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News for the week of 24-Nov-2014

by Carol Banks Weber

Nelson Branco’s November 21st Huffington Post interview was made interesting for what Michelle Stafford (Nina; ex-Phyllis, Y&R) wanted to say but didn’t than what she actually talked about — her second season of The Stafford Project, GH executive producer Frank Valentini helping TSP out, the coolness of working on this ABC soap. She kept beating around the bush about her time on Y&R, giving off the impression that there was more to it than just yearning to spread her wings on her own project. Here’s a sample stream: “I really just wanted to act. Do you know what I mean? I know after being on a show for a while, you can get complacent. It's not a criticism of ‘Y&R’; it's just the way it was. Unless you have a writer who can reinvent you ... but it's not common, though. There's so much I want to say, but it's not right to say it. I do feel like I have been rejuvenated as an actor. I feel lucky to have the opportunity to be on ‘GH,’ which is doing so well. Year after year, more people are tuning in. It's a really good show. I mean, I enjoy watching it. It's always entertaining. The way Ron tells a story and unfolds, it's very exciting but he also sees the heart in it. I don't know if you saw the recent scenes between Maurice Benard, Chad Duell, Dominic Zamprogna and Bryan Craig, but they were f**king amazing. It was such good TV!” And this: “I haven't seen [Gina Tognoni/new Phyllis] on the show [Y&R] or on magazine covers. I just don't watch ‘Y&R.’ I honestly don't. I have been done with Phyllis longer than people know. It doesn't matter because it's Gina's role now. I have no connection to Phyllis. If I wasn't in a happy place, maybe I would be nostalgic. Listen, it was, for sure, the right time to leave ‘Y&R’ when I did. I really love ‘GH.’ And I really loved my time on Y&R, too.”

When the subject of Roger Howarth (Franco) came up, Stafford dropped never-before-heard superlatives about this fellow-Emmy-winning actor. They filmed scenes for December that were a first for this veteran star. “We did some scenes the other day that'll air in December that made me go, ‘Oh my God, I didn't even have to act!’ I just had to be there. I hope they turn out great. What happened between us in that particular scene, I have never experienced before as an actress with another actor. Ever.”

Even though Jason is played currently and differently by recast actor Billy Miller (ex-Billy, Y&R), GH head writer Ron Carlivati doesn’t mind; he’s enjoying the ride like a lot of fans. Miller’s been adding warmth and comedy to the role of Sonny’s usually cold, taciturn enforcer, previously portrayed by Steve Burton (Dylan, Y&R). Here’s what Carlivati said to Daytime Confidential’s Jamey Giddens in a November 19th-posted interview, Part 2. “I think what’s been so great is, if you’re gonna bring back a character that was as big and iconic as Jason Morgan, we couldn’t just bring in another actor and say ‘Okay dude, put on your black t-shirt and be Stone Cold.’ It didn’t interest me as something to write, and I don’t think it would have worked. The idea was much like when AJ drove Jason into a tree and he had a new personality. We wanted to do something similar and maybe play on the strengths of our new actor. People who say, ‘Oh, he’s not acting like Jason,’ that’s exactly the idea. He’s not that guy. He’s not the guy that came out of the AJ car crash. That personality is, at the moment, gone. It’s in there somewhere… Right now, I’m enjoying this version of Jason, who we’re calling ‘Jake.’ We did have our own debate in the writers’ room. I wanted him, when he got to the top of the stairs [at the hospital] to do the ‘King of The World’ moment by lording it over Obrecht. Someone else said, ‘Did Jason ever seen Titanic?’… Again, he didn’t always have the personalty of Stone Cold. He went many, many years as Jason Quartermaine before he was Jason Morgan, and this guy is neither. It’s not to say down the line that he might not become Jason Quartermaine, or might not become Jason Morgan, but right now he’s ‘Jake Doe’ and we’re having fun with that.”

Gossip for the week of 24-Nov-2014

by Carol Banks Weber

Bradford Anderson may return to GH as Spinelli to wrap up Maxie’s custody issues.

Rick Hearst (Ric) also may come back, storyline-dictated.

One of the three big stories hitting the skids next month is Luke v. Fluke. Don’t miss this explosive reveal. Both will have their moment.

Another biggie is when Billy Miller’s Jason experiences total recall by Christmas time.

Carol Banks Weber will be on vacation the week of December 1. News & Gossip will return the week of December 8.

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