Friday, March 26, 2010

Interview (ATWT): Eileen Fulton Celebrates a Half-Century as Lisa, Part 1

Eileen Fulton is the original Diva of Daytime. As Lisa Grimaldi on As the World Turns, she has navigated uncharted territories and forged pathways for actresses who came after her — and she did it all on her terms. I spoke with Eileen recently about the time she spent on this venerable soap — 50 years in May, to be exact.

Daytime Dial: Did you have any idea when you first started on ATWT back in 1960 that you’d be celebrating your 50th anniversary with the show?

Eileen Fulton: Never! Not in a million years. I remember I screamed and hollered and yelled when they wanted me to sign a seven-year contract. I said: “Are you crazy? I’m not going to be here in seven years!” I wouldn’t sign it. They had to get it lower, but I don’t remember what I finally decided on.

DD: How has the soap-opera genre changed and evolved since you began all those years ago?

EF: Pardon the pun, but it was a world of difference. First of all, we were live and we were a half-hour show, and it was in black-and-white. We read the script in the afternoon, rehearsed, fought for our cuts and changes and blocked it. And the next morning, we came in and had a dress rehearsal, got our final notes and went on live. It was like doing a play every day. Sometimes there would only be four of us on the show that day; those were tough days. The stage managers would be offstage just in your peripheral vision, telling you to speed up or to stretch, and I would tell them, don’t do that to me, because I totally forget where I am. We made a deal, they’d do all that to Don Hastings, because he could handle that and I could not. I couldn’t even use a teleprompter; it takes you out of it.

DD: How are you and Lisa similar?

EF: Lisa is extraordinarily impulsive, like Eileen. That’s about the only thing we have in common.

DD: Lisa is THE prototype of the daytime diva, which now every show imitates. How does it feel to be such a trendsetter?

EF: I am very proud of that. I really am. It’s just terrific. The thing that really surprised me is people would come up to me and say, “I named my daughter for you.” I’d think: “How could you name your daughter after my character? She’s such a bitch.” They’d say, “Lisa is a survivor.”

DD: What are some stories from the early days of filming, while you were all finding your footing in this new way of telling stories?

EF: My first day on the set, I was supposed to meet Bob at the sweets shop for a milkshake. Being that I am a Method actress, I was supposed to enjoy it and tell him so. The prop guys were freaking out, because I actually drank it. What it was was shaving cream to really make it stand up tall and look really pretty. But I had to say how delicious it was. That really took some acting!

But the thing that really interested me was how they did it, how they got the effects they were after. For example, I loved it when we had snow, but you just didn’t stand too close to the window, because it would come right through the window, because we didn’t have window panes. The same for the rain; if you got too close, you’d get soaking wet. So later on, they finally put windowpanes in.

Stay tuned next week when Eileen talks about catching flak for instilling the infamous “Granny Clause,” as well as how she’s like to see the show end.

Days: Such a Tease!


* Fay begs Nicole to not go back to Salem.

* EJ reveals his love for Sami to Sydney.

* Philip asks Carly (Crystal Chappell, pictured) to give Melanie space.

* Kate freaks after discovering Victor and Vivian’s plan.

* Chloe witnesses a moment between Daniel and Melanie.

Thursday – Philip comes upon Melanie in Nathan’s arms.

Friday – Maggie shares a moment with Victor.

Monday, March 22, 2010

ATWT: Such a Tease!


B&B: Such a Tease!

· A rejected woman realizes the extent of her loneliness.

· A hand of friendship is extended between rivals.

· Competition over the attention of a man causes friction between two women.

· The solidity of a relationship is tested.

· A wife turns to an unlikely source for marital advice.

Y&R: Such a Tease!

* Patty’s plan spells big trouble for Emily.

* Cane (Daniel Goddard, pictured) reaches out to an unlikely ally for help but is this person someone he can trust?

* Adam gives Jill the scoop of her career.

* Victor and Jack have a surprising offer for Kay but her reaction is something no one could have expected.

* Michael receives the shock of his life that could cost him his marriage.

Interview (GH): Could Dante Falconeri Be Pulled Over to the Dark Side?

No one was more shocked than Dante Falconeri to discover that mob boss Sonny Corinthos is his father. However, his portrayer, Dominic Zamprogna, was ready and willing to play the good-guy son of Port Charles’ resident bad guy.

Daytime Dial: When you first came on “General Hospital” as the character of Dominic, you knew you would end up being Sonny’s son, Dante. How do you like that twist?

Dominic Zamprogna: My manager is a huge fan of “GH,” and she told me this would be a huge part, because they had been looking to fill this character for years. When I got the script and it said “Dominic,” I called the head writer, Bob (Guza), and asked what was going on. He told me that my character was going to be undercover as Dominic, but I really was Dante, Sonny’s son. At first there were some nerves, because I wasn’t sure if people were going to dig what I was doing. But the part has far exceeded what I thought it would be.

DD: Dante is having a rough few weeks — first he is shot and almost killed by Sonny, then he finds out Sonny, the man he’s been trying to take down, is his father. How is Dante feeling about all this?

DZ: He’s a little confused. He’s still the same guy underneath, but he’s being pushed and pulled in so many different directions. As far as his mother goes (with her keeping this a secret from him), that wound will heal a lot quicker. He’s a smart guy; he knows his mother did what she did to be a good mom. But the hurt and pain of that will hang around for a while, because it is a massive betrayal. This thing with Sonny, it won’t be an instantaneous “all is well” kind of thing. I think it is going to go on a long time.

DD: He must also be conflicted, because he was starting to develop a respect and a liking for Sonny, even though he’s the bad guy and Dante is the good guy.

DZ: He’s not a one-note guy. Things we are shooting now, I am making him a little less sure on the things he normally would never think twice about. Anytime he’s going to be around someone, he’s probably going to reach for his gun a little sooner. He’s not going to trust. Now everyone else seems to have an ulterior motive, and he doesn’t know who, apart from Lulu, he’s supposed to trust.

DD: What will it take for Dante to accept Sonny as his father?

DZ: Eventually he could, because of that pain of not having that person in your life that you’ve wanted to have your whole life. To now find that person, if he hadn’t shot me, it still would have taken a lot of time. But it would have been just that — constantly deep down wanting to be close to this man and wanting to acknowledge him as your father, just wanting to have a father. It obviously would have happened a lot quicker had he not shot me in the chest.

I think time is the main thing that will bring them closer — either time or a major occurrence.

DD: Dante has such strong morals and principles — how does that coincide with what his father does for a living? I don’t see Dante being pulled over to “the dark side.”

DZ: I honestly don’t ever see Dante becoming bad. When I spoke with Bob about Dante, we were saying how he has this great sense of right and wrong, and morals and all that stuff. I don’t even entertain the idea that he could become bad. If they decided to write it that way sometime down the road, sure, but I can’t see it happening anytime soon. Another option would be for Dad to retire and not do illegal things anymore. But I don’t think that’s gonna happen either.

DD: The fans really love Dante and Lulu together, as well as your chemistry with Julie Berman. What is it that makes you guys click so well?

DZ: A sense of humor — we make each other laugh a lot. If you can make each other laugh, you are one step ahead. We have a mutual respect for each other. And she is ridiculously talented. It makes me happy to hear that people are digging it. It is so much easier to go to work with someone who brings it every day, and she does.

Days Renewed for 2010-11 Season

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. - March 19, 2010 - NBC has picked up hit daytime drama Days of Our Lives for its 45th season, keeping the long-running show on the network through the 2010-11 television season, it was announced today by Marc Graboff, Chairman, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios.

"Days of Our Lives continues to be a favorite of the daytime audience and we are thrilled to keep it going through its 45th season," said Graboff. "Days has shown year-to-year increases in key female demographics and remains both relevant and fresh creatively."

Bruce Evans, Senior Vice President, Drama Programming, NBC Entertainment, added, "The producers, cast and crew have worked tirelessly to make Days the ratings success it is today. Today's renewal is a true testament to all of their hard work. We could not be more delighted for them and for the multiple generations of fiercely loyal Days of Our Lives fans."

The acclaimed daytime drama will celebrate its 45th anniversary on Monday, November 8.