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News for the week of 19-Aug-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

Finola Hughes (Anna) knows that conflict, action, and some sort of tension-building adventure works better on-screen in soaps than watching a happy couple in love doing nothing. In that vein, she would rather Anna and Duke be doing something. Having them revisit the Jerome mob family, the ones responsible for the miscarriage of their unborn child, just might do the trick. Hughes told Michael Fairman in an August 10th-published interview that she’s looking forward to the Jeromes’ trickle-down effect on the characters. She would also look forward to Robin’s impending arrival, should it come down the pike, since it’s obvious that story needs closure.

Till then, she’s enjoying her time and amazing chemistry with Robin’s husband Patrick. She acknowledged that it’s easy to be around Patrick’s portrayer Jason Thompson. They both share an easy camaraderie, based off similar loyalties to Kimberly McCullough/Robin and Brooklyn Rae Silzer/Emma. And Hughes just wants to work with fellow director McCullough in any capacity.

Hughes doesn’t really see herself as the head honcho when she recently directed her film, The Bet. For her, it’s more a collaborative process in a team setting.“Here is the thing: I know you think I might like to be in charge, but I honestly didn’t feel like that,” Hughes said. “I just felt like everybody was coming together to create one thing. All you need is one person at the helm, and you are propelled along by everybody. And, you just sort of have this point person, and I kind of felt like that, and as the point person. I knew how to do it, and that was it. Basically, you just collect everybody and go, ‘I know how to do this, but you know how to do everything else, so let’s just go.’ It’s very collaborative. You just do more preparation, and you are just involved longer than anybody else. But, everybody’s expertise comes into play at different times.”

Finola Hughes (Anna) got to play against type by playing a bitchy dance mom, Abby Lee Miller, in the indie, “Platinum: The Dance Movie.” She got to observe some real bitchy dance moms on set, ragging too hard on their children, realizing she was right on the mark pushing the mean meter. Even better, she got to marvel at how much better the dancers of today are. She admitted to TV Guide’s Michael Logan (August 15 interview) that she could never have pulled off those moves herself. “The dancing is phenomenal. The level of the talent is so much different now. Seeing some of these young ones in Platinum I think, ‘I could never have done that!’ They are not only major athletes but also bring a passion and creativity and artistry to the stage I could never have come close to. They bring their souls to the stage! And they're raising the bar in ways that couldn't have been imagined just a few years ago, thanks I think to shows like So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With the Stars, which are making dance cool and raising everyone's game. Doing Platinum made me want to continue in this arena, some way, somehow.”

Lisa LoCicero (Olivia) is a very lucky woman. She’s been a supporting character, mostly on the backburner but still kind of in the periphery, for five years. Amidst exit rumors throughout that time, LoCicero’s managed to stay and now, stay on top. Back when she and Scott Reeves (ex-Steven) weren’t used much, they’d joke about their supporting roles. But now, now it’s LoCicero’s time to shine as her character’s back in the spotlight with one of GH’s biggest leading men, Maurice Benard (Sonny), in a hot love story. That it came at the cost of Kelly Sullivan (Connie) having to bow out, storyline-dictated, was a bittersweet pill for all concerned. LoCicero found it unfortunate timing that news of her contract signing came out the same time as Sullivan’s firing. She told Michael Fairman: “So it was like: ‘She’s staying! She’s going!’ It wasn’t planned. I certainly did not plan it, and no one said anything directly to me. I am sure if I had gone and looked at the message boards that day, I am sure it would have said, ‘She should go f**k herself.’ It was completely out of my control.”

LoCicero was heartbroken to hear of the news of Sullivan’s leaving, too. Playing out those exit scenes nearly had LoCicero pulling her hair out. She had to film the psychic premonition scenes in the morning, tend to her GH Fan Club Weekend event, and then go back for the Connie finale. “I have no doubt she is going to go off and do amazing things. Selfishly for me, I am devastated because it’s not every day you get a co-worker and a cast mate that brings out things in me so effortlessly. It’s not work for me with her.”

And, LoCicero harbors no illusions about the fate of all of Sonny’s women. It’s not about a forever after with him; it’s worse, LoCicero mused. “I think the record has shown that no one stays with Sonny forever, and that’s not a spoiler. There is no version of Sonny that is going to settle down with a lady and be happy for the rest of his life. That ain’t going to happen. So it just winds up being: In what manner of horrible suffering is this particular pairing going to endure?”

Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis) promoted August 15 the addition of William deVry (Derek Wells/Julian Jerome) as a boost for her character in her own inimitable way on Facebook: “kinda safe crushing on William Devry. He has live in girlfriend and I've sworn off men til I die. If we get to makeout on the soap it's a win win for me anyway!!!!”

Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis) isn’t alone in her idolatry. Plenty of fans are going crazy for the hot but intelligent emitted by actor William deVry (Derek Wells/Julian Jerome; ex-Storm Logan, B&B; ex-Michael Cambias, AMC). It’s very evident in his August 8th interview by We Love Soaps’ Roger Newcomb. deVry spoke highly of his return to daytime—and not just for the perks of working opposite such outstanding actresses, etc. etc. He’s kept up with industry news and knows daytime’s ratings are better than they used to be, “specifically in the 18-49 demo, which means profits are going up, so it was a good time to get back in. And I don't think there was really any fear of it being canceled in the next couple of years. That was definitely a huge factor for me. The new regime was also appealing to me, and that there wouldn't be any disruptions with another regime coming in over the next few years.”

When he did return to daytime, he went to GH to play the much-anticipated role of Sam’s daddy. Despite some purported age discrepancies — he looks much too young to be anything but her lover! — it’s been a homerun for the show. deVry hit the ground running; he had to, TPTB didn’t give him much to work with. “It was sort of a vague description originally, and then a few days before I went in I got a heads up that he potentially could be the head of a crime family. They said it might change at the last second, if he was indeed going to turn out to be this Julian guy,” deVry explained. “They still didn't know which direction it was going. I've been working heavily in primetime over the last four to five years and keeping busy. I've been traveling a lot for work so the idea of shooting 15 minutes away from the house was appealing. I have always missed daytime, the pace and the challenge of doing 25 pages a day if you're one of the lead characters.”

William deVry (Derek/Julian) soon appears with James Caan and Melissa Ordway (Abby, Y&R) in a new movie called The Outsider. The movie follows the life of a soldier-turned-private-security-professional in Afghanistan. Faced with the realization that his daughter is dead from suspicious means, he has to decide whether to stay, keep his head down, and do his job, or flout his bosses’ orders and go bring justice for his child.

Believe it or not, Jason Thompson (Patrick) disapproves of Sabrina and Felix going all Scooby Doo on a pregnant Britt, like it’s their mission in life to blow her charade wide open. Thompson told Michael Fairman in an August 13th interview that if it were him, he would tell these two to mind their own business. That kind of works in Britt’s favor, as well as the actor’s when he’s trying to portray Patrick as focusing only on the unborn baby’s welfare, nothing else. It’s tricky for Thompson to show the logic in that and not make his character look like Britt’s patsy. “I think the way that I have to connect with it is that I am more worried about the baby than anything. If I take the test that says it is my baby, then that’s enough information for me to make sure that everything calms down,” Thompson said. “Personally, I feel very frustrated with Felix and Sabrina running around trying to do all this stuff to prove he is not the father, and at the end of the day, it’s none of their business. I bite my tongue every time these scenes happen. Inside I feel like, ‘Leave it alone. It’s none of your business.’ It personally makes me want to believe it, and prove them wrong. (Laughs) I know that might not make sense for some people, but I can only go off of what my gut feels. I try not to bring myself into it, but in my world, if I can kind of connect to the material and what Patrick is going through, then I would tell them to butt out … and in less words than that! (Laughs)”

When Thompson talks about his ongoing story, it sounds like he’s really dissatisfied with the way it’s playing out. It also sounds like the story goes against the grain of his acting approach. He isn’t averse to playing something entirely different from what’s written in the script. “I try to bring that sometimes to the character, because it’s fun for me to play something else. For me, I can get frustrated when I play exactly what is on the page, and I know it. I can get caught up in that. So, I have to say to myself, ‘I have to find something else to play,’ or I can get frustrated as an actor.”

It also sounds like Thompson isn’t too convinced Patrick’s in love with Sabrina. He admitted he doesn’t watch those scenes, because they could color the way he has to play the story. He also admitted he tries to find small scenes to make Patrick’s ardor believable. “It might be the smallest choice; whether it’s Sabrina walking through the pub, or helping an old lady walk into the elevator, if that’s a moment that I can find that I can fall in love with her right there … then I need that information so I can make my character fall in love, so in a week from now that changes the characters’ life.”

Gossip for the week of 19-Aug-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

Franco goes off the deep end after learning Kiki isn’t really his daughter, as in, tries to commit suicide. Someone surprising tries to talk him off the ledge. Who, Richard Simmons?

Wouldn’t it be something else if Richard Simmons turns out to be the mastermind behind Jerry Jacks, Faison, Helena, et al? That’d be just like head writer Ron Carlivati, who’s on a roll with his theatre of the absurd within a soap opera touches last week, from Dr. O’s Peggy Lee Karaoke to Simmons’ glitter gun effect.

Had enough of Tony Geary’s (Luke) frequent vacations disrupting story flow? Supposedly Cartini worked it out with the actor so he can be more available to the ongoing story. If Geary needs to come shoot connective scenes, he will. We’ll see.

John Reilly (Sean Donely) originally may have been written in to walk blushing bride Felicia down the aisle. But the actor’s weakened health precipitated a revision in his character’s debut, as wheelchair-bound in Ireland. Reilly also might’ve filled in for Tristan Rogers (Robert Scorpio), who reportedly couldn’t return at the time he was asked. For sure Kimberly McCullough’s (Robin) on her way to give Scrubs closure.

There wasn’t much of a teen summer story, because the teens on GH sucked. More story was planned for Molly, Rafe, etc. etc., and even one just for Molly in the fall season, but all that went bye-bye, according to the August 14th Daytime Dish. It didn’t help that Rafe drew comparisons to the doomed Trey.

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