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Y&R’s Mark Grossman Dishes On Tackling One Of Soaps Most Coveted Roles … Adam Newman

Photo: CBS

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.

Photo: CBS

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.

Courtesy/IMDB

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.

Photo: JPI Studios

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)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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.

Courtesy/CBS

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!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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.

Photo : JPI Studios

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?”

Photo: JPI Studios

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!

Photo: JPI Studios

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.

Photo: JPI Studios

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?”

Photo: JPI Studios

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.

Photo: CBS

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.

Photo: JPI Studios

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.

Photo: JPI Studios

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.

Photo: JPI Studios

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.

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Dean
Guest
Dean

Yes, I am enjoying Mark’s portrayal of Adam. So great having the character back!

Mary
Guest
Mary

Sorry but I cannot tolerate a man who uses a child to try and force a woman to be with him against her will

su000
Guest
su000

hi Mary–
It’s only makebelieve..
nothing stays the same in soapland..
It’s really a good story, I hope you can enjoy watching it develope..
(it ain’t real to take it personally 🙂

Avril
Guest
Avril

I hate Adam he is a despicable person I hope he loose both children I also hope Ray dump that dumb Sharon

Ric
Guest
Ric

Tuned back in for Greg and Michelle returns but Hot Mark got me to stay. Love his portrayal of Adam.

Laura P.
Guest
Laura P.

I think you are doing a terrific job! Keep up the good work!

Kay
Guest
Kay

Absolutely no reflection on Mark but JG can’t do a Bobby Ewing out of the shower episode on us ! You can’t as a decent writer erase five years it happened and it is no reflection on the actors but as a viewer I am in done! Go play your games elsewhere and mm fans read up on how he was treated I will never watch this show again you do not destroy people’s lives

Sunni928
Guest
Sunni928

Just wondering, who is JG???

Sunni928
Guest
Sunni928

Just realizing, you meant Josh Griffith, Executive Producer.

Meg
Guest
Meg

I love Adam and sick of the way the Newman’s treat him And Chloe not getting it was a accident because Billy left her alone

Kym
Guest
Kym

I totally agree Meg!

Boop
Guest
Boop

You and I are on the same page about the daughter. These soaps have practically the whole town hating a person because one person hates him. Not a soul blames Billy for leaving the little girl in the car alone. Plus, Adam checked around the perimeter of the car after he swerved to avoid hitting the dog. At one point Victor mentioned that Billy left the child in the car alone which places part of the blame on him. I wouldn’t be surprised if the police officer from a few years back didn’t hit Delia and allowed Adam to take… Read more »

su000
Guest
su000

I like Mark as Adam, good casting
however;
there are times I can not see his eyes!!
He is quite tall and the camera seems to have a bad angel on him..
they have to find a way to show Adams’ eyes!

Damien
Guest
Damien

Mark is owning Adam. For sure my favorite portrayer. He s made me forgot the last actor to play him. He even resembles a young Eric Braedan. He does evil so well. The amount of material he s been given off the jump is tremendous and he hasnt stopped. Mvp!!!

Tim
Guest
Tim

He has been doing a phenomenal job in the role, especially since he’s been in nearly every episode since he debuted. He has great chemistry with everyone and I’m excited to see where it goes from here.

Fay Schmidt
Guest
Fay Schmidt

I absolutely HATE Adam Newman! You should NEVER have brought him back!

Toscanti
Guest
Toscanti

I am loving Mark’s portrayal of “Adam”. He’s one of my favorite characters and I didn’t think anyone could play the role as well as the two previous actors, I was wrong. The entire show looks and feels familiar again. I’m just waiting for Billy Miller to return as “Billy” and Judith Chapman as “Gloria”.

Dawn Godsil
Guest
Dawn Godsil

Hes doing a specktacular job as Adam goodlooking n evil rolled n one.. We fans just love too hate him!!keep up the good work cutie❤ a forever Y&R Fan ❤

Shari
Guest
Shari

Sorry, but still don’t like him as Adam.

Tony
Guest
Tony

He is amazing. Love him!

Patricia Wragg
Guest
Patricia Wragg

I want Adam to get both of his sons back! I also want to see Cadam!! I absolutely love Mark as Adam!! He had big shoes to fill and he has filled them perfectly!! Keep up the great job Mark Grossman!!

Boop
Guest
Boop

I want him to get his sons , also.

Barbara Mannino
Guest
Barbara Mannino

MG is doing a great job as Adam who is a complex character. He’s villainous, but there are moments of humanity—and Mark Grossman is playing all of this so well.

Joyce
Guest
Joyce

Mark does look to young for the part but i like him. No he should NOT get custody of either child. it is great to have the character back but he shouldnt “win” every time. Nobodys THAT smart. Chelsea is fighting her feelings for him already. her husbands death was to coonvienant even for a soap. there has got to be more to it than that. He is living in the penthouse that was theirs. I think i would like to see Chelsea, Conner and Adam back together again. Just before one of them get arrested for murder.

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

Well, its like losing your starting quarterback. I liked Muhney, hands down my favorite Adam. BUT, we have a new starting quarterback now, owners choice, F the fans, BUT Mark is doing well. He has jumped in and has had a ton of scenes. He is new to the show and new to soaps. I give the man a ton of credit. He clicks with whoever he is on the screen with. Maybe it comes out that Nikki did kill D and Adam and Chloe connect? You never know. Keep up the good work Mark and thanks for an honest… Read more »

Jennifer W.
Guest
Jennifer W.

I’m a huge Michael Muhney fan, and Justin Hartley was never Adam to me the way he was written. But I love Mark Grossman in the role – he’s is doing a great job; and I liked him right away which doesn’t always happen. Great recast. I’m hugely disappointed in Adam & Chelsea’s reunion, given they were the love of each other’s life; as well as some of the re-writing of history. But MG is making the role his own. And those cheekbones LOL.

MANGO
Guest
MANGO

MARK PLAYS ADAM VERY WELL.I HOPE HE NEVER GETS HIS KIDS BACK,BUT IF HE HAS TO END UP WITH ONE OF THE WOMEN IT SHOULD BE SHARON.THEY DESERVE EACH OTHER.EVERY ONE FORGETS YOU CAUSED THE ACCIDENT THAT KILLED NICKS WIFE.LOVE HAVING THE REAL PHYLLIS BACK.

Boop
Guest
Boop

Get those kids back because they are yours, Adam! Nick shouldn’t get them.

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

I think Mark Grossman is awesome as Adam Newman!! He is doing a fantastic job!!!

Cyndy
Guest
Cyndy

Hes a great actor, that’s why we all don’t like him. I love to know the relationship between the actors in real life.

Val
Guest
Val

Love Mark Grossman!! Great acting and storyline. He is the best Adam ever.

I think they need to put Nick & Sharon back together though….and Adam and Chelsea

Sue Easton
Guest
Sue Easton

Do not like Adam. He does not need custody of anything much less a child. Why doesn’t he ever get punished? He and Sharon deserve each other. Do not like the idea of a show using kids like this. It happens to often in real life. Don’t need on tv.

Boop
Guest
Boop

What we don’t need on tv is someone else getting custody of kids who aren’t theirs. What you should dislike is arrogant Nick’s attitude.

MaryLee Comparetto
Guest
MaryLee Comparetto

He plays Victor’s son to the “T”! I really like his character; therefore, I want him to see him get custody of his son even though I’m a big fan of Nick.

Anita
Guest
Anita

No one can be the Adam Justin H. But he’s okay not my favorite but I guess he’ll do since this is us took Justin away I was

Nancy J.
Guest
Nancy J.

This Adam bores me. He is one dimensional and the only feel8ng he evokes is anger. Bad casting.

Boop
Guest
Boop

If this Adam bores you , Justin evidently sent you over a cliff since he was a hum drum Adam. I liked him in the role; however, he didn’t give it that I hate you feeling.

Kimber
Guest
Kimber

He’s missing all of the mannerisms Adam has. That’s why Justin H was able to nail the part so well. Seems like he studied all of that right down to the tiniest details. Things like running his hand down the back of his hair when he was frustrated, knowing when to invade people’s personal space and change his tone of voice and measurement of his speech. Mark needs to go back and study those things if he wants to portray a believable Adam. Right now he comes off as whiney, immature, and reactive rather than wicked, refined and measured.

Tauna Woolley
Guest
Tauna Woolley

Mark G is nailing this Adam! He has his own mannerisms, and is definitely the best Adam ever. He definitely makes the show amazing!!❤️❤️

Linda
Guest
Linda

I cannot believe what a WONDERFUL actor this new Adam is!!!! I thought no one could fill those shoes. He stepped in magically and brilliantly. I just hate that the writers are forgetting about the great, stand up guy, stand behind his family, Adam was at the time of the explosion and that they are having him have barely any allies! It bothers me immensely watching everyone in Genoa City hating on him and wanting his demise! When will everyone admit it was a bloody accident with Delia and give Adam some Mercy. I love seeing him win and I… Read more »

Jeri Ann
Guest
Jeri Ann

I’ve been watching Y&R since it’s first day. I’ve seen them come and go. I’ve been happy about them and sad. I absolutely love the storyline with Adam. It was so boring with Mal. Now there’s drama, surprise and suspense at what will happen next. I’ll be watching for sure. Adam, you’re doing a phenomenal job & keep up the good work. When your voice breaks arguing with Victor, I wish he’d give you a hug.

Tauna Woolley
Guest
Tauna Woolley

I love Mark’s portrayal of Adam! What an amazing, incredible actor! He has to win the Emmy for best actor! I am definitely routing for “the bad guy”!! Team Shadam!!

Kelly Mcbride
Guest
Kelly Mcbride

Adam and chelsey were my favorite couple for sure would love to see them back together!! Mark is brilliant in portraying Adam let alone he’s dreamy and those eyes oh my! I was mad when Justin left and I thought no one could filll his shoes well I was wrong! I record the show and watch it every evening without fail and have for 20 plus years.

Interviews

B&B’s Scott Clifton and Don Diamont Talk on the Plight of Liam & Bill and Their Cover-Up of Vinny’s Death

If you are watching current episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful then you know that Scott Clifton (Liam) and his on-screen father, Don Diamont (Bill Spencer) have been spending plenty of time together in scenes in very dramatic and intense fashion.

In story, Liam is guilt-ridden over running down Vinny Carter (Joe LoCicero) by accident when he was driving Bill’s car.  Since the moment that Vinny was killed, Bill leapt into action, destroying any evidence tying the two to the scene of the crime and continually demanding that Liam let this go and move on with his life, or the implications for the both of them could certainly be a long jail sentence, or worse.

Photo: JPI

Now as Liam is finally making headway in a reconciliation with Hope (remember his last secret – sleeping with Steffy – was quite the doozy), this new secret of what he has done, and hiding, could up the stakes even more and take him away from his family for good … or would Hope (Annika Noelle) after finding out what Liam did be the nail in his coffin that ends their relationship once and for all and kicks him to the curb?

Courtesy/CBS

Both, Scott Clifton and Don Diamont chatted virtually with Michael Fairman exclusively for You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel to offer up for viewers and fans of The Bold and the Beautiful: an inside look at what goes on when they tape their scenes, how they see their characters motivations, and they serve up a preview of what may lie ahead in this tangled web that Bill and Liam have unfortunately weaved.

Photo: JPI

Check out the humorous, candid, and enlightening conversation with two of the leads and mainstays of this CBS Daytime drama series below.

Then let us know; how do you think Liam and Bill can get out of the mess they find themselves in? Will Liam crumble and spill the beans? Will everyone in town get on to them and figure out the secret they have been keeping? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section after taking a look at the virtual conversation.

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Days Of Our Lives

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

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

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

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

 

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

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

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

Where is your character within this?

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

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

KEVIN:  Hell yes!

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: AfterForever

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

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

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

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General Hospital

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

 

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

Photo: ABC

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

Photo: JPI

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

Photo: ABC

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

Watch the entire conversation with Kin below.

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

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

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