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News for the week of 20-May-2013
by Carol Banks Weber
The outcry would’ve been enormous had the rumor of the late Jeanne Cooper’s (Katherine) recast came to pass. Not to worry, executive producer Jill Farren Phelps assured — in a May 13th, TV Guide interview with Michael Logan — that would’ve never happened. The legendary Cooper died on May 8 at age 84, leaving behind a bereft cast, crew, and family of fans. Fittingly, about 25 of the closest of the cast will gather together on the Chancellor mansion set to film a one-hour (maybe two, maybe more to continue in an online showing), unscripted tribute May 28. The co-stars will “sit in the Chancellor mansion set and tell stories and reminisce about her life, as themselves,” Phelps said. “We’ll serve tea and let everyone talk and cry and laughs and share and we’ll find the best photos and clips we can get our hands on and edit it all together into a beautiful celebration episode. This is all for Jeanne. And then later we will deal with the death of Kay Chancellor. We’ve already written the show into July, so it will take some time before we can address her departure on air. In the meantime, there will be references in the script that Katherine and her husband Murphy are off somewhere on a trip.” Among those participating: Jess Walton (Jill), Kate Linder (Esther), Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki), Eric Braeden (Victor), Jerry Douglas (John), Lauralee Bell (Christine), Beth Maitland (Traci), Kristoff St. John (Neil), Doug Davidson (Paul), Tracey Bregman (Lauren), Heather Tom (Katie, B&B; ex-Victoria), Peter Bergman (Jack), Christian LeBlanc (Michael), Michelle Stafford (Phyllis), Greg Rikaart (Kevin), and Daniel Goddard (Cane).
It took acting on two soaps for Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea; ex-Annie, AMC) to come out of the woodwork and Twitter. “No-Twit Miss” was practically the only one left on AMC off the grid. Y&R got her, though. “I’m so glad I did; I was definitely a little late to the game. But I’m really glad I did for this show. I’d never read message boards before; I still never do. I haven’t since I started All My Children in 2006; cause it can be dangerous, it can be evil (laughs). So I never really knew how the fans felt,” she explained. “Well, I mean I knew how they felt on those boards where they rip you apart, but so Twitter’s just been great to hear what they think, what they like, what they don’t like, when they have questions about ‘what nail polish are you wearing?’ I can tell them now (laughs). Or when someone says, ‘I just graduated from UNC,’ I can say, ‘Go heels! Good for you, that’s amazing.’ You really get to know them, and like you said, they get to know you better. I’m glad that I kind of bit the bullet and just did it. Sometimes I’m more active on it, and sometimes I’m not, if I go away for a weekend, I don’t even open my Twitter. But it’s a great thing; it’s cool to have direct access to the fans and vice versa.” Read more about Egan’s view on her ever-changing storyline with Adam, without Adam, with Dylan, as well as her Roaring 20s engagement party (next month!) and Santa Barbara wedding (next July!). –TV Source Magazine, Omar White-Nobles May 5, 2013 interview
Joshua Morrow (Nick) recently found out that his character had been sitting on a DNA-paternity bombshell since Summer was born. He’s wary about playing this latest storyline turn that may make Summer the daughter of Phyllis and Jack. It makes Nick, a standup guy who values family and truth, look like a total schmuck. “It really worried me when I heard they were taking my character in a direction that was potentially evil,” Morrow told TV Guide’s Michael Logan for a May 17, 2013 interview. “Nick takes being a father very seriously. It means the world to him. How could he deny another man the right to parent his own child? All those lost years! I expressed my concern about that but [head writer] Josh Griffith and [exec producer] Jill Phelps said, ‘We have a way of telling this story that won't make it as dastardly as it seems.’” Some of what they previewed reassured the actor. See, Nick didn’t knowingly cover up the paternity results because he really didn’t know them. “He was so distraught about the death of his daughter Cassie that when the paternity test for Summer came back corrupted and inconclusive — something he shared with no one — he just couldn't bear the thought of losing Summer, too. He refused to do another test. He was that sure she was his, and that much in denial. He's lived with it for so long it became the truth,” Morrow said. “But there is definitely deception happening and that's so out of character for Nick. Hopefully, the audience will understand that he really needed Phyllis' little girl to be his. He needed to raise another daughter to replace the one he lost. He needed it for his sanity.”
Forget gimmicks. Stick to the heart of the matter, to the timeless, what’s relatable, said veteran soap actor Eric Braeden (Victor) to Soap Opera Network’s Kambra Clifford in a May 17th interview. “The essence of what we do in this medium, at least on our show, is to delve into story lines that people identify with. Albeit, it is a soap opera, so you’re dealing with extraordinary wealthy people — certainly, my character is — but beyond that, it’s tapping into emotions that people can identify with,” Braeden explained. “That’s the essence of success… from Dickens to Shakespeare, to identify with the audience and have them say, ‘Yeah, I completely understand that.’ … Any [soap that] tried the outlandish stuff didn’t last very long.”
Doug Davidson (Paul) is another acting veteran who vouches for the heart of the matter when it comes to making soap magic. In his May 17th interview with Soap Opera Network’s Kambra Clifford, Davidson said he has no idea what’s going to happen in the future for his character, but believed as long as TPTB focus on that heart, Y&R will be fine. Lucky for Y&R, Davidson also believed the current regime “understands that concept.” The Emmy-nominated actor also spoke up about the Twitter and Facebook effect (he’s a newbie to the former), enjoying the recent nod as a lead actor contender (while it lasts), and the one kink in the process of submitting only one show to reflect everything. What’s that? “The way the rules go is you get to submit one show, and that show, supposedly, is what’s going to be judged. I would suggest it might be nice to have a rule change, especially in our genre, because it is about the day to day. You can have one good show, an episodic, but really, a soap actor has to go in day in and day out and perform. So it’s really hard to reduce it to just one episode.”
The Emmy reel nominated younger actor Max Ehrich (Fen) turned in was a no-brainer. During the filming of that scene — when Fen told Jamie that Summer was behind the text bullying — Ehrich initially was too amped up to produce the right quality of menace, vulnerability, and fear. He tried again and entered the acting zone, a rare but euphoric moment when he almost left his body. “I chose that episode because that day, I felt this outer body experience. I was not in control at all,” Ehrich described. “I remember entering the scene and saying all the wrong words, [and] I was just so worked up emotionally, to a point where we had to start it over. So we started it over, and I brought it down one notch, came back in and did it. And I remember just feeling like, those are the golden moments in acting, where you’re fully not aware of yourself or anything, you’re just fully in the moment and fully not aware that you’re acting. You just are being. I wasn’t sure if I was going to pass out or whatnot. It was a very cool experience.” –Soap Opera Network, May 17th interview by Kambra Clifford
Mishael Morgan (Supernatural, Total Recall) appears as Hilary Curtis June 14, with Cane and Lily.
Look for Dylan’s pal Stitch to liven things up for four shows. Stitch fought in the war (as a medic) with Dylan and is an adrenaline junkie.
Who are Raven and Rose? Raven’s shy but weird. Rose is livelier (boozehound) and in her 40s. Y&R’s been casting for these parts.
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