When The Young and the Restless finally decided to resurrect the character of Adam Newman, it was one of the most highly-anticipated returns in the soap genre. After all, when viewers last saw Adam, then played by This Is Us star, Justin Hartley, he was presumed blown to smithereens in a cabin, thanks to first, being tranquilized by a dart gun by an unstable Chloe (Elizabeth Hendrickson), who holds Adam responsible for the hit and run that killed her daughter, Delia.
Fast-forward to summer of 2019 and Y&R fans got a very much alive Adam, vengeful as all get-out, picking right back up where he left off; only this time the role is being played by soap newcomer, Mark Grossman. In what has to be one of the most sought after roles on television for any young actor to play, Grossman nabbed it and has come on to the scene hitting the ground running and is quickly becoming one helluva soapy badass on the Genoa City canvas.
Michael Fairman TV sat down with Mark at CBS Television City where Y&R is taped to talk about: how his journey has been thus far in a role that has put him under the microscope from viewers to critics. Many will agree that in short order, Grossman is making the role of Adam his own, as he has been so in the mix with the iconic staples of the series, to those performers who just made exciting returns.
This week on Y&R, Adam is going to take down his brother, Nick (Joshua Morrow) by any means possible to gain custody of his biological son, Christian. As they face-off in a custody hearing, Adam is up to his chicanery, and viewers will see the fall-out.
Here’s what Mark had to say about his castmates, the opportunity and the pressure of being Adam on the top-rated soap, and why he loves getting to be bad.
Adam is so integral and key to the canvas. How are you settling into the pace of Y&R? Did you have any idea that it was going to be this amount of work when you signed on?
MARK: I had an idea, and this is actually my first soap. I had always heard that the amount of volume is a lot, but yeah, it was kind of a steep learning curve, but it got much easier as time has gone on, and the memorization got a lot easier. You adjust to it, and you just get used to it.
A few years back, I attended the premiere of the indie film you were in with Melissa Archer (Ex-OLTL and DAYS) called South32. In that, you played one bad dude. I remember thinking, “That guy plays evil and creepy so well.” Your character was horrible in the film!
MARK: Oh, yeah. My character’s name was Donny. That was a bad guy. That was a really bad guy. I just remember I had a lot of fun because Melissa Archer was great, and Sean Kanan (Ex-GH, Y&R and B&B) was in that too, and they both are in the soap world.
So when I saw that Y&R cast you as Adam I was like, “Oh yeah! Great choice! He can play a real jerk!” (Laughs) So, why do you think you play bad so well?
MARK: I don’t know. I just have that face… the jerk face? (Laughs)
(Laughs) Do you practice those looks in the mirror?
MARK: (Laughs) No. I like to think I’m a really nice guy, actually. I think I’ve always liked characters that are more broken and are trying to do the best they can with the cards they are dealt or trying to overcome something. I mean, in South32, that’s a different story. I’ve just always gravitated to those kinds of roles more than a stereotypical love-interest or something like that, or kind of a more vanilla character.
Let’s talk about the audition process for this sought-after soap role. Did you know when you first were in the running for the character that it was to play “Adam Newman”?
MARK: I had no idea because it’s all under codenames.
What was the codename?
MARK: The codename was “Jeremy”, and I had no idea I was auditioning for Adam, because they change all of the names, and I wasn’t up-to-date with everything that had been going on with Y&R. When you’re out there as an actor you are auditioning for all kinds of stuff (and I don’t really watch much TV as it is). I think it was at the network test when a couple of the other actors, who were there, kind of let it slip what part this really was for.
You had your screen-test with Sharon Case (Sharon). What was your first impression of her?
MARK: I adore Sharon. She’s wonderful, and she was so, so helpful. She’s coming up on twenty-five years on this show, and that is amazing. I really love working with her.
Once you knew the role was that of Adam Newman, did you begin to do your research? Call people? Phone a friend (laughs)? Take to You Tube?
MARK: Oh yeah! I went way down the rabbit hole. When I did my research I watched tons of scenes on YouTube, and then everything on the internet, Wikipedia, and every site that had information on the role. Before I started, I also had lunch with a couple members of the cast, and they were probably so annoyed at me for asking so many questions about just about everything that came to mind. (Laughs)
You follow in the footsteps of other great actors who have played this role; Chris Engen, Michael Muhney and Justin Hartley. Did you have trepidation taking the role knowing the bar was set so high?
MARK: Yes, of course.
In the world of daytime drama, recasts happen all the time; that is just the nature of the beast. You hope the fans will give the actor stepping into a role a chance to establish themselves in the part, because they can get initially very reactionary. In your case, there were some immediate tweets that went out right when you were announced as the new Adam with some fans commenting: “He’s too young!” That happened even before your first episode aired, so no one had seen you embody the part yet. What’s your take on all of that?
MARK: I get it, trust me. You watch somebody for years, and you really enjoy watching this person, and then all of the sudden they’re gone, and somebody new comes on. That’s hard to get used to. So, that was a little daunting, but it just is what it is. You just have to go in and put your stamp on it, and the audience will say what they do. That’s all you can do. Just, “this is what I think it is,” and do your best job with that, and yes, people will say what they’re going to say.
So, you meet Y&R icon Eric Braeden (Victor). You’re playing his on-screen son, the black sheep of the Newman clan. What was it like meeting Eric, and then actually getting on set and getting to work your first scene with him?
MARK: It was great. He was really supportive. I remember I would get together with him and ask if we could rehearse, and we’d just end up in his dressing room talking for like twenty minutes about the show and life. I just feel so lucky that I get to play you know, the problem child. (Laughs)
It’s fun for actors in soaps to be a storyline catalyst. However, sometimes the catalysts can be short-term roles, and this one isn’t. Catalysts shake things up, and Adam is so entrenched with so many characters and has such a checkered past, and there is much to him. In finding out his back-story; what was the one thing that you were shocked to find out about him? That he ran down Delia?
MARK: That’s a huge thing. There’re people who think that Adam actually really didn’t do it. I mean … then there was … pretending that he was blind … wearing dresses. There’s so much!
It’s a great part. Adam would literally do anything to get what he wants. (Let’s not forget he apparently had sex with Rafe).
MARK: It’s a great part. I’m looking forward to what he does next. I hope they throw me in a dress and let me mess around and pretend to be other people. (Laughs)
So, how are you playing Adam’s motivations now? He comes back to Genoa City with amnesia after being in Vegas, and gets shot. He seems a nice guy, but then his memory comes back, and now he is literally back to old tricks and wanting to screw everybody over who he feels wronged him.
MARK: I think he wants his kids back. Adam is going to do whatever he wants to do to get his kids, and I think he is justified. Obviously, the way he goes about it is very shady and sometimes illegal, but I think he comes from a place of really wanting to be a father to his kids because of the stuff that happened with Victor, and being abandoned, and his blind mother, Hope. The issue of where Victor was while he was growing up and how Adam’s life could have been so different always weighs on him. Adam feels, “If there is one thing I need most, it’s to make sure my kids don’t go through what I went through.” I think that’s where he is justified in that regard, but the way he goes about it is obviously very questionable.
So, what happened when Joshua Morrow and you met for the first time?
MARK: I met him at my screen-test too. At the screen-test, we had to do scenes together and Joshua is such an awesome guy. He’s a total professional, but he is so funny. He is hilarious. We’ll always have these scenes where we are at each other’s throats, and then we’ll just crack up laughing.
Do you think there could ever be brotherly love between Adam and Nick?
MARK: I’ve actually been thinking about that lately. You know, I have a half-brother in real life. I think there are definitely possibilities for that with Adam and Nick. I think somewhere deep, deep down, on some very small level, Adam could possibly want to have a relationship with Nick. I think it could be possible, but I don’t know, and they’re so different from each other.
Then, there is the return to Y&R of Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea). And another task you were handed was to see if you can create the same on-screen magic for the duo known as “Chadam”.
MARK: I sure hope we can create that. Melissa is another person in the cast who is just so awesome. You probably think I’m lying, but everybody who works on this show is so nice, and they want the show to work. They have the best interests of the show at heart. You feel like you’re on a team here. I had watched Missy on YouTube with the other Adams. So, when I first met her I was all, “Oh, you remember this scene … and this scene … and when you were doing this?”
And Missy was like, “No, I don’t remember.” (Laughs)
MARK: She’d go, “No I don’t…” And then she would go, “Oh! That scene!” I had watched as much of her stuff that I could get my hands on. When I first met her, we had a big scene to do. We just kind of had to dive in. She was great.
So, where do you think Adam’s heart lies?
MARK: I think he has a deep love for Chelsea and Sharon.
Why does he love Sharon?
MARK: Oh, Sharon has been there for him when nobody else has, and they have so much past together, but I know there’s always the Chadam/Shadam thing!
Welcome! You’re right in the middle of these fan wars between camp Chadam and camp Shadam. That’s not a bad place to be. You’ve also been working with Greg Rikaart (Kevin) and Michelle Stafford (Phyllis). Adam has been horrible to Kevin, and poor Kevin is being blackballed by him.
MARK: (Laughs) We have so much fun. Those are great scenes. I really love working with Greg. It’s fun when you get to manipulate and blackmail someone, and Greg, as an individual is great, and obviously he’s been part of this show a long time, and he was really helpful too. So, I asked him questions. You know, “Fill me in on Adam and you before. What was it like, and what was your dynamic like?” Things like that.
There has been a total refocusing of Y&R. They brought in you as Adam, and they brought back Melissa, and Michelle Stafford, and you’re kind of in there with all of them. There have been some great scenes between you and Michelle Stafford, too. There was the scene where Phyllis is sitting alone at Adam’s eating a whole cake by herself with her champagne glass, and it was so funny. I’m like, “Did Michelle make that choice to sit there with the whole cake, or was it written like that?” She is a firecracker!
MARK: She’s great. I love Michelle. She keeps you on your toes. It’s funny, I actually had done a little, independent movie. I popped in for a day. She was in it, so I knew who she was, but I had never met her. She wasn’t there the day I was there. You never know which way she’s going to go in a scene. I enjoy that. You just have to be present because a lot of times we are doing these scenes in one take on Y&R, so you’ve got to be in it. Michelle is really fun to watch.
Are your family and friends checking you out as Adam on Y&R?
MARK: I have an aunt who is a big Y&R fan in Pennsylvania. She was so excited when she found out I was playing Adam. My dad is like, “I watch twice a day,” and my mom works during the week, so I think she watches on the computer at night. They live in Arizona.
Can you watch your work back? A lot of actors I have interviewed over the years in this medium have told me they do not like to watch their work, as it would then make them to aware of any quirks they may have and detract from their ability to deliver their performance, etc.
MARK: I watch, sometimes. It’s weird, isn’t it? I’ll go back and forth. I’ll watch myself sometimes with the sound off, and then I’ll slowly start creeping the sound up, and I’ll see … and then I’ll rewind it, and I’ll slowly start watching it. I’ve got to ease myself into it. Sometimes; I’ll ask other people if they’ve seen the scenes I was in, and I’ll be like, “Well, how was it?”
There is major bad blood between the characters of Billy and Adam. How has it been working with Jason Thompson (Billy), and what do you think of the Adam/Billy dynamic? Billy is considering taking a bullet to Adam and pulling the trigger. Billy holds Adam responsible for the death of his child, Delia and perpetrating much hurt on those he loves.
MARK: That’s a tough situation, and as for Jason Thompson, man. Jason Thompson is just such a great actor, I think. I just love watching him. He’s just so real, you know? You really feel what he is going through and what he is saying. I know there is a lot history between Billy and Adam, and yeah, Billy is becoming a little unglued.
Adam has that effect on people.
MARK: Adam does! It’s such a tragic thing that happened with Delia. How does one get over that? How many times can Adam apologize? So, I don’t know if they can even make amends and be friends.
I don’t think we want them to be friends. Do we? No.
MARK: No. There’s a lot of good drama there.
Then, we have Elizabeth Hendrickson as Chloe. So, what does Adam think about Chloe? Does he understand why she is constantly unhinged?
MARK: Yes. I think he understands that you lose a child, and that really affects you. I guess you don’t really know what you’re going to do until something like that happens. I think Adam tried to clear the air … and be honest about what actually happened that night, and say, “Look, if we keep this up, one of us is going to end up dead.” So, we’ll see if she can move on. I don’t know… Adam has got to keep watching his back.
And … watch out for dart guns. (Laughs)
MARK: Look out your window!
Victor thinks Adam is the smartest of his kids. Do you think so?
MARK: I think so. Adam went to Harvard. I think he is the smartest of the three. Obviously, he is the outcast, but I think he is the smartest intellectually of the three.
They’re talking a lot on the show, about the missing years when Adam supposedly went to Vegas. So there is a lot to yet be discovered about what happened to him and what he was really up to.
MARK: Maybe he was faking this whole amnesia story because he really wanted Sharon? I don’t know. I would imagine we would be delving into where he was. At least, I hope so.
Would you like to play some scenes where viewers get to see the more tender side of Adam?
MARK: Yes. I would love to explore the real sadness with Adam and Victor and why his father wasn’t there for him. I would love to see more of that, and scenes with the kids… get Connor back, and stuff like that.
Now speaking of doing anything to get back his kids, Adam, who professes to love Chelsea, kind of screwed her over after her new husband Calvin (John Burke) suddenly died, and he is kind of using that to his advantage with her.
MARK: Well, hey! You don’t mess with a man’s kids. It’s his son.
Adam is such a polarizing character and is driving story. Do you open the script and go, “Oh, man! I’m doing this today?”
MARK: Oh, sure. I’m always excited, because I’ll get a new episode, and I’ll open it immediately, and I’m like, “Oh, yes … oh, wow… oh, wow!” I feel like that’s what it’s been like though since I’ve been a part of this show, Adam is always stirring the pot and bringing a lot of that drama to it.
This week on Y&R, it’s the custody battle for Christian between Adam and Nick.
MARK: Yes, we are going to be in court, and we are going to go head to head over this custody battle for Christian. I hear Chloe might be back.
Do you get to make a statement as to why you’d be a good father while everybody is like, “Oh, God?” Do you get to say how your kids were taken from you?
MARK: Yeah, I do! Adam pleads his case.
It’s going to be interesting to see how this progresses with you as Adam, and how the fans take to him. Will the audience be at all compassionate towards him in certain circumstances, even though he’s screwed everybody over?
MARK: I hope so!
So, are you enjoying Mark’s portrayal of Adam? Who do you hope Adam winds up with romantically? Do you want Adam to get custody of both of his sons? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.
The Bold and the Beautiful’s Annika Noelle Chats on Hope’s Feelings for Thomas and Her New Attitude, Moving on From Liam, and Being an Advocate
2023 has been the year of Annika Noelle on CBS’ The Bold and the Beautiful. As Hope Logan, she found herself fighting the fire and passion she felt for Thomas Forrester (Matthew Atkinson), while trying to figure out where she stands in her marriage to Liam (Scott Clifton). As an actress, Noelle has carried much of the story and has been front and center. Something that should be remembered come Emmy time in 2024.
In story, ultimately, a trip to Rome, Italy set the stage for life-changing events in Hope’s life. After the wildly successful showing of her design collection, Hope for the Future, in collaboration with her ace designer, Thomas Forrester, the duo end-up in a passionate lip-lock, initiated by Hope, in front of the overhang at the world-famous Colosseum. Problem was … Liam happened upon the scene and saw his then wife’s betrayal.
Flash-forward, Hope has divorced Liam and is moving on with her life seemingly with Thomas, much to the chagrin of most of the entire Forrester and Logan families given Thomas’ twisted past – yes, they are probably thinking, “Baby Beth” and the “Hope Mannequin!” All that aside, on the surface Thomas appears a new man fully ready to embrace a relationship with Hope. Meanwhile, Hope has discovered more of her independence, has a fashionable new short crop hair-do, and is no longer ruled by what others think she should do.
Michael Fairman TV chatted with Annika to get her thoughts on a myriad of subjects including: is it truly the end for Hope and Liam? Will the duo known as “Thope” have a shot at any longevity? What is Hope going to do now that her father Deacon (Sean Kanan) is engaged to none other than evil-personified in Sheila Carter (Kimberlin Brown)? And that’s just for starters! Read on to see what Annika had to share about it all, and her about beautiful new rescue dog, Huckleberry.
Hope just found out that Eric (John McCook) is dying. How do you think she will cope with the news from here? What has Eric meant to her throughout his life?
ANNIKA: Eric has been a loving patriarch throughout Hope’s life. One of her mother’s biggest champions, Thomas’ grandfather, and Douglas’ great grandfather. He is someone that has been a guiding force throughout her life and to lose him would be like losing the cornerstone that built the house of Forrester. It would be a devastating loss to her family.
Liam seems to be reeling from seeing just how serious Thomas and Hope appear to be with each other at this point. Is Hope moving forward with Thomas in her mind as a “relationship” or does she see this more as an “aﬀair” for her?
ANNIKA: At this point, she can acknowledge that she has feelings for Thomas and she wants to be with him. However, given his significance in her life (an integral part of ‘Hope for the Future’ as well as Douglas’ father) I think she wants to be extremely careful. She has been burned by love and is hesitant to jump in again. She needs to take things slow and thus far, Thomas has respected that.
You carried a very heavy load in the storyline over recent months: from when Thomas and Hope kissed in Rome, to the fallout, to her divorcing Liam, to her feeling more self-assured and independent. What were the more challenging beats of the storyline for you?
ANNIKA: Honestly? This has been a joy. After the heavy “Baby Beth” storyline throughout most of 2019, I have so enjoyed this story arc. From being able to travel to Rome for the first time with the cast and crew, playing beats of strength, laughter, and love as well as the heavier moments, it has been a story I have embraced and given my all.
You have a new fantastic short cropped hair-do. Was that something you wanted to do, or was it related to the character of Hope moving on with her life from Liam?
ANNIKA: This actually had more to do with me making changes and starting new chapters but it also happened to coincide with Hope having major life changes as well. I, of course, had to get permission (contractual obligation and what not) and was surprised to get the blessing to go ahead! It’s been a big adjustment as I’ve had long hair my entire adult life but everyone has been so complimentary and supportive. I think I might keep it for a while…
Do you see Hope, Thomas and Douglas (Henry Joseph Samiri) being a family at some point?
ANNIKA: In my eyes, they always were a family from the moment Hope embraced the role as Douglas’ adoptive mother. She takes that responsibility very seriously, and was not going to neglect her duties to that child. Even when it was tough with the blended families, she always tried her best to make it work.
Is Hope at all concerned at this point that Thomas could fall back on his former troubled or devious ways?
ANNIKA: I think in order for her to be involved with a man who has done so much to her and her family in the past, she has to truly believe that this man has changed. That he is different. As she has said repeatedly, he has earned her trust and he has done the work. And try as everyone might to ward her away, I think it just makes it all the more appealing. As her father Deacon said… “love doesn’t always make sense”.
Do you see Hope doing anything to intervene with her father Deacon’s relationship with Sheila Carter (Kimberlin Brown)? She clearly is not happy about this, given Sheila’s past.
ANNIKA: I think at the moment she has a lot on her plate with Eric’s health, Liam’s realization, Hope For The Future, the children, not to mention her love life. I think she’s trying to maintain some form of peace and balance, which involves setting a boundary with that. Plus, Sheila has a few screws loose, so I don’t think she’s about to go punching crazy in the face just to see what happens.
You recently shared some scenes with Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy). Within them, Steﬀy and Hope sparred with a war of words, when it came to Liam and Thomas. Did Hope use his past with Steﬀy as justification to divorce him, because she wanted Thomas so badly, or does she truly believe that Steﬀy will always come first with Liam?
ANNIKA: I think both can be true at the same time. Past resentments, insecurities, and repeated infidelity over years can lead to the downfall of any strong relationship. Hope’s issue is not necessarily Liam’s past indiscretions, as she still choose to forgive him and stay with him during those times. It is the fact that he couldn’t oﬀer her the same grace and forgiveness after she had messed up. Over a kiss. And Liam was so quick to run to Steﬀy in the aftermath. That is what stung. So, she had the divorce papers drawn up.
You have an adorable new dog Huckleberry that you showed on your Instagram. What can you tell me about how Huckleberry came into your life? What kind of dog is he?
ANNIKA: Huckleberry is my gentle angel boy who came into my life thanks to Life Animal Rescue. I had been searching for the right fit and I saw a video of him and knew we were destined to be. He is 100% “Korean Village Dog” and was rescued from a meat farm there. He is now safe with me, chasing butterflies, and playing with Burritoman kitty.
You have been a wonderful ally to the LGBTQ+ community and do get involved in charitable causes. Why is it important for you to lend your name and time to help those perhaps misunderstood, or under-presented?
ANNIKA: Funny thing is, I would be doing it even if I didn’t have this platform. I grew up in theatre as much as I did the outdoors. Both have oﬀered me community and a place of belonging. I was bullied as a child so my places of refuge were the forest in my backyard and the escape I found on the stage. So I will advocate, use my voice, and return the love that the community has shown me all my life. They were a safe haven for me, I will fight for their safety too. As Mama Ru says, “we’re all born naked and the rest is drag”.
As her fashion line says, Hope for the Future, what are your future Hope’s for Hope?
ANNIKA: I hope she finds clarity for herself, strength in her voice, and love in her heart. With or without a man. And more screen time with her children!
As we head into the Thanksgiving holiday, what would you like to say to all the fans who have been so supportive to you all over the world who watch B&B?
ANNIKA: Thank you so much for being on this journey with me. I know it isn’t always easy with the way storyline can ebb and flow. But if you understand me, who I am outside of my character, all I stand for, and you still ride with me? Then my loves, we are family! And I am grateful for YOU. No character choice can ever ruin that.
So, after checking out our interview with Annika, are you rooting for Hope and Thomas to be the end game, or do you think Hope and Liam should find their way back to one another? Share your viewpoints and thoughts via the comment section below.
Rena Sofer and Amanda Setton Talk On Playing General Hospital’s Mother/Daughter Duo of Lois & Brook Lynn, Working with Co-Stars: Jane Elliot, Wally Kurth and Ellen Travolta, and What Lies Ahead
It’s Thanksgiving time at the Quartermaines, and there is a lot to be ‘thankful’ for if you are a General Hospital fan of this bickering clan. Back in October, Daytime Emmy winner, Rena Sofer returned to her soap-famous role of Lois Cerullo, Ned’s ex-wife and the mother of his child, Brook Lynn. It has been over 27 years since Sofer was back in Port Charles bringing with it her Lois’ incomparable nails, that deep Bensonhurst/Brooklyn accent, those ‘Lois-isms’ and more.
GH fans were very excited and intrigued to see what would happen when Sofer appeared in scenes with her TV daughter, Amanda Setton. After all, Brook Lynn is all grown up now and as you can see like mother, like daughter. And if you were to tell us that years later One Life to Live favorite, Setton, would get an opportunity to play Lois’ daughter, we would have been “Get outta here!” That’s because we knew, even on paper, Amanda was the perfect choice.
Now, as the holiday begins, there’s trouble with Turkey Day at the Q’s, and Lois’ mom, Gloria Cerullo played by beloved guest star Ellen Travolta drops in to be with her daughter and granddaughter … let the fireworks and fun begin. Meanwhile, just recently, Ned’s (Wally Kurth) memory returned after months as “Eddie Maine”, and Lois came back to Port Charles after hearing how Tracy (Jane Elliot) messed with her daughter and blackmailed her right out of Deception. Wanting to stand up for Brook Lynn, Lois got a lot more than she bargained for when she came back to town.
Michael Fairman TV chatted with Rena and Amanda in a heartfelt and candid interview; which clearly reveals that the two would be in each other’s fan club, plus how Rena wants to be respectful to the on-screen relationship between Ned and Lois, given that Wally Kurth and Rena were previously married in real life and since then are married to other people. Coming back to GH, some 27 years later, offers Sofer a fresh perspective to how she was back when she joined the show and how she views work and life now. Amanda teases what’s ahead for Brook Lynn where the ‘spicier’ side of the character is about to make a bit of a return, and what the future may hold for her romance with Chase, and more. Read on for Rena and Amanda’s thoughts on a myriad of Cerullo/Quartermaine topics below.
Rena, so you came back to General Hospital and you meet Amanda. What did you think of Amanda, and how she fits so perfectly as Lois’ daughter?
RENA: Oh, my God! Beyond the perfect daughter! If Lois could have picked her daughter, it would’ve been Amanda. I love her. I know, we as actors, are like, “Oh, I love working with them.” I am not that person. I tend to be very honest about who I like to work with and who I don’t. I’ve always been. Amanda, maybe you don’t know this, but I get myself into a lot of trouble from time to time. (Laughs) But honestly, the second I met her – we met up in a restaurant and Wally joined us a little later.It was just like talking to my daughter except more of a contemporary as opposed to mother/daughter. It just made having her be my daughter on the show so easy. We have a lot in common. There was really an immediate connection between the two of us, which was great.
AMANDA: There’s like an immediate familial feeling. We’re from the same place in the world. We come from similar backgrounds. It was a very easy friendship to strike.
Amanda, was there any intimidation that this was thee Rena Sofer, who created the iconic role of your on-screen mom, Lois?
AMANDA: Not going to lie. She’s like the most beautiful woman you’ve ever seen in your life. The fans absolutely adore her. She and Wally have such a history on the show. And so more than intimidation, I was genuinely excited. When I heard that Lois was coming back onto the canvas, I got so excited to explore that mother/daughter relationship with Brook Lynn, because her father is such a central point in all of her story. To be able to play that and then have it be Rena, who’s such a spitfire, and plays Lois so beautifully, so specifically and so clearly, has such a clear point of view, who’s also funny but grounded, I was just so excited. Genuinely!
Rena, has this lived up to what your expectation of coming back into this role and to GH, some 27 years later would be like? How has it felt playing Lois again now?
RENA: It’s interesting, because I think that the gift of time for me is a very important thing. I’ve done a lot of things in my career. I’ve had a lot of success. I’ve had a lot of standstills and also disappointments. I think where I come from now is from a place of gratitude. I feel incredibly humbled and grateful to be able to play Lois again in the way that I am, and that I’m able to play her. I just feel like it’s everything I expected it to be, but it’s so much more than I expected it to be because I didn’t know what I was walking into. I didn’t know if people would want me to be there, if people would be excited for me to be there, if people would be offended that I came back after 27 years, you know? I really walked in trying to have no ego and an understanding this is not my home, that I’m a visitor, and that I just want to have the fun of playing Lois the way I played her when I first created the character. And that did not disappoint. … every single day walking on to that set with those nails and her hair and her wardrobe, and the accent … every single thing I say, even if it’s so difficult to learn, is such a joy.
I had talked with Lisa LoCicero (Olivia) and Wally Kurth for a livestream conversation on my You Tube Channel and she was saying how amazing you were, Rena. You’re so specific in your characters choices that we were also talking about the nails and the hair, and the outfits, and everything that goes into playing Lois, and it works. There’s a lot of thought you put into playing Lois. Wouldn’t you say?
RENA: Yes. I like to put a lot of thought into every character that I play. Not every production allows me to put that much thought in. It helps me to create the character. I’m really lucky that Lois was created already because it allowed me to kind of say, ‘This is now who Lois is’, as opposed to somebody saying, “Well, this is who we want this character to be.”
AMANDA: I just want to add that Rena was welcomed with open arms. Everybody was so excited that she was coming, so thrilled that the character was going to be back in the fold, and that Rena was coming back to play her. It was just a very excited, joyful energy surrounding the storyline.
RENA: Yes, to what Amanda was saying. I just felt that so much.
I can tell you from just my perspective and having a pulse on the reactions and wants of the audience and the fans on social media, they were so excited to have Rena back. And, they were like, “Oh, my God! This is perfect casting! Amanda and Rena!”
AMANDA: Josh Swickard (Chase) and I just did a fan event recently, and everybody at the event was echoing that. Just how, Rena and I were perfect casting as mother and daughter.
RENA: It’s so fun. I was on set the other day and I had to say a line and thank God for Amanda. She was trying to help me say “cab’ properly in how Lois would say it with her accent.
AMANDA: Rena’s accent is so good and she had a big line to say. It was like, “I gotta take a cab.” So, she said, “take “perfectly. And then “cab” was very California. I’m like Rena, its “cab” with a more Brooklyn accent.
Now. another part of the story that’s kind of charming is that Brook Lynn is getting some pointers from her mom on the music business. She’s listening to mom’s advice, and they’re working on Blaze’s music career. Do you think Brooklyn looks up to her mother since Lois has all of this experience with a record label and music management?
AMANDA: Hundred percent! I’m pretty sure a bunch of those scenes aired. Brook Lynn goes directly to her mom, and says, “You need to help me.” She gives me a whole list of things. Brook Lynn is like, “My mother’s amazing. She’s perfect. She can do no wrong, and I love my mommy.”
How is it working with Jacqueline Grace Lopez as Blaze?
AMANDA: She’s such a great actress. She’s got such a great attitude. Jacqueline is so grateful and positive to be there. She’s always prepared and just a real professional and she’s become a friend. She’s an absolute doll and she’s like an amazing singer. She has such a good voice. She has such a presence on stage.
Rena, we recently saw on-air that “Eddie” turned back into Ned, when Ned regains his memory. You had some really great scenes leading up to him turning into Ned again. After all, it was Lois who told ‘Eddie’ to “take a leap of faith.” So, he goes and jumps in the water. What do you think Lois’ relationship is with Ned at this point? How does she feel about him?
RENA: It’s interesting, because something comes up soon enough that I will say that’s very honest. She loves Ned. He’s the father of her child. The thing about Lois is; she made the decision to leave Ned. She was brokenhearted by what happened, but she made the choice to not step into that world of the Quartermaines. It was not the place she wanted to live. It wasn’t that she didn’t want Ned, she didn’t want what he came with. She took her daughter and raised her daughter in Brooklyn. Thank God for that. She loves her ex-husband. She never stopped loving him. She’s just not in love with him anymore. She doesn’t want him anymore. She wants the best for him.
Amanda, do you think Brooklyn wants her parents together, or is she fine with Olivia and Ned?
AMANDA: I think she’s totally fine with it. It’s been so long that they’ve been apart. I will also say, I do think that every child of divorce has a secret hope that their parents will be at least friends or on good terms, or that they’ll have times together with both their parents in the same room. I do think coming up, you get to see some of those moments, which is really nice.
RENA: My daughter Rosabel is obsessed with watching GH now. Obsessed! It’s so great for her because for her it’s like, “It’s not that I want my parents to get back together. I know they don’t belong together at all in any way, shape or form,” but she gets to see us together in a way that is friendly and kind, and not affectionate in like a physical sense. But affectionate in a caring sense. She’s like, “Mom, I’m 27-years-old. This is the first time that as an adult I get to see this.” And it’s true. She loves it!
Rena, I was telling Wally, there was that OG montage of Lois and Ned that was contained in an episode. I loved it. It reminded me of back in the day when we first knew each other. Those scenes were great and they hold up today!
RENA: Those scenes were so great. I said to Frank Valentini (EP, General Hospital) you took three minutes and you told the entire story. Basically, from beginning to end minus Brenda, and all the other stuff that happened. Our whole story was told in such a perfect and beautiful way. It was really honored. I felt really honored by it and loved watching it.
After Ned tells Brook Lynn, he’s no longer “Eddie” but he is Ned, she’s so happy to have her father back. However, how do you see the relationship moving forward? Will she be supportive of all his ELQ shenanigans?
AMANDA: That’s a really good question. That remains to be seen, to be fair. I do think that historically what we have seen from the Brook Lynn and Ned dynamic is she can give it, she can really tell ’em like it is. But at the end of the day, she really is a daddy’s girl. They have they this very close bond and there’s a real love for one another. I think you’ll just see that as we move forward.
Now, how has it been for both of you working with Jane Elliot in this storyline? Rena, you’re actually working with Jane again years late and of course, Lois and Tracy have a contentious relationship. Tracy has never been welcoming to Lois into the Quartermaines.
RENA: That’s true. I have to say, when I came on the show as Lois in the first place, to be fully transparent, I think I took it personally. As I said, I came back with no ego or tried to come back with no ego. This time coming back, I cannot tell you how much I’m enjoying spending time with Jane and working with her and just watching her and not feeling like I have to prove myself. I wish I could go back in time and smack myself across the face and say, “What are you doing?” I feel like that’s the truth for all of us as youth, to some extent. I wish I could just go back and just say, “All of that isn’t important. This woman is a wealth of knowledge. Just listen to her, have fun with her.” I think that when I was younger, I was a wealth of missteps in my life. Now, I hopefully am entering this phase of my life in a way where I’m more enjoying and receiving than anything. I’m having the time of my life with Jane. She’s just lovely.
AMANDA: Well, you already know! I’m obsessed with Jane. I love her to death. We’re very close. We go out outside of work. I just adore her. Jane is a really deep, deep person who, as Rena said, has a wealth of experience, and she’s willing to share it. I have had nothing but a wonderful time with her. Genuinely, I’ve learned so much from her. And to boot, she’s an incredible actor who makes such specific subtle choices that even in the room, you don’t even feel as much as when it’s on camera. She’s so good at playing to camera. It’s unbelievable. You watch it back, and you’re just floored, and plus, they write really well for her character.
So, is Brook Lynn not upset with her grandmother for what she did to her with Deception?
AMANDA: So, with Jane it’s pure love. With Tracy, it gets a little more complicated. You’ll come to see in the next couple months some scenes that are going to air of how she really loves her grandma at the end of the day. She has a lot of love and respect for her. I think that’s why the whole blackmail storyline was so hurtful, because she does look up to her in a lot of ways. There’s always going to be that push and pull between the two of them. But at the end of the day, there’s a lot of love there.
My thought is … Lois and Brooklyn will work together to ensure Tracy doesn’t pull any machinations again.
AMANDA: Well, you’ll just have to watch and see.
RENA: Exactly! And by the way, how are we supposed to control the weather? I mean, come on! It’s so true. We can do our best, but Tracy’s going to do what she’s going to do, and she does it well. It’s who she is, and you know, we can only try to fix the damage. We can’t control the hurricane.
AMANDA: I will say, there’s some stuff coming down the pike with Brook Lynn “Spice” coming back into the fold, which has been really fun to play. I’m excited to have more of that stuff because post-Bailey and falling in love with Chase, she’s really softened a lot, which is great. I think we’ve seen her humanity and her nurturing side as a mother figure, and now as a serious girlfriend figure. But, It’ll be fun to play some of that Brook Lynn nastiness.
Rena, what was your first impression of Josh Swickard?
RENA: He is adorable. We were sitting there when I really first met Josh and he sang. He sang the song that’s already aired. He looks at me and he goes, “I’m so embarrassed. You know, because I don’t wanna be one of those guys who sings and is like. ‘I’m so great of a singer.”’ Josh is like, “I’m really worried that people are going to think that I’m arrogant, or, or something like that.” I said to him, “Do you watch RuPaul’s Drag Race? And he just looked at me like I was literally from a different planet. And he’s like, “no.” I’m like, “Well, I do. I watch it all the time. I’ve seen almost every episode. And here’s what RuPaul, the brilliant RuPaul says, “It’s none of your business whatever people think about you. That is not your business at all.” If you think about it and you take that in, it kind of saves you from ever worrying about that. That was one of our first interactions. I remember that. Thank you, RuPaul. Josh is just adorable.
Amanda, do you see Brook Lynn and Chase having longevity as a couple on GH?
AMANDA: I hope so. I see it, but we’ll see what the writers cook up.
Ellen Travolta’s going to be back on air for Thanksgiving as Lois’ mother, Gloria Cerullo. Rena, you’ve been friends with her this whole time, correct? Did you have a hand in her return?
RENA: Yes, yes, yes. It was me! I went, “I’d love to come back to General Hospital. Here’s the thing: If I come back, you need to bring back Gloria.” Let me just tell you, everybody loved Ellen. Everybody loves Ellen. Ellen is like the dream mom of everybody in America, in the world. She was Chachi’s mom. She was my mom. She’s the best mom. Emma, who works at at the front guard desk at GH, checks you in and tells you where your room is. I’ve been there for two months. I still walk up to her sometimes and she goes, “What’s your name? “Do you have your pass?” I say, “ I do. I do. Hold on.” I show her my pass. She goes, “OK, and she looks down the list and she’s like, “You’re in this room.” It took Ellen the second day she was there to get settled in. She was like, “Ellen! I want the best room for you. I’ll make sure you’re right near me. If you need anything, don’t you worry, ” and she is giving her hugs. I’m behind her, right? I walk up and I’m like, “Hi!” And she goes, “Name?” “Pass?” (Laughs) Ellen Travolta is a dream, and to work with her is a dream. I’m completely responsible because I almost bullied Frank Valentini into bringing her back. But what a gift it was to have her back, because she’s amazing.
Will we be touched by the scenes, or is it fun and campy during the Thanksgiving episodes? What can you preview?
RENA: I think the audience, as much as they enjoyed seeing Lois and Brook Lynn, the three of us together is a whole other world. You will be touched in many different places. However, you want to take that.
Amanda, what was it like meeting Ellen Travolta and then working with her?
AMANDA: Oh, my gosh. We fell in love immediately. What’s crazy Michael is, my maternal grandmother was Grandma Gloria. I had her till I was 30 and we were so close. She was really like a second mom to me. So, when I got this script and I’m reading “Grandma Gloria”, it was so bizarre. And then in meeting Ellen, she looks like my grandma – same haircut, same high cheekbones. It really did feel like I had a few days with my grandma. It was very, very special for me. Ellen is sweet, prepared, professional, talented and funny to boot. So, it was one of the best weeks I’ve had at work. I hope she comes back. My fingers are crossed.
RENA: Ellen told me when she was on General Hospital the first time she was my age. She was almost 55 years old when she started in the role, and now I’ll be 55 in a couple weeks. It was just very apropos. I loved it.
Olivia’s ready to throw in the towel for Thanksgiving, but Lois will hear none of it. I’m assuming perhaps Lois saves the day?
RENA: Lois always saves the day.
Is there any jealousy between Lois and Olivia? Do you play any of that in your scenes?
RENA: Oh, no. Listen, here’s the deal. I’m not giving the audience any sort of hinting or preconceived notion that there is going to be a triangle or a love story between Ned, Lois and Olivia. Let’s be really clear. Wally and I were married. We are now remarried. It is not fair to either of our spouses to even play that kind of a story. It’s not. It is not respectful. We will not cross that line. It doesn’t matter. It’s not about not respecting the audience. It’s not about how fun that storyline could be, but we have relationships with people that really, it would be difficult for them because we were married and had a child. We have two children together – Megan being my stepdaughter. So, that is not something I’m willing to play. I’m not going to play. I don’t want the audience thinking, “Oh!” I don’t want them asking for it. It’s not acceptable.
I think a lot of viewers were thinking Lois and Olivia might get into it over Ned.
AMANDA. You know soap writers, Michael.
RENA: True. But I will say this, the one thing that I don’t want to play as I get older and if I have any control over anything, and I’m not saying I have any control over the script at all, is I don’t like playing women hating women. I do not enjoy that. Most of the people who watch our show are women. I don’t want to be a role model to then say, “Hey, guys can never do any wrong, but you should always be wary of your girlfriend.” I don’t like that. I don’t think it’s correct. And in this world, it’s a choice I make not to send that message.
AMANDA: Just bringing it back to the Lois/Brooklyn/Gloria scenes. It’s really fun to see three really strong New Yorker comedic women in the same room together. And then of course, you add in Lisa LoCicero and Jane Elliot, of course. Having all of these really strong female characters together, representing the Quartermaines on Thanksgiving is pretty awesome.
As our conversation comes to a close, what would you want to say to the fans and/or your wish for them as the holidays approach?
AMANDA: Happy holidays to all the fans. Thank you so much for watching. You know, we only get to do this because of you guys, and we’re so grateful for your support over the years and your genuine love of these characters and these storylines. We just hope that we can continue to fulfill all of your storyline wants and desires.
RENA: I wish everybody out there a happy and peaceful holiday season where they could be surrounded by friends and family, and remember what’s important and hold onto what is dear to them. And, just pray for peace everywhere. Everywhere. Pray for peace.
What do you think of Rena Sofer and Amanda Setton as the mother/daughter duo of Lois Cerullo and Brook Lynn Quartermaine on ? Are you looking forward to seeing how Thanksgiving plays out at the Q’s? What are your hopes moving forward for Lois while she is in Port Charles and for Brook Lynn in love and in her professional life? Share your comments below.
‘Neighbours’ Stars Lucinda Cowden, Rebekah Elmaloglou and Stefan Dennis Talk What Went Down On ‘Flashback Week’
If you caught this week’s episodes of Neighbours: a New Chapter on Amazon Freevee, you know that the streaming revival of the beloved Australian soap opera went back in time two years; to fill in the blanks of some of the events that happened from when the original Neighbours ended after 37 years.
In all-new story for “Flashback Week”, Melanie (Lucinda Cowden) was revealed to be the victim of a relentless blackmail and extortion attempts from Krista (Majella Davis) and her troublemaking ‘boyfriend, Eden (Costa d’Angelo). As the story unfolded, its tentacles reached far and wide involving almost the entire cast and those who reside in the fictional town of Erinsborough.
In addition, while Terese is somehow married to Toadie in the reboot of the series, we learn how her marriage to Paul fell apart, especially when Paul covered-up Krista’s death after Melanie pushed her and Krista fell in the pool at Lassiter’s Hotel, which Paul runs.
Speaking with Michael Fairman direct from Melbourne on Wednesday for You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel were series stars: Lucinda Cowden, Rebekah Emagloglou and Stefan Dennis. The trio discussed taping the emotional story and scenes, what they hope happens next for their characters, and when they learned the heartbreaking news that Neighbours had been canceled.
However. while the original series came to its heartbreaking conclusion, the streaming revival is delivering compelling drama with a mix of old and new cast members, and this season with special guest star Mischa Barton (ex- The O.C.).
You can check out all-new episodes of Neighbours: A New Chapter on Amazon Freevee Monday through Thursdays in the UK and the U.S. and on Channel 10 in Australia.
Now below, check out our conversation with Lucinda, Rebekah and Stefan. Then let us know what you thought of what befell Melanie, Terese and Paul during ‘Flashback Week’ and what you think of the streaming series reboot via the comment section below.
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THIS FRIDAY: The Young and the Restless’ Hayley Erin to Chat Live
THIS WEEK ON GH: Austin’s Murder Begins to Reveal Its Suspects (Preview)
Lifetime’s ‘Ladies of the ’80s: A Divas Christmas’ Brings Epic Food Fight and “Slapfest Coup de Grâce”
RATINGS: The Young and the Restless Hits Five-Month High in Total Viewers
Mishael Morgan Stars in Hallmark’s ‘Christmas with a Kiss’
‘The Price is Right’ Decks the Halls with Five Holiday-Themed Primetime Episodes & Pet Rescue & Adoption Week on Daytime
The Cast of ‘The Bay’ to Preview Upcoming 8th Season in Live Chat
Video Du Jour
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