Inside the Press Room
Soapdom Exclusive Photo Gallery
Once the actors win, get their trophy, and make their acceptance speech, they are whisked backstage to the press rooms. There is a photographers' press room -- which was nuts. All the photogs jostling for position to get their shot; and a journalists' press room -- which was a tad more low key. Luckily, Soapdom contributor Merle Goldberg, and photographer, Sue Coflin, were in prime position to take you Inside the Bubble as the winners and presenters faced the press...
The first winner to come our way was Supporting Actor Greg Rikaart, (Kevin Fisher Y&R). He was flying! When asked how he felt about holding the gold statuette, he was off and running. “Initially Kevin was supposed to come and go within a few months and the fact that the entire writing staff were willing to take the risk to try and redeem Kevin, which I believe was really controversial amongst the fans, makes me feel great, ‘cuz I love my job.” The Emmy’s going on a mantle above his fireplace in his living room, “Or around my neck maybe. You think it’s too heavy?” he jokingly asked the media. As for what‘s coming up for Kevin, he really doesn’t know, but a love story would be nice. It would give the audience a chance to see the sweet side of Kevin, which he doesn’t get to play very often. At the moment, all he could really only think about was going home to Staten Island, spend time with his family, get some pizza and ride the ferry.
One of the presenters and winner of the online vote for Most Irresistible Couple, Beth Ehlers (Harley, GL), took a moment to reflect on working with Linda Dano. “I had only experienced Linda in passing, the shake of a hand. So, I was really nervous about meeting her. You know her husband passed away not so very long ago, so that’s tough to be in that energy with somebody. You feel their grief. That’s why the story line ended as quickly as it did because she just couldn’t do it. She thought she would be able to do it, and the poor thing, such a lovely, lovely, lovely lady, one of the funniest people I ever met. Everything I’d ever heard about her was absolutely true and you see the material and you see what she does with it. She’s a pleasure to work with and I regret that it was such a short time. I just adore her.”
When Best Supporting Actress winner Natalia Livingston (Emily Quartermain, GH) finally made it back to the Press Room she was a bit shy and reserved. She brought lots of people to the Emmy’s, her family from Georgia, and her manager, “I saw my Dad out in the audience and he looked pretty happy and that was a good feeling.”
A large round of applause greeted Outstanding Younger Actor, David Lago (ex-Raul Guitterez, Y&R), as he entered the pressroom. “You gotta understand that I’m crazy nervous right now.” Lago’s got a big family and most of them showed up for the big night, “I have like 23 –25 people here with me. And it’s a joke, ‘cuz every time I’m calling Y&R to get my tickets, they’re like, ‘What section do you want to reserve?’ ‘Cuz I have something like 400 Cubans here with me.”
Everyone wanted to know what his speech was all about? “I’m a huge Christopher Walken fan and I’m not a very good speech-writer and when I saw CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, you know what, that’s a perfect speech. Ironically, that speech makes more sense to me this year since I haven’t been on the show in 7 or 8 months.” He just finished a couple of independent films and he’s working on a demo with his rock ‘n’roll band. His goal is to become a rich rock star and produce his own projects, “‘cuz, this auditioning crap, I’m telling you, I’m sorry, oops! This auditioning thing isn’t working out.” When asked why he was fired, Lago was stumped, “I can’t give you a straight answer and honestly, bro, if I knew the answer I would give you an honest answer. I don’t know the real answer and I probably will never know the real answer. I was told many different reasons. It might have been for budget, it might have been for story line. Ultimately, it was supposed to happen when it was supposed to happen and that was it, a year before my contract was over. I never talked to the press about it and everyone wanted to know, ‘Are you leaving, or are you fired?’ and I was still trying to figure it out myself. I never gave a straight answer. When I had my chance today, it was the time to let everybody know I was let go.
Another big round of applause, this time for Outstanding Younger Actress winner, Eden Riegel. Boy, was she beaming as she entered the room proudly carrying her Emmy. She’s giving it to her grandmother, “Somehow, I think it’s going to look better in her beautiful apartment than it ever could in mine and I know she’ll watch over and take care of it for me.” Riegel disappointed a whole lot of fans when she left the show, “It was the right thing for me to do at that moment, that’s why I made the choice to take a step away from All My Children for the time being.” If you look at how carefully she chose her words, it’s very clear the door’s wide open for her return. “It was very difficult for me and very emotional for me, I was a basket case. And, I still miss everyone so terribly and love them and I’m actually so glad I can be back here and share in this night with them.” They really have become my family and they’re all very supportive of me and I knew I had to make this step.”
Like any good actress she wants the chance to play different roles see what else is out there. “But I definitely see this as a cherry on top of a wonderful experience. All My Children was such a positive experience from start to finish. Those people and that character are a part of my heart and this is just a pretty thing to put on the mantle and to remind me of what a great time I had.” As to what’s next, “Things are encouraging. I am actually very much enjoying having a little time off. Daytime is very rigorous and I didn’t even realize how constantly tired and stressed I was from all that hard work we do. And, it’s very emotional work so I’m enjoying playing a variety of different characters and seeing what else is out there and I’m also enjoying just kind of being a beach bum for a while. It’s been a good experience out there.” Her mom is her good luck charm because they’ve shared so much together. “I just squeezed her hand right before and I said, ‘Mom, I’m so glad you’re here,’ because I knew whatever happened we would have a fun time together and I would have her hand to hold and a shoulder to cry on or to celebrate with.”
On her other mother, a woman she has come to love and admire, “Susan has given me great advice since day one. I think she’s probably the reason that I survived daytime because she sort of took me under wing and she definitely, every year made me feel like, this is wonderful, but I’m so proud of myself for when I didn’t win and going back to work every day and giving it my all and finding fulfillment from the work itself. This is lovely and it’s great to be acknowledged by your peers and that’s very validating and wonderful but the true reward is the work and the family. That’s what Susan taught me.”
At left: Susan Lucci (Erica, AMC) watches backstage as Eden Riegel accepts her award on stage.
Even though she’s a new mother, Alison Sweeny (Sami Brady, DOOL), is back at work. The burning question, when is Austin coming back? “I don’t know when Austin is coming back. This summer is what we heard. And, I have no idea what story line they have in mind for us, but I can imagine it’s going to be very dramatic for Sami and Lucas because it can’t not be.” She doesn’t know what the writers have in mind, “But the moment Lucas enters the room and we have our first moment together, I can’t imagine it being anything but shocking and great for our characters. I’m looking forward to a really great story line this summer.”
Historic moments at the Daytime Emmy’s are always shocking and Erika Slezak’s (Vicki Davidson, OLTL) sixth Emmy win was no exception. One of ABC’s grande dames, she was radiant in a Kelly green gown. Perfect for Vicki and even more perfect for a winner. The granddaughter of a Viennese tenor, Slezak looked like she was ready to waltz the night away to music by Lehar and Strauss.
The first question she was asked had to do with the luncheon. Oh, that luncheon! SOAPDOM got the original scoop on it almost two weeks ago when Kassie DePaiva spilled the beans and it was mentioned in her interview. Being a winner comes with some baggage and Slezak explained, “Susan Flannery, that bad, bad girl picked up the tab for the whole thing, which she should not have done. But, hey, oh I forgot I have to pay next year because she said, ‘Whoever wins tomorrow will they’ll pay next year. What delightful group of ladies. We had a good time. The restaurant was crowded and every single person left glaring at us. We were so loud, laughing so much. Sleazak was glad there wasn’t a journalist in sight. “I’m afraid a lot of the people at the neighboring tables heard an awful lot of stuff they never should have heard. But hopefully, they didn’t come tonight.”
Where will she put the newest Emmy? “I’m just going to push the others aside, no…the last one gets to be in the middle for a while.”
At left: Erika Slezak (Viki, OLTL) with Tony Geary (Luke, GH)
Of all her many wins the pressroom wanted to know which was the most special? “They’re all equally special. The first one was just phenomenal because my father had died the year before and I had been nominated the year before and I did not win. Dorothy Lyman won that year. And, I started to cry, not because I had lost, but because I had really wanted to win for my father, he had just passed away a month earlier. I thanked him the next year and I know he’s happy and I know he’s proud. This is spectacular. I really didn’t expect this. You know the quality of the work from the other set of ladies is so phenomenal. I think we all sort of sat there and said this is just a crapshoot. Any one of us could win. Any one of us probably deserves it. I must say, I left the luncheon yesterday saying, I’m going to the Emmy Awards with an entirely different attitude tomorrow night, I don’t care who wins, whoever wins I’m going to stand up and scream and say, bravo!” Then without missing a beat, she leaned into the microphone whispered, “I’m glad I won,” and walked off graciously smiling too much applause.
As Sharon Case walked into the Press Room to answer questions, she was surprised by a visit from her ex-Y&R co-star, Shemar Moore, “Hey Sharon, you look good!
“Hey Shemar, you look amazing! I love your suit. C’mon up.”
“No, it’s your world, babe.”
“I’m all done. Ladies and gentlemen, Shemar Moore.” She swept off as handsome hunk, Moore approached the mic, “I’m trying to get in that story line with ya, girl. I swear I’m trying.”
“How’s everybody?” The press corps was having a great time. “I’m having a good time in New York. I have a good time all the time. This one’s special.”
“There’s no designer behind it. It’s just my attempt to get in a Janet Jackson video, I think.” Everyone laughed and he continued, “You know what…red carpet…I’ve worn the penguin suit so many years, we all do it and it’s classy and it makes Mama proud, but I said you know, we’re gonna have some fun tonight.”
Moore paid tribute to Bill Bell and is ever grateful to the man who created Y&R, and if he could stay on the show he would. “I’m a dreamer. I wanna chase Denzel and Jamie Foxx. Most definitely I want to do movies. That’s my dream. I just got a prime time show, which is mysterious and out of the box, but Young and the Restless is the place that took care of me and if there was a way that I could still stay on as Malcolm I would love to do it.”
“The writers embraced me in my first 7-year run, then I left for three years. And the reason I left was not because I was unhappy. I was restless. I wanted to grow. I wanted to make some strides and get into the feature film world.” He was most definitely young and restless. “I want to be stretched and challenged emotionally and every day I continue to grow as a person and I love that I can bring that to my work.”
“I asked them to dig deep when they think about Malcolm. Make him the underdog. Give me something as an actor that has drama so we can see the character full circle. Before that it was a little more one-dimensional, they had me with my shirt off all the time. That’s fine and the fans like it, me as an actor, there’s a whole lot of pressure to keep that 6-pack on me lately. I don’t know if you can see through the suit, but it’s hard to hold onto.” Ladies, he looks fine!!
The very last winner to face the press was Outstanding Lead Actor, Christian Jules LeBlanc (Michael Baldwin, Y&R). Before anyone could ask a question he blurted out, “I got played off” and laughed. He had nothing to say and thinks the orchestra did him a favor. “It’s just the thank yous are so big. It’s so not about you and the award, it’s about, it’s about the journey and there are so many to thank.” The guy was just riffing and the press let him go. “My mother passed away two years ago and I see the Emmy’s through her eyes because she just had a great time and my Dad is right there front and center. It’s for her. I have more people to thank, but I do that every day I really do. There’s not a day I walk through that front door with just a big smile on my face. It never leaves me. I’ve been unemployed just long enough to love that.
“I was given all this amazing stuff with Gregg and I had Joan Van Ark. I came on and I was only supposed to be on for two years just like Gregg and they finagled some kind of wonderful way to keep me. That was 1991.”
He had the best time when he crossed over and worked on As The World Turns in Brooklyn. “I’d never seen so many people in basic black on the streets. It was like we’re going to the Jerusalem deli tomorrow and we’re gonna have some hummus today. What else do you eat? Nothin’, that’s what they eat.” LeBlanc used to have a real prejudice about the cast on Y&R, but now he realizes what an amazing group of actors populate World Turns and Guiding Light. “There’s good people out there, now I’m even prouder to bring one home,” and he raised that Emmy Award high above his head! As for Michael Baldwin’s future, there’s a lot coming, but LeBlanc didn’t really give anything away except that Roscoe Born’s coming on board as his stepfather, which means more family drama. The show surprises LeBlanc every day and he loves it. He loves Michael Baldwin and doesn’t want to change that!
The show was over and the race is already on for next year. Which actors and actresses will make the cut? How will budgets affect the story lines and the productions? Real life cliffhangers for the reel cliffhangers. Tune in next year as we rock the red carpet and beyond!
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