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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)

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.”

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
Guest
Richard

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

kathy
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

Nikki
Guest
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… Read more »

Lisa robinson
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

Eilleen
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

Nikki
Guest
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)
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

Alice
Guest
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… Read more »

Beth
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

Soaphound
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

Beth
Guest
Beth

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

Nikki
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

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

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

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

Shirley Strickler
Guest
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
Guest
Meg Reddekopp

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

joeysback
Guest
joeysback

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

Michelle
Guest
Michelle

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

Chris Dante
Guest
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… Read more »

mari
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

Sandy
Guest
Sandy

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

Iakovos
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
Kar

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

Karlie
Guest
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… Read more »

Sylvia Gillis
Guest
Sylvia Gillis

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

Mateo
Guest
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… Read more »

soapqueenforever
Guest
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… Read more »

mollie
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

Marge k
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

Timmm
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

Lawson
Guest
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
Guest
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!!

Interviews

B&B’s Matthew Atkinson Weighs-In On Daytime’s Wildest Storyline, The Hope Mannequin & What’s Really Going On With Thomas

If you think you’ve seen it all on daytime soap operas, think again! Over the past several weeks viewers of CBS Daytime’s The Bold and the Beautiful have been witness to fashion designer Thomas Forrester’s (Matthew Atkinson) descent into madness, or is it?

In B&B’s thriller-esque storyline, complete with tight close-ups and tilted angles of Thomas and his co-star, the Hope Mannequin – yup, you read that right, the series is taking the audience on one wild ride, something we have not seen the likes of since back in the hey day of the late head writer, James Reilly, during his tenure on Days of our Lives or Passions.

Photo: JPI

Inspired by, believe it or not, true life events, B&B’s head writer and executive producer, Brad Bell and his creative team have served up a story generated off all of the buzz the show was receiving for using mannequins as scene partners for the actors in intimate moments to adhere to Covid-19 safety protocols.  B&B was the first American show back in production amid the pandemic.

 

Within this twisted tale, Thomas has the life-like version of Hope Logan Spencer (Annika Noelle) at home with him.  Those who have stumbled upon him with the mannequin, well, he has been able to explain that away by saying that having the doll with him is helping him create some of the best designs of his career.

The problem is the mannequin is talking to Thomas, it’s eyes have often turned devil-red, and on Friday’s episode it walked!  It’s objective is to get Thomas to kill Liam (Scott Clifton) and to get Hope back to be his one and only. Throughout many of the scenes in the storyline, Thomas suffers from what appears to be severe headaches.  All of this leading the audience to believe either … he has a brain tumor … he is being drugged … he is suffering from a severe mental break and disorder, or something else.

Photo: JPI

In a very candid and often humorous conversation with Michael Fairman for the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube, Thomas’ portrayer, Matthew Atkinson, discusses some of the craziest scenes to shoot thus far including Thomas having dinner with the mannequin!  In addition, Atkinson reveals how he and Annika Noelle tape the scenes where she is the voice of the Hope mannequin while adhering to safety protocols,  and how Liam is the only one, apparently, thinking something is off with Thomas, and so much more.

Photo: Gilles Toucas

One thing is for certain, Matthew Atkinson is sinking his teeth into the material and making it must-see daytime drama through his performances while we all wait to see what the possessed mannequin does next.

Check out the full interview with Matthew below. 

Then let us know, what do you think is happening or wrong with Thomas? Are you getting a kick out of the Hope Mannequin storyline? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below.

 

 

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Interviews

Eric Nelsen Talks Latest Film, Becoming a Tony-Nominated Producer, ‘The Bay’, and His Elizabeth Gillies & Ariana Grande Connection

You can catch All My Children reboot alum, Eric Nelsen (Ex-AJ Chandler), just about everywhere this month, and that’s hard to do given that we are all living in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, this Daytime Emmy-winning actor has his hands in a myriad of projects of late including: appearing on season six of The Bay (new episodes every Tuesday on Popstar! TV) where he continues to play Daniel’s journey after the character has come to terms with his sexuality and finds love, plus his comedic turn in the film, 1 Night in San Diego, and recently becoming a Tony-nominated producer along with his wife Sainty for the critically-acclaimed, and now 11 times nominated Broadway play, The Inheritance.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Eric to get the lowdown on his busy professional life, and we were in for some surprises along the way including: what the producers of AMC had in mind for the character of AJ that ultimately did not happen, and that Eric starred on Broadway with Elizabeth Gillies (Fallon, Dynasty) and Pop superstar, Ariana Grande – and there’s more to that story below.

 

What makes Nelsen so good at what he does on-screen is that he is a like a chameleon; adept at playing the quirky, to the troubled bad boys, to the emotional heart-tugging anti-hero. So here’s what Eric had to say in this fascinating conversation.

Photo: : Metropolitan Entertainment,

Your latest film appearance in 1 Night in San Diego is out this week on multiple streaming on-demand platforms from: Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, and more. Tell me about the movie and when did you film this?

ERIC:  We filmed it near San Diego, not this past February, but last February, and it’s hilarious.  It’s a female-driven comedy.  The cast is incredible.  Alexandra Daddario, who is just epic, and Jenna Ushkowitz, and Laura Ashley Samuels, they truly bring it in this powerhouse comedy, and it’s just one of those make-you -laugh movies from beginning to end, just silly, stupid stuff happening the whole time.  General Hospital’s Mark Lawson (Dustin) is also in the film.  While we don’t work in scenes together, I did get a chance to meet him and he’s a really great guy.  I play this off-the-wall character, named Gordo, who is a real burn-out, think Matthew McConaughey meets space cadet, which was a lot of fun to play.  Gordo is a great role.  I had more fun with this part than I’ve had in a long time.  So, it was cool to throw a comedy into all of the drama I have been playing in my other projects.

How does Gordo know the girls in the film?

ERIC:  One of the girls knew him back in the day, so they were in town looking to reconnect, and she’s like, “Oh, we want to party and let’s hit up Gordo,” and they do.  He has just gone completely off the rails, off the deep end with spirituality and kind of in his own world. They find themselves in quite a predicament when they come visit what they didn’t know was a commune, basically.  Gordo creates this hippie commune for a bunch of outcast musicians, (laughs) and I don’t want to give too much away, but a lot of interesting stuff happens there.

Photo: InheritancePlay

 

In addition, you are now a Tony-nominated producer for the play The Inheritance!

ERIC: That was crazy, because it’s always been a dream of mine to produce for Broadway.  That was how I got into the world of film and TV acting, which was through the theatre.  That’s where I started.  I was lucky enough to star on Broadway when I was 16 and 17, in a musical called, 13.  I started with Ariana Grande! It was so fun.

Wait, what?

ERIC:  Yeah, that was her first big show, and Elizabeth Gillies’.

Photo: AP

I think Elizabeth Gillies is terrific in Dynasty.

ERIC:  Oh yeah, and you know she and I dated for two and a half years during the whole run of the show 13.  Elizabeth is very talented.   She is amazing.  The funny part of it is, we were dating forever, and kind of had a bad breakup, and then Sainty, my wife, gets cast in her show Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, in the pilot to play Liz’s best friend on the series.  So, all of the sudden, I’m like, “Wait, wait, wait, out of all the shows, all of the things, this is who you have to get cast as best friends with?” and so they actually became really, really, close friends.  So, I’d actually come home from work or filming, and Liz would be on my couch sitting there giggling with Sainty.  I’m like, “This is just becoming too much.  This is a full-circle moment here.  I can’t deal.” (Laughs)

Now, you and Elizabeth are broken up at this point?

ERIC:  Yes.  We had been broken up at this point.  Sainty and I were actually together.  I started dating Sainty in New York and the pilot she was shooting was in New York, and she gets cast as Liz’s best friend, and I was like, “Oh, of course.”

Photo JPI

But Sainty knew you’d dated Elizabeth?

ERIC:  Yes, she did.

You must have been dying.

ERIC:  Yes, so dying.  Dying.   You know, it’s just one of those things that in a million years, you would never expect this to happen, and of course, Sainty and her had to become best friends in real life because they’re both great girls, and naturally, they would be friends, but now, I’m like this guy stuck in the middle who can’t believe what’s happening, and thought that was one chapter, and this is a different chapter, and now the chapters are combining.  It’s kind of a comedy act.

Photo: JPI

Since Ariana Grande was on Broadway with you and Liz, what was she like back then before her meteoric rise to fame?

ERIC:  Ariana was literally the sweetest, most innocent, and cutest – like my little sister.   To me, it was like, Liz and I were dating, and Ari was kind of like the little sister.  All of a sudden the show ended. Ariana got a Nickelodeon show, and after that, she became the most famous person in the world and was like this sex icon, and I couldn’t get over it.   She’s always had that talent with her voice and in 13 she was an ensemble member.  She wasn’t even one of the leads, but her voice was so incredible, even then as a young teenager.  I thought she was going to go on to have this great Broadway career as an actress and do musicals her whole life just because of her voice.  Then, all of the sudden, right after the musical, we all auditioned for the same Nickelodeon show.  I ended up going to the finals for the boyfriend role, Liz got the girlfriend role, and Ari got the funny friend on the show role.  That kind of catapulted them into the TV world, and Ari got a spinoff because of her character on that show for another Nickelodeon show, called Sam and Cat, and then after Sam and Cat, she went from this innocent, sweet, little Nickelodeon girl that I knew to being the biggest star.  It was unbelievable to me.

Photo: Broadway World

So, you started on Broadway as a teenager, and you found you always wanted to produce for the Great White Way? 

ERIC:  Yes, I did the Broadway thing, and then I got into film and TV, and then I got into film and TV producing.  As an actor, there are a lot of ups, a lot of downs.  So, in between the ups, I wanted to fill my time, so I got into producing, and I loved it.  I loved creating.  As an actor, we just show up, and everything is already done.  All we have to do is say our lines.  We get pampered, and we go home, but I wanted to know how it got to that point, like what happens before that.  So, I started producing film and found some success doing that, and it was so much fun for me.  Sainty’s and my first love, and what feels like home, is theatre.  So, I wanted to take it full circle and produce a Broadway show.  I just thought that would be such an incredible moment, and so that’s what I did.  I started emailing all of the Broadway producers who I had worked with as an actor, letting them know what I had been doing, kind of the success I had gotten from producing The Bay and some of these other things. Different shows came across my desk that I didn’t quite bite the bullet on, a couple of which I wish I would have, Dear Evan Hansen being one of them.  I would have been so rich by now!  (Laughs)

I just want to clarify for people who might not know, the word “producer” can mean different things.  There are “producers” who are putting money in … they’re backing projects or shows.  There are other people who are “producers” on the creative side of projects.  So, when you’re talking about producing a Broadway show, it is as an investor?

ERIC:  So for theatre, unless you’re the head producer who kind of gets creative control, every other producer listed in the credits is basically helping raise finances and is also very heavily involved in the process of everything else along the way, which is also what makes it special.  So finally, The Inheritance came across our desk, and it checked every single box.  It was just an epic play.  It’s a two-part play, and it’s just hours and hours and hours long.  You see it in multiple days or in multiple shows.  I remember reading the script and not stopping until I finished.  I was like, “This is amazing,” and it had just come off of a huge commercial successful run in London.  It won the Olivier Award for “Best New Play” and just about every other award you could win, and so I was like, “This is the one.  This is incredible.  I love the piece, love the message, and pulled the trigger,” and I would have done it all over again if we could.

Photo: Broadway World

The Inheritance is a generational piece centering on gay men during the AIDS crisis.  What can you say about it to those who don’t know about it, or have not seen it yet?

ERIC:  It takes place in the past, and then it fasts forward to the future.  You see two generations of gay men in New York City, and it’s all about the AIDS crisis, and so you’re bawling crying, and then you’re laughing throughout it.  It’s just one of those epic plays that pulls at every single emotion and you feel like you’re watching a movie.

It seems reminiscent of Angels In America, but different.   

ERIC:  Yes.  It’s definitely its own thing.  It’s actually an adaptation of Howard’s End, the novel by Forster, definitely different from Angels in America, but the two-part show is kind of what I was meaning by that.  People have said it is kind of our generation’s Angel’s in America in tone and subject matter.  It was just a dream come true, and like all other theatre that was open during our season, it had to close because of the pandemic, and it will have life after Broadway.  We are already slated for the Geffen Playhouse in LA, so I’m very excited for all of my LA friends and the public to get to see it.

Courtesy/ENelsen

And you get nominated in the year that the coronavirus pandemic shut down live theatre! But it is my understanding we still do not have a date for handing out this year’s Tony Awards.

ERIC:  No, we do not.  They finally announced that they were going to announce nominations, and for a while we didn’t even know that they were going to do that.  We received 11 nominations, which is incredible.  We were so excited.  I truly thought the American Theatre Wing and the Tony committee were not going to do the Tonys at all, and so we were just like, “I can’t believe the one year we pull the trigger on the show, this isn’t going to happen for us,” but then thank God, they came to their senses.  There were plenty of shows that opened and needed to be recognized.

How long was it open on Broadway?

ERIC:  We were open from September 2019 through February or March.  So, as long as your submission was open on Broadway before Covid-19 and had at least all of its previews and an opening night before Covid-19 hit, then you could qualify, and then in the play category, there were like 10 plays that had opened last year that were contenders.  So, that was definitely the hardest category.   It will be interesting to see what happens after all of this.  The only good thing I know that is going to come from this is the amount of creatives who have had so much time sitting at home to create and write, that there will be so many new scripts and plays and musicals that are going to come from this.  I think it’s’ going to be the biggest boom that we’ve probably ever seen in theatre, just because there’s been so much time to develop stuff.  At the same time, it’s piggybacking on the darkest time that theatre has ever seen.

Throughout the pandemic, I always stream all of the Broadway Actor’s Fund events.  It’s really sad.  It’s just a difficult time, those in the arts are struggling and especially in the live theatre and also musicians who can’t tour or play gigs in front of an audience. I know they said Broadway is closed through May 31, 2021.

ERIC:  It is really hard.  I’m happy that we are able to find other ways like streaming shows.  I’m actually producing a big benefit for Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS that will be airing on World AIDS Day, December 1st.  It’s a show called Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens.  The cast we have is everybody from Nathan Lane, to Academy Award winner J. K. Simmons.  It’s insane.  It will be streaming online on the Broadway HD network.  It is a huge list of Broadway stars and a lot of movie and TV stars as well that are participating.  We’ve got people from all over the map.

And … Ariana Grande? (Laughs)

ERIC:  (Laughs)  Ari is not in it, actually!

Photo: Prospect Park

So, in this week’s latest episode of The Bay, your character of Daniel Garrett makes his final choice for love between Caleb (Mike Manning) and Matthew (Randy Wayne).  When you came to the show, did you know that this part was going to wind-up being a gay character?

ERIC:  No, I did not.  I think I dropped a bird in Gregori Martin’s (creator, The Bay) ear by telling him that before All My Children ended, they were going to have my character of AJ Chandler have a storyline where he is gay.  The producers sat me down and talked through an entire storyline arc with me.  Basically, Ginger Smith (ex-executive producer, All My Children) and Alison, our casting director, and one other person from the show, took me to lunch in New York. They pitched me what they wanted to do for my character, and asked me if I would be comfortable with it, and they wanted my opinion, everything.  It was really cool how they approached it, and I was like, “100% completely.”  I look at what Chandler Massey (Ex-Will Horton) did on Days and where that brought him and his storyline, and I thought, “Yes, there’s going to be so much more depth and stuff to play than just being this fun little rich kid.”  At the time, there really wasn’t much depth to AJ.  So, I was like, “Yes.  I will be all over it.  Absolutely.”  So, I told Gregori that, and I don’t know if he already had something in his mind or not, or if that influenced it at all, but maybe he just figured that was something that would work well, and up till that point, I guess they didn’t really have that on the show.  Regardless, no, I wasn’t aware that that was the direction it was going in, but I was really happy with my storyline and it’s grown a lot since then, and in this current season especially.  It’s really given me an arc to play, which I’ve enjoyed.

Photo: LANYEntertainment

So for those who may not know let’s do a re-set.  Where is the character of Daniel at? It seems like he is at crossroads, and is making some important decisions, or trying to.

ERIC:  So Daniel was a wild party boy in the beginning, just head in the clouds, lives life with thinking there’s no repercussions and just doing what you want to do all of the time, and that got him into a lot of trouble with drugs and alcohol. Then, we realize why Daniel has been the way he is, and why he acts out, and why he has been so all over the place, and it’s because he hasn’t been able to come to terms with who he is.  Then, he admits it to himself and for the first time to somebody else – who happens to be his priest in a catholic church, ironically –  that he is gay and this is what he has been battling with.  For the first time (and I don’t know where on television it has depicted it this way), but the catholic priest looks at Daniel, and he’s like, “What’s your sin?  You haven’t sinned.  This is perfectly fine.”  So, I love that Gregori made that the outlet for which Daniel was able to basically come to terms with who he was, because he grew up in the church, and so he was always told that it was wrong.  Obviously, it’s not wrong, or obviously the church needs to change their mindset, but on The Bay, he chose that to be the outlet through which he came out, which I thought was really powerful.  Through that, Daniel experimented with other boys and such to figure out where he wanted to land, and then in this newest season, I can’t say much that gives anything away, but for the first time, we really see Daniel’s growth, and he’s making decisions, and the most mature we’ve ever seen him, and it’s been really cool to see that come full circle.  He’s making commitments to himself.

Photo: LANY Entertaiment

In story, Daniel chooses Caleb.  Why so?

ERIC:  Obviously, that’s who it works with,  Caleb is a teacher and a great guy.

… And Matthew is not a great guy?

ERIC:  He is… he’s just not the great guy for him.

Photo: LANY Entertaiment

This season of The Bay is heavily steeped with social issues of our time.  Covid-19 has come to Bay City and the Black Lives Matter movement also plays prominently.

ERIC:  Yes.  It’s kind of the beginning of the pandemic in The Bay and within all of the intense drama that Daniel has been having, he is still, for all intent and purposes the comedic relief of the show, and so there is a funny scene where I’m carrying like 28,000 rolls of toilet paper like, “Come on, guys.  We’ve got to stock up!”  We all remember those days, don’t we?

Photo: JPI

How do you feel about this season of the show and your work in it? You’ve previously won a Daytime Emmy for your performances on The Bay.

ERIC:  This season is more cemented in a character that has truly grounded himself.  So, the first Emmy I won was for a storyline of coming out and uncertainty and struggle and pain, whereas this season Daniel knows what he wants and is going for it.  There is much more passion and love in this season for Daniel, as opposed to struggle and heartache.

The cast and crew of The Bay all went away and quarantined at this ranch this past summer to get the new season completed.  What was that like?

ERIC:  We were actually in Santa Barbara, and filmed on this epic ranch up there.  It’s like this 500-acre ranch that we all quarantined on.  We had to do the testing, and temperatures three times a day, and the whole thing.  So, it was really structured, tough to pull off, but we were all so grateful that we were able to do this.  Luckily, we had this incredible kind of bubble of a ranch to live and work on while we were shooting.  They were really good about block shooting it all, so we’d kind of shoot one person’s character, then the next, so we wouldn’t have to ever be leaving the ranch before we were done.

Courtesy/ENelsen

Finally, how is being a dad?

ERIC:  Oh, it’s amazing.  I just can’t believe how fast the time is flying by because of it.  We just had Molly’s first birthday on October 1st, and I feel like yesterday she was born.  I sound like my parents when I say this, but it’s like the time keeps getting faster, but it’s so true.  She’s awesome.  We play Broadway musical soundtracks to her all day, and she sings.  She sits at the piano with me when I play, and she kind of plunks notes out next to me.  She loves music, and we’ve introduced it to her from day one.  We always joke that she won’t be able to watch any of daddy’s stuff until she’s 18 probably, but Sainty is a voice-over actress.  She has done parts for animated films and TV shows such as Trolls, and Barbie, and Boss Baby, so everything from the first part of my daughter’s life is all going to be Mommy’s stuff, and then, in the later part of life she can start watching Daddy’s stuff.

Right, she can’t watch anything that you do!  (Laughs) So, basically forget that!

ERIC:  (Laughs) Yep!

Check out the trailer for 1 Night in San Diego below.  Then share your thoughts on Eric’s current role on The Bay, if you hope he wins a Tony to go with his Daytime Emmy, the six degrees of separation between him, Elizabeth Gillies and his wife, and that the All My Children reboot considered making the character of AJ Chandler gay via the comment section below.

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Days Of Our Lives

Peter Reckell Reflects On His Time As DAYS Iconic Bo Brady, Life In New Zealand & Christmas Music Project

Last week, Days of our Lives  turned 55-years young, and the historic long-running NBC daytime drama series has been home to some of the most memorable stars and characters of the soap opera genre, perhaps none more so than anti-hero Bo Brady played by Peter Reckell.

Reckell who appeared on the show for several runs that lasted over four decades, premiered as Bo back in 1983.  He then stayed through 1987, came back from 1990 to 1992, again from 1995 to 2012, and back again in 2015 during DAYS 50th anniversary and to wrap his run as Bo, when the character was killed-off, after Reckell made it clear that he wanted to give the audience closure for the character.  He later made another return in 2016 to help the character of Hope (Kristian Alfonso) move on with her life.  Hard to believe for all of those heart-tugging performances, Peter was nominated only once for a Daytime Emmy.

Photo: JPI

In this candid, deeply personal and enlightening new interview for the Michael Fairman Channel on You Tube, Reckell opens up as to: what led to many of the decisions he made throughout his time as Bo, how he helped craft the role from the start, the accident that almost took his life, how he handled all the fame that came his way as part of the Bo and Hope supercouple pairing, and how two women in the cast; the late Frances Reid (Alice) and Peggy McCay (Caroline) made lasting impressions on him that he will carrying with him for the rest of his life.

Photo: JPI

What would Peter say if somehow DAYS wanted him back and Bo was actually alive and well?  Find out as Peter weighs-in and wishes his former show a happy anniversary  In addition, he even shares how he felt when Robert Kelker-Kelly took over the role of Bo when he decided to leave the show at one point, and his time playing Johnny on primetime’s Knots Landing.

Photo: JPI

Reckell has moved his family to New Zealand, and this conversation was conducted from his home.  Peter is married to singer/songwriter/producer Kelly Moneymaker and the couple have a daughter, Loden.   It was not wanting to miss the moments of his daughter’s life growing up that has been much of the impetus for some of Peter’s career choices.

Photo: BlueAeris

With Christmastime approaching, Kelly and Peter are part of a brand new Christmas LP entitled Joy.  The album is now available for download on Spotify, Apple Music and major music streaming platforms.

In an exclusive during the interview, we give fans a sneak peek of Peter’s new music video for “Under the Mistletoe”, the song he sings that appears on Joy, which was written by his wife.  For more on the album project visit BlueAegis.com

Photo: BlueAegis

Now, check out the interview with Peter direct from New Zealand below! Then share your thoughts on Peter, Bo, and more via the comment section.

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