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Y&R’s Sharon Case, Mark Grossman & Jordi Vilasuso Talk Love and Betrayal in the Rey/Sharon/Adam Triangle

Photo: CBS and JPI

This week on The Young and the Restless, Sharon (Sharon Case) and Adam’s (Mark Grossman) kiss took centerstage and went viral when a photo of the passionate moment was seen by Sharon’s husband, Rey (Jordi Vilasuso), and fiancée Chelsea (Melissa Claire Egan), and many more citizens of Genoa City!

That moment looks to be a game-changer.  Now what will Rey do? Will he continue to try to salvage his marriage to Sharon? Will wheelchair bound Chelsea, hatch a plan to payback Adam and Sharon? Will Adam and Sharon meet up for some dangerous liaisons? There’s so much to this story left to play out.

Photo: JPI

In a new interview on The Michael Fairman Channel, Sharon Case, Mark Grossman and Jordi Vilasuso chatted candidly about their on-screen love triangle and more including: what happened when Mark auditioned for the key role of Adam, the character of Sharon’s battle with breast cancer, and who Sharon feels is Sharon Newman’s true love, Nick (Joshua Morrow) or Adam? Plus, the trio share their reactions to the news that their castmate, Sasha Calle (Lola) was tapped as the first Latina ‘Supergirl’ in the upcoming DC Universe film, The Flash.

During the conversation, Vilasuso said Rey was not blindsided by Adam and Sharon’s ongoing attraction: “Rey’s known for a long time, c’mon!  I had somebody on Twitter post all the videos on how long I’ve known about Adam and Sharon. (Laughs)  I had still had a beard on the show back then!  What’s he going to do?  I think this Adam sickness, this addiction, this pathology that he has, I think Rey hopes he can just arrest him and he will just go away for ever.  That’s playing in the back of my mind, like, ‘there’s no way Adam can keep up this behavior for much longer’.  Rey is crazy about Sharon. T here’s also some ego involved here, too of, ‘I got to be the guy here.  I can’t lose to this guy’.  But man, does Rey have a threshold for dealing with this stuff.  Remember, his (ex) wife had sex with his brother, and then she did it again, and now they are having a child together… and Rey was still able to move on.”

Photo: JPI

Case clarified from her previous 25th anniversary interview with Fairman, just who is Sharon Newman’s ultimate love, Nick (Joshua Morrow) or Adam?  Case had stated Adam.  The actress explained:  “When you think about what the character’s have been through, the history of The Young and the Restless, how stories are usually told – and what I mean by all that is Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) and Victor (Eric Braeden) have always been the “It” couple of the history of Y&R and they are very different.  They actually remind me more of Adam and Sharon then Nick and Sharon.  Nick turned out more to be the good son, while Adam was more in the image of his father, and it would be the obvious choice to guess that Nick and Sharon would be endgame.  I think soaps try to not go in the obvious way.  The two men that she has been married to, and were the biggest loves of her life, and both Victor’s kids, choosing between those that is why I said what I said, and why I think that’s true.  Sharon and Adam don’t have all of the pain, that Sharon and Nick have had from multiple cheatings and a loss of a child which is very hard for a couple to ever get past that.   I also think that Sharon and Nick are sort of together now anyways as co-parents and are such good friends.  They have a new relationship – they are not together in a romantic way – but their relationship is really great now and very full for what it is.”

Photo: JPI

Grossman shared that knowing Chelsea has a history of being con-artist, that she could potentially pull some stunts on Adam and Sharon to keep them apart:  “That’s always in the back of his mind.  You know, maybe she will start to con Adam and maybe he might pick up on it, maybe he doesn’t pick up on it, but obviously it’s a really sad situation that Adam is in.  There’s a lot going on in Adam’s life. It’s unfortunate that Connor (his son) is not there as he is off to boarding school, and then Adam wasn’t there because he went to Sharon’s wedding to peek his head in, and Chelsea had her stroke.  So there’s a lot of guilt there.  I think it’s really frustrating to him that he can’t have a conversation with this woman – who is his fiancée – and this is his fault and he caused all this.  But there’s always the underlying pull from Sharon, and after they kiss there are a lot of conflicted feelings there.”

Watch the entire interview with Sharon, Mark and Jordi below.

Now weigh-in: Are you Team Rey or Team Adam? Who do you want Sharon to ultimately wind up with? Share your thoughts and theories in the comment section.

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DesylvaNewman
Guest
DesylvaNewman

#teamadam all the way.
Adam and Sharon belong together.
They have always supported and defendeded each other.
Their love is 100%.
It is time to reunite #Shadam

I agree with Sharon, Shadam is the next Niktor.

Hope Adam gets Sharon back. ❤️❤️❤️

Soaphound
Guest
Soaphound

Yes,yes Desylva! Rey is nice but not very exciting. Adam is so hot and that bad boy thing is irresistible on him. Plus, Chelsea has become more obnoxious in voice-over than in regular speech. Sharon’s risking everything here and since no one ever gives Adam a break, maybe Victor will support them. Unless devil boy Conner tries to sabotage Sharon again. We don’t need that!

Connie C
Guest
Connie C

Yes, both of these guys are really But I think Adam because you can see there’s a connection and there is a fire in their eyes. Definitely Adam. But I agree Rey is also a very handsome and sexy guy he needs a great sexy and intriguing lady for him. He needs that hot and heavy wild love with a gorgeous and mysterious character

Carole
Guest
Carole

I agree. Sharon has such a deep rooted love for Adam.
I want them together soooooooo bad!!!

Myrtle Brewington
Guest
Myrtle Brewington

So do i

Iris Benson
Guest
Iris Benson

I’m team Adam. Rey and sharon are boring together

Carole
Guest
Carole

#TEAMADAM hands down

Drake
Guest
Drake

For the sake of story, Adam, but in the real world she would be a fool not to choose Rey. I mean that’s one snack of a man.

Hope
Guest
Hope

Team Shadam! They have been apart way too long!

Celia
Guest
Celia

This is soooo redundant. If it’s not the deadly triangle, it’s Gramps Jack getting it on with sneaky, snaky young women. I like neither Ray nor this Adam. Chronologically speaking, age and certain events are not in sync. I get it, it’s a soap. But Sharon looks her age—-and Mark has a baby face. As far as Ray? He is too stiff—-he brings the “cop” mentality home. I had always hoped Nick and Sharon would get back together. Now, Jack —–Please, writers, do not go down the uninteresting, pathetic old man/young woman path again. Do not make the “great”, undisputedly… Read more »

Soaphound
Guest
Soaphound

What really bothers me, Celia, is Jack’s poor judgment with Sally. There has to be someone else in town besides a proven schemer who’s also patronizing and self-serving. If he’s chasing memories of Phyllis…that’s even more insulting.

Celia
Guest
Celia

TPTB always “reinvent” older characters. Why? —-to keep them relevant. However, we are dealing with much older adults who should know better than to fall for scheming, much younger women—as I said, it only makes Jack look like a fool—-the kind of fool into whom I’d love to smack some sense ….or take a very hot shower. EWWWW!!
The writers did the same thing with Victor time and again.
Chasing memories of Phyllis? Good one. At least, her breath doesn’t smell like formula.
I don’t like any storyline on Y&R —-my favorite soap needs a little push in the right direction.

Violet Lemm
Guest
Violet Lemm

Celia Hey, how are you and family? Staying well I hope, despite all that white stuff you’ve been getting. I wonder if Jack in real life feels as foolish as he’s acting with his hand glued to that darn cradle. You would think they would have learned ssomething from the last fiasco. I think Jack is smitten with Sally because she reminds him of the younger Phyllis. I never felt he got over his “red” I don’t know how he can even look at her and Billy without wanting to throw up. Iam not saying they have to pair him… Read more »

Team Magneto
Guest
Team Magneto

There are so many defunct soaps that have actresses that could have been perfect with Peter Bergman. Kassie DePaiva, Kristen Alfonso,Kelly Menaghan just off the top of my head. When you think about the history of him and Jill how can he throw up at Billy & Phyllis? Jack forgave Billy the way John did. Honestly I’m only liking Lilliam, Jack & Billy, Amanda and Imani/Anaya I think Sally, the Abby baby story,Kyle shirking his son, Victor’s revenge, Vikki wanting Billy back is so been there done that blah. They completely underuse/misuse Lauren, Michael, Kevin and Chloe. They’re the people… Read more »

JenW
Guest
JenW

I like Adam but in this triangle I am Team Rey. I love Jordi V. and I think he and Sharon are a terrific pairing. I was disappointed and amazed at Chelsea’s reaction to Adam’s return considering they were so devoted to each other, so that totally changed the dynamic of their relationship for me [and that marriage she was in made no sense and was a non-starter] … I still hold out for them to be together. That being said, Team Rey all the way – I hope he won’t give up on the marriage too soon. Terrific interview… Read more »

Sherl
Guest
Sherl

I agree. Team Rey. Let Adam work it out with Chelsea.

Violet Lemm
Guest
Violet Lemm

Team Rey, but I’d rather see him with someone who is more committed and really IN love with him. They have never been really romantic, more like brother and sister. Sharon and Mark may be a couple in real life and they may want to continue it on screen but I sure don’t. They deserve each other!

Danielle Bartlett
Guest
Danielle Bartlett

Team Adam no denying sharons pull towards Adam everyone sees it

Sally Hage
Guest
Sally Hage

#Shadam ALL THE WAY

Esther Leyva
Guest
Esther Leyva

Always wanted Sharon and Adam together. They have always had chemistry !!!!!!

Violet Lemm
Guest
Violet Lemm

Esther
In my opinion, only when Michael Muhney played the part, especially after they got married and they were out in the snow, and Sharon in her white fur coat.

Linda Stroup
Guest
Linda Stroup

Neither, its time for her and Nick. CANT STAND Adam, and Ray is sweet, but Nick is her forever. PHYLLIS needs to hook up with Adam, they are two of a kind schemers

Mary Spence
Guest
Mary Spence

Sharon needs to stay single for awhile. I can’t believe Adam and others have calls in Sharon to give advise to their love ones. And Sharon is as crazy as they come. And Nick is kind of goofy. And I’m sick of Abby, he’s never satisfied. And that storyline of looking for a serum donor is crazy too. .And another thing, Billy and Lily is a no no, she gave Cane a hard time but with Billy boy it’s a different story. Bring Cane back in the story please.

Violet Lemm
Guest
Violet Lemm

Mary Spence
Sorry, but I have to disagree. First of all Abby is a she and she’s not looking for serum but a sperm doner, which was before Devon stepped up. Iam not crazy about Billy and Lily, but I sure don’t want to see him back with Victoria, that man eater and it was Cane that gave Lily the hard time, remember the baby that we never saw?

Deborah
Guest
Deborah

Sharon knew she shouldn’t have Rey in the first place. Unfortunately Rey has had his world turn upside down again. He deserves better than this. If she had an ounce of loyalty in her, she would realize Rey has been there for her doing her crisis. She is always trying to justify Adam at anyone expense. What about her Daughter suffering from what Adam did to her as a baby. I know you have to forgive but who more important my daughter or Adam. Poor Chesla suffering too because of Adam chasing behind Sharon. I have watched this story from… Read more »

Kay
Guest
Kay

The end game will always be Nick and Sharon ! Adam should have stayed dead when they fired Muhney. Been done with it and Phyllis should have moved to New York never to be seen again. Waste of salaries

Frances Morlan
Guest
Frances Morlan

I think sharon and rey should move to Florida try to work on there marriage Adam should never came back Adam should find a new therapist for Chelsea else where that doesn’t involve sharon

Garrett Godwin
Guest
Garrett Godwin

I am all in for Adam & Sharon! It is finally time that these two be together! Adam & Sharon is the story worth watching and rooting for: sweet and sexy, showing the many layers and sides of love and romance! Team Adam AND #Shadam! Reunite #Shadam!

Pauline Davis
Guest
Pauline Davis

Am team Chelsea all the way Chelsea is the one for Adam and Connor will hate his father for ever

Violet Lemm
Guest
Violet Lemm

I think if Chelsea had a brain in her head she would dump Adam. She knows he’s got the hots for Sharon, so why keep beating a dead horse? She should take Conner and go live her life, find someone who really wants her. Wonder how he’d feel if she went chasing after Nick again. I’d love seeing Nick with anyone but crazy Phyllis.

Lynn
Guest
Lynn

No offense to Grossman, but he is not “Adam” —something is missing since he became Adam; he almost seems to be too whiny and needy.
That being said, recast Adam and I’ll be on board team Shadam.
(While on the subject of recasting….. The actor who plays Billy doesn’t have what it takes to play the part).

Celia
Guest
Celia

Agreed and agreed!! No one will ever compare to Muhney’s Adam.
As far as Thompson?—-I said the same from the first day he showed up in GC as Billy—-likewise, no one can replace Billy Miller. YUM!!
Bring back Daniel gor Lily–
Also, bring back Kemo ( who must be approaching fifty) as a reminder of Jack’s real age. LOL.

Soaphound
Guest
Soaphound

Ah Celia, every time I see Billy Miller mentioned, I practically swoon. He was — and IS — the only true spirit of Billy Abbott. I’ve never gotten the vaguest hint of playful, adorable flakiness from JT. He just comes across as humorless and, frankly, arrogant. Remember when Billy M. would squeeze Kevin’s cheek and call him “my little chipmunk.” Oh Billy, where are you when we need you?

Celia
Guest
Celia

Yeah, Soaphound—Billy seems like a sweet dream now—-he was the show!! I’m a good girl ( I think(–LOL—madly in love with my husband—but, Soaphound, my heart always skipped a beat whenever he appeared. Then, that idiotic Drew/Jason business on GH was the lowest of the low. Prince Burton wanted his job back and Billy was flushed down the toilet. Back to GC—-I never liked Chelsea; that’s a known fact—wishy washy personality, but the right age for Adam. Sharon is old enough to have given birth to Mark—-sorry guys—-it’s a soap, but the age factor ( that BIG of a difference)… Read more »

Soaphound
Guest
Soaphound

And you know what else, Celia…why was no woman ever pursuing Drew after he and Sam split? One of the sexiest guys on TV had no “lustees” besides you and I? (In a partnerless world, of course). Drew & Franco and Drew & Curtis had more sparks than Sam I Am anyway. I just thought it was odd.

Satan
Guest
Satan

Well, to be fair, Drew was understandably preoccupied with his son dying of brain cancer. And after that, he got thrown into the middle of this whole thing with the Shiloh cult, Whiny Heiny and how that all goes back to when he & Jason got kidnapped for some mad scientist’s experiment…. which eventually got him killed (or so we were led to believe. He’s not in Hell… that much I can tell you.) That doesn’t leave a lot of room for a “social life” unfortunately. Might have been logical if he & Kim had re-connected over their mutual grief… Read more »

Celia
Guest
Celia

Sorry I took my time answering you, Soaphound—–I didn’t mean to be rude. School is in full session now ( in person classes), so, life picked up the pace—-busy!! It WAS odd that “Drew” was left stagnating, as far as women are concerned—-however, after reading Satan’s take on it, he makes a lot of sense. I only wish and hope Billy will resurrect and return to PC. Franco is dead—-sad!! I realize many were/are not fans, but I liked the actor. Why isn’t Peter dead? What is in store for him?I cringe each time the camera’s “eye” is fixed on… Read more »

Mark Y
Guest
Mark Y

Billy A can’t be the goofy Billy that Miller played. His daughter was hit by a car and died and that changed him forever. JT as Billy is still haunted by the loss of Delia and while he had found a way to find happiness Delia’s death is always with him. If he behaved as the goof ball he’d be disrespecting Delia and her place on the show. Well done JT!

Sandy
Guest
Sandy

Team Rey. Honor your wedding vows!! Rey is a really good guy.

Violet Lemm
Guest
Violet Lemm

Sandy
You said that Rey is a really good guy and that’s part of the problem. He’s also a man, not a doormat nor another word I won’t use here. He’s never going to change Sharon’s feelings from Adam to himself, and he’s letting her make a fool out if him. I think he should take what little pride he’s got left, throw it in a suitcase with his clothes and tell her adious!

Soaphound
Guest
Soaphound

Isn’t it odd, Violet, that Rey and sister Lola are in the same boat? Fighting ghosts of their partners’ past loves that aren’t past at all. Lola wasn’t a doormat. Rey shouldn’t be one either. Move on!

Violet Lemm
Guest
Violet Lemm

So right Soaphound. Rey’s just too damn nice and he’s living in la la land if he thinks there will be some miracle changing how she feels about Adam as compared to how she feels about HIM.

Rosie
Guest
Rosie

Rey

K Des
Guest
K Des

Team Adam

Catherine
Guest
Catherine

I so want Sharon & Adam together ! For years I wanted Sharon & Nick back together. Then when Nick & Phyllis got back together again that was the last straw and I’m over it . The chemistry between Adam & Sharon is off the charts with the sexual tension . Poor Rey he just cant win .

Soaphound
Guest
Soaphound

I’m with you, Catherine. When Sharon looks at Adam, even I start getting heated up. And if I have to listen to any more of Chelsea’s histrionic voice-overs, I’ll need a nurse!

Team Magneto
Guest
Team Magneto

I believe Chadam was better. I believe Rey deserves someone madly in love with him so I vote neither.

Days Of Our Lives

Peter Porte, Miranda Wilson and Colton Little Tease Dimitri’s Love Interest, Who’s the Daddy & The Future of Andrew & Paul

Following recent revelations on Days of our Lives, which include that Dimitri Von Leushner (Peter Porte) is the biological son of Megan Hathaway (Miranda Wilson), thus making him a DiMera, Megan moving back into the DiMera mansion after her prison term, and Andrew (Colton Little) being kidnapped, the performers who take on these roles chatted with Michael Fairman on Friday during a livestream conversation on You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel.

Courtesy/Peacock

During the live chat a myriad of subjects and upcoming story teases came up including: if there might be the love interest for Dimitri. Peter Porte shared, “Yes, there certainly will be. There will be two. One, out of perhaps, we’ll say necessity, and one out of heart’s desire.”  As to if ‘said’ relationship will show Dimitri’s obsessive side, Porte expressed: “I think he goes through a full journey of emotions. I don’t think he fully reaches obsession. I would say he reaches a level of extreme devotion.”  When Porte found out who the character would be that Dimitri seemingly falls for, the actor said, “I was certainly surprised.”

When we posed the question to the DAYS fans in the live chat, as to who they think will be Dimitri’s love interest or interests, guesses ranged from Gwen (Emily O’Brien) to Sloan (Jessica Serfaty) to Leo (Greg Rikaart). Could any, or two, of those be right?

Miranda Wilson and Porte weighed-in on the mother/son bond and troublemaking duo of Megan and Dimitri.  Wilson shared: “I think it’s fair to say that Dimitri is a grown man and probably has his own mustache twisting to be doing without Megan to be involved.  I just think that what is going to be coming up now is a beautiful relationship between the two.”  Porte followed with, “At the heart of it, Dimitri would do anything for his mother, anything.”

Photo: Peacock

Another mystery on DAYS fans minds is just who is the bio-dad of Dimitri? Is it someone on the canvas? Someone from the past? Porte previewed, “He certainly has a name and a title, but I don’t know if we’ve met him yet.” Wilson added, “I don’t believe he has been on the show.”

Many DAYS fans are also hoping that there be will be more to the burgeoning love story of Andrew and Paul (Christopher Sean). Colton revealed, “I have a real-life love and affinity for Christoper Sean, because he is just a ball of light and energy and a good human. I don’t think my success on the show would be anything if he hadn’t taken me under his wing and showed me the ropes. So much kudos and love to him. Getting to play opposite of someone like that as a love interest, is a treat and a joy. I think it’s really sweet, a lot of it is happening off-screen. I know the fans have expressed they want to see it on-screen.”  However, Little teased, ‘There is some good stuff coming up with Andrew and Paul. Stay tuned.”

Photo: NBC

When Miranda Wilson first appeared on Days of our Lives, it was back in 1984 as Megan was revealed to be the daughter of Stefano DiMera, played by the late, great Joseph Mascolo.  This week, Megan made her way back to the DiMera mansion and Miranda weighed-in on her relationship with her late on-screen father, and more. “Joe was a very dear friend,” she detailed. “When we worked together in the past, he was truly a father figure for me. DAYS was my first professional job in Los Angeles. The fact that Joe was there for me and we worked together so frequently, and he had a lot of time for me, meant the world to me. So, it was bittersweet being back (in the DiMera mansion), and him not being there. It still touches me, but at the same time, the character of Megan has her edge and she doesn’t let this show. As the actress, there was a lot of tenderness, that the character didn’t necessarily display. The whole ‘being back’ thing was amazing.”

Courtesy/Peacock

You can watch the entire livestream featuring Peter, Miranda and Colton below.  The talented trio also chat on working with Steve Burton (Harris, DAYS) and Colton’s opportunity to work with the one and only Dick Van Dyke who is making a guest appearance this fall on the soap.

Now weigh-in: Who do you think will be the love interest or interests for Dimitri? Who do you think will turn out to be Dimitri’s father? Are you hoping for more Andrew and Paul? Share your thoughts and theories in the comment section.

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Interviews

Y&R’s Melissa Claire Egan Chats On Tackling Chelsea’s Depression Storyline, and Being the “SuLu” of The Daytime Emmy Nominations

While the 50th annual Daytime Emmy Awards have currently been put on hold until there is a resolution of the WGA Writers Strike, that doesn’t mean we can’t continue our series of spotlighting the nominees who will be going for gold when the ceremonies are rescheduled.

The Young and the Restless’ Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea) delivered what was one of the most gut-wrenching performances in recent memory, when Chelsea attempted to end her life via suicide, only to be saved at the last minute by an astute Billy (played by Lead Actor Daytime Emmy nominee, Jason Thompson). The conversations and intensity of that moment, and the scenes that followed, had an impact on so many viewers and shed a light on mental illness and people battling with depression. Clearly, something that many in this country have been grappling with, especially during and coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic.

For Egan, this marks her seventh Daytime Emmy nomination, and her second in the Lead Actress in a Drama Series category, in a soap career that started in Pine Valley as All My Children’s troubled Annie Lavery, before coming to Genoa City as grifter, Chelsea Lawson.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Missy, who is an expectant mom-to-be with her second child, to discuss portraying her harrowing nominated scenes, and being the current ‘Susan Lucci’ of the Daytime Emmy Nominations. However, for Susan, it was 19 tries before her iconic Emmy victory in 1999. Let’s hope it doesn’t have to last that long for the talented Egan!

Courtesy/CBS

Congratulations. I knew this nomination was in the cards for you. What scenes did you end up deciding to go with on your reel? I assume, it would be from Chelsea’s suicide attempt and her battle with depression?

MELISSA: I did. I put in two episodes worth of everything that happened: on the ledge, and the aftermath, the next episode that followed. It was when Chelsea and Billy are in the hotel room and she’s still going through the stages and she’s angry at him for stopping her. She’s like, “You had no right to stop me on that ledge. That was my choice. You had no right. You don’t get to tell me what to do in my life.”  I like that those scenes showed kind of the levels of it. I talked to Dr. Dan Reidenberg (Managing Director at National Council for Suicide Prevention) a lot in preparing for the scenes about what happens after. i.e., “You’re in shock, and then in anger if you get stuck. You had emotionally planned to die and come to terms with that, and then what happens after that, if it doesn’t happen.” So, I really liked that episode as well, so I put in both of those.

Is it hard for you to watch your work, or are you good with it?

MELISSA: You know, it depends. I don’t watch my work all the time. I did watch these episodes because I wanted to see how they turned out. They were so important to the story, and it’s definitely hard to watch yourself with a critical eye. I don’t always watch, but I did watch these.

Courtesy/CBS

You know, this story resonated with so many people. I follow how and what people are reacting to, as part of being a journalist. This was one of those transcendent performances of the nominations. It felt so real, as I’ve told you before. It was really hard to watch, which I think was good. It put people in an uncomfortable place they don’t like to be. Jason Thompson plays the other part of it with the, “Oh, my God” of it all, and the, “What do you do when you’re faced with somebody that’s about to try to end their life?” What reaction did you get from viewers, or people that reached out to you after these performances aired?

MELISSA: Oh, gosh. It was so profound. It was so beyond words. The fans are always supportive, but I couldn’t believe the reaction of just people sharing on Instagram, on Twitter DM’ing me saying, “This was me, ” or saying, “This was my daughter, this was my aunt, this was my mom, this is my son. This was my cousin.”  Some people shared things like, “This happened to my cousin two weeks ago.” I just couldn’t believe how much it resonated with people.  I was so moved and so touched that people were willing to share and that it got a conversation started. It truly meant the world to me. I know for all of us at the show, it’s all you can hope for, is to hopefully help people feel less alone, and feel seen, and feel that it’s hopefully done properly. Like you said, that it is maybe uncomfortable to watch, but maybe in a good way.  It was pretty profound, and I will forever be grateful for that.

Courtesy/CBS

I had talked with Jason Thompson about how the two of you approached the emotional scenes together. What happened to get the two of you to the place you were able to deliver these performances? Did you prepare together before hitting the soundstage to tape?

MELISSA: We didn’t really, Obviously, Jason is such an amazing actor. We rehearsed it the way we always do. You know, we ran the lines and then we did each scene in one take, which is the norm there, too. If in the booth and the director, and Josh Griffith (EP and Head Writer, Y&R) who was watching, weren’t happy, obviously, we would’ve done it again. We did every single one of those scenes one time. We ran lines before and then did it. Actually, because of the director’s schedule, we had to shoot out of order. We shot the scenes in the hotel the day before we shot the ones on the ledge. There were definitely challenges involved.  At first, I remember thinking, “Oh gosh, we can’t do this. We have to shoot it in order.” But then, I was like, “You know what? We can, we can do this.” It just becomes a different challenge. We shot the scene in the hotel on a Thursday. We shot the scenes on the ledge late on a Friday night.  Jason did his research on his own. I did mine, but we came together. Obviously, we talked a lot about the scenes leading up to it for week.

Photo: ABC

Now, I remember when you and I have talked in the past and would kid, that you are the “SuLu” of the Daytime Emmy Nominations. Currently, this is your seventh Daytime Emmy nominations, with yet, a win.

MELISSA: I’m the Sulu!  I’ll take it anytime I can be compared to Susan Lucci. I know it’s wild, right? Number seven.

It is wild. However, I feel like this is the strongest reel you have had to enter into the Emmys.  It’s a game.  It’s being judged by people. It’s a competition. And unfortunately, you have to play the game, which is usually about the strategy of, “How does this reel connect to people, and how can people understand what’s going on it if they don’t know the show?” How do you feel about how this submission stacks up with the six previous ones for you?

MELISSA: I’ve always been proud of my reels and I’m so proud of the seven nominations in 17 years of doing soaps. However, because the material is so important and the material is so relevant, and it’s touched people in such a different way, it’s become the work I’m most proud of, for sure. The truth is: I’m so excited to be nominated again, but the real reward has been being able to affect people and touch people and help people. There’s nothing that can compare or compete with that. So, I feel like no matter what happens, I feel like the real reward is being able to tell the story and help people feel less alone. It really is.

Photos: ABC, CBS,

What a “Lead Actress” group to be nominated with.  Two of your castmates, Michelle Stafford (Phyllis, Y&R) and Sharon Case, (Sharon, Y&R) along with Finola Hughes (Anna, GH) and Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy, B&B), are all in the category with you.

MELISSA: I know! It’s so exciting. It’s such a great group of women and great group of actors. And of course, having Michelle and Sharon on there is just icing on the cake. It’s so cool and so special.

You know, Finola Hughes, right?

MELISSA: Yes. I got to know Finola for our girl’s nominee luncheon, two years ago. We were both nominated together two years ago along with Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, too.  She won that year. So, three of us were in this together two years ago, which is weird and fun. I was pregnant then, too. There’s like a lot of similarities. It’s all been these very ‘pinch me’ moments. I’m just so excited and so grateful no matter what happens.

Photo: JPI

If you get the opportunity to give an acceptance speech, will you have something written down if your name is called, or will you just wing?

MELISSA: No. I’ve never written anything down. But again, I haven’t had to. I always kind of think about it in my brain, in my thoughts, of what I would say, but I’ve never put a pen to paper, ever, which is probably not smart. I’m sure I would end up forgetting somebody very important. I just never have written it down. It’s just not my way.

Jason Thompson made a comment to me when he was a special guest on my Daytime Emmy nomination special.  He mentioned, like so many actors have to me in the past, that even as a kid, he would practice in the mirror, winning in Oscar and giving an acceptance speech.  Did you ever do that?

MELISSA: I will say the cool thing about the Emmy is … two years ago, we all got to ‘pretend’ win, and walk on that stage and a hold an Emmy and thank our parents, and then of course, four out of five of us did not win.  However, you got to experience what it would kind of feel like.  I’ll always have that in my back pocket if I continue to be the “SuLu” of my generation.

Photo: NATAS

If for some reason you continue to be the ‘Sulu,’ you’ll have to call Susan Lucci for advice!

MELISSA:  The next time I see her, I will definitely tell her. I mean, I can’t compare it to the ‘Queen’, but, you know, I’ll take any kind of comparison, for sure!

Photo: ABC

Will you be rooting for Melissa Claire Egan to win this year’s Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series? Were you affected and touched by Y&R’s suicide prevention storyline which featured Melissa’s performances as Chelsea, front and center? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GH’s Maurice Benard Talks On His Daytime Emmy Nomination, Sonny’s Journey with Bipolar Disorder, and His Advocacy for Mental Health

General Hospital’s Maurice Benard has often tapped into his harrowing real-life experience with bipolar disorder and manic episodes, and brought that to the inner life of the character of Sonny Corinthos. Over the years, Benard has been very open with his struggles with mental illness while becoming an advocate and shedding light on mental health through his You Tube series, State of Mind, his autobiography Nothing General About It: How Love (and Lithium) Saved Me On and Off General Hospital, and his numerous talk show and personal appearances.

In the early part of 2022, GH’s Sonny was on a downward spiral, off his meds, and in the throes of having his relationship with Carly (Laura Wright) hit the skids, while turning to Nina (Cynthia Watros) for comfort, help, and much more. Those moments and others, gave Benard powerful scenes to play, and it landed him a Daytime Emmy nomination this year in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series category. This marks the 10th time Maurice has been nominated. He has already racked up three Lead Actor Emmys previously: in 2003, 2019, and 2021.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with the popular star to get his take on: what this Daytime Emmy nomination means to him, how he sees the category in which he is included with four other talented actors, and how he hopes his road, and Sonny’s road to a better emotional place has helped others. We also reminisce on Maurice’s seismic first Emmy victory at Radio City Music Hall in 2003, and the lessons he’s learned for himself along the way, and come Emmy time.

Make sure to watch the 50th annual Daytime Emmy Awards on Friday night June 16th live on CBS (9 pm EST) and streaming on Paramount+.  Now, here’s what Maurice had to say.

Photo: ABC

Congratulations on this Lead Actor Emmy nomination. I understand that you submitted scenes dealing with Sonny’s battle with bipolar disorder. Can you tell me what was on your reel?

MAURICE: First, I have scenes with Michael (Chad Duell) where Sonny wants to reconcile with him, and we talk about how many people have died. You can tell something’s off with Sonny. Then, he has scenes with Carly, where Sonny wants to get back with her and she didn’t want to, and then he’s very emotional, and he leaves, goes to the nightclub and he’s manic. I love those scenes. He goes home with Nina and she has to deal with someone who’s manic. Those scenes happened earlier in the year, and I think it was kind of forgotten about, but I felt really good about them, plus it was dealing with bipolar disorder. So, I’m very proud of the work and the writing was phenomenal.

Photo: ABC

There is this scene where Sonny is sitting with Nina on a bench and he leans his head on her shoulder admitting he needs help. Is that on the reel?

MAURICE: Yes, that’s at the end of my reel.

Courtesy/ABC

I remember when I saw it.  It was an episode that aired at the end of January of 2022.  I wrote it up and I gave props to you and Cynthia, because that was such an amazing scene. Sonny was really lost and off his meds, and Nina had never seen him like this and didn’t really know what to do.

MAURICE: Yeah, he had grabbed her really hard before that on the wrist, and it scared her and scared him that he did that. Then, Sonny admitted right after that, he needed help.  They sat on the bench and he was crying.

So, was that a difficult scene to play for you … or are those easy when you have to go into playing the manic-version of Sonny?

MAURICE: Yes, but it’s only hard in terms of what it does to me. I honestly think, if I didn’t have a mental illness, I wouldn’t have as much fear, because I don’t want to have another anxiety attack.  So, that’s the reason when I do those scenes afterwards sometimes, I’m feeling like, “Oh, God. Why did I do this?”

Wasn’t there a time years ago that you couldn’t play those types of scenes at all?

MAURICE: There was a time when I did a bipolar story where the show had it last too long. My wife called them and said, “Stop this already.” I was hearing my mom and dad in the scenes, and I knew I was in trouble.

Photo: ABC

Based on the subject matter of your reel, and where we are in the world today with mental illness, plus how you use your platform on ‘State of Mind’, this kind of would close the loop on your entire journey if you were to receive the Emmy this year.

MAURICE: Yes, It would. I don’t really anticipate trying to win Emmys and this and that. I’m just so proud of the story, that after this I’m not sure I’ll get this kind of story again.

Photo: ABC

Winning the Emmy for these performances, would afford you the opportunity in an acceptance speech, to address mental illness.

MAURICE: Yes! Look, the only thing that made me happy was getting things, and that’s a false happiness. You have to find the happiness within yourself, then everything makes you happy.  I couldn’t do that for 58 years.  Now, this is the first time I got nominated where my initial feeling was like a normal person. Of course, it’s great to be nominated, but I don’t get overly happy, because what happens is when you get overly happy or whatever, you’re gonna fall if things don’t go your way.  So, this time I’m feeling so good either way, but I would love to speak on mental illness. That’s why I would really love to win.

It’s all so prevalent and topical in society today what you are speaking about. In recent weeks, the news cycles have been talking about studies on loneliness that is gripping America right now. People are suffering from loneliness and depression. It has been difficult since Covid, and coming out of that, for so many people. 

MAURICE: Yeah, and I think now is the time that it’s really getting tough because sometimes it takes a while for it to hit and kick in. They say after two years is when it kind of starts kicking in.

Courtesy/ABC

And this nomination, like you just spoke to, is different. The last two times you were nominated and won was for the Alzheimer’s storyline. Those were difficult for you to play too, because your dad was going through the same thing at the time. Correct?

MAURICE: Yes. Anything I do that has mental illness or anything like that is very close to my heart.  I was very proud of those two Emmys because of the Alzheimer’s story and because my dad died of it.

Photos: ABC, CBS, NBC

So, what do you think about the actors nominated with you for Lead Actor? You’ve got Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R), Jason Thompson (Billy, Y&R) Billy Flynn (Chad, DAYS), and Thorsten Kaye (Ridge, B&B).

MAURICE: I respect all those actors. I really do. I’m not just saying that. I think they’re all damn good actors. I watch their work, each of ’em. I remember, I watched Thorsten Kaye with Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy, B&B), and it was about drug addiction, if I recall, and they were just nailing those scenes. I watched Billy because he was on my show, State of Mind. Peter’s always, you know, Peter, and Jason is Jason, you know …fantastic! So, I’m into it, man.

When we had my annual Daytime Emmy Nominations Special last month, Jason shared he was stoked to be in the category with you. Did you mentor him at all while he was at GH?

MAURICE: No, no, we just had great talks. I didn’t do what I do with the younger actors. He was a little older, and he’s a hard worker. Jason has talent and it’s amazing. You know, I told him on the State of Mind that it’s not easy to go from being popular in one role and then go to another show and be very popular also. That’s not done very often. So, my hat’s off to him.

Photo: ABC

I also was talking with Finola Hughes (Anna, GH) and the two of you were all over mainstream press representing General Hospital for their 60th anniversary.  How was it for you to go to New York and then do the all of the guest appearances in support of the show? I know it’s hard for you to fly and you flew alone.

MAURICE: Yeah, and I almost got off that plane, but thank God I didn’t.  It’s amazing. I never thought I’d get to a place where people talk to me as much about mental health as they do about General Hospital.  I love it.

So, you have experienced walking down the street, for instance, and people stopping you to discuss mental illness over asking what’s going down on GH?

MAURICE: Yes. The driver that drove me to the airport, you know, it’s just about mental health. Then, in New York on the streets. I love it, obviously, although it can be a little draining. I was just about to get on the plane and this guy was telling me his brother is bipolar, and he’s worried he’s going to commit suicide. I’m thinking, “Oh, man.” But, it’s all good.  I’m proud of Sonny … I’m proud of everything I do with mental health … State of Mind … and everything.

Photo: ABC

I remember your first Emmy win in 2003 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The fans were going crazy for you – it was so loud in there. The only other time I ever recall anything that loud was when Susan Lucci finally won her Emmy after 19 tries. The entire Felt Forum erupted.  Do you remember going on stage to accept the Emmy, and where you were at that point in your life and taking that all in? Everyone was so excited and happy for you.

MAURICE: That one felt like catching the ball in the end zone and we’re all just celebrating. That was a different feeling. I will never feel that again, obviously, it’s your first one. You’ve been waiting 10 years and then ‘boom’ it hits, and it’s at Radio City Musical Hall. I remember my dad was there. Then, the other two wins were a little more subdued, but the second win was difficult because I didn’t have any speech prepared. I thought I was gonna lose for sure, because nobody picked me to win.  So, I was like, “I’m good” And then ‘bam,’ it happens. I’m like, “Oh, man. I don’t have a speech!”

And to your point, I asked all the nominees if they think it’s better to have a speech prepared and or just wing it? How would you respond to that knowing what you went through?

MAURICE: It’s never good to wing it. Somebody said to me, “Well, you didn’t have a speech, but it was great.” I said, “But you could still be great with a speech and it’s not so hard on you.” When you have a speech, at least you have stuff that you can say, and it’s ready to go.

Photo: NATSS

Are you going to attend this year’s Daytime Emmy ceremony?

MAURICE:  Oh yeah, I’m all good. I’m good, win or lose, I don’t care. I’m in a different place. I can have fun now and not feel nervous, or whatever, inside.

That’s amazing. That has to be a relief where you don’t feel that kind of weight coming down on you.  I can only imagine that it makes you feel lighter, emotionally.

MAURICE: There’s no better feeling than where I’m at inside my myself right now. I used to get nervous going to the supermarket, and I couldn’t talk to people. I put my head down. It’s such a different vibe for me now.

Photo: ABC

How did you find out you were Emmy-nominated this year?

MAURICE:  I found out, I think, on Twitter. It’s not like it used to be for me, because I was more intense with it. You have to understand something. I was so crazy that the night before the nominations, I couldn’t sleep. I didn’t sleep at all. That’s where I was, and then if I get nominated or not, I’d have to go through that.

I know we all want some form of validation. I mean, let’s be honest. Of course, we all want to be validated for the work we do, especially in a creative industry.  I think everybody would love to win an Emmy, but as you were figuring out in your journey, it did not define you.

MAURICE: It’s like my friend.  He’s a billionaire, right?  I said, “What’s it like being a billionaire?” He goes, “Listen, I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor. Rich is better.”  That’s the way it is, right?  Of course, you want to get nominated, then not nominated, but it’s just a different feeling that I have now about it from what I used to have.

Courtesy/ABC

I was so touched to see Sonya Eddy’s (ex-Epiphany) name in the list of nominees for Outstanding Supporting Actress posthumously. I know you worked with Sonya over the years. What did you think about her receiving this nomination and what can you say about the loss of your colleague?

MAURICE: Sonya was just a ball of happiness. I mean, she was always laughing, always smiling. We had a relationship where I’d make her smile and then I’d kid with her. She was just a beautiful, beautiful person.

Sonny and Epiphany would have some run-ins, but she fought with her feelings.  She liked her friendship with Sonny, and even those he was a mobster, she found the good in him.

MAURICE: Exactly. It was just sweet. It was just nice. And you know, that’s the thing, in life sometimes only the good die young.

Photo: ABC

Lastly, the late Nneka Garland, former producer at GH, was so pivotal to these Emmy nominations and the reels, and working on them for the cast and the show.  I know you worked with her for many years and her passing has been hard on everyone.

MAURICE: That’s a tough one. Nneka was very close to my wife, Paula.  They talked all the time. It’s sad, another one gone, and it’s these people who are just good people. It’s interesting what life brings, but it’s part of life. Nneka cared for all of us at General Hospital.

Photo: ABC

Please note: Jackie Zeman (Bobbie, GH) passed away a few days after our interview with Maurice was conducted, which is why it was not addressed directly in this interview. However, Maurice did take to Instagram to share his grief on the loss of his beloved co-star, expressing: “This hit me really hard, a gut punch. I think because Jackie was such a sweet, delicate soul. And I got to know her really well in the later years, I just loved her spirit I keep telling people life is not fair, we just have to except what is. I will miss you, Jackie we all will✝️”

What do you think about the scenes Maurice chose for his Emmy-nominated reel? Showing Sonny being manic and being off his meds? How Maurice hopes this potential Emmy win might afford him the opportunity to speak to others who live with mental illness? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

 

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