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News for the week of 29-Jul-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

Right off the bat, Thorsten Kaye (Zach) and Paula Garces (Lea) were on the same page about their new, on-screen pairing — initially as tentative colleagues, then tentative love interests. Neither wanted the pairing to go too fast or short-change Zach’s prior relationship with Kendall. Everything they said and did on-screen had to make sense with the characters and the characters’ past relationships. Garces, who’s pulling double-duty as a Devious Maid on Lifetime (with Susan Lucci/ex-Erica), told Michael Fairman in a July 19th interview that she had to come fully prepared and fully loaded if she wanted to keep up with Kaye. The dry-humored actor tends to revise the script. A lot. “I will come to a dry rehearsal and he will go, ‘I am cutting this, and I am cutting that,’” Garces explained. “He does not let anything go. He cares about his character and his storyline, which is lovely for me, because then that means my storyline will be that much better. I learned very quickly I have to be on my toes with him. He changes everything on the day we shoot. There are some days I will say, ‘I don’t agree with that,’ and the Latina comes out in me. But I have to make sure I have a good argument behind it. And sometimes I change his mind, and sometimes he is like, ‘Look, the reason I am saying this is because this and this happened with Kendall, and this and this happened to Zach three years ago.’ Then, I will be like, ‘Oooh. I did not know that. Why don’t the writers know that?’ (Laughs) And then he goes, ‘No. We have to really take care of ourselves and our own.’ So, you are right. This is a medium where if the actor does not really care about their work, it’s not going to be that good on camera, and it’s going to show right away. All My Children is very appropriately titled, not only for what you see on the show itself, but behind the scenes, we are a family!” Speaking of family, Garces thought the writers were not going to write her real-life pregnancy in the story. But then, the writers could change their minds when they get a load of the actress’ growing rack. Garces recently enjoyed a departure from her soapy characters by playing Aluna, a new Latina superhero she created, at Comic-Con in San Diego the other weekend.

When Sal Stowers (Cassandra) won America’s Next Top Model, that was a big deal. But then she topped that prize by earning a spot as a major leading lady on AMC, playing Angie and Jesse’s daughter Cassandra. Making that transition looked easy for enthralled viewers, but it still posed a challenge for the statuesque model. It wasn’t a breeze taking on the story of human sex trafficking. Stowers had to go to some dark places, which took an emotional toll. When veteran actress Debbi Morgan (Angie) saw Stowers trying to get into that dark place offstage, she stepped in with some sage advice, “Stop trying. Just be in the moment.” Once Stowers took that advice, “she was just like,” snap, snap, snap, Morgan said, snapping her fingers. Stowers believes in this important story, as a source of entertainment and education. She said that people want more than to just sit back and watch, they need to feel something. –MORE Exclusive on AMC, via Daytime Confidential, July 26, 2013

Michael Nader (Dimitri) returned to AMC looking very different than the last time. Before, when AMC was on ABC Daytime, Nader was younger and had a full head of hair. Now, he’s going bald. By the time he met most of the actors in the cast, notably Thorsten Kaye (Zach), Nader was convinced he should go all the way bald. “I came in and the first day was hair and makeup and clothing and such, and I kept being introduced to one good looking guy after another with these shockingly full heads of hair and beautiful acolyte features. And then finally a guy named Thorsten Kaye came in, one of the actors I had never met… probably about the same age when I started 20-some years ago. And he came in, he was about 6’3”, a full mane of Viking hair down to his shoulders. And I shook his hand and I said, ‘You have just made me make a decision.’ And… [EP Ginger Smith] came down and I said, ‘Ginger, I want to shave my head.’ And she went, ‘What?’ I said, ‘Yes,’ I said, ‘I can’t compete. I’m thinning. I’ve got a sort of a bit of a comb up, you know?’ I said, ‘I still have hair on my head, but why compete? And since I’ve been gone so long, I’m going to do this sort of Zen thing and do the Bruce Willis Fade Into the Night Look.’” Once he did it, though, he almost gave up on the gig altogether. But the bald look grew on him.

Jumping back into the soap didn’t take a lot of growing into. It’s a known entity, up to and including the built-in melodrama. Trying to make more out of the sometimes “pedantic” script with Julia Barr (Brooke) has been fun. “You know, to get away from some of those pitfalls of the emotionality of daytime. This gives a little more depth. Dimitri’s always been a hot flare, you know. And… we’re trying to just mix up some of those romantic inclinations with a bit more humor instead of trying to hit the [nail on the head] all the time.” Brooke won’t be the only game in town for Dimitri. The actor previewed that Dimitri will involve himself in other characters’ stories, with some previous connections, i.e., “ … in the next segment when I come back — I think it’s in the middle of August — we will be cranking up more of the backstory, and [we’ll be] starting to involve a bunch of the younger people, which I cannot reveal right now.” –Soap Opera Network, July 22, 2013 interview with Kambra Clifford

Michael B. Jordan (ex-Reggie) never had enough to play when he was on ABC Daytime’s AMC, pre-cancellation. That’s a shame, because he’s killing it in the box office now as the star of Fruitvale Station. It’s only going to get better when he appears as Apollo Creed’s grandson in the next Rocky movie, Creed. Fruitvale Station writer/director Ryan Coogler will work on Creed next. Get this, Creed’s grandson is trained by Rocky Balboa to be the next prizefighter.

Gossip for the week of 29-Jul-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

The Online Network promised 108 total episodes. But what if it can only deliver 40?

Moving AMC and OLTL to Oprah Winfrey’s OWN has been a boost for viewers not feelin’ the online platform. But not all viewers own OWN. What then?

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