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Y&R's Melissa Claire Egan Video Interview: Justin Hartley's Exit, Chadam Ending, Will Nick Be Chelsea's Next Beau?

Photo: MF Soaps Inc.

Photo: MF Soaps Inc.

Life has been turned upside down once again for Chelsea Newman (Melissa Claire Egan) on The Young and the Restless!  As viewers witnessed over the last week and a half, Adam (formerly Justin Hartley) is believed-to-be-dead following an explosion in a cabin where Chelsea was supposed to meet up with him and their son, Connor.  This was their chance at a getaway and to start a new life together as a family!  Only Chelsea’s best friend, Chloe (Elizabeth Hendrickson) interfered with her happiness, and showed up at the cabin and stunned Adam, literally and figuratively!  The “end of Adam” marked the final episodes for Melissa with her longtime friend and on-screen romantic scene partner, Justin Hartley.  The popular star left the pivotal role on the CBS daytime drama series to star in NBC’s new dramedy This Is Us, which premieres next week.

On-Air On-Soaps Michael Fairman chatted with Melissa Claire Egan late last week at Y&R’s 11,000th episode on set celebration at CBS Television City for this exclusive video interview.

When asked about her reaction to the 11.000th episode script, which had Chelsea watching the cabin Adam was supposedly in explode before her yes, Melissa revealed:  “I knew what was going to happen.  I kind of knew for months!  I was really excited to see what the words were going to be and the dialog, but I knew what was going to happen in the last scene.  When I said ‘explosive’ in ads, I meant literally! (Laughs)  I tried to tell you guys, without telling you.” (Laughs)

READ MORE
Elizabeth Hendrickson Makes Another Return To Y&R

On Justin Hartley leaving Y&R for This Is Us, Egan said of her beloved scene partner, “We are thrilled for him, everybody here, the cast and the crew.  We all adore him and he is so great.  We wish him nothing but the best!”

Courtesy/CBS

Melissa also shared her thoughts on her final scenes with Justin when Chelsea and Adam were at the cabin:  “I thought they were very special, and it was a great way to send-off their coupledom in a beautiful way, and to have those last moments for the fans, before sadness.”

When trying to imagine what it would be like if Melissa had to go through a back-from-the-dead story with another actor playing Adam with a restored face via plastic surgery, she expressed:  “I really don’t think they will (go there), and I’m not just saying that.  There are a lot of stories to tell and lots of people here.  Chelsea is in mourning right now.  I truly don’t think there is going to be another Adam … but, who knows?  As of now, I don’t think there is a plan to.”

Photo Credit: Ed McGowan/Plain Joe Studios

Fans of Y&R began to see that Nick (Joshua Morrow) is now more than ever in Chelsea’s orbit, especially after Adam asked his brother to look after Connor.  When Melissa was asked how she would feel if she were paired romantically with Joshua Morrow, she teased, “Listen, I’m obsessed with Joshua and he is amazing.  We do work a lot together right now because they (Nick and Chelsea) are in mourning.  But the show is taking their time to respect the Chadam coupledom.  There is nothing going on with them (Nick and Chelsea) yet, but they are bonding: it’s just a brother who lost his brother, and a wife that lost her husband.  But I love working with him.  Josh is the most fun.  So we will see … I don’t really know yet.  A lot is up in the air.”

READ MORE
THIS IS US Season 4 Key Art Revealed

Watch the entire Melissa Claire Egan Y&R 11K Episode celebration video interview below! Then let us know your thoughts on Melissa’s sentiments? Do you think Nick and Chelsea would make a great on-screen romantic duo?  What did you think of Melissa’s final scenes with Justin Hartley? Do you think the show will bring back Adam sooner than later?  Comment below!

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Richard
Richard

OMG please no. Thats a predictable route to go. Reunite Nick and Sharon FOR GOOD!!!!!

kathy
kathy

UGH no.. sharin and nick should never be back together.. Sharin is such trash. Nick needs to never ever go back to that nasty witch.. she is a baby stealing manipulative witch

Nikki
Nikki

Everybody Must remember that Chelsea is looking Nick in the eye and she burned a letter that Sage written which was Despicable saying that she wanted everybody to continue to lie to Nick that he had a child and a grave how horrific when Sage knew very well that Nick already lost Cassie why would she want on her deathbed to let Nick think they had a child that really belong to Adam in a grave and of course Sharon is always the one that’s always blames everything this girl was the victim and she doesn’t want to hurt Dylan that’s why the show is so ridiculous it’s gotten to the point that it makes absolutely no sense because Chelsea help burn this letter and she can look me in the eye and not tell him Hey listen you have a child that you think is deceased but that was never your child so you don’t have to feel destroyed inside and go visit a grave so why isn’t Chelsea ever being accountable for her actions she doesn’t care she did give her way her firstborn and everybody gives her an excuse that you did it for Victoria I’m sorry but people I know don’t give away their children to be nice if she wanted a child with Adam so bad Adam would not have had to force her to leave Dylan when she tricked him into thinking she was having his baby but of course we have to put Chelsea on a pedestal and we have to hang shower and in Town Square! Please make this show right again I love the show before Chelsea came along

Nikki
Nikki

Not the same Nikki as above. I love Chelsea and Adam but please let Nick stay single for awhile. He seems to just be after every single woman in town which is exactly like Victor. I don’t want to see a new Adam. Good grief how many have we had, not to mention if this new show doesn’t work out maybe J.H. will want to come back. I really think he died because of the ring Chloe had with her at Delia’s grave. Tim & CeeCee what do you think of bringing Tyler Christopher on board? I would love to see a nice guy for Ashley

Lisa robinson
Lisa robinson

I totally agree them two had major chemistry. And damn it that Adam was soooo fine lol i dont want a different Adam

YR long time fan
YR long time fan

Sharon and Adam wete my favorite characters! It was an outrage and a slap in the face that they put Chelsea with Adam again. Anybody can go online and see the old tapes of hell Adam absolutely cherished and was obsessed with Sharon he was not with Chelsea. Chelsea tricked all these men. Chelsea didn’t even want Adam to have her baby and she got rid of her first baby and lied to Dylan and Adam when she got pregnant on purpose lying to Dylan finding him in a bar and making him think he impregnated her when she knew she had Adams child inside her. Come on already why is Sharon always made to be crazy until she gets her own business and Sharons best friend and lover enough already that’s why many people stop watching the show. If this show dares to put Nick with Chelsea that is it that is it no more I’ve watched this show 30 years and I took it off the DVR months ago because I couldn’t stand the way they were writing I’m hoping now with Chuck Pratt gone it will get better it has to we’re all sadly I can’t come back

Eilleen
Eilleen

Sharon and Adam will my couple I don’t know about anybody else but it became the Chelsea hour and Adam didn’t even remember anything about the love he had for sharing all of us watch the show for so many years and all that we went through with the love and struggles for Sharon and Adam to be together and Chelsea it’s all about Chelsea no thank you

Diane
Diane

Chelsea should not have ever been with Adam because she needs to pay for her crimes she has done she never had to pay for what she did to Billy when she met Billy and everybody knows what she did drugging and drinking and raping a man deserves jail and his stories with Adam made no sense because he was in love with Sharon and really in love with Sharon obsessed with Sharon. We all see what they’re trying to do just like they tried that with sage and Nick . It just doesn’t work and if they put Nick with Chelsea I don’t think I could ever holding the vomit. I would be so upset that would be the last straw . Chelsea is the town you know what that’s my opinion and I’m tired of seeing her always on screen as being this hero character when she is not

Nikki
Nikki

No Chelsea and Adam with the most boring is couple on the show now take the years Sharon was with Adam and the time they went to New Orleans wow that was amazing they were all really steamy hot couple not

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

Never say never…recast or not Adam will return…and because there was a fire he will have a new old face played by Micheal M. once again-NOT!

su0000
su0000

hey Jimh..
Adam is a cornerstone of Y&R ..
Adam is Victor Jr
Adan is entwined in every aspect of Y&R & the Newmans

Adam will be recast.

Adam is a core Newman and he is not disposable, ever..

Adam will be back in a year’s time , wait for it ..

Nikki
Nikki

Hi Suoooo if you listened to the interview Michael Fairman had with Melissa Claire Egan she said no recast for Adam. It was time to end Chadam. Hope I heard her right.

Long Timer
Long Timer

Show will be BORING without Adam, I personally think it was a bad call to hire an actor who’s Main goal is Primetime, I like Hartley don’t get me wrong but I KNEW he was not in it for the long haul and not committed to Y&R sure a pretty face and all is nice to look at but if you are TRUELY invested in the show you want actors that are as well I have watched for almost 40 years and Muhney made me love Adam as well as being favorite character so I hope what Melissa said is not true, now would be the perfect time for Y&R and CBS to right a serious wrong and hire Muhney back and start wrapping up SO many loose ends to bring the show back to greatness because the trashy Billy/Red SL just don’t cut it for me I mean with SO many loose ends Jack finding out its the show’s ” Big Reveal” give me a break!! Y&R COULD and SHOULD do ALOT better than it has

Alice
Alice

I loved when Sharon and Adam were together they will really sexy on the screen they had this chemistry like the instant thing that you forgot all the things that Adam did bad because Sharon brought out the good in Adam and Adam and Sharon understood each other and they help each other not like Chelsea call the police on Adam and tricked him and told him he wasn’t a father. It’s difficult because Sharon belongs with Nick but Adam loves Sharon so much see this is a show we watched I don’t know what show the other writers that started like Chuck Pratt watched but he changed everything . When he took over I didn’t even recognize the show anymore. I sat there and couldn’t wait and couldn’t wait and couldn’t wait to see when Adam came back on the show how he was going to react because he loved sharing so much and I thought definitely sharing of all people would know if that was Adam even with the surgery not Chelsea she doesn’t know Adam like Sharon does. But Nick and Sharon are supposed to be together so by no means at all should never be with Chelsea that would make terrible terrible terrible story just like they did with sage we all know Nick would never be with Sage over has Sharon

Beth
Beth

Michael Muhney and Sharon Case together as Sharon Newman and Adam Newman made the character of Adam extremely lovable even though he did Despicable things because that’s what Sharon does she makes lemons into lemonade and she’s adorable with whoever she’s paired with but her true love’s are Nick an Adam and the show needs to respect that and remember that. In the end Bill Bell wanted Sharon and Nick to be the next Nikki and Victor. Respect Bill Bill’s vision and wishes

Carol
Carol

Why was the show execs and so many people against Michael Muhney? I thought he fit perfectly as Victor’s son; his looks and the way he carried himself etc., a great actor as well. I followed him for awhile and it doesn’t look like he is doing much acting at all. I thought we’d see him for sure in another series. Justin Hartley finally grew on me and I think he’s great but not the same type as Muhney at all. So what’s the story on this guy, will he ever show up again?

me
me

Please, it is so obvious that they will bring Adam back.

And I’ll bet you they try to get Hartley again, since his show will not last more than a year or two.

Betty
Betty

LOL. Hartley’s show won’t last a year or two? How do you know how long it will be on? I love to read soap fans and their silly statements. Justin Hartley did an 18 month long gig on Y&R. He’s been on Primetime for years. He’s not going to return to this silly mess of a soap again. The last four months of his storyline was a complete bore. He’s done.

As for the character of Adam, when the hand showed up again, you knew he’ll be resurrected in some form by November sweeps. Adam Newman is the new James Stenbeck of Genoa City.

Soaphound
Soaphound

I may be inclined to agree with you, Betty. Sometimes it takes just the right role or show for people to realize how good an actor is and this might be the one for Justin. I can’t see him returning right away, if at all. But I think the role should be recast. We got lucky twice with Adam’s recasts, who’s to say three won’t work?

Beth
Beth

Please do not put Chelsea with Nick please do not put Chelsea with Adam again. Those are the loves of Sharon’s life and we had a horrible thing happened to us fans we had a right to come in and destroy that history of the love of Sharon and Nick and the love and the adventures of Adam and Sharon who share and by the way made Adam lovable

jaybird369
jaybird369

Oh, puh-leez…OH, GOD NO!!!!! I CANNOT STOMACH a possible Nick/Chelsea pairing!!!!! Chelsea is getting to be W-A-Y TOO ANNOYING!!!!! A-n-d…Nick is TOO MUCH of an idiot already!!!!! NO, NO AND MORE N-O!!!!! N-e-x-t……….

Beth
Beth

I agree I will not stand for this writing anymore I will not stand for Chelsea to be with Nick no absolutely not it’s bad enough they destroyed Adam when he love Sharon so much not Chelsea but absolutely no no no no no no no no no Nick with Chelsea she needs to go and find her firstborn and tell that child she sorry she gave it away

Timmm
Timmm

I agree Jay, Chelsea rode Adam’s ass the whole time he was on! [Justin Hartley’s version] Who the BLEEP would sign up for that? Adam is rich and handsome, he could and should move on from this hovering hag!

Nikki
Nikki

Aww the way the story’s going Timmm Chelsea is having a hard time getting through each day but within a week or so she’ll be with Nick. I get it because it’s a soap but really can she morn a little longer than a week?

Nikki
Nikki

Oh Jaybird 369 I so agree with you. No Nick and Chelsea. The thought that Adam asked Nick to look out for them didn’t mean move in and take my place.

Darlene
Darlene

Adam will retutn. He’s a central character and the show cannot do without the role. Fans love Chadam and Connor. I’m hoping that Michael Muhney is rehired…he should never have been let gp…as he raised the quality of acting with those his characters who interacted with

.and his acting was brilliant. It was obvious that Justin would not stay long term as he continued to explore better career options and did not feel committed to the show…always seemed like a joke to him…and obvious Justin was only there for the paycheck and publicity. I’ve never seen an actor given so much publicity when they join a show as a recast. Part of Phelps’ ongoing obnoxiousness of rubbing Michael’s nose in it. Michael needs to reprise the role now that that destructive mean EP is no longer there. I don’t think the showrunners can continue to disappoint fans and have decent ratings. Fans are disgusted with the negative crazy storylines and seeing their favorites be let go.

Beth
Beth

I loved Shadam and Sharon and Adam still have a huge huge fan base not Chadam

Nikki
Nikki

They wont bring M.M. back. There is a picture above with the new guy Mal Young and who is sucking up to him is Eric B. and Eric hated M.M. so you know already the fans lose again. Thank you Victor!

su0000
su0000

As if last week;
There is an online poll-
To or not to- bring back Michael Muhney !!

87.71 … Yes
12.29 .. No

Many would rather Summer go and MM back in ..

Soaphound
Soaphound

Summer, leave? AMEN! But bring back Michael Muhney regardless. After all, look how many actors have lost jobs while being paired in one way or another with that self-righteous twit: Austin, Luca, Fenmore, not one but TWO different Kyles. Not to mention best pal Courtney. Now Noah is only recurring. Doesn’t anyone see a pattern here? Just saying… WE need Mr. Muhney and his great talent, great smile, great hair, and great shirts back now!

Beth
Beth

I would love Michael to come back but he has to come back and be with Sharon because they were like Kismet in the sky I love watching them together best scenes was so electrifying not like Chelsea she makes me snore

Carol
Carol

Hey, maybe they will bring back MM just in time for Victor’s retirement and he can fit right in as the son replacing Victor. He’s the only one I’ve seen that could look and act the part without missing a beat. Then Sharon and Adam can be back together and become the new Victor and Nikki. I mean they have to retire sometime. As much as I’m getting sick of Sharon, she has been there a long time and with her history with Adam could easily play the part. They will have to stop making her look like such a wounded airhead. I just hope she can turn it around.

Nikki
Nikki

Summer go? Oh yes please weather or not M.M. is brought back please get rid of her.

Nikki
Nikki

Suoooo Where is the poll to vote? I can’t find it anywhere!

Shirley Strickler
Shirley Strickler

Love Melissa,great actress and a beautiful lady. I loved her on AMC as Annie and I hope Y&R give her another great love story.

Meg Reddekopp
Meg Reddekopp

I WANT MM BACK ,I SURE DON’T WANT CHELSEA WITH NICK.

joeysback
joeysback

Sooner rather than later, and I hope that it IS Muhney! That would be the best surprise.

Michelle
Michelle

Michael – Thank you so much for all you share with us, you do a great job!

Chris Dante
Chris Dante

I hope they bring back Adam He is The most loved and interesting character. The love story of Adam & Chelsea must go on! When MM left we thought we could never accept a new Adam but we fell in love with JH as Adam. Nick & Chelsea pairing would be a huge mistake. There is no chemistry there. Nick & Sage, Nick & Sharon were great. I would love to see Nick back with Sharon. His high school sweetheart

If Adam does not come back to the show I am done with Y&R. His character is the one that draws me to the show. Lot of Chadam fans will be very disappointed & sad if Adam does not return

Thank you!

mari
mari

Please do not let the character of Adam “die”. He is such an intrical part of the show and most enjoying. Viewers do not believe that Adam ‘accidentally’ hit Delia (it was not MURDER) so you can solve that and make Chloe feel guilty. We are tired of seeing affairs i.e. Devon/Hillary/Neil – Stitch/Ashley/Abby – Jack/Phyllis/Billy and all the ‘family’ affairs in the past. Please do not pair up Chelsea and Nick together – LET THEM BECOME VERY GOOD FRIENDS WHO ARE THERE FOR ONE ANOTHER BUT LEAVE IT AT THAT!!!!!

Helon harris
Helon harris

They should brings Adam back with a new face and don’t wait so long. They
Belong together. Chloe have her pay for her wrong deeds. No one pays for their
Wrong deeds but Adam? Why

donna
donna

After seeing the ‘gloved’ hand the same day of Adam’s memorial service makes me think Adam is still alive. Chloe said she did not kill Adam. Sharon gets at least 2 phone calls where she says ‘hello’ and no one says anything on the other end of the phone. Also, why would Chuck Pratt write Fall Preview for Adam and Chelsea if they were not planning on recasting Adam. Chuck wrote that it was Adam versus the world while trying to protect his family and that Adam’s love for Chelsea will grow to new heights. I have heard that they are recasting Adam. Victor needs someone who is strong like him and thinks like him to run Newman Enterprises so Adam needs to return because he needs to expose Chloe! Connor needs his dad and Chelsea needs her Adam.

Sandy
Sandy

Please bring back Michael Muhney to resume the role of Adam.

Iakovos
Iakovos

Here is something radical to try… Let Chelsea grieve and parent her young son. Let her have some work-related crises and overcome them because she is a strong woman who does not need an immediate new romance. Focus on the Nick/Sharon renewal and make it stick. Restore Sharon to decent health and stop misrepresenting mental illness. Maybe Chelsea, through her business, is the one to make a difference for Sharon. Please stop retelling the same stories and let;s see some character evolution!

Soaphound
Soaphound

Amen, LAKOVOS. Why does a woman need a man, especially a wrong One? This isn’t 1950s T.V. Time to get with the 21st Century!

Kar
Kar

Nick being in mourning is a joke, he detested Adam even up to a month ago wanted him to rot in jail.

Karlie
Karlie

Dear Lord, I just can’t take Nick on a good day and Chelsea is just boring. Nick always hated Adam and I am not buying his sudden love for him. Please. And Chelsea might as well have bored Adam to death. As was said, Chadam had the same conversation about Victor for 2 years! Adam became a hen-pecked wuss with her. I grew tired of JFP and CP trying to write Chelsea as the new heroine of the show. Sorry, no sale. She isn’t. I need her back-burned and I definitely don’t buy her with Nick. At all. Ever. She has zero chemistry with him. Can’t wait for the new writing team to restore believability back to this show and honour character and show history.

Sylvia Gillis
Sylvia Gillis

I’d watch Y&R again only if MM returns. He’s the best actor ever. He’s truly unique.

Mateo
Mateo

I truly believe that Adam will return. I am just not sure about who they will bring on to portray him. Obviously Michael Muhney was ADAM. I loved Justin’s take on Adam. But Michael Muhney represented the darkness and moodiness of his character. He also had such chemistry with all the actresses he shared scenes with. Eileen Davidson, Sharon Case, Melissa Clare Egan and various others. The one reason that keeps coming back in mind relating to Adam’s return is the fact that he is Christian’s bio dad. With Sage dead and Adam dead, Sharon has no reason to EVER reveal the truth about the baby. I hope that by the time November sweeps rolls around they bring out this truth at long last.

soapqueenforever
soapqueenforever

Cheers to you lakovos!!! Why is, that right away people are trying to pair her up. In the real world single women work and raise children all the time. The poor man isn’t even cold yet. Let her focus on her son and her job for a while before she starts with someone new. Even though we all have visions of Nick and Chelsea dancing in our heads. Maybe when the truth about Sully comes out, if it ever does, maybe Nick won’t want to be with Sharon. But then again technically, Sully’s parents are Adam and Sage, it’s going to be interesting to see what happens when the truth comes out

mollie
mollie

Melissa speaks as if she really enjoys daytime and the fans. That’s nice. She doesn’t seem bored at all. I enjoy her story lines, too.

Susan
Susan

I thought Chelsea storyline is one of the most boringest story lines on the show. I would really like to see her do the right thing for a change and ask for her firstborn back and give her somebody not neck not Adam stop taking Sharon’s men from her. They really should have left Chelsea with Dylan give her somebody new that we haven’t met yet! I’m sorry but Chelsea has always bored me she’s a side character. She would be better off on The Bold and the Beautiful if she’s going to do fashion because Wisconsin is just not the place for her to do fashion

Marge k
Marge k

Ohhh chelsea is beautiful and it is sad that she has lost Adam again so being a romantic I hope Adam comes back. I agree that if Adam doesn’t return shaon will not have any reason to reveal the truth about little sully. A romance with Nick and Sharon would not be what I would expect..

Susan
Susan

Sharon and Adam Sharon and Nick those were the reasons I watch the show that and I also loved Malcolm Drucilla Amber Daniel Colleen and Lily and Cane used to have much better stories then they showed us now……. but I do not like at all Chelsea with Adam not one bit it was so much hotter when Adam long so much to be with Sharon. They better stop making Sharon nuts and crazy and see ghosts we will not have it no more ghosts the fans have spoken Chelsea is nothing remember how she started she was hired by Victor too drugged and raped Billy and she gave away her first child how come it makes no sense that Chelsea has a woman would not long to hold her child! I would really fall asleep in the middle of the day if I watch The Young and the Restless with Chuck Pratt’s writing and the way he always thought that Chelsea was the star of the show she was not.

Timmm
Timmm

It may be cut and dry BUT it will be Chelsea and Nick. BECAUSE, they will get all cozy and lovey dovey and then Adam will return! Conflict, Soaps 101!

k/kay
k/kay

This character needs to be put on the back burner hopefully with Pratt gone soon will get some stories for Lauren and Ashley. For two years we got to see love scenes and the same conversation over and over again. Never bought this love story they weakened the character of Adam once JH took over the role. I think what blew my mind was Nikki asking Sharon why she was at the funeral. What??? Sharon actually loved Adam unlike all those fake tears from Victor Nikki Nick and Victoria and Abby who loathed him. Pratt and JFP really did a number on this show who ever takes over has a lot of work to do.

Lawson
Lawson

Melissa Claire Egan is a great addition to Y&R. She’s beautiful and an extremely talented actress. The bitterness and hate towards this lady is quite pathetic all because ‘your fave’ fictional couple ended. If you want to talk about a couple that hasn’t existed on Y&R for years…aka Shadam, go to a Shadam fanboard. And she said herself nothing has happened with Chelsea and Nick, some apparently missed that portion of the interview too.

sam
sam

Michael Muhney should absolutely return as Adam. I never believed the story of his abusive behavior toward an underage female in the first place! (Not to say that Justin Hartley didn’t do a bang-up job as Adam, because he DID! (He was always capable of much more than acting on a mere SOAP!) ..Don’t get me wrong…we’ve been watching Y&R since it began in 70’s…not likely stopping any time soon!!

General Hospital

GH’s Roger Howarth Chats On Shifting From Franco To Drew & The Stunning Story Twist

In one of the most intriguing plots of 2019, General Hospital’s Franco Baldwin was morphed into Navy SEAL Andrew Cain following a harrowing mind-mapping procedure. In all went down thanks to Shiloh (Coby Ryan McLaughlin) and Dr, Cabot (Time Winters), taking the life and memories of Drew (Billy Miller) from his flash drive and transferring them into Franco’s brain, wiping out his past and his present.  That followed the tearjerker moment, when Franco sacrificed himself to free his kidnapped stepson, Cameron (William Lipton) from the twisted procedure; that could have left the teenager with Drew’s memories or even in a vegetative state.

The recipient of this storyline – and who would be taking on another persona in his storied daytime drama career – is none other than Roger Howarth.  The Daytime Emmy- winning actor is no stranger to changing fictional identities on GH.  Howarth, played OLTL’s Todd Manning over in Port Charles, later switching to Franco (previously played by James Franco) following the legal dispute between ABC and Prospect Park.

Last week, viewers got their first glimpse of Howarth taking on the traits of Drew circa 2012, and in short order, it has caused emotional upheaval for Franco’s wife, Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst), Drew himself, Jason (Steve Burton), and Kim (Tamara Braun)… and that’s just for starters.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Roger as he started his journey transforming his work from playing Franco to Drew and the challenges it presents, plus the ripple effect the change will have on the canvas for many of the characters.  In addition for One Life to Live fans, Roger chats about his appreciation for his time on that iconic series in a candid, self-effacing, and special conversation.  Here’s what Howarth shared:

Courtesy/ABC

When you were told that they were going to put Drew’s memories into Franco, what was your initial reaction to learning that news?  Did you think it was a great twist?

ROGER:  Yeah, I think it’s a great idea.  I really do.  Good story needs a lot of things, and this checks a lot of the boxes.  It brings people together; it provides obstacles.  There are a lot of places this could lead to.  I just think it’s really smart and interesting.  I look forward to it a lot, and I can already tell by what I have shot thus far that it’s going to be fun.

If this story is written well, what has happened to Franco will be life-altering and crucial to so many people’s lives in Port Charles.

ROGER:  What I like about it, and this isn’t lip service, is that it’s a great story because it affects a lot of people.  Those are the good stories.  Elizabeth has got to deal with this, the boys have to deal with this, Scotty’s (Kin Shriner) got to deal with it, Jason is confused by this information, and now this person in interacting with Drew, and Kim, and Shiloh.  All of the sudden, the canvas is interacting completely differently.  So, I think the writers are having fun with this as well.

Photo: ABC

Then, there is also the character of Kim played by Tamara Braun, who Drew shares a past with.  It will be interesting to see how that relationship plays out, we already witnessed Franco’s Drew instantly smitten and attracted to her.

ROGER:  Yes, the person in this body is running under a certain set of assumptions that no one else shares.  So, yes, it’s confusing to everybody, I am sure, including Kim.

Do you see Franco eventually flipping back and forth, and having personality traits of both he and Drew?

ROGER:  No.  One hundred percent, no, and that provides a real obstacle with a couple like Franco and Elizabeth.  They are always looking for obstacles to prove to the audience that these two people really do care about one another, and that’s the purpose of a story like this.  I’m guessing and hoping that it will provide the character of Elizabeth with a particular objective because it would be nice to see Becky be able to play all of those beats.

Right, and to have to fight for something…

ROGER:  Yes, it’s very tragic.  This is a character that is accustomed to tragedy, and to see Becky play the role of Elizabeth dusting herself off, trying to get what she wants is going to be really cool.

Courtesy/ABC

The tragic twist had Franco saving Cameron from winding up with Drew’s memories and being the vessel for Shiloh to use.  What did you think about how Franco sacrificed himself in order to protect Elizabeth’s son?  It was quite heroic.

ROGER:  I think the other beautiful part of this is that this was motivated by love.  I don’t see it as heroic.  I think as an actor, you’re always looking for the heart of the story, and the writers made it really simple.  He does this because he loves this kid.  Yeah, they’ve had their ups and downs, and they are struggling to figure out how they can get along, and they have a lot of things that they feel about one another, but push actually did come to shove, and I think that the character of Cameron is going to be deeply affected by that.

Courtesy/ABC

This now puts Franco deep within Shiloh’s storyline and past with Drew, because Shiloh desperately wants a key piece of information locked in Drew’s memories.  So, in theory, this kind of ranks among one of the better stories you’ve probably ever gotten to tell in your daytime career.  Everyone is hoping that it lives up to its expectations in the execution of it on-air.

ROGER:  It is certainly a high concept story.  It’s asking a lot of the audience.  So far, we’re all in.  It’s a good cast.  I work with really good actors, so I’m not worried.  It is asking the audience to suspend disbelief for sure.  The good stories do.  I think Erika Slezak (Viki) on One Life to Live, getting to play Dissociative Identity Disorder as Niki and Viki that was a large ask.  She never blinked.  She did everything that was asked.  I’m trying to follow her example.

Exactly, and she played more characters.  She had more alters after that.

ROGER:  (Laughs)  Yeah!  She’s better at this than I am.  I’m having trouble with the one. (Laughs)

Photo: ABC

What do you think about how Scott and Franco’s relationship will be affected, now that he is in essence “Drew”?

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ROGER:  There’s no part of that relationship that hasn’t changed because there is no Franco.  Franco is not around … Franco has left the building.

He is a completely new person for all intent and purposes.

ROGER:  For sure.  This soldier doesn’t appreciate being called by somebody else’s name.  He is not compassionate to the people who mistake him for this somewhat tortured art therapist that he no longer is.

Photo: ABC

What is also interesting is that this should put you right into conflict and scenes with Steve Burton, because now you are essentially playing Jason’s twin.

ROGER:  Yes.  For me, as an actor, to get a chance to work with Steve, and to play a like-minded person, is intimidating frankly, but it’s exciting.

Also, the audience knows how Franco and Jason are such enemies, and now, he is really in his mind his twin.  

ROGER:  Yeah, Franco sees in many shades of gray and other colors, and from what I can tell, Franco as Drew sees the world much simpler.  He thinks more clearly, he finishes his sentences, he thinks before he speaks, he knows what he is going to say.  His point of view does not waiver.  He is determined.

Courtesy/ABC

That’s got to be so exciting for you to get to play after all of Franco’s psychological baggage and issues.

ROGER:  I’ve got to say, it’s been a bit of a challenge for me to play someone with a different set of speech patterns and who stands differently.  Because Drew thinks and feels differently about everything; his body is the same, but his body is behaving differently, and it speaks differently, and he thinks at a different tempo.  They’ve been very patient on set giving me chances to do it badly, so far. (Laughs)  It’s not uncommon for me to get halfway through a scene and to have to start over.   I am essentially figuring it out as we go along.   I am very appreciative of the fact that they have been giving me a few extra takes to try and figure out how this guy stands.  He relates to people with a different set of space and time.  It’s cool.  It’s a cool set of puzzles.  It’s been really fun.  I’m a lucky guy.

When I first learned of the story twist, I was like, “Oh! Roger will be great in this.”  

ROGER:  I don’t know, man.  I could be stinking it up pretty badly. (Laughs)  I think there’s a trap as an actor who has been asked to play twins, and the trap is that this guy is only acting the way that he acts.  The trap is frankly to act too much because the audience is being told that he is a different person.  If I go too far to try to demonstrate that he is a different person, then it slips into parody or overacting.  Over the years, I have definitely been guilty of overacting, so, I’m a little frightened of it. (Laughs)  I don’t like the way it feels.  I know how it feels to go too far.  I have been getting notes like, “You could pull it back a little bit.”  (Laughs)  It’s pretty funny.

Courtesy/ABC

In the past, I have heard you say you’d rather go to work and feel unsettled about what you are asked to play.  Does that still hold true?

ROGER:  For sure!  I’d rather go to work and leave my job knowing that it was terrible and that I get to come back the next day and make it a little better.  The best thing about daytime is how much it will stretch you and pull you and ask as much of it as you are willing to put in.

Now speaking of Franco, what did you think about the wedding reception on the yacht with Elizabeth?  Did you think that was a nice payoff for Friz fans? 

ROGER:  Yes, for sure.  I thought it was a really sweet culmination to a sweet story about these two people finding one another.  I’m glad they incorporated a large part of the cast.  It was a really good idea.

Photo: ABC

What did you think of how all of Elizabeth’s boys (Cameron, Aiden and Jake) performed a song for Franco and their mom at the reception, and how Franco relates to all of them?

ROGER:  I think it was a really important story point, and it was nice, and it was easy to play.  They’re really good kids, and they’re also terrific people.

Franco really stepped up as a stepdad to Aiden, who had been bullied at school.  I loved the cooking scene, where Franco was baking with Aiden.  What do you think about their relationship?  I love that Franco is being very understanding.

ROGER:  I think he’s trying to be understanding.  I don’t think he’s really great at it.   I think he’s a human being just trying to figure out how to make the best use of his time here, just like the rest of us.

Photo” ABC

General Hospital needed a big jolt with an umbrella story like this that turns the canvas a bit upside down.  How does it feel to be at the epicenter of it?

ROGER:   I really don’t think I’m the center of the story.  I’m not even kidding.  The story is that this piece of information is worn on the shoulders of Franco, but the people who are most effected by that piece of information are Kim and Elizabeth.

It will be interesting to see what the reaction is like from the GH audience.  You’re not on social media.  Will you check out what they are saying … or the feedback?

ROGER:  I’m not on social media.  But, I believe there is a guy whose job it is to track that initial criticism/support.  I think it is kind of cool that we will get real-time reviews, you know what I mean?  I actually thought about that because with the character of Franco, it took us a while to figure out who the guy was.  There was a lot of blonde hair and some missed cues, and we weren’t sure which relationship would be featured, whether it would be Franco and Ava (Maura West), or whether he would wind up in Carly’s (Laura Wright) arena again.  It took a while to figure out the best way to put that guy in the canvas, and I imagine that it will happen again.  I didn’t dye my hair for this, but I did cut it. (Laughs)

Photo: ABC

How was working with Billy Miller in this storyline twist?  Were you there on his last day on set?

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ROGER:  Yes, I worked with Billy not on his last day, but on his last show.  He was remarkable with dignity and with class, and I wish him all the best.  He did a great job.  He is a good actor.  I’m sure he will find somewhere to go be an actor.

Throughout your soap career, has there been a story that you initially pooh-poohed, but when you did it, you thought, “Oh, this is great!”

ROGER:   There was a story when Carly and Franco were together, and they wrote a story where Franco gave Carly a gift that wound up being a camera…

Photo: ABC

The evil-eye necklace!

ROGER:  Yes, this small seeing rye.  I just thought, every time Franco would come in and say something like, “Oh, you’re wearing the necklace.  It’s so beautiful,” while we were doing it, I was like, “Wow.  The audience is really going to hate this.” (Laughs)  However, my real-time Twitter is the subway, and while it was airing, I got on the train and sat next to this really amazing fan, who just told me how much she loved that story, and I was honestly surprised and pleased.  I am often wrong, and it doesn’t surprise me now when I am wrong  … because I was really wrong then.

You mentioned Franco with Ava which was a potential pairing. I think you and Maura West have always had great chemistry together on screen.

ROGER:  Yes, she’s a pretty great actor.  She’s great with everybody.

She is.  You knew Maura’s work first when she was at As the World Turns, while you were there, also?

ROGER:  I didn’t know her well at As the World Turns, but I knew who she was.  She’s a hard worker, and Jack (Michael Park) and Carly always had a lot to do.  She was pretty focused when she was there, but I spoke to her.  I didn’t feel like I got to know her until I got to work with her on GH.

Photo: JPI

Last month on July 15th would have been the 51st anniversary of One Life to Live. I saw a lot of people commenting and remembering the show on social media that day. I put together four photos on a post I made about that show featuring some of the remarkable actors who were a part of it.  From there, I received hundreds of comments of how people were just missing the series, the characters, and actors they loved in it, including you.  When you look at the list of people from yourself to Judith Light, to Robin Strasser, Bob Woods, and of course Erika Slezak – it’s such an unbelievably talented group who spent time in Llanview.  Do you ever think about what an incredible experience that was, and how the fans still miss that show so much?

ROGER:  All the time.  I mean, I’m a lucky guy.  I think it really was a special building to work in, and the people who we are talking about: Erika (Viki), Bob (Bo), Robin (Dorian), and Phil Carey (Asa), and Clint Richie (Clint), and John Loprieno (Cord), the people who made it possible for me to work there set an environment and a tone that made it a really special place.  It was a really good cast, like you said, and there was a lot of opportunity for them to write a really cool story.  I wasn’t a part of the AIDS quilt storyline, but to realize that they told a story like that and incorporated that into our show was wonderful.

Photo: JPI

Such an amazing story and One Life was telling socially relevant and important issues of our time, always.

ROGER:  I can’t say for certain, but I do believe that the original concept of the Todd, Marty (Susan Haskell), and Powell (Sean Moynihan) storyline was kind of supposed to be initially an effort to bring awareness to a horrible, violent crime.  That was a long time before the #MeToo movement.  I think it was a show where the writers had a social conscious as well and really brought awareness to a lot of different things.  That’s a great legacy and something that show should be very proud of.

Once the character of  Todd Manning took off on One Life, and how they found ways to redeem him, and how it spoke to how much the network, the show, and the audience responded to your performances, did you ever feel you had a bit of a safety net as an actor, or were you like, “I’m going to be fired tomorrow?”

ROGER:  This is truth: I am so grateful to have a job, and I don’t take anything for granted.  I don’t think anybody is safe in this business.  I just don’t.  I just don’t think anybody gets to say that they’ve arrived.  I just did a roundtable, and I shared this with people who have a lot more clout and opportunity than I do – that actors are by nature, the good ones, are aware that every day that you get to go to work is a privilege, and don’t waste it.

Photo: JPI

In soaps, for the most part, when someone is stepping into someone else’s role as a recast, or actor who played one role is changing to another, there seems to be this reactionary period of adjustment, and then, there is acceptance from the audience over time … unless you really stink it up  … as you say. (Laughs)

ROGER:  Here’s the thing, and this is why I think this is such a great idea, it’s not about me playing this part, it’s about how Elizabeth, who has been on this show for twenty-something years gets to react to it, and giving her the ball.  It’s flashy that Franco is Drew, but it is really and Elizabeth/Kim story.  I may be the one overacting and stinking it up, but it’s theirs. Do you know what I mean?  It’s not my story.

Photo/ABC

What do you want to say to the fans about this new “role” you are taking on at General Hospital?

ROGER:  I want to say that I really do appreciate the fans.  Here is the thing, they’re down for everything.  I hope they’re down for this.  It’s a big ask, but I really hope that they like it.

So, what do you think of Roger as Andrew Cain thus far and how the storyline is beginning to take shape?  Are you excited to see how Franco becoming Drew (through the mind-mapping procedure) shakes up the canvas? Do you hope Drew returns to be Franco sooner than later? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below.

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Days Of Our Lives

DAYS Stacy Haiduk and Eric Martsolf Talk Kristen & Brady’s Twisted Relationship : The Mask, The Deception, The Sex

Last week on Days of our Lives, Kristen (Stacy Haiduk) was able to get the man she craves in between the sheets.  So, just how did that happen when Brady Black (Eric Martsolf) had no idea she was alive?  Well … he still doesn’t, really.  You see, Kristen returned to Salem disguised as another ex flame of Brady’s, Nicole Walker (who everyone believed died in the warehouse explosion).  And Kristen has been parading around town donning an incredible likeness of Nicole’s face – via a prosthetic mask – and some other tricks to sound and look just like her!

Kristen’s goal is to infiltrate Salem, remind Brady of the love and passion they shared, take over DiMera Enterprises, and who knows what else!  And everyone who stands in her way, better watch out as we have seen! We are speaking to you (the late) Ted, and (once kidnapped) Kate, et al.

Fans of the NBC daytime drama series have followed the tortured relationship between Kristen and Brady for years and through many plots; Kristen was first played and brought to life by Eileen Davidson, and for well over a year now by Stacy Haiduk.  Not only has Haiduk reprised the role of a frustrated, vengeful Kristen, she is also playing at times multiple roles: the wacky and often misunderstood, Susan Banks, Kristen playing Susan, or Kristen pretending to be Sister Mary Moira.

As for Daytime Emmy winner, Eric Martsolf, this latest story arc puts him front and center as viewers watch to see if what Brady senses, and the clues, and the feelings he is having, bring him to the conclusion that he has been duped by Kristen, and that her horrendous scheme – pretending to be Nicole (Arianne Zucker), and dumping Nicole’s longtime love Eric (Greg Vaughan) to be with him have a result that is unexpected or catastrophic!

Michael Fairman TV sat down with Stacy and Eric for this conversation about: all the plot twists, and playing the drama and the humor of the situations they find themselves in as actors in a wild story that only head writer Ron Carlivati could pen and keep the audience on the edge of their seats in the process. Check out this oh-so-fun, direct, and enlightening chat with two of DAYS most shining stars.

Photo: JPI

Eric, what has it been like working in this part of your storyline; where there’s the character of Kristen in its many forms: Arianne Zucker playing “Nicole” (but it’s really Kristen), Kristen as Susan, and the real Kristen, etc?

ERIC:  It’s been a nightmare Michael.  (Laughs)  I don’t know who I’m sleeping with anymore.  I’m at the point where I go home at night, and I just tug on my wife’s cheek just to make sure that she is not my ex-girlfriend from high school.

When you first heard of this storyline, and that it was going to facilitate how Arianne was going to come back to the show… and that it was supposed to be Kristen in a Nicole Walker prosthetic mask with a voice alternator, what went through your mind?

ERIC:  I think in the back of Ron’s Carlivati’s (head writer, DAYS) mind, he was thinking to himself, “This dude started his soap career on Passions, he’s okay with this kind of thing,” and honestly, nothing surprises me anymore.  When you’re thrown into that supernatural, crazy reality, doesn’t-live-here sort of atmosphere for you first soap gig, you don’t sweat a mask and a voice modulator.  That’s just par for the course.  My biggest problem was the body thing … that Brady is not able to distinguish one body from the other, because I would as Eric.  My God, I know every inch of my wife’s body.  So, it’s difficult to get my head around that, but at the same time, I’m going with the whole “love is blind” thing here. (Laughs)

Courtesy/NBC

(Laughs) I was going just going to say that Brady would absolutely know Kristen’s body from how passionate their relationship has been in the past, as well, he would Nicole’s body from his relationship with her.

ERIC:  Since Kristen did finally just succeed – let’s use the word in “seducing” him, and using her wonderful feminine wiles as only Kristen has to get Brady in to bed, there was also another twist.  What plays after that is that he notices the tattoo that’s been removed, and she plays it off as scarring from the fire.  What’s going through his mind as he is making love to Nicole is a “Kristen train”.  He can’t get Kristen out of his mind, and the guilt that he feels about that is horrendous.

Right! Brady is thinking: “Why am I feeling this when I am supposed to be with Nicole!?”

ERIC:  Right!  Brady has been waiting for a relationship for God knows how many years now – at least a successful one.  He is so eager to have this work, even though he has been concerned about how Eric (Greg Vaughan) would feel about this.  In Brady’s mind, Eric is done with Nicole.  He’s good.  He loves Sarah (Linsey Godfrey).  This is fair game.  Brady and Nicole have always been close … they’ve been close before … so, for him, it’s, why not give it a fair try?   However, he finds himself now thinking about another woman the whole time.  That’s rough.

Courtesy/NBC

Do you think in the back of his mind, that this whole time, he possibly knew that “Nicole” was Kristen?

ERIC:  Well, you just have to wait.  There will be a reveal eventually, obviously, but until then, let the games play on.

So, once Brady and “Nicole” have sex, he keeps thinking about Kristen?

ERIC:  Constantly!  She just plagues his mind.  I think he’s realizing that his affection for Kristen is anything but dead and is very alive, and I think this is Kristen’s master plan from the very beginning.  She knows that she pervades his soul, and once she does reveal herself, I would guess he would probably be surprised, maybe a little angry, but in the end … you can’t deny what your heart and your body wants, right?

One of my favorite recent scenes had Brady half-naked and Kristen as Susan getting into his room, because she was looking for the MIA Nicole mask she so desperately needed.  She finds herself gawking and lusting after Brady under her disguise, and he tries to remove himself from the situation and says, “Susan, I’m going to get in the shower…”

ERIC:  Yeah! And, “It’s not going to happen, baby.”

What was that like doing that scene?

STACY:  I loved it!  I thought Eric was brilliant in it.  I watched it, and I thought, “Oh, my God!”  (Laughs) It is one of my all-time favorite scenes.

Photo: JPI

ERIC:  Kristen is a tiger.

STACY:  She is a tiger.  She’s got a goal, and she is going to go after that.  She has obstacles that are going to come in-between her goal, but she will go after whatever she wants.

When Stacy comes in to Brady’s room as Susan, were you not laughing?

ERIC: No!  I thought she was hot. (Laughs)

STACY:  He did … he loved it.  You liked me, didn’t you baby? (Laughs)

ERIC:  I don’t think anybody can deny that Stacy Haiduk’s portrayal of Susan Banks is ridiculously good.  Everything from her delivery … to her facial expressions.  I think it is amazing.  I mean, it is corny, and it is fun, and soaps need characters like that once in a while to lighten the load of the heavy dialogue and the drama.  It’s a welcomed addition.  So, I love playing scenes with Susan.

Photo: JPI

Eric, you always have been able play the straight-man so well in comedic scenes with impeccable timing,

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STACY:  You’re brilliant, Eric.

ERIC:  You guys are being very nice to me.

STACY:  You are.  I remember on the day how much fun we had, but then, seeing it back and the crap that I was giving you, and just the stuff you were giving back was so beautiful, and innocent, and so alive.  It was so funny.

Does Kristen think that now that she finally got Brady into bed that she won … that she got what she wanted … even if she had to don a “Nicole” mask to do it?

STACY:  Well, no, because she still can’t be really Kristen.  I think she is grateful that she gets to be with him.  That’s one of her biggest goals: to be with Brady and she wants to have him fall back in love with her again.  But for her, now it’s all about, “How do I reveal myself so that he doesn’t get scared away?”  That’s the toughest part for her.  Kristen’s love is so deep that it goes beyond this mask.  So, how is it going to be when he sees her?   Is he going to freak out?  What’s going to happen?

ERIC:  Did you think Kristen would be a little pissed off and think, “Oh my God.  He did go for Nicole?”

STACY:  Yes!  I do, because she’s like, “Finally, I got him!  But wait a minute … did I get him because I was Nicole … or because I was Kristen?”  As Kristen, she always believes there is something deeper between them and a deep connection.  That remains a driving force to her.

Photo: JPI

ERIC:  That’s why I love these characters so much, because of you and the history of Kristen with Brady.  She’s always wanted him as much as he has wanted her.  She’s always wanted to be loved.

STACY:  Yes … and very much so.

ERIC:  Kristen had always wanted to be a part of the DiMera Empire, just as Brady has always wanted to be a part of the Kiriakis Empire, and they’ve always wanted love.  They’ve never had it.  They believe in the back of their minds that anything is attainable.  So, I can see why Kristen would just forgo the Nicole disguise and just go, “He wants me.”

STACY:  Kristen wants to believe that Brady knows it.  She says to herself, “He knows it’s me inside and behind the mask.  When he finds out, he will fall back in love with me.”

Now that she actually had sex with Brady, wouldn’t that make Kristen even more insatiable to be with him? Like, “I’ve got to have him!?”

STACY:  The fear is still .. what happens she takes this mask off?  She always says, “I’ll reveal myself, but I have to do it slowly when it is the right time.”  I think there is that built up frustration now for her, absolutely!

Photo: JPI Studios

Arianne Zucker really has Stacy’s mannerisms down as Kristen.  It really comes into in scenes where “Nicole” goes off on someone or loses her temper.  Eric, you have worked with Arianne for years on this show.  What do you think about her performances in this storyline?

ERIC:  I have worked with Ari over the years, and I have enjoyed it a lot.  Ari did do her homework.  She did study Stacy’s tape, and she watched her mannerisms, and she took it very seriously.  I know that because she is a hard worker, as much as a goofball as she is, she does work hard, and she wanted it to be good.  I think my favorite parts were the Kristen meltdowns.  You have to understand though; Stacy and Ari get along very well!  They’re kind of two peas in a pod.  So, it wasn’t a big stretch for her to take on how Stacy would play those types of scenes.  They’re both animated, they’re both wild people by nature, and so, it was a good fit.  It was a smart idea from the writers.

STACY:  It was a good fit!

ERIC:  I’ve been out with the two of them, and it’s hard to tell the two of them apart. (Laughs)

STACY:  We are just like two cuddly bunnies.

ERIC:  They’re like flirting with each other, and hugging each other.  You find yourself thinking, “Are they going to start ordering the same food at the same time?  This is getting weird. (Laughs)

Courtesy/NBC

In the recent scene that aired; where Kristen as “Nicole” turns off the light while having sex with Brady, is she worried her plan will now go awry?

STACY:  Yes.  I think she is worried about her body because it is burned.  You know, how they take a tattoo off, and it’s as painful as can be.  Not that I’ve had that done personally.  I like my tats, but I hear it is painful.  So, in the storyline, the burn is that pain that she has and the tattoo. There’s a part of her that thinks,  she has to cover it up, and turn the lights down low.

ERIC:  “Nicole” is sleeping, and Brady is rubbing his hands over her shoulder and touching her body, and as he goes over the burn marks.  He sees a flash of the tattoo!  That is a pivotal moment when he starts to put some pieces together.   He thinks, “Woah! That’s exactly where that tattoo was.”  It’s a slow little rollercoaster ride.

Courtesy/NBC

In the past, Kristen then played by Eileen Davidson, drugged and raped Father Eric.  Stacy, did you ever see that story arc?  Literally the sex scene is playing on the screen at Kristen’s wedding to Brady and then all hell breaks loose.  This to say Kristen is notorious for the ways and the lengths she goes to get her men into bed.

STACY:  Yes! I saw her Eileen do those scenes.

ERIC:  You also saw how close Kristen and Brady were to their dream, to their happiness, their goal, which was they were going to marry each other.  Brady is looking upon his loved ones in this town and thinking, “I know what you all think of her, but I’m going to show you our love on this screen, and once you see the connection that we have here as a couple, you all are going to be convinced that we belong together as well.  This is the happiest day of my life,” and the screen comes up and it’s his brother banging Kristen instead.

Marlena (Deidre Hall) played the wrong DVD!

STACY:  It was so good.  See, I try to find as much info as I can on the character’s past, because all of the time I’m trying to find where these characters have been in their dark and twisted past.

Photo: JPI

ERIC:  You’re putting your own stamp on Kristen.  You got a direct call from DAYS casting department, didn’t you … when they were recasting the role?

STACY:  Yes.  You have to understand, I had two really separate characters to play when I was on Y&R.  One was a doctor, and one was this crazy passionate, wild, little minx.

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ERIC:  I will say to find the wild and the beauty in one package is not easy in any town, yet alone Los Angeles.  I’m glad they called you, because you have that.  You have that villainous nature, but you also are able to show a vulnerable side to Kristen that is going to be a lot of fun and interesting to see.

Stacy is one of those people that will leap off of the screen at you and you will remember her.  She is one actress that will have fans talking about their work, like when you played crazy Patty Williams on Y&R.  The audience was on the edge of their seats going, “Oh, my God!  What is Patty going to do next?”

STACY:  I never knew what she was going to do!

Photo: JPI

Eric, has Stacy come to you at any point where she been overwhelmed by the task at hand; playing Susan while playing Kristen, etc, and the two of you have a moment where you work through some of the challenges of complex scenes  … and ones where she is playing multiple characters?

ERIC:  We’ve had many moments  to speak of.

STACY:  I always come into Eric’s room, and am like, “I’m scared!”

ERIC:  It’s funny you mention it.  We have had some very emotional scenes, and Stacy – who cares so damn much about this job and portraying this character correctly – that she gets a little overwhelmed, and the material that they give her is overwhelming for any anybody on any level.  I have looked at her in the eyes, and said, “You’ve got this gig.  You are this character.  You are knocking it out of the park.  Just do it.  Just be you.”   I can’t wait for people to see some of the stuff we have shot recently and have been doing.

Photo: JPI

Stacy, do you think Kristen can be redeemed? Many characters on daytime … and on DAYS … have done horrible things and later turned over a new leaf.

STACY:  The thing is that villains are bad and all that other crap, but they’ve got a lot of stuff going on inside and insecurities, and they’ve got a heart.  I’m sorry, the villain with a heart of gold, can be very  true.  I never see villains (and I play them a lot) as bad.  You have to find where it comes from … how far does this go … where did that little seed change … and what made them go into the dark, but also, where is the good?  You want to bring the good to it, too.

ERIC:  Let’s face it!  Star Wars is all about Darth Vader and how he became that because it’s intriguing.

Because of the pace in which DAYS tapes its episodes; do the two of you find time to run lines together before you go hit the set?

ERIC:  We are running out of time to run lines.  It’s pretty wild.  Funnily enough, I was recently filming a movie and I was so underwhelmed at the pace of everything.  I’ve gotten so accustomed to moving at this militant style, that as hard as it is, it is preferable to me now.  I almost like it because you don’t have time to overthink what you are going to do, and you end up getting more visceral and natural reactions to the material.  You can overthink a scene, and you can come to a wrong performance that way.  When you burn your fingers on a hot stove, that’s the most natural reaction you are going to get.  You can’t have ten minutes to think about how you are going to scream about that pain.

Photo: JPI

But, would you like the pace of shooting the show to be a bit slower?

STACY:  I would like to, but I do think sometimes just jumping in, and going and seeing what happens is great.  I love that.  I do appreciate that.

ERIC:  It’s scary.

STACY:  It is scary.  I would love if we would get to do a rehearsal and then two takes just to see, and then they can mix  together what happens.  Sometimes I am hard on myself as an actress.  I’ve always been.  It’s that jumping in when you only get to do one take.  You have to just give it everything you’ve got.

ERIC:  You can have a second take.  Want me to give you a little secret?  All you have to do is screw up your last line.

STACY:  I can’t do that.   I don’t even need it to be perfect because nothing is perfect.  It doesn’t matter what I’ve done if I sometimes don’t feel it.  I need to feel it when I’m on that set.  I need to feel something because when I shut down, I close myself off.  It’s like an athlete who has just got to  train as hard as they can to reach their goal.

ERIC:  You’re an Olympic swimmer!

STACY:  You’ve got to do it as hard as you can.  You practice, and you practice, and you practice, and you practice, so that when you come to that day, you do the best you can, but sometimes you are disappointed because you didn’t get that one last thing you had hoped for.

Courtesy/NBC

How do you view what happened to Eric with Kristen, who disguised as Nicole, tricked Brady into bed with her?  Some fans commented that that they thought it was akin to a rape.

ERIC:  No, I would disagree with that theory.  I believe there is a high degree of deception in this, but there is a willingness on behalf of Brady.  He’s not drugged.  He’s not being forced to do anything.  Deception, yes.  Rape, no.

Stacy, what do you think?

STACY:  Total deception.  There is no rape.  There is absolutely no rape.  These are willing participants; he just doesn’t know exactly who he is dealing with.

ERIC:  I appreciate the context of how somebody could construe that, and the seriousness of the matter.  I don’t think it really has a place in this particular storyline.

Do you guys think that Brady and Kristen are each other’s star-crossed lovers in a weird, twisted, bizarre way?

ERIC:  I don’t know.  I think they’re magnetism can’t be denied.  I think the hurdles that they’ve jumped through are astronomical.  Will they end up together in the end?  Who knows!  Will there ever be an end?  Who knows!  It’s definitely been one of, if not the most, in-depth relationships Brady has ever had.

Photo: JPI

And intense!

ERIC:  Yeah.  They’ve just gone through so much to be together, and when you do that, anybody who is married knows that, that’s where the good stuff is; the wars that you win together and the battles that you go through.  When you come out of the war, and you’re still together, that’s the bond.  That’s what lasts.

What would Kristen do if she couldn’t have Brady in the end?  Would she find a new obsession?  What if she could not nab her man?

STACY:  Wow!  Hmmm. (Laughs)  She’s going to get her man.  She wants her man.  She wouldn’t settle.  She’d keep fighting.  I would say to her, “Kristen, keep fighting the good fight.”

So, do you think Kristen will reveal herself to Brady sooner than later? Will Brady figure out what Kristen has been doing to get to him?  Will Brady turn Kristen away if he knew she was alive and back in action  … or would he fall back into her arms? Share your theories via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GH’s Rebecca Herbst Chats On ‘Friz’, Her On-Screen Sons & How Liz Has Grown-Up

Last week, Rebecca Herbst celebrated her 22nd year playing fan favorite Elizabeth Webber (now Baldwin) on General Hospital.  She made her on-screen debut on August 1, 1997.  And in those two decades plus in Port Charles, Liz has gone through many a rocky relationship, plenty of drama, and carried out some misdeeds of her own.  But one thing is for sure, Becky is loved by the fans of the long-running ABC daytime drama series who always want the best for her, and for Nurse Elizabeth.

Recently, ‘Friz’ fans got a moment they had long been waiting for when Franco (Roger Howarth) and Liz, and their friends and family (and some enemies) shared in their wedding reception.  But can their happiness last?  According to two psychics, Sibley Gamble (Veronica Cartwright) and Chelsea Lambas (Jen Ray) that Franco has run into in recent weeks, he better be careful.  That has made Franco concerned, while Liz is trying to get her family all on the same page, and it looks like her boys are coming around to loving and accepting Franco, too, despite what Liz’s ex Jason (Steve Burton) may have to say about it.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Rebecca  at the GH Fan Club Weekend, where she made a welcome appearance, to talk about: how she sees Elizabeth’s relationship with Franco, her talented on-screen sons, and how Liz has grown-up since she started on the series, and more.  Here’s what Becky shared with us below.

What did you think of the long-awaited wedding reception of Franco and Liz?  The show finally gave them this joyous moment; after their jailhouse nuptials. Did you feel like the way the wedding actually went down it felt like it cheated the relationship, or did you like it?

REBECCA:  I felt the jailhouse wedding was a bit of a cheat, because they had tried two different times to have a really glorious wedding, so to do it in a jail cell was not the most desirable place. (Laughs)  However, the fact that the characters did actually get married and nothing came in between was a plus, and so, hey, they’ll take that.  Later, when I read in the scripts that there was going to be the reception, I was shocked, because I really didn’t think it was ever going to happen.

Photo: ABC

Do you think the fans were getting to the point where they thought this was never going to happen, also?

REBECCA:  For sure.  We all thought they Franco and Liz were never going to have their moment, or their honeymoon or any of that. I was really pleasantly surprised to see that not only did they write it, but it was beautiful!  It was also visually beautiful.  They put a lot of effort and thought into the show itself, and nobody died, and nobody fell through the roof.  Well, it was kind of funny that Obrecht (Kathleen Gati) got pushed off the ‘Haunted Star’, but according to Elizabeth, that’s just fine that Obrecht got pushed off the boat. (Laughs)  She didn’t die, so everything is good, but all in all, it was a really wonderful party.

What did you think when they had all of Elizabeth’s sons performing a song for the happy couple.  It was so cute, and touching.

REBECCA:  Oh, my goodness.  Those were real tears I shed.  That was so sweet.  So very, very sweet of them.

Photo: ABC

The show is growing the boys, so now you, as Elizabeth, have some young actors to play off of in your scenes.  How do you feel about that?

REBECCA:  Oh, I love it!  For so long, Elizabeth would only talk about her kids, “My boys, my boys, my boys, my boys in the attic.” (Laughs) Now, she has relationships, and very different relationships with each one of them.

I think that echoes real-life too.  A mother has distinct relationships with each of her children.  That’s what I like about Liz with her sons.  And as a mom in real-life as well, I am sure you can relate to this.

REBECCA:  Yes, my relationship with all of my kids is completely different, and I really love that it’s true for Elizabeth’s kids.  I attribute a lot of that to the writers, because they definitely write our relationships differently.  Aiden (Jason David) is still this baby who Elizabeth coddles and protects.  Cameron (William Lipton) is expected to be the man of the house and take care of things, and sometimes Elizabeth feels like she puts too much responsibility on him, but he is going to protect his mom no matter what.  Hudson (Jake) is so wonderful, too.  The fact that I have been blessed with three beautifully smart little actors is just a win for me.

Courtesy/ABC

Let’s talk about Aiden, who had been bullied at school by the other kids.  Do you think that story will be fleshed out?  It seems it may have been put on pause, because it would be an important story to tell for parents with LGBTQ children, if that is how GH ultimately chose to tell the story.

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REBECCA:  It is an important story.  I would love to tell the story.  There is a great message.  I don’t think we touched on it enough.   I think, for now, the best way to put a button on it is to send the message that we should accept our children with all of their wonderful attributes and personalities and whatever their interests, and let’s not label children, and listen to them and support them.   We should just all be kind.   I was sad when I would read some of the tweets about the story.  It saddened me to read people’s harsh opinions towards Elizabeth’s acceptance of her child.  Some people said that we should not be doing a story like this, and then there was the other half who said, “Just because he is a baker, doesn’t make him gay,” which is 100% true.

True!  TV viewers have certainly seen a lot of straight chefs on foodie or cooking shows, for example.

REBECCA:  Absolutely!  All three of my children in real-life love to cook.  There is nothing wrong with that.   I think we need to just continue to love Aiden no matter what, and he is not different than any of the other kids.

Photo: ABC

William Lipton has been amazing as Cameron, right?

REBECCA:  Amazing.  I know!  He is not only a great little actor, singer, and performer, but he has this beautiful little face, and he is such a grounded young man.  He’s a really sweet person.  You can tell he’s been raised in a really great house, and he has an amazing mom.

Because you are such a “mom’s-mom” in real life, do you think that helps you in how Elizabeth reacts to her children?

REBECCA:  I think so.  I always ask permission from my on-camera kids before a scene: “Is it okay if I kiss your little head?  Is it okay if I put you on my lap here?  Is it okay if I put my hands on your face?”  I’m not their mother, but when I think about what I would do with my real-life kids,  they’re always getting kissed and hugged and held by me, so I want to make it look as real as possible.  I have to think, “What would I do if this were Emerson?”  He’d be on my lap, and I’d be kissing his little neck.  So, then I have to ask Jason, who plays Aiden, “Is it okay that I kiss your neck, and if I kind of just like snuggle you?”  All three of my on-screen kids are so great, because they’re like, “Yeah, sure.  We don’t care!” and not all stage kids are like that.  They all are receptive of my love, and they just let me do it.  I think that is what is so sweet.

Photo: ABC

What do you think of this whole pairing of Elizabeth and Franco, and that you were paired with Roger Howarth?  Elizabeth has had many relationships on the show, so where does her relationship with Franco fit into her list of romances/relationships?  Do you think Franco is one of her great loves?  Over her life, Liz has had a lot of ups and downs, and at times, has not made the best choices for herself, or the choices she made just haven’t worked out in her favor.  I think we all can relate to somebody whose choices don’t work out the way they envision them to be.

REBECCA:  For sure.  I think each of Elizabeth’s relationships have been so different. Just to talk about a timeline: she was a little girl when she was with Lucky (Jonathan Jackson), and as she’s matured, so have her relationships.  However, I think the relationship she has with Franco is her first real adult relationship; in that she not only does respect him, but she respects herself.  She is not afraid to stand up to anybody for the sake of herself, or her children.  I think that is the difference.  In the past, she has been a little so head-over-heels in love that she would do anything, and now, she knows who number one is, and that’s her children, and she puts herself first now, too.  Before, Elizabeth did not matter to herself.

Photo: ABC

I thought Elizabeth treated herself badly.  Is there a self-loathing?  Did you ever that figure out as an actress where that comes from?  Do you think it was from when she was raped years ago?

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REBECCA:  I think it went deeper than that.  I think it was because her parents left her at such a young age, and although they were doing great work for whatever they were doing, she was left as a child.

So, she felt something was wrong with her if they left her behind?

REBECCA:  Yes.  I think that’s where her lack of self-esteem came from.  She just didn’t have that support at home when she needed it the most, especially when she was a teenager.  You need your parents around you to tell you that things are awkward and weird, and you’re changing, but you’re going to be okay.  She didn’t have that, and so, she kind of had to figure it out on her own.  She did it through her relationships with men, and she didn’t have men in her life who were telling her, “You’re going to be okay,” except for Lucky, but that was a younger relationship in her life.  Now, as more of an adult with Franco, he tells her she is going to be okay.  Franco believes in her as much as she does now.

Photo: ABC

What’s the best part about working with Roger … and what’s the most challenging part?  Is it some curve balls that might come from when you are going live-to-tape?

REBECCA:  For me, I know I can totally work around whatever comes out of his mouth. (Laughs)  I’m good with that. (Laughs)  The most challenging thing about working with him is that he is constantly losing his glasses, so he can’t see his scripts.  It’s always at the end of the scene.  It’s like, “Where are the glasses?” (Laughs)  So, if losing his glasses might be the most challenging thing, then I’m a pretty lucky girl!

Where does Jason (Steve Burton) fit into Liz’s life at this point? 

REBECCA:  We’ve not really established that.

Courtesy/ABC

Since Jason has been back on the canvas, not much has been played between them.

REBECCA: They had a relationship, they have a relationship, and they have a friendship.  It should be played.

What would you love to see happen to Elizabeth story-wise, that perhaps you have not gotten the opportunity to play?

REBECCA:  I would love to see Elizabeth be happy with Franco and just explore whatever that means for her in a long-term, adult sense (because she doesn’t really know how that is yet), an adult happiness, while trying to navigate the kids’ lives, but also having a friendship with Jason.  I think that would be interesting, because she has always held a torch for Jason.

Photo: ABC

Viewers are currently alarmed that Franco has been receiving warnings from two psychics.  On last Friday’s episode, Franco is clearly afraid to take a drive and in Cameron’s new car (the one Oscar gave him) due to the psychic, (Chelsea) telling him: “Don’t take that drive!” Does Elizabeth have something to be worried about? 

REBECCA:  Yes, but she’s going to hang on to Franco, and make sure nothing happens to him … until he doesn’t come home (laughs) …  and then she’ll be calling Jason! (Laughs)

So, what did you think of the sentiments shared by Rebecca?  What did you think of the Friz wedding reception, and Liz and Franco’s relationship?  What do you think of Liz’s relationship with her children?   What are your hopes for Liz moving forward? Comment below.

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