Monday, December 27, 2010

Y&R: Such a Tease!

• Sharon decides to go to Hawaii to search for Skye before it is too late for Adam.

• Diane considers Victor’s (Eric Braeden, pictured) offer to move to the ranch.

• Daisy and Jana’s plan is sent into overdrive when Daisy learns that she could go
into labor at any moment.

• Phyllis tries to strike a deal with Kevin.

• Daniel takes action to protect himself and his daughter.

Days: Such a Tease!

*Nicole proves her value in EJ and Stefano’s eyes.

*Victor and Maggie bond over their concern for Bo and Hope.

*Kayla realizes that Caroline didn’t reveal who Parker’s father is.

*The Hortons celebrate their first Christmas without Alice (the late Frances Reid, pictured) and Mickey.

*Brady and Kate begin their plot to kidnap Vivian.

Thursday – The truth about Parker’s paternity comes out!

Friday – EJ forces Nicole to choose between Brady and Sydney.

B&B: Such a Tease!

· Hope has a heated confrontation with Amber and Tawny.

· Taylor learns of another reason to worry about Thomas and Brooke (pictured, Katherine Kelly Lang).

· Thomas struggles with his feelings while traveling with Brooke.

· Nick has a surprise for Jackie and Owen.

· The Forrester men share their thoughts with each other about Brooke.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Interview: Catching Up With Eric Winter

When Eric Winter (left, photo by Gabriel Goldberg) decided to leave “Days of Our Lives” back in 2006 (after playing Rex DiMera since 2002), neither he nor I could have guessed where his career would take him in the four years since. Eric has been working nonstop in film and television since his daytime television experience, and when I got the chance to catch up with him recently, he filled me in on his days since “Days.”

Daytime Dial: Last we spoke, CBS had just canceled the Hugh Jackman-produced nighttime drama “Viva Laughlin,” which I absolutely loved and was so sad to see go. But after that, you got an even bigger break when you were cast on “Brothers and Sisters.” Tell me about working on that show.

Eric Winter: That show was a lot of fun to work on. They were very welcoming. It was a great atmosphere there. And with that many heavy-hitters, you never know what you’re gonna get. And it was just really pleasant.

DD: What did you like best about the show and your character, Jason McCallister?

EW: I think with my character, it was a cool thing to explore. Here’s a guy who is openly gay but he’s a minister and fights for things he believes in. It was an interesting dynamic that his brother is a very conservative Republican (Robert McCallister, played by Rob Lowe) who’s running for office. There were a lot of good social, economic and cultural differences that were expressed through there.

DD: More important, is Rob Lowe just as dreamy in person as he is on TV?

EW: (Laughter) He’s a good-looking guy. Obviously, for me, I wouldn’t say dreamy, but he’s a very handsome guy. And just really, really cool. But yes, you probably would find him dreamy.

DD: After that, you were in “Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay,” which is quite different from your role on “B and S.”

EW: I thought that this sequel — and not just because I was in it — was so damn funny, because it just pushes the envelope with so many things. It racially offended everybody. It was sexist … it was everything. They just got in everyone’s face, and it was so funny and so well written and well directed. That was just a blast. Very hard-core but funny.

DD: After that you were in “Moonlight,” which still has an incredible cult following. How was that show to work on?

EW: That was a fun show too. I would have loved to have the chance to do a lot of the vampire-type stuff and mess around with all the effects, but we never got to dive into that part of my character. That was something they were talking about doing the next season, and then the show got canceled. So, we never really know what would have happened to my character and ultimately what his motivation was. They were finding their groove. Again, another show (like “Viva Laughlin”) that was ahead of its time.

DD: Yes, it seems nowadays that networks aren’t giving shows that much of a chance to really develop, grow and build their audience …

EW: It might not have been a nice hit for the CBS audience, but the ones who loved it loved it, and I think CBS was ahead of its time on two shows in the same year — and that was “Viva Laughlin” and “Moonlight.”

DD: After “Moonlight” you scored a plum part in the feature film “The Ugly Truth.” You must have been thrilled to land that part.

EW: Absolutely. That was just a huge opportunity that (director) Robert Luketic and Lakeshore gave me. And it was really awesome, and I had such a blast working with those guys. And my relationship with Katie (Heigl) and Gerry (Butler) was a ton of fun. We just laughed a lot. It was another fun environment to be in. It was a huge opportunity. It was kind of a fun, vulgar romantic comedy — it changes up from the normal romantic-comedy pace that you’re used to.


DD: What can you tell me about your new role on CBS' "The Mentalist" of Agent Craig O’Laughlin, and what fans can expect from his appearance?

EW: Well, I’m kind of learning myself to keep a lot of stuff under wraps. But what I do feel is there has to be something else there. I don’t think I’m just an FBI guy that came on and happened to find (Grace) Van Pelt attractive. I honestly don’t know. But I know that my character is an ex-football player who is in the FBI. I go back in a couple of weeks to shoot other episodes. And I have a few more episodes lined up for next year. My goal is to keep this character all business. He’s hot stuff, but he’s not a jerk. He’s not a jerk, in my mind, with Van Pelt. And he’s not doing anything wrong. She and Rigsby were broken up, so it’s sort of fair territory. It’s just a really funny, awkward situation.

DD: Were you worried coming in, because even though Van Pelt and Rigsby were broken up, there are bound to be fans who are upset?

EW: Yeah, you’re always going to get that. But hopefully with the way I treat her and the way I portray my character, people will see he’s not a bad guy. Maybe they will like him, too, and see he’s doing some good things for her. I want it to be a true triangle. But it’s a really tricky situation to be in.

DD: As an actor, I would think it would be fun to play an FBI agent — you get to be the man in charge, you learn how to handle firearms, how to take down suspects, etc.

EW: Oh yeah, it’s the best. It’s my first time playing something like this, and it’s been a lot of fun. It’s really fricking cool to learn the ins and outs — what the FBI does and the CBI does, and how they handle situations. We have on-set experts who walk us through stuff and help us keep it real. It’s been a very fun thing for me to explore.

DD: You said that you’re working on a couple of more episodes — should we start a campaign to make you a permanent cast member?

EW: Yes! You’ve got to start campaigning. From what I understand, they plan on doing a slow burn. Whatever happens between the two of us (O’Laughlin and Van Pelt) is definitely going to play its course. But there’s a lot to do with my character aside from that relationship. I’m not in the writing room, so I don’t know. But I know they have it well worked out, and they’ve been great with me so far.

DD: What’s the thing you like best about working on a weekly episodic show?

EW: Simon (Baker) works his butt off. He’s very, very busy on that show. But I think that with me it’s a lot of fun because I get to explore the character, but I have some time off so I can be looking for some other things as well, films and so forth. It’s a very fun, comfortable environment, and I have a great character to play, which keeps me very interested and motivated with that project. It’s comfortable and exciting at the same time.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Interview: Catching Up With Nicole Sullivan

While Nicole Sullivan made her Hollywood breakthrough on nighttime soaps like “Party of Five” and “Models, Inc.,” she is best known for her comedic roles. She was a principle cast member on “MADtv” for 10 years, she starred as the titular character on Lifetime Television’s original sitcom “Rita Rocks,” and she now co-stars as Bonnie in the William Shatner-starring CBS sitcom, “$#*! My Dad Says.”

Aside from being a talented actress, comedian and voice-over artist, Nicole is first and foremost a wife and mother. She’s been married to actor Jason Packham since 2006, and together they have two sons, Dashel, 3, and Beckett, 1. When I caught up with her recently, she told me about juggling motherhood with her busy career.

Daytime Dial: I am sure you are having lots of fun with “$#*! My Dad Says,” but I was sad to see that “Rita Rocks” had been canceled. What was it you liked most about that show?

Nicole Sullivan: Well, it was a great family sitcom, and it really clicked with me at this time in my life. It’s like the minute you give birth — and I mean THE MINUTE you give birth — it’s not about you anymore. It’s about someone else. And that’s the joy of motherhood, and I don’t think any mother would have it any other way. But what happens is, over time, you start thinking: What about a little something for me? And as moms we just feel so guilty if we prioritize ourselves at all. And I think the next thing you wake up and you’re unfulfilled, and you’re not sure why. “Rita Rocks” was about a woman who woke up after 16 years and said: “You know what? I really love music; I love singing. I want to get that back.” I know she’s never going to open for U2, but she’s going to have a great time in her garage playing with her friends.

DD: Of course I knew about your extensive comedic and dramatic work, but I had no idea that you had done and continue to do so much voice work. What are some aspects of doing voice work that you really like — besides the fact that you don’t have to put on makeup to do it?

NS: Sitcom work is an 8 1/2 out of 10 as far as work goes. It’s the greatest job. The hours are great. The one downside to sitcom work is there are no sick days. You’re sick; you go to work anyway. You’ve got 150 people going, “Really, she’s not going to show up?” That’s not an option. Other than that there’s not a downside I can find with this job. It’s just a great job and I’m so blessed that I’ve gotten it. And the only thing that’s better is voice-over work. And I’ve been really lucky, because there are some really dumb cartoons out there, and I’ve been really lucky to have worked on really well-written, fun ones. “Kim Possible” went on for seven or eight years, and it was a really great show. I’m doing “Penguins of Madagascar” now, which shows on Nickelodeon, and I think is either neck and neck with “SpongeBob SquarePants” or just surpassed it for the top children’s show in the country. I’ve just been really lucky to get to work with good-good material and really nice people.

DD: I also love seeing you pop up on something I don’t expect, like the recurring role you had on “Scrubs.” That was such a departure from what I’m used to seeing from you. What was it like working on that set and doing that character?

NS: Tremendous. Bill Lawrence, the creator of the show, is a friend of mine. So it was totally nepotism. He wrote in parts for a lot of his friends, and you always get a really good view of what Bill thinks of you when you see how he writes you into shows. And when he wrote that part I thought: “He thinks I’m out of my mind! I love it!” That cast was so talented; I loved that show. I loved everyone there. It was such a top-notch experience.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Interview: John O'Hurley Goes to the Dogs

To most television viewers, John O’Hurley (photo credit, Virginia Sherwood/NBC) is best known for his role of J. Peterman on “Seinfeld,” or his nearly 12-year daytime-television career on shows including “The Young and the Restless,” “All My Children,” “Loving,” “Santa Barbara” and “The Edge of Night,” or being crowned the ultimate champion on the very first season of “Dancing With the Stars.” However, this is the time of year when John goes to the dogs — literally.

On Thanksgiving Day, from noon to 2 p.m. in all time zones (directly following the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade), John will be hosting the ninth annual “National Dog Show Presented by Purina” on NBC. And believe me, they didn’t have to twist his arm to get him to return to his hosting duties!

Daytime Dial: I know you’re a dog lover, but what are some particular aspects about “The National Dog Show Presented by Purina” that keep you coming back?

John O’Hurley: Well, I think for us it’s the happiest day of the year. We go there, and we are surrounded by 2,000 dogs. Our favorite time is not really what’s going on in the ring there, but rather when my wife and I take a walk backstage and see all the breeders and all the dogs, and walking up and down the aisles. It’s pretty spectacular to see 165 different breeds.

DD: Now, I know you already know quite a bit about dogs, being a dog owner and all, but you must learn a lot more about them just through your hosting duties.

JO: Well, thank goodness I have David Frei with me, who is the most knowledgeable man in the world of dogs, and there’s nothing he does not know about them. So a little of that has rubbed off on me in a good way.

DD: I’m excited that this year they are introducing a bunch of new dog breeds. Especially the Cane Corso, which is a mammoth but is the sweetest dog in the world, and also the Bluetick Coonhound. What are you excited about?

JO: Definitely that! We did our photo session, and David and I — you want to talk about never working with kids or animals! — we had to work with all six of them. To try to get one photo together, it took nearly four hours. It is exciting to introduce that many new breeds, and they are all beautiful dogs.

DD: What part of the actual hosting duties do you look forward to most when you do this?

JO: My favorite part is when the Irish Setter comes into the ring. It represents to me what a beautiful dog should look like. The way the hair is cut — it’s such an athletic movement when the dog comes in, and it’s just beautiful to me. So I always look for the Irish Setter.

DD: This show always has such a huge audience. We’re pushing 20 million viewers. To what do you attribute its great success?

JO: Well, I think it’s an extraordinary piece of programming. This is a great show on a family day. If you put this show on any other time of the week, I don’t think it would do near as well. It just happens to be sitting there on the perfect family day and gives something that everybody wants to watch. Rather than football, which is regional and certainly male-oriented. But this is a show that the family can watch.

DD: You had told me in one of our previous interviews that your son, William, loves to accompany you, loves to be involved backstage. Will we see him again this year?

JO: Yep, he’ll be there. He’s very excited. He loves going to the show.

DD: It’s like a kid in a candy store, except with dogs.

JO: It really is. Since this is a benched show — and I think you know what that means — it means they all have to stay there through the entire show. It’s one of the great events for parents to bring children to. If you go backstage, you’ll see a lot of the attending audiences are parents and kids. It’s just a wonderful idea to bring them up and down so they can see all the different breeds. They can talk to the breeders and get some tips if they are in the market for a pet. Then they’ll get the right answers about whether this dog actually parallels their lifestyle, which is really the message we try to get out every year.

DD: On another subject, I personally would like to start a campaign now for you, as a song-and-dance man with a wicked sense of humor, that you need to guest-star on “Glee.”

JO: Well, isn’t that funny. They’ve been talking about it, as kind of a family member or love interest for Sue (Sylvester, played by Jane Lynch). And I think between the two of us, we would actually corner the market on arrogance and pomposity.

DD: Well, I’m going to help forward that campaign. I think that would be wonderful. I thought that was my original idea, but I’m glad to see that other people are thinking the same way!

JO: Actually, a dear friend of mine had dinner with two of the producers and they said they had already reached that idea.

DD: I know that Steve Harvey is doing a bang-up job hosting “Family Feud” now, but I still get tons of letters from my readers telling me that they still miss having you as the host.

JO: Oh, how sweet.

DD: What do you miss most about the show, and what could you say to my readers who miss you?

JO: Well, I had a wonderful time with that. But they wanted to move the show to Orlando, and with my child responsibilities here, that just wasn’t going to happen. So, I have to look at it as four phenomenal years, and I miss the show dearly, but it frees me up to do so many other things. I’m back on Broadway and will be heading back to Broadway again, and those are things that I just couldn’t do as freely when I was committed to “Family Feud.”

DD: What are you going to be doing on Broadway? Is it finalized yet?

JO: I just finished “Chicago,” and I probably will head back over the holidays to do another stint in “Chicago.” And then I have another tentative long-term offer to do another show there, but that one I can’t talk about just yet.

DD: Like most of America, I’m a huge “Dancing With the Stars” fan, and I was mortified by Bruno’s comments to your friend Michael Bolton. I was just wondering what your reaction was to that?

JO: I love Bruno. And I think his color on the show helps the show along a lot. I mean he really should be outrageous. However, my concern is when your comments become mean-spirited like that. And I think it was a mean-spirited comment. I think if he had to do it over again, he probably would have put the words back in his mouth. But my concern is that agents who protect their clients, and especially high-profile clients, will think twice now about allowing their clients to do the show. That’s my concern. That show lives and breathes on the back and the sweat of the people doing the show. It doesn’t live on the comments of the judges. So I think they need to remember that every time they make a comment like that. If they want to continue to get high-profile people — which is really what drives that show — encourage, don’t discourage.

DD: I agree. You can be critical with your comments, but they need to be constructive and affirming.

JO: Absolutely — the judges are there to help, not belittle. Michael worked really, really hard. That weekend Michael was doing the show, he was also flying around doing concerts and doing his charity golf tournament, all at the exact same time. And he was still able to fit the rehearsals in during all of that. I mean, he was just like triple-tasking that week. And I don’t think the comments were really indicative of the work that Michael put in. I just think they were wrong.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Interview: Catching Up With Jaime Pressly

While Jaime Pressly (pictured left, photo courtesy Lifetime Television) might be forever known best for her role of Joy Turner on NBC’s long-running hit sitcom “My Name Is Earl,” she has also put in her fair share of time on nighttime drama series, including “Jack and Jill” and “Charmed.” On Sunday, Nov. 21 at 8 ET/5 PT on the Lifetime Movie Network, you can catch Jaime as she flexes her dramatic-acting chops when she portrays Britt Shelley in “Smoke Screen,” an adaptation of the best-selling novel of the same name by Sandra Brown.

Daytime Dial: Since “Earl” ended, you’ve had a lot of high-profile roles on some big-screen movie hits. What was it about this movie and the role that made you decide to return to the small screen to do it?

Jaime Pressly: First of all, when I read the script, I thought the script in general was great. This kind of movie — suspense thrillers — can be very hit or miss. But the story was there. It was also a type of character that I’ve never played before since people are used to seeing me in comedy, and this is a different side. So I was really excited to be a part of it.

DD: What were some of the qualities of the character of Britt that you really liked and were anxious to portray?

JP: Well, first of all, she’s an investigative reporter and very career-driven. I think so many of us, women especially in today’s day and age, we all think it’s so much easier to be single and take care of yourself and not have to worry about anything. But then it becomes lonely, because after you make the money and you’ve done well in your career, then what? And I really liked that aspect of the character and the story line. And Sandra Brown’s book is incredible.

DD: In preparing for the movie, did you read the book first? Or did you not want to taint your character or the discovery process?

JP: Sandra actually came to the set and gave me a book, and then my mom and I both read it afterward. A lot of times when you do a film based on a book, it’s very difficult to kind of get it all into one movie because of time constraints. So, I read it afterward. And there’s a couple more characters in the book and there are more details in the book. I definitely suggest that everyone read the book, because it is outstanding. She is an incredible writer. And if you see the movie and then read the book, you're still going to enjoy it. It’s not like the film will ruin the book for you by any means.

DD: I love that the Lifetime Movie Network really is starting to make a name for itself with smart women protagonists in smart, intelligent movies. They are steering away from the helpless woman-on-the-ledge kind of stereotype.

JP: Which is awesome, because in this business, from the beginning of time, from the beginning of Hollywood, everything has been based around the men. You know, the leading man is cast first and they cast the women around the man. And with this network, they typically cast around the woman, which is awesome. One of the things I loved about this character is she’s an awesome character to play. She’s smart. There’s nothing dumb about this girl at all.

DD: Now, you and main co-star Currie Graham had a great chemistry together. I was wondering how was he to work with?

JP: He was an absolute dream to work with. The first three days of the film we shot, we got through one-third of the film — in the first three days! It was very difficult, and had he not been as awesome to work with as he was and as professional as he is, it would not have gotten done. I like to laugh when I work. I’m not one of those people who everybody needs to shut up and don’t look me in the eye. And he’s not that way either. So it was nice to laugh in between takes and kind of make fun of ourselves and make light of whatever situations we were in. It was nice to kind of have somebody to vent to and lean on.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Days: Such a Tease!

NEXT WEEK:

EJ (James Scott, pictured) discovers that Sami and Rafe are getting married.

Vivian convinces Brady that he’s going down with her.

Roman realizes that EJ’s claims might have been truthful.

Hope questions Trustee Lee about her background.

Maggie realizes that Vivian told her the truth about Victor.

Thursday – PRE-EMPTED

Friday – Melanie and Nathan get real with each other about their feelings.

B&B: Such a Tease!

· Ridge (Ronn Moss, pictured) makes a drastic decision about how to deal with the latest Forrester Creations scandal.

· Taylor feels betrayed by a loved one.

· Stephanie undergoes another lifesaving procedure.

· Amber creates a sneaky scheme to help a friend.

· Liam’s plan for a romantic evening with Hope doesn’t go quite as planned.

Y&R: Such a Tease!

* Will Sharon (Sharon Case, pictured) commit to Nick forever?

* As Victoria fights to repair Abby’s relationship with Victor, he loses another battle that could ruin everything.

* Devastating news forces Adam back to a past better left behind.

* Heather confronts Ronan about the secrets he is keeping.

* Kevin makes a shocking decision that could change the lives of everyone he loves.

Meet Your Fave Days Cast Members

WHAT: Book launch/signing for Days of our Lives 45 Years: A Celebration In Photos and A Secret In Salem

WHEN: Friday, November 19, 2010

TIME: Book Signing From 7:00-9:00PM PST

WHY: To commemorate the show’s 45th anniversary Days of our Lives launched the next editions to its book series this past Monday, November 8th. The two newest books, Days of our Lives 45 Years: A Celebration In Photos and A Secret In Salem will be available for purchase and DAYS talent, along with the authors, will be in attendance to sign them. Ken Corday’s book (The True Story of One Family’s Dream And The Untold History of Days of our Lives) which launched this past spring, will also be available for purchase.

WHERE: Barnes and Noble at The Grove
6301 W. 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90036

DAYS TALENT EXPECTED: Kristian Alfonso (Hope Brady, Days of our Lives), Shawn Christian (Daniel Jonas, Days of our Lives), Jay Johnson (Philip Kiriakis, Days of our Lives), Melissa Reeves (Jennifer Deveraux, Days of our Lives), and James Scott (EJ DiMera, Days of our Lives)

AUTHORS EXPECTED: Greg Meng and Eddie Campbell (Days of our Lives 45 Years: A Celebration In Photos) and Sheri Anderson (A Secret In Salem)

Monday, November 08, 2010

Days Celebrates 45 Years With a Bang

Be ready for a month of Days that you’ll never forget!

Interview YR: Eileen Davidson Shows Off Her Inner Diva

If you are a true “Young and the Restless” fan, then you know that Eileen Davidson (aka Ashley Abbott) has written a series of bestselling crime novels centered on the soap-opera world. If you didn’t know that, then you need to go out right now and buy yourself the books, because you are in for a treat. Eileen’s third book in the series, “Diva Las Vegas,” came out earlier this year, and it’s even better than its predecessors.

Daytime Dial: Your books are always so much fun to read. Are they as much fun for you to write as they are for me to read?

Eileen Davidson: Thank you! Yeah, they really are. I really have a good time. I started the fourth book just last week, and it’s just so much fun getting reacquainted with the characters. I crack myself up with these silly things I write.

DD: How do you find time to fit it all in – being a mother, a wife, an actress, an author, a spokesperson?

ED: It sounds overwhelming, but really it just isn’t. It all kind of works out. I go through phases where everything is really kind of crazy and then, like right now, I’m working only one day a week for like the past three weeks, so I have lots of time. When I am home, I write when my child is at school. When I’m working a lot, I bring my computer in with me and work between scenes.

It takes a village sometimes, but it’s not constantly crazy busy. My husband’s schedule is erratic as well. But we just go with the flow and make it work. But very rarely is everything happening at the same time.DD: I love the protagonist in your book series, Alex. She is so down-to-earth and personable. Do Alex and Eileen share some personality qualities?

ED: Oh sure, we do share some qualities. And also, beginning with the very first book, I established the voice of the character. I wrote the first couple of chapters, and I established the voice of who Alex is. I’ve written every first and second chapter for all four books, and then we (Eileen and Bob Randisi, her coauthor) go from there. Like right now, I’ve sent the first two chapters to Bob, he sent me two back, I reworked them yesterday, and then I wrote an additional two and will send that back to him. But I have to rework it because it’s my voice, so I have to make sure she sounds the same throughout the book.

DD: Do you base some of the books’ circumstances on things you’ve done or experienced?

ED: Yes, I do. I have gone to the Playboy Mansion a couple of times for the Halloween party and it was such a scene that I thought, “Oh my god, this would make a great way to open a book.” When I was at the Emmys about three years ago, I was like, “This would be a fantastic way to open a book.” Getting out of the limousine with everybody screaming at you and then suddenly a bigger star comes along, and the photographers leave you and run over there. Only in Hollywood would you go through these kinds of things, and yet it’s my life. But I’m also a mother and wife, and my life is fairly boring. I pick up dog poop and I make cupcakes, and yet I have that other side of my life that’s kind of out there. It’s fun for me to share it with people and to give them a little peek behind the curtain.

DD: Do you ever get worried that your co-workers at “The Young and the Restless” will read your books and wonder if one of the characters is based on them?

ED: Not really, because I’m not mean-spirited at all. But I might base a character on someone I know. For instance, in the fourth book, I decided to base a director character on somebody I work with at “YR.” But I talked to my husband about it, and it was much more interesting to go over the top with the director. So, it kind of starts as a real person, but then it goes off on a whole different tangent. Some of my characters are inspired by real people, but they’re not based on anybody per se.

DD: I love the relationship between Alex and her boyfriend, Jakes. How did you create that relationship and get it to translate so well to their characters?

ED: Gosh, that’s a really good question. They’re still new, as a couple, since she just ended the relationship with the other guy. I guess I don’t want them to be like crazy possessive of each other, but still possessive enough that they keep each other on their toes. Do you know what I mean?

Like, my husband and I have been married almost eight years and we trust each other and are not super-paranoid, because he travels a lot. But I still want him to be jealous to a certain degree. I don’t want him to pull a shotgun out or anything but I still want him to care if somebody else is looking at me or paying attention to me or where am I. You still want your significant other to be interested but just so it doesn’t go over the top. That’s what I want for Alex and Jakes. I want there to be a playfulness and yet a kind of push-pull between them.

DD: Who are some writers you admire and who influence your own writing?

ED: A while back, I was really into all the spirituality and stuff. I was reading tons of really heavy self-help books and spirituality books, and things like “The Power of Now” and all these really intense books, even Kabbalah. I was doing all sorts of research on different spiritualities for years. And then I was at this retreat and I had forgotten to bring a book, and I happened to pick up a Sue Grafton book. It was like, this is so much fun. I guess I needed a break from all of that heavy reading, and I went into the Sue Grafton world. I read all of her books, and for this genre, that would definitely be who inspired me.

DD: Can you give me any details about the fourth book you are working on?

ED: It’s called “Swinging in the Rain” and it’s going to involve the whole subculture of swinging couples. Strangely enough, I’ve heard so much about it in the past couple of years. It just fascinates me that people are so good at sharing, because I’m not. A lot of people are apparently good at it, because it’s very popular. The more I found out about it, the more fascinated I became. I realized this could be very interesting to use as a backdrop for my book.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Interview Outtakes

Jane Kaczmarek (ex-“Felicity,” ex-“Party of Five”) on how she told me how she and ex-husband Bradley Whitford are able to make it work since getting divorced in 2009: “Brad and I have a really wonderful relationship. The marriage couldn’t work anymore, but I think that we still have an incredible fondness and love for each other that we really want our kids to see as we become friends. We just think of it as a family that lives in two different houses.”

Eric Braeden (Victor, “The Young and the Restless”) on avoiding another catastrophe in New Orleans: “I know specifically that Germany sent the most modern sump pumps to New Orleans. That was never mentioned. No one ever heard about it. If you want to solve the problem in New Orleans, get engineers from Holland and Germany and they’ll fix it. I promise you, they’ll fix it. And they don’t build those jokey damns that they have. I mean, it’s laughable what they had there. They have, in Holland and Germany, lived with the violent North Sea for centuries. They know how to build damns. They really do. I have friends in Germany. They immediately offered help. The Army Corps of Engineers are doing something, but I don’t think they are very capable necessarily. Get the engineers from Holland and from Germany, where they have dealt with the violent North Sea for centuries. They know how to do it, trust me.

David Charvet (ex-“Melrose Place”) on why he didn’t attend Comedy Central’s roast of David Hasselhoff: “I was invited to it, but I didn’t go. I love David and really respect him. I know these roasts can get pretty mean, and I just didn’t want to do that to him.”

Patricia Wettig (ex-“thirtysomething”) on going back to school to get her MFA in playwriting: “Honestly, I think I was getting a little bored, creatively. As an actress you always have to wait for somebody to come to you. You have to be given a script or you have to have something to do. And I felt like I had a lot of stuff that I wanted to express myself. I just recently did a play that I wrote up at New York State and Film. And it was such a successful reading and I was so excited. So I’ve been having a really good time writing lately. The truth is I’ve always written. The first paycheck I ever got as an actress, I bought a typewriter. So it was always there.”

Y&R: Such a Tease!

• After Phyllis’ (Michelle Stafford, pictured) article on Diane hits the stands, no one is safe from Diane’ s wrath.

• When Victoria ups the ante in the lawsuit against Victor, will Victor settle or decide to fight dirty?

• Meggie starts on the final phase of her plan to become the next Mrs. Victor Newman.

• Sharon has a surprising offer for Nick and Noah.

• Chloe jumps to the wrong conclusion when she sees Kevin in an intimate situation with an unlikely companion.

B&B: Such a Tease!

· Inappropriate behavior leads to a physical altercation between long-time rivals.

· A deceptive woman reverts back to her former ways when she schemes to advance herself in her career.

· A jilted lover finds comfort at the bottom of a bottle and in the arms of another woman.

· An overbearing father taunts his son about the extreme differences between them.

· Someone gains a new outlook on their existence after a life-changing experience.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Days: Such a Tease!

NEXT WEEK:

Nicole admits to Maggie that Victor is determined to win her love.

Gabi realizes that Will is the reason Arianna ran out of the pub.

Daniel believes that Chloe’s goodness will heal things with Melanie.

EJ vows to make Arianna’s dying wish come true.

Hope tells Bo (Peter Reckell, pictured) that she suspects April’s death is a cover up.

Thursday – Kate joins forces with Victor to keep Vivian locked away.

Friday – Nathan proposes to Stephanie.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Interview Outtakes

Most of the time when I am conducting an interview with a soap star, I have more interview material than space for printing the interview. Here are some blurbs from stars that did not make it to the print version of the interview, but were too good not to publish.



Julie Marie Berman (Lulu Spencer, “General Hospital”) on whether Dante’s feelings for her would change if he knew she had had an abortion years ago: “I think she feels like she wants to be honest about everything that’s gone on in her life, whether it’s necessary for him to know is anyone’s opinion. But in Lulu’s case, I think she wants to be completely honest with who she is and what she’s been through. This is something that is still a big thing that goes on in her head, and I don’t think she can live her life without being reminded of this. Because it has shaped who she is today, I think she wants to be honest with Dante about that episode. With that, I think she is worried that he might not look at her the same way. Even if he can accept it, I think she’s just worried that it’ll change what they have right now. Obviously if he were not to accept her for that, I think it would heartbreaking, but at the end of the day, she’ll be with someone who can accept her for the choices that she’s made in life and who she is today.”

Justin Bruening (ex-Jamie Martin, “All My Children”) on getting recognized by fans: “Sometimes you get into a little routine with something, and I remember there was a situation on ‘All My Children’ once, I was signing autographs and stuff, and you start getting used to people stopping you on the street. The second someone stops you and they’re like, ‘Hey, you’re Justin, right?’ and you’re ready to sign an autograph. That happened to me once, and it was actually someone that I went to high school with who just wanted to say hi.” 

Marnie Schulenburg (ex-Allison Stewart on “As the World Turns”) on comparing getting her start on soaps to “acting boot camp”: “It’s an incredible; it’s like a school. You learn so much. If you are lucky enough to have that opportunity, then you are truly a blessed actor. This has certain limitations, because it is very specific in its delivery and in its style. So, if you are someone who wants change or wants something different to grow from, you can either do both (‘ATWT’ and NY theater) like I was lucky enough to do. I had the freedom to do other acting stuff while I was there, but you are not always able to do that. But I loved it. I loved it for the people and for what I learned from it, but I think I’m ready to try some other venue now.”

Ken Corday (Executive Producer, “Days of Our Lives”) on how the “Days”/“Friends” tie-in came about: “It happened when Jeff Zucker was the West Coast chief programmer —it came out of his fertile mind. Brandon Tartikoff, who had trained Jeff, was always a staunch believer in the talent pool of daytime television. He said, ‘You know, Ken, from your talent pool of 30 or some odd actors that we see every day, there are usually one or two who catch our eye that we want to break out.’ Alison Sweeney is the current example. It was NBC publicity that came to us and said, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun if Drake’ — the ‘Friends’ character of Drake Ramore, who was modeled after Drake Hogestyn — ‘was the name of the character on the “Friends” version of “Days” who would be played by Joey?’ We call it cross-pollenization. It’s wonderful. It lets the primetime viewer know that NBC has respect for ‘Days of Our Lives,’ and it lets ‘Days of Our Lives’ viewers know that their favorites on primetime are watching the show.”

Y&R: Such a Tease!

* A natural disaster hits Genoa City.

* When Abby (Marcy Rylan, pictured) catches Tucker with Diane, will he be able to explain his way out it?

* Will Meggie and Deacon’s plan get in the way of Nikki walking down the aisle?

* Nina has a passionate plea for Ronan.

* Phyllis sets out to destroy Diane.

B&B: Such a Tease!

· Taylor (Hunter Tylo, pictured) and Pam gently break the news of Stephanie’s grave illness to the rest of the Forrester family.

· Whip and Aggie help Oliver develop a plan to get Hope back.

· Stephanie voices her great appreciation of Brooke, despite their checkered history.

· Aggie and Amber fight over Nick.

· While Taylor and Brooke visit a recovering Stephanie, Dayzee tells her story to Hope and Liam.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Interview: Catching Up With Jane Kaczmarek

Before her breakout role in “Malcolm in the Middle,” Jane Kaczmarek was a featured performer in a plethora of television shows, including “Raising the Bar,” “Party of Five” and “Felicity.” In the Lifetime original movie “Reviving Ophelia,” Jane switches back to drama to play the mother of a teenage girl who’s trying to escape an abusive relationship with her boyfriend. The movie, which airs tonight at 9/8c (check your listings for encore performances), is based on Mary Pipher’s seminal book for teen girls, “Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls.”

Celebrity Extra: As a mom, this whole subject matter must have really struck a chord with you. What were your thoughts about the script?

Jane Kaczmarek: You know, it really did. I have three children: two daughters and a son. My oldest and youngest are daughters, and my oldest is 12, so she’s kind of on the cusp of this. And I’ve always called her my little nun because she is so modest. She practices the piano and does ballet and is a very diligent kid. And it never dawned on me that something like this could happen to her. And I think what I found interesting about this script and the casting of the girl who played Rebecca, who is my daughter in the movie — she comes across as such a clean-cut, beautiful, innocent kid. You don’t think that she’s the one who’s going to get involved in this. It’s the cousin who seems kind of naughty, and you think she would be the one that would end up in the situation like this. So that was the real eye-opener for me. You know, as a mother it was a real cautionary tale about really keeping your eyes open about everything that’s going on in your kid’s life.

CE: I am not a mom, but this would be the kind of stuff that would scare the crap out of me.

JK: And I thought that Nick Thurston, who plays the boyfriend who beats her, he was so charmingly eerie. He was so sincere and so earnest. And he really loved her. You could see why she would stay with this guy. She’s just caught in this lie of protecting him, and everything is just swirling out of control.

CE: What was it about Marie or the movie itself that made you really want to be a part of this?

JK: Well, I think because it was just an unexpected look at this really, really big problem. You know, I live in Pasadena. I live in a very comfortable, leafy suburb of Los Angeles where the kids for the most part are good and the parents for the most part are hyper-responsible. And what surprised me was it was happening to a family like that.

I also like (director) Bobby Roth. He had directed an episode of a TV show that I did, and I liked the way he told the story with the camera. I thought it was a very fresh and interesting and unexpected way of working. I hadn’t worked in a year. This has been a really tumultuous year for me. My husband and I got divorced, and I hadn’t worked since “Raising the Bar” ended in the summer of 2009. So this came along, and I thought I was ready to step back into the world of “Jane the Actress.” My manager sent me flowers in Toronto and said, “Instead of ‘Reviving Ophelia,’ I think this should be called ‘Reviving Jane.’” And I had a wonderful, wonderful time working with Lifetime and with Bobby Roth, and all of the actors. It was a really, really satisfying experience.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Interview (YR): Eric Braeden on Immigration, Alternate Energy Sources and Campaign Reform

It is always a pleasure to interview Eric Braeden, who for the past 30 years has played the villain we love to hate, Victor Newman, on “The Young and the Restless.” This time around, Eric has a lot on his mind, and really, who can blame him? In the following series of interviews, Eric and I discuss the Gulf oil spill, alternative energy sources, immigration, campaign finance reform and much more.

Daytime Dial: When you first heard about the Gulf oil spill, what initially went through your mind?

Eric Braeden: What went through my mind most of all was we, obviously, have to become independent as far as energy is concerned and not rely on oil as much as we do. We need to put a lot of money into the development of alternative sources of energy, period. The second thing that came to my mind was, obviously, everyone knows that BP, apparently more than any other of the oil companies, has been warned many times because their safety measures were not upheld. That apparently applies to the huge pipeline in Alaska as well. So, hold their feet to the fire and make them pay for it. That’s all. The most obscene thing is when you see the millions of dollars they have now put into commercials. They look like Santa Claus, know what I’m saying? It’s a joke.

DD: That’s exactly what I think when I see those commercials. I think about how the money they spent “campaigning” for themselves could have really helped out the people who need it on the Gulf Coast.

EB: Absolutely, absolutely. No question about it. And my heart goes out to those who are affected by it, but when will we finally learn to devote a lot of attention and development money to alternative sources of energy? How long does it take? Our involvement in the Middle East really hinges on oil. It really does. Think about it: Do you think otherwise we would have given a damn about Saddam Hussein or about any of those people? We couldn’t have cared less. We are there because of oil.

DD: Do you think we’ll ever lessen our dependence on this form of fuel and head toward alternative energy sources?

EB: Even if we use natural gas — which we apparently have plenty in North America — according to T. Boone Pickens, we have plenty of natural gas in America, which burns 30 percent more cleanly than gasoline. He said we could almost be independent from the rest of the world. It is not that difficult, apparently, to change engines over to the use of natural gas. Already that would be one source of improvement, because I still think we have to improve our air quality whenever we can. Now imagine the developing countries like China and India, where we are going to sell hundreds of millions more cars, imagine them now contributing to the CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. How disastrous will that be? We need to really be a leading example of how to fix that problem.

DD: And also, think of all the jobs it could create to develop this hydrogen technology!

EB: Definitely! And of course, the technology with hydrogen is one that has been developed, but to what degree it has prospered, I don’t know yet. I do know that there are a number of car companies that are playing with it. But we need to really be serious about it.

DD: Tell me what you would do if you could be in charge, if for only one day.

EB: First of all, I would create a public-works program. I would employ a lot of the unemployed people right now by rebuilding America’s infrastructure. The roads are in terrible disrepair; America’s bridges are in disrepair. Anyone who knows anything about that will tell you that. We could employ a lot of people in building America’s infrastructure — sort of a works program like FDR had it. That is the first thing I would do to get people their jobs back.

Then I would encourage, in the terms of tax benefits or direct support, those companies that are already on the front line of developing alternative sources of energy. But the most important thing is to get people into jobs and to fix America’s infrastructure. It would employ a lot of people … a lot of people. It would employ a lot of people who are not necessarily technically qualified to do the kind of white-collar jobs that are now more and more in demand because a lot of the blue-collar jobs have gone away. But you would employ a lot of blue-collar labor in the rebuilding of America’s infrastructure. For example, with roads, all you have to do is drive through L.A. on Sunset Boulevard or Wilshire Boulevard, and you’d be lucky if you don’t blow out your tire in potholes. It’s an outrage. And that, I assure you, happens everywhere in America. So, there would be plenty to do in the rebuilding in America’s infrastructure.

DD: What else would you do?

EB: I also think that campaign laws should be changed. I think it is absolutely outrageous how candidates are allowed to so skew the messages of other candidates. It’s just obnoxious. Isn’t it obnoxious to watch? I don’t watch it for five seconds. I just can’t. It’s bull from the onset. And people buy it. The cynicism in the business is just extraordinary. How can you believe anything in those ads? Nothing. It’s paid for by behind-the-scenes interest groups.

DD: I know — I turn the channel the moment I see a political ad starting up.

EB: Let me tell you, I think what should happen is there should be no ads — they should not be allowed. A certain amount of money should be allocated to all the candidates. They should have a series of debates without a moderator, who interrupts rudely, and let them go at each other. Just let them go at each other. I would want to see that. People are smart enough to know what they are talking about. The way the system is, we have a moderator and everyone gives his spiel, and it is all canned. I want to hear real debates. It’s not happening, and we keep on buying that stuff. So, yes, I think that every candidate running should only get so much money. Period. That’s it. And then you have a series of debates. No ads. No negative ads. I want to see what you stand for, not what you think about your opponent. That’s all.

DD: I know you have some strong views on immigration reform. Tell me your thoughts on that and how our current government is handling it.

EB: As you know, I am an immigrant to this country. I love this country, and I came in here legally. And it is extremely difficult for Europeans to get into this country now. Let me tell you about the hypocrisy in regard to immigration. As far as I’m concerned, it’s either legal or illegal. Many of them cross the border illegally, to the tune of 12 million people now. Let me tell you why we allowed that to go on. It is the most hypocritical issue, one of the most hypocritical issues in American politics on both sides, Republican and Democratic. Since the ’50s, we have been absolutely petrified of another socialist or communist revolution in Mexico, one like Cuba had. We are afraid of another Cuba south of our border. Conditions in those countries are so dismal that if you did not have that safety valve of the poor, the destitute coming to America and making a living here, they would have shouted “revolution” in Mexico. You know that. The conditions in those countries are so horrendous, and the chasm between rich and poor is so enormous, there is an obvious potential for revolution. We didn’t want that, so we just sort of, you know, winked with one eye and said: “Well, there’s the border. Let him sort of come in.”

DD: And think of all the cheap labor!

EB: Exactly! A lot of the big industries in California, Texas, etc., are profiting enormously from that cheap labor. The agricultural business in California, by the way, California produces more agricultural products than any other state in the union, which is unbeknownst to a lot of people. This is an enormously productive state. But where does agriculture profit from? From the cheap labor that comes across the border.


One should really take a very close look at when our immigration laws changed or were amended, and who was responsible. Get back to the source. Why is it so difficult for Europeans, who built this country? Immigrants from Germany, the largest ethnic group in America, from England, from Ireland, from Poland, from everywhere in Europe, they were usually trained professionals who came here. If you are an immigrant from Europe, it’s very difficult to immigrate. That we open the border, allow this cheap labor to come in, it is so hypocritical I could scream. Although I’m a liberal, in that case I’m very conservative. I say, either you’re backed by the law or you get the hell out. That’s all. Simple as it is.

DD: We could, literally, close the border, but like you said, imagine the uproar from the businesses that need the cheap labor!

EB: Of course we can close the border, but we don’t really want to. The Latin American people who come here, the ones I have known, are very hardworking people. There is nothing lazy about them. I respect them enormously. But, either there is a law or there is not a law. So, what do we do with the ones who are here? We cannot send them back. So, the 12 million illegals here, I think we need to obviously come to some accommodation and find a way for them to become citizens, because they are hardworking people. I’m not blaming them — not at all. Our government and the governments of California, Arizona and Texas have allowed them to come in. It’s nonsense that they haven’t closed the borders.

Y&R: Such a Tease!

* While Kevin battles his growing feelings for Chloe and his lingering love for Jana, Jana uses Noah to get Kevin’s attention.

* As couples fall back into old habits, Adam plots to intervene at the Harvest Festival.

* Cane (Daniel Goddard, pictured) starts keeping secrets from Lily again in order to protect her and the twins but does Lily know more than he realizes?

* Things start to fall apart for Meggie when someone from her past recognizes her.

* Friends and family remember Colleen on the anniversary of her death.

CASTING NEWS:
Emmy winner Michael Badalucco (“The Practice”) will be playing the role of Hogan, a charismatic tough guy bookie, who will be involved with Jeff and Kevin in finding new avenues of revenue for Jeff and Gloria's nightclub/restaurant, Gloworm. He starts airing on October 13.

Paul Leyden (“As the World Turns”) arrives in Genoa City as Blake, a police officer. His first airdate is October 6.

Days: Such a Tease!

Justin reveals that Hope (Kristian Alfonso, pictured) signed divorce papers.

Vivian realizes that Nicole was seduced by Brady.

Kayla urges Stephanie to be honest with Nathan.

Sami warns Will that Arianna can’t be trusted.

Kate realizes that Chad could never replace EJ.

Thursday – Nathan is forced to tell Melanie about Chloe’s cheating on Daniel.
Friday – Chloe finally admits the truth.

B&B: Such a Tease!

· A man makes a surprising proposition to an unavailable woman.

· A malicious woman goes out of her way to obtain the object of her desire.

· Hopes are dashed for a young man wanting to reunite with his former flame when he learns that she is now dating someone else.

· Drastic changes in management are made at both Forrester Creations and Jackie M.

· Two people set out to fulfill an outrageous goal.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

ATWT Stops Spinning Friday


Don't forget to tune in to As the World Turns all this week, as the long-running show will air its final broadcast on Friday, Sept. 17. And check out my Marnie Schulenberg interview here.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Interview (Brothers and Sisters): Patricia Wettig and The 19th Wife

Patricia Wettig first caught our eye as Nancy Weston on “thirtysomething,” the nighttime drama that broke ground on every front, paving the way for many series to follow in its footsteps. The “Brothers and Sisters” star is currently starring in the Lifetime original movie “The 19th Wife,” which premieres tonight, Sept. 13 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Patricia plays BeckyLyn, the 19th wife of Mormon Sawyer Scott, who is accused of murdering her husband.

Daytime Dial: The role of BeckyLyn is different from any role I’ve ever seen you do. What was it about her — how did you connect with her — to made you want this role?

Patricia Wettig: I know! It is so different. It’s that fervor … that religion thing. My great-grandmother was married to a Methodist minister. And when I was growing up, she was the person I was closest to of anyone in the whole world. And she had a certain sternness about her and a certain way of doing things. But with me, she was always so loving and so kind and so soft. And nobody else responded to her like that. I don’t know what that was. And she died when I was 9 years old, and it was just such a huge loss to me. But I think it’s a little bit about her — that way about being so absolute in your faith. At least I hope I portrayed it that way. I haven’t seen the movie yet myself. Like the way she connects to her son, that underneath it all is this loving, touching place.

DD: That’s definitely what I was thinking of when you told me that with you she was very sweet and tender. I pictured BeckyLyn’s interaction with her son the moment you mentioned that, so it definitely comes off that way.

PW: Oh good! And Matt (Czuchry) was wonderful to work with. We just sort of had this instant chemistry, and that is such a blessing for an actor, I have to say. I thought that that was a really central thing for this part. And you never know who you’re going to be cast with. It was really lovely to work with him, I have to say.

DD: The way these people are thinking and living, it’s pretty way out there for most Americans. How did you relate?

PW: I guess I had to take it off of something in my own life. You have to personalize it in some ways because it is certainly not the way I live my own life and it’s not my religion. But I think I had to personalize it in the way that, what are the things that I have unshakable faith in? What are the things I would not put into jeopardy?

DD: I have to commend the writers of it and your performance of her, because she could have very easily been an unlikable character, but she wasn’t. During the jail visits, as we get to know your character, we get to see the pureness in her. You can’t not like her.

PW: Oh good. Yes, I do think it’s almost an innocence. Like a purity is how it was coming off to me on the page when I was reading it. It’s like she never really grew up and thought and formed her own thinking. And I think it’s really true for a lot of women in that sect; it’s almost like a brainwashing, like a blind faith. And other people say, well, that’s what faith is. It’s almost like being innocent and young and not looking at all the other possibilities.

DD: This is definitely going to be an eye-opener for some people as they watch this. We know what we read in the news, about Warren Jeffs, and we get the glamorized version with HBO’s “Big Love.”

PW: I like “Big Love” too, but that’s sort of the “fun” version of plural marriage. Look how handsome he is, and all of the three of the wives are so pretty. They do get into stuff, but still it all looks rather pretty to me. I don’t think it is pretty a lot of the time. When we talk about a 60-year-old man marrying a 15-year-old girl, that’s not pretty. That’s not OK with me. I’m sorry, but that’s not all right with me!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Interview: David Charvet Is The Perfect Teacher

David Charvet is well known to fans as a hunky lifeguard on “Baywatch,” but he stretched his fan base even further when he went on to star on the nighttime soap “Melrose Place.” Since then, he has been busy with his music career, being a father to his four kids (with fiancee Brooke Burke) as well as fitting in a movie here and there when his schedule permits. His latest movie is the Lifetime Movie Network thriller “The Perfect Teacher” (which airs Sept. 12 at 8 p.m. ET), where David stars as a good-looking young teacher who becomes the object of desire for one misguided student.

Daytime Dial: Tell me a bit about the movie and your role in it.

David Charvet: “The Perfect Teacher” is about an actual story that happened with a student and a math teacher. This is kind of an issue that happens a lot nowadays, where younger women, high-school girls, fall in love with their teachers. For me, it was kind of interesting to play a teacher, because I have never played one before. After having four children, I also wanted to play a father. So, for me, those two elements were really more interesting to explore as an actor.

DD: How could you relate to your character, Jim?

DC: Being a father is something I can really relate to and really wanted to play. The other thing was, he’s a good guy. He loves his family and he’ll do anything for his kid. He’s a hard worker and he has a lot of passion for life. I can really relate to that. I have a lot of passion for life and I really love to do everything at 100 percent. That’s the kind of character he was.

(Photo Credit: Albert Camicioli/Lifetime Movie Network)

DD: As a father of daughters, was it difficult for you to play a teacher who becomes the object of a young girl’s affection and fantasies?

DC: Funny enough, that was kind of the hardest thing for me for this role, to actually be able to justify that when this girl is coming on to me that I don’t completely see it. Obviously, Jim knew that she was kind of flirtatious, but that it wasn’t really going anywhere, especially with my girlfriend also being one of her teachers. I think that he’s figured it all out kind of toward the end. Sometimes I think that guys are like that. Guys aren’t always figuring things out right away, and it takes them a little bit of time, especially in the woman department. He honestly felt that she was a girl who was a little lost herself.

DD: How was it to work with Megan Park (“The Secret Life of an American Teenager”)?

DC: Megan did a great job on this. I have to say that it probably was not the easiest role in the world, and I think she did really well. I actually saw the movie a couple of weeks ago, and I thought she played it right. Sometimes you can play this so over the top, and she didn’t do that. She kept it real. I think we all tried to keep it as true as possible and make it as real as possible, that if these circumstances really did happen we wouldn’t look like we were completely out there.

DD: What is the lesson learned from this movie?

DC: The biggest message is what can happen to somebody who is actually trying to do his job and be a good teacher. This is happening in schools today, so we are just kind of portraying a story that could possibly happen. I think it’s important for people out there, especially young kids, to realize that they could actually ruin someone’s life when their schemes get out of hand.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Interview (ATWT): Marnie Schulenburg Says Goodbye to Oakdale

After 54 years and more than 13,000 episodes, the “World” will stop spinning for cast, crew and fans of the longest-running soap opera on television today. As the World Turns will air its final episode on Sept. 17. I caught up with Marnie Schulenburg (who has played Alison Stewart since March 2007) recently to discuss the show, those last days on the set and her plans for the future.

Daytime Dial: When you heard the news that the show was going to be canceled, how did you react, and what was the general consensus around the set?

Marnie Schulenburg: I found out, I think it was right before Christmas, and I think it was solidified in January. That’s an awful time in general for people to find out, just because that’s supposed to be the happiest, giving time of year, and to know that your job and source of income is coming to an end is difficult for everybody. I’m younger, and I have less responsibility. I have a lot more freedom to be allowed to be out of a job. But a lot of the people on the show have lots of kids, or they have families, or it’s been their life. So, for me it was just sad watching people who had pretty much become my family for the past three and a half years go through that and the many different levels of what that means. From anger to sadness, feeling nostalgia to being sentimental — everybody has a different way of coping and dealing, and to watch people you love go through that is really difficult and sad.

DD: And like you said, you all really are like a family, so it’s like your family is being broken up.

MS: It really is, especially for the people like Don Hastings, Kathryn Hays and Eileen Fulton — the people who have been on the show since almost the beginning. Some people have pursued careers outside of the soap more than others. Some have kept busy with other projects, but those who really mainly focused on the soap and just had their families, it’s like the possibility of a career outside of that, they wonder, is that something that they even want to pursue? Is it time to retire? So, that is really difficult, too.

DD: A lot of actors, like those from Guiding Light, are finding work on remaining soaps. The cancellation of ATWT could give some actors new opportunities, and might even compel ATWT viewers to watch a new soap to follow that actor, creating higher numbers for the shows that do remain on the air.

MS: I feel like a lot of us are very versatile actors. I just read an article that quoted, I believe it was Les Moonves of CBS, saying that he wasn’t sure if there was a place for daytime anymore. The medium is changing. But since there are soaps leaving, then those viewers could then go over to another network and watch another show. That is very probable. But even with that being said, the viewership isn’t what it was even three years ago. We aren’t losing all the viewers; there are just different ways that they are watching our show, and it’s really difficult to monitor that and then prove to the networks that we are still maintaining popularity. I can tell them that half of my family and friends are TiVoing it and DVRing it or watching it online, but until we are able to monitor this source of how people are watching our show, what can we do?

DD: So, take me back to that final day of shooting. What was it like on the set?

MS: Once we found out, everybody went through different phases of coping: sadness to anxiety to anger to relief to whatever. But the last couple of days it was like, whatever stress people had, including myself, about where are we going and how were we going to make a living, that kind of melted away. Everything was relished. Everything was given respect, and it wasn’t rushed; it was honored. The last day, everybody clapped after everybody’s scene. Anytime anyone was done, we would all clap, and that was a wrap for them. That we were given that respect, that was really great.

There were an insane amount of pictures taken and a lot of crying. We did the last scene of the day with Don Hastings, Marie Masters and Kathy Hayes — three of the best, three really great people who started the show. When they were done, everybody came out and took pictures. Everybody on the show stayed, across the board, and we all made toasts for two hours — everybody toasting to one another and saying things that they made sure they wanted said. It was really beautiful.

DD: I know you can’t tell me how the show will end, but can you give me a little hint?

MS: It’s definitely going to be, I’d say for most of the people, a happy ending. For any character who doesn’t get one, I think they have pretty much already wrapped that up. Our fans are really in tune with the story lines and where they think characters are going to go. They are normally pretty much right on the nose with how stuff ends up. We want people to leave the show with a good feeling. It’s resolved and happy, and they can leave remembering the characters in a positive light. You won’t see anything extreme. They really want to keep it grounded, honest, compelling and resolved. A resolution for everybody to leave so they feel it has a poignant finish.

DD: Would you consider a role on another soap, or do you want to go in a different direction?

MS: If I got a job, I wouldn’t turn it down. I don’t think I’m going to go out of my way to pursue another job on another soap. I just don’t think it would be the same. I don’t think any show would ever be the same. ATWT changed my life. It changed how I am as an actor. I learned so much from it. I don’t think that anything could ever really give me that type of satisfaction.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Win a Piece of ATWT

Every week (for the next six weeks) leading up to the finale, CBS.com will host a contest for fans to win memorable pieces of the As the World Turns wardrobe. Fans can answer a question of the week, which then automatically enters them to win prizes such as Henry’s button-down shirt and tie. For more information, please visit http://www.cbs.com/daytime/as_the_world_turns/.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Y&R: Such a Tease!

· As Adam’s trial approaches, will Sharon (Sharon Case, pictured) be able to take the stand against Adam?

· Unaware of the danger he is in, Chance sets out to expose who is behind the drug
ring in prison, which could end up getting him killed.

· Neil and Malcolm face-off when Neil goes out of his way to create tension with
Sofia.

· Meggie finds herself a new ally when she is attacked unexpectedly.

· When Victoria learns the truth from Jill about her deal with Tucker, will
Victoria be able to forgive and forget with Billy or is it already too late?

Tune in to QVC on Tuesday, August 10 at 2:00 PM Eastern Time for the debut of Sharon
Case’s new fashion jewelry line, Pomp.



CASTING NEWS:

Signy Coleman appears as “Hope Wilson” on August 13.

Eric Roberts appears as “Vance Abrams” on August 9, 10 and 13.

Lauralee Bell appears as “Christine Blair” on August 12.

Sean Young appears as “Meggie McClaine” on August 10 and 12.

Don Swayze appears as “Shaw Roberts” on August 10.

B&B: Such a Tease!

· A power struggle at Forrester Creations is imminent when two unexpected forces set forward their personal agendas.

· A matriarch does battle to protect her children and grandchildren.

· An odd trio comes to terms with the joys and the heartaches of their current situation.

· A lover scorned receives a heartfelt apology gift.

· Liam meets Stephanie (Susan Flannery, pictured) and Steffy for the first time.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Interview Y&R: Sharon Case Is a Designing Woman

Sharon Newman definitely does not have time to spare in her emotionally busy life in Genoa City to even think about creating a jewelry line. However, her alter ego, Sharon Case, has managed to squeeze the title of “businesswoman” into her already busy schedule by deciding to create her own line of jewelry, called Pomp. Sharon will be debuting her line of jewelry on QVC Aug. 10 at 2 p.m. ET, and I caught up with her recently so she could tell me all about it.

Daytime Dial: Most women, like me and you, love jewelry and probably have thought about creating our own jewelry at one time or another. What gave you that final push to say, “Hey, I am going to produce my own line of jewelry and sell it on QVC”?

Sharon Case: Yeah, I think that we women all think about having our own line of something. Whether we are into clothes or skin care. I’ve always loved costume jewelry, but for years and years it just wasn’t in style the way it is now. When I was a little girl, my grandmother gave me all of her costume jewelry. It was really in style then and I just loved it. And I wore it all the time playing dress-up as a little girl, but for years and years it really hasn’t quite been in style. We had sort of a costume-jewelry style that was popular in the ’80s, but then that left and we sort of went into a more delicate, fine-jewelry style for years. Now we are really into these chunky necklaces and bracelets.

There was a manufacturer who worked at QVC and approached me about it, so it just worked out that way. Nowadays, everything that we wear and anything that you see in the stores, the whole outfit is made on the jewelry. It’s really the jewelry that pulls every outfit together.

DD: What inspires your jewelry creations?

SC: It just kind of comes together somehow. It’s not one particular thing that inspires me — like with anything, you are inspired by everything you see. A lot of my inspirations come from the jewelry that my grandmother gave me when I was 10. I love chunky rhinestone necklaces. I love beads and pearls — layers and layers and layers of beads, and I just love them.

DD: What is Elif Inanc’s role in Pomp; is she your co-designer?

SC: Elif is really the designer. She is a stylist; that’s what she does by trade. She is the stylist of “The Young and the Restless.” She is a great designer — clothes, jewelry and handbags, everything. She has done a lot of the work, and I had a few things that I had always loved and wanted to make for years, so I put in a few of my things. Then we put them all together and decided what would go in the line.

DD: What kind of consumer are you hoping to attract with your QVC program?

SC: QVC has a wide variety of people who watch it. That is partly why we made such a wide variety of jewelry, so there would be something for everyone. We have mostly sort of chunky, funky fashion jewelry, but we made one or two very dainty more-minimalistic pieces that look a little bit more like fine jewelry. We speak to the whole audience.

DD: That’s a good choice, because some people wear more dainty, muted items at work, then at night they bring out the funky stuff.

SC: That was what we hoped to do. Some people will wear different day jewelry than night, and I will too, but others, they have their one thing they like to stick to. We had to make sure that we made something for everyone. We wanted to show the appeal to as many people as possible. We love so many different kinds of jewelry, Elif and I both. We are fond of all of it. I wear all of it.

DD: How do you juggle having a demanding daytime job with starting up your own jewelry line?

SC: Having a partner is key. I couldn’t have done it just by myself. If it weren’t for Elif, I wouldn’t have found the time. It really takes two or more people to put this together when the people involved already otherwise have full-time jobs. That was why it worked out.

DD: Is there a website where fans can purchase your jewelry?

SC: Yes, QVC does sell all of its pieces at qvc.com. After our show airs on Aug. 10, they will be available on qvc.com for purchase.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Interview: Mariette Hartley Reflects on Her Acting Career, Part 2

Mariette Hartley has done and been through it all. She details how she survived abuse, mental illness and familial suicide in her memoir, “Breaking the Silence.” But it isn’t all calamity and heartbreak. Mariette has wonderful memories of just starting out in the business, of wonderful times with family and friends, and especially of those infamous series of Polaroid commercials she made with “The Rockford Files” star James Garner.

“I started acting when I was 10,” Mariette tells me. “It was so exciting, so fulfilling. I came to Hollywood and met Sam Peckinpah (legendary Western writer, director and producer who directed her in “Ride the High Country”) — it was terrifying, yet exciting. Back then, television was new and powerful. Robert Redford was doing episodics; Leo Penn, Sean Penn’s father, was a terrific director.”

Mariette credits her agent with keeping her on the Hollywood map: “I had a very good agent, and I just kept working. I was very much a character actress. But I’ve never stopped doing theater. I did four plays with John Houseman’s theater group. Theater has always been my less-fickle friend.”

On those famous Polaroid commercials — where Mariette and James Garner were a playful, bickering husband-and-wife team — Mariette has fond memories. “Jack Dillon, who was one of the great advertising men, came up with the commercials. He wrote about 250 of them. I loved working with Jimmy; he was wonderful.”



In fact, Mariette and Garner were so convincing as husband and wife that people thought they were married in real life. They were also early victims of the now ubiquitous paparazzi: While filming a kissing scene for “The Rockford Files,” which she was co-starring in with James, a photog snapped a pic of the kiss and passed it off as a “real” kiss, insinuating that the actors were cheating on their spouses with one another.

Mariette remembers hearing that the picture was going to be in the next day’s newspaper. “Nothing like that had ever happened to me. I’d never been a great sex symbol, but I was flattered.”

Lately, Mariette has been doing a lot of series work, including “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Law and Order: SVU.” She tells me, “I loved my part on ‘Grey’s.’ I had just come out of the hospital with a scare, so I could really relate to that fear. I love those kinds of parts that don’t seem to be huge, but they really strike a chord with the audience. I wanted to bring my experience to it, the terror of not knowing where your life is going to go. I hope I brought that to the role for the audience to see.

“I also love the character I did on ‘SVU.’ I would like to do it more; I’m greedy, I know. I just really love them at the show. Mariska (Hargitay) is terrific, and Chris (Meloni) is just nuts — I adore them both.”

Acting seems to run in the family: Her daughter, Justine, played a rape victim on an episode of “SVU.” Mariette recalls: “I’m watching her film her scene, and I see Chris coming on to her. I said, ‘Chris, I am that beautiful young woman’s mother!’ The look on his face — I laughed so hard.”

As for her future in acting, Mariette doesn’t plan to slow down. “My dream is to do my own series again. I just love to work, and I am always interested to see how an ensemble works together. I also love hosting shows. I love to be the host and make people feel comfortable. So, we’ll see!”

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Interview: Mariette Hartley on Surviving, Understanding and Forgiving, Part 1

Mariette Hartley has been the comedic darling of television and movies for decades. She has starred in “Ride the High Country,” “Marnie,” “Peyton Place,” “One Life to Live” and the uber-popular series of Polaroid commercials with “Maverick” actor James Garner. Behind the smiles, she was hiding devastating secrets: familial suicide, bipolar disorder, physical abuse. It all came out when she wrote her autobiography, “Breaking the Silence,” which was initially released in 1990 and has been re-released to reach a whole new audience.

Mariette was kind enough to open up with me about her life.

Daytime Dial: What made you decide to put your life story out there in a book for all to read?

Mariette Hartley: Putnam Publishing called me in. This is when I was very, very actively involved in a career, although I still am, but people are not that sure of it anymore. And Putnam called me in, and nobody knew my life because I had been sworn to secrecy by my mother about my dad’s suicide. I was sitting there with all these big, big agents, and I didn’t have a clue about who these people were. And there was my publisher, Neil Nyren, and a couple of other people and my manager all in a small room in New York. I told them my story, and they all about fell off their chairs. And they decided they wanted to do it.

DD: Tell me about the different organizations you are involved with that help other people who are dealing with familial suicide.

MH: I co-founded the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in 1987 and am the national spokesperson, although they don’t really use me enough. So, I don’t really do it through them; I kind of do it on my own. I have survivor groups. That has had a profound affect on my life. I’ve met the most extraordinary people. Some people I have no idea, honest to God, how they’re walking on this earth still — people who have had multiple suicides in their lives. I’ve learned a great deal about it. I don’t know if the right word is “healing,” but certainly listening and sharing my experiences and strength and hope with others about it. That has kind of become my life now, and I love it. It’s wonderful when you have a book out that kind of really supports that. And I love speaking to young people too about it. Secrets don’t work; you have to talk about it. For all that, and that’s kind of what it’s become. Who knew, you know? All I wanted to do was be Ingrid Bergman.

DD: You are still doing a lot of incredible acting work too. Tell me about your one-woman show, “If You Get to Bethlehem, You’ve Gone Too Far,” which you put on a few years ago to rave reviews and sold-out audiences.

MH: What I tried to do with my one-woman show is to have people pulled into a life so profoundly that they could not shake it loose. That they could not say, “Oh well, that’s an interesting play,” and go home and go to sleep. People were so pulled in by the short hairs because I really took people into my world as a 4-year-old. I became that 4-year-old girl, and I was looking up to these two parents who were played by me. I think it is extremely healing, not just for me but for others. There was one person in the audience who came to see it twice, and he was ready to die. That was the main reason why I did everything ... to show people the effect it has on one’s life, one who’s still alive and well, and had been deeply enlightened by the experience.

But even so, when you go through that experience, it’s excruciating. It’s something in which you can hardly explain to anybody unless they’ve gone through it. The problem is that there is such a sense of isolation with it that you don’t know who to talk to. You really begin to feel that there is nobody there. And of course, when my mother swore me to secrecy, there was nobody there but me. And I had no answers for it. So that is one of the reasons why I am so deeply committed to the groups, because of the people who I call my daily survivors, who have experienced it three months ago, five months ago, six months ago. I really wanted the show to be a lifesaver if it could be. And I do know it was for at least one person.

DD: Because you are opening up about your struggles with suicide and mental illness, it really lets others know that it’s OK for them to be open as well.

MH: It’s more than OK; it’s lifesaving. And I think that’s what people have to know. You can’t keep quiet about this stuff — especially mental illness. I go up and down the countryside trying to erase the stigma of mental illness, because that’s basically what my family had. My parents were not just alcoholics, they were both profoundly mentally ill. And they were covering it up because they didn’t know it, bless their hearts. They had no concept of mental illness in those days, although my father was painting a picture of manic depression. He was trying to tell us, but even then we weren’t educated. My mission now is to educate. And what the ASFP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention) does, which is quite wonderful, is to support research. We support grants for college graduates or students who are studying the brain. There is a young woman at Johns Hopkins who received one of our research grants, and she is studying the suicide gene.

DD: And if they can find a physical cause, maybe they won’t have to prescribe all these drugs left and right, especially if you are misdiagnosed, like you were.

MH: Yes, and it’s very dangerous because it happens with many people. As you know, I was one of them, and that will probably be my next book. During my divorce — which was just awful, and it brought back so many memories — I ended up being diagnosed as depressed. I was given Prozac and I was given Zoloft, and this is what happens also to young people. Now they have the warning on the box, because those straight depression medicines can be extremely dangerous for bipolar. It can also show you if you are bipolar, but you don’t want to go through that. So what I tell people is that if you need to, find a psychiatrist who’s really good and give an entire family history — no holds barred. My diagnosis was absolutely by accident. But I kept after it, and it took me a good year to find out what was going on.

DD: Your grandfather, Dr. John B. Watson, the founder of Behaviorism, was of the school of thought that children should receive minimal affection. How has that affected you and how you look at parenting?

MH: I think it has affected whole eras, whole decades of childrearing, and we’ve swung back and forth and back and forth, and I really went the opposite way. I nursed my kids until they were 2 or 3, and I loved that. It was the most wonderful and nourishing experience for me and for them. And it has held all of us in good stead, I’ll tell you.

When Dad died, I was in such a state of shock about all of it. The book actually gave me a sense of perspective. I realized I did blame my mother; I did blame Big John for that. I felt that on some level Dad was really misrepresented in that household. He was also so deeply ill. And my mother just didn’t have a chance. It makes me so sad today. I was so grateful that when she did pass, our relationship had completely healed. And I was so grateful for that. She died in my arms, and my brother came down, and people were around her. It was a totally inclusive passing.

When I let myself, I can get pretty angry at the son of a gun (Dr. Watson). But I also realize that he was sick. I’ve seen his lab experiments since then with “Little Albert,” which was the famous one, all of these kids were orphans basically. When he made them afraid of these things in the experiments, he never unconditioned them. They went back to the orphanage scared to death of dogs or whatever the hell he was conditioning them to be afraid of. That was the cruelty to me. It was along with the books about not touching and not holding and all that. That must have come from his own background; I always tried to understand it with him. This strange background that he had with his Baptist fanatic mother and this father who had all these Native-American mistresses. Very strange. I have a very colorful background.

Tune in next week for Part 2 of my interview where Mariette discusses the wonderful change in her life now, the projects she is working on and those infamous series of Polaroid commercials with James Garner.