find out that this man is her brother, would really allow us to play with Laura in a different context and in a different light and really give Genie a new kind of challenge.

Speaking of Genie, what did you think when you watched back her performance in the episode where you wrote that Laura has to say goodbye to her comatose daughter, Lulu (Emme Rylan), before she was sent off the canvas to a long-term care facility?

CHRIS:  I mean to me, that’s vintage Laura.  I came to General Hospital personally in the late 80s to early 90s, so my experience of Laura really only begins with her, and Luke (Tony Geary), and Lucky (Jonathan Jackson) at the Triple L Diner.  I think that what we’ve gotten to see with Genie is really reflective of the high emotion that she is capable of delivering.  At the same time as the high emotion, you’re also seeing really small human moments that she really breathes a lot of life into.  I can speak for Dan and myself when we say that we are just really thrilled with what she has been able to bring to the screen.  Thrilled, but I guess not surprised.

Coutesy/ABC

Nelle (Chloe Lanier) was such a great interloper and threat throughout the year in story; whether it’s hatching plots to gain custody of baby Wiley, or her “death” scene and confrontations with Carly (Laura Wright).  However, through all of this, when was it decided to make Nina (Cynthia Watros), Nelle’s biological mother?

DAN:  There are very few things that are as exciting on a soap as a character that makes you wonder what they are going to do next, and Chloe and Nelle provided that role with just gusto.  The truth is, the idea that Nelle was Nina’s daughter has been a part of the conception of that character, and over the last few years, the story evolved, and we ultimately got to reveal the truth to the audience.

Courtesy/ABC

As writers, there has to be characters that are just so delicious and treacherous to write for that you have to get a kick out of it! Chloe Lanier is so good that she makes the audience want to slap Nelle when she takes the dialog and then brings it to the screen.  

CHRIS:  It is tremendous fun.  Yes, yes, we love writing for these characters who are willing to do and say anything to get what they want.  We are constrained when writing for characters who have morality.  It takes a moral character a lot of really difficult circumstances for them to make a decision that might go against the grain, but when you have a character like Nelle, who is not shackled by certain societal norms, then you really get to live out the worst impulses that a person could have, and it’s really fun, especially when you take a really great performer like Chloe and see her as Nelle unleash all of the poison that she’s capable of.  At the same time, she can turn on a dime and rip your heart out a little bit when she turns on the water works.

Photo :ABC

Ava Jerome’s (Maura West) story this year had her moving into a relationship with Nikolas (Marcus Coloma).  We, the audience, didn’t know how that was going to go – if they were just going to use each other, or ultimately fall in love.  Was that the plan all along … that they would develop deep feelings for each other, or did you want to see how it progressed and played out on-screen, and then make that determination?

CHRIS:  I think that once we saw the chemistry between the two actors, we knew we had gold. So, we wanted to take our time, especially the way that it was constructed.  These were two people who had little use for each other emotionally, and in fact, probably wanted to see one another’s downfall, and that’s what makes it so great to write – that these are people who, in a similar vein as Nelle, don’t live by the same rules as most of the rest of us, and therefore, they might do things to each other that the rest of us would not do to anyone let alone whether we like them or not.  That’s what makes Ava and Nikolas so delicious is that from one moment to the next, you don’t know if they’re going to hatch a plot against each other or fall into bed and ravish each other. That’s what I think we hope to continue to play as we go forward because they certainly have very strong, passionate feelings for one another.  When you’re talking about Ava and Nikolas, these are two people who do not have a lot of fans necessarily in Port Charles, and there are a lot of people who don’t necessarily want to see them achieve happily ever after.  Knowing that there was so much initial mistrust and suspicion between the two of them could really provide the foundation for their own undoing or their undoing from someone who does not want to see them happy.

Photo: ABC

Back in November, GH made good use of a standalone episode spotlighting the history of the women’s right to vote and the suffrage movement; just as the presidential election was happening.  What made you decide to write this special show, and how do you feel it turned out as it also spotlighted the female cast?

CHRIS:  We had long intended to honor the one hundred years of American women’s suffrage with a special episode to air on the anniversary of the 19th amendment’s passage, but we missed the date due to the pause in production.  We realized we had a second chance as the election neared.  Going forward was a no-brainer. The biggest challenge was in distilling such an epic story into one episode. We think ABC would do well to consider a spinoff: “Port Charles, 1920”

Courtesy/ABC

You have such a powerhouse cast to write for.  It’s loaded.  It’s got to be a challenge for you to construct the story for GH when you’ve got to front burner people and back burner people, and then you’ve got these huge daytime stars all in one show.

DAN:  It’s an embarrassment of riches to have a cast as talented as we do quite frankly.  We are fortunate enough that we know that we have these amazing performers that we can trust with whatever stories that we throw their way.

CHRIS:  I will say that we do have a great cast.  They’re all wonderful, and when you have a show that is only approximately 35 minutes of airtime on any day, it’s a real balancing act to make sure that everybody gets a story that really is worthy of their talents, and we’ve got one for everybody.  Sometimes it’s just a matter of which story takes precedence in which moment, which is why occasionally some characters aren’t featured on a daily basis, but you can bet your bottom dollar that they will be.  If you were to ask me, “Who are the standouts?”  I would say all of them.  You saw this year: Maurice Benard, Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis), Maura West, Genie Francis, and Laura Wright (Carly) to name but just a few.  They’ve all done such fantastic work, and we can’t wait to give them more material to give them more moments to shine.

DAN:  A priority of ours is every week, we meet up and look (well, it’s virtual now during Covid-19) at the big board of our cast photos and we go through each character and always make sure that they have some story percolating even if it’s not on the air at the moment.

Photo: ABC

As we close out 2020, and look forward to 2021, any parting thoughts, and perhaps a tease of what GH fans can look forward to in the New Year?

CHRIS:  In general, I would just say that despite all of the challenges of the year, we are really grateful to our cast and the crew back in Los Angeles for realizing and improving the show that we imagined, and we are so excited for everything that is coming in 2021.  We hope to continue to throw a lot of surprises at the audience, and at the same time give them a lot of moments and stories of heart and love and excitement.

So, what did you think of the year in story on General Hospital in 2020? Share your thoughts on Chris and Dan’s comments and their year-end honors via the comment section below.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Stephen Nichols and Lucas Adams Talk Salem Longevity, Tripp’s Predicament and Their Co-Stars

Days of our Lives stars Stephen Nichols (Steve “Patch” Johnson) and his on-screen son, Lucas Adams (Tripp Dalton) are in the middle of plenty of drama on the long-running NBC daytime drama, which recently celebrated its 55th anniversary in November and its 14,000 episode milestone in December.

In a new chat with Michael Fairman on the Michael Fairman Channel, Stephen reveals his surprise at still being with the iconic show. while Lucas talks about how his first run on DAYS came to an abrupt end, but now he is deep in-story involving Allie (Lindsay Arnold) and the brother he is yet-to-know he has, Charlie (Mike Manning), who is Allie’s actual rapist.

Both Stephen and Lucas discuss having the opportunity to work with Daytime Emmy winner Tamara Braun (Ava) again, as well as James Lastovic (Joey) in recently aired scenes. In story, Ava has returned back-from-the-dead and realizes she has major trouble brewing with her two sons, Tripp and Charlie.  How will it all play itself out?

 

Check out what Stephen and Lucas shared below.  Then, be on the lookout beginning this week, as Steve and John (Drake Hogestyn) work together to figure out who is responsible for Allie’s rape and just who is the biological father to her child, when it is not Tripp!

Share your thoughts on the sentiments shared by Stephen and Lucas in the interview via the comment section.

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