The Daytime Emmys Debuts in Hollywood
Red Carpet & Press Room Coverage
Soapdom chatted up Finola Hughes (Anna, GH), Adrian Bellani (Miguel, PAS), John Logrieno (ex Cord, OLTL), Judi Evans (Bonnie, DOOL), Michelle Ray Smith (Ava, GL), Julie Berman (Lulu, GH), Jack Wagner (Nick, B&B), Ron Raines (Alan, GL), Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R), Jennifer Bransford (ex Carly, GH), Matt Ashford (Jack, DOOL), Forbes March (Nash, OLTL), Emma Samms (Holly, GH), Robert Newman (Josh, GL), Vincent Irizarry (David, AMC), Robin Strasser (Dorian, OLTL), Jerry ver Dorn (Clint, OLTL), Kristoff St. John (Neil, Y&R) on the red carpet, rubbing elbows with many more stars -- and shares winners comments straight from the press room!
It was big night! The biggest daytime fans have ever seen and it was all happening in the heart of Hollywood at the Kodak Theatre, home of the Oscar’s – The Daytime Emmys! Hollywood Boulevard was closed off. Fans lined the streets. Paparazzi seemed to be at least 10 deep. Stars were just beginning to walk the red carpet and face the music. Earlier in the day, chef to the stars, Wolfgang Puck commented on the size of the crowd attending the festivities. It was a first for him, and more than likely for the Television Academy. Los Angeles was rolling out the red carpet for more than just the men and women of daytime. They were rolling it out for the world.
The first people Soapdom spotted were Finola Hughes (Anna, GH & AMC) and Jackie Zeman (Bobbie, GH). They greeted each other like a couple of long lost friends. Even though it was too noisy to hear what they were saying, it was clear they were thrilled to see each other and had lots to catch up on.
Finola Hughes (Anna, GH & AMC) bounded over to Soapdom and was more than happy to chat, “Go for it,” she said. Marc Jacobs designed her short gold and white dress. How did she pick it out? She motioned with her finger and pretended to select one of five dresses from an imaginary rack, “That one!”
Other than the dress the most important question to ask this daytime was about life back on General Hospital. “It was like getting on a bicycle, actually a funnier bicycle, because that’s the way Bob Guza and his team write.” She’s having a great time and only did a week’s worth of tapings. Good and bad for her fans. But at least Anna’s back!
It’s always nice to find someone who recognizes the name Soapdom and Judi Evans (Adrienne/Bonnie, DOOL; Paulina, AW) is at the top of the list. We’re on her bookmarked favorites! Evans loves it in LA. She lives here, and is thrilled that the Emmy show is here this year. With Patch and Kayla returning, most people want to know where that puts Evans and her story line, “Days is famous for mixing it up. I honestly don’t know. I’d sweep floors there because I love it so much. So whatever they want to do, I’m going to do.” Evans has only one wish for Bonnie at the moment, “I hope she gets lots and lots of sex!”
This is my first Emmy Awards and I’m so excited so, it’s just overwhelming and incredible,” beamed Michelle Ray Smith (Ava, GL), “I can’t believe the number of paparazzi and the fans, it’s incredible.”
Smith went on to say “I was pinching myself this morning when I woke up. I can’t believe this is my life. I kept asking my boyfriend this morning, what are we doing today? Where are we going? To the Emmys? I can’t believe this. This is amazing!!! It’s just very surreal.”
Her beautiful dress is by Vera Wang. “I just loved it and it’s comfortable, sexy, and feminine at the same time.” The cool part about the dress, Ms. Wang sent it to her, but she picked it out with Sean, her stylist on GL. Smith knows something about fashion, having been a cover girl and a runway model. She knows a good dress when she sees one.
Decked out in one long gorgeous purple dress, Julie Berman (LuLu, GH), has only been on the show since October, “It’s a very interesting experience. It’s new and fun and I’m lucky enough to be with a lot of people that are really good and fun to work with. It’s been a great ride so far.” When she found out she was cast as Luke and Laura’s daughter, Berman knew she had big shoes to fill, “That was a very lucky break because people would say, I know who you are, you’re Luke and Laura’s daughter. Other wise, I would just be another person on the soap opera.”
Even though she was born and raised in LA, nothing could prepare her for the red carpet, “I think it’s crazy and insane and I don’t know how people do it every year. So many people everywhere and I can hardly walk, but I think it’s the coolest thing I’ve been too in my life.”
Suddenly there was a crush of people rushing to get inside the theatre. From a distance Kassie DePaiva (Blair, OLTL) scooted by accompanied by her good friend and co-star, Tuc Watkins (David, OLTL). General Hospital’s Tony Geary (Luke), a man of few words told us he’s having a ball with all his old friends back on the show. Tucked deep in the middle of the stars Kamar De Los Reyes was waving to the fans and a duo of One Life hunks, Dan Gaultier (Kevin), Trevor St. John (Todd) whisked by avoiding the paparazzi. On the far edge of the red carpet, two AMC alum, Rebecca Budding (ex-Greenlee) and Eden Riegel (Bianca), managed to escape the questions and the lights.
Funny and irrepressible, Jack Wagner had one great date – his son. Like everyone else, he was beginning to feel like a sardine, “It feels like it’s a little crowded on the red carpet, but it’ll thin out and we’ll have great time inside.” Soapdom tried to get a little inside scoop on the B&B and it appeared as though Jack was ready to spill. He leaned in, looked around, and almost in a whisper said, “You know, there’s gonna be a big problem with those Forresters and I’m gonna take ‘em on, head on, baby!” He winked, turned his son around and headed for the big long staircase up to the Kodak Theatre.
“I think it’s wonderful that we’re out here in California,” a very happy Ron Raines (Alan, GL) told Soapdom. “It’s a welcome change and it’s been in New York ever since I’ve been on the show. This is great to fly out to LA. It’s great weather. And, you know, shake it up a little bit.”
Most important, Raines’ alter ego, Alan is off the hook. He didn’t kill Philip. “I kind of knew all along that I wasn’t the murderer,” he said with a wink and smile.
According to Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R), “I visit your turf and I wish I could go there right now.” He’s a Soapdom fan! As always he was with his lovely wife.
Jennifer Bransford (Carly, GH) was in a great big hurry but had time to ask a question, instead of answering one, “Do Carly and Jax get married? That’s the question!”
Looking pretty fab in a suit courtesy of the Days of Our Live wardrobe department, Matthew Ashford (Jack, DOOL) was having a great time, “It feels a little more like the Oscars right now, but it is the Emmy’s.”
Since joining One Life, very dapper, Forbes March (Nash) has moved into the Big Apple and lives very close to the studio. What he loves most about the Emmy’s is the size and the opportunity to see a lot of old friends. “The fans out here are great!” Things are heating up between Jess/Tess, Nash and Antonio and inquiring minds want to know what’s going to happen? “I know…. but I’m not going to tell you.”
March had more than just Emmy on his mind, “My wife is pregnant and she’s due October 8th.” This is his second child and he’s much more excited about the new addition than the Emmy show, even though he was flying.
Emma Samms (Holly, GH) looked just great, not a day older. She was catching up with old friends and having a ball. All the talk about Emmy in Hollywood didn’t phase her in the least, “It doesn’t make any difference to me because I live in England.” She’s only coming back to GH for three weeks. “I have two kids I need to be looking after them.” And off she went.
A real Los Angeleno, they’re hard to find, but Robert Newman, (Josh, GL) was really happy to back in his hometown. He flew in a few days early, with his wife, Britt, to visit with family and friends and play a little golf. Newman is a true Valley boy! Thrilled about his nomination, he was also exceptionally pragmatic, “I’m extremely relaxed. I have no expectations.”
Newman’s been playing a Josh a little differently lately, and Soapdom wanted to know how? “I think he’ll actually become Reva Shayne and he’ll be wearing red dresses and dancing on bar tops any day and he’ll be driving that red car right off the cliff.”
It was fast approaching the last call and everyone was hustling to get to their seats. Vincent Irizarry (David, AMC) dressed in a great looking pin striped suit and rose- colored turtleneck could barely be heard above the fans. He needed to step closer to the mic, which he thought was a camera. “I’m right here, honey! I’m gonna look like a big nose in that camera.” Then he suddenly realized it was just for sound. We gotta do this quickly.”
As to what’s ahead for David, “That’s up in the air. Now, that Dixie’s back, anything can happen. Cady’s a wonderful actress and it’s always nice to have some history with an actress as we have with our characters.” Since Irizarry is an accomplished musician, is he ever going to get back to ivories on camera? “I don’t know. It’s been several years. I can’t say yes or no. I’m not in control of that stuff.”
He took off and Robin Strasser ((Dorian, OLTL) wasn’t far behind and terribly worried that the doors would close and she’d have gotten all dressed up with nowhere to go. She was talking a mile a minute, “It’s great to be here and it’s so gala and lush and HOLLLLYWOOOOOD!” Strasser’s been on and off the show for the last 27 years and it seems people are always asking her about beauty secrets, “I have nothing to impart except that I’ve been allowed to follow my passion. I still love what I do. Every show is opening night. That’s probably the elixir that keeps it all going.” The security guards were calling and Strasser wasn’t about to miss the show.
After so many years on Guiding Light, Jerry Ver Dorn (Clint, OLTL) has found a new home and he’s enchanted with it. “Coming from one show with so much history to another show with so much history, not many people get to do that, so I feel very fortunate. Then I turn around and there’s Robin and there’s Erika and there’s Bobby Woods behind me.” Like his co-star Robin Strasser he was being pulled up the steps and into the theatre.
Security was taking over when Kristoff St. John slowly sauntered by unaffected by the time factor. “It’s an exciting night, especially because it’s in Hollywood! And, we didn’t have to get on a plane.”
Then security cleared the red carpet and made way for the cameraman who was about to shoot a long walking shot up the red carpet. The show was already on the air and Soapdom headed over to the Press Room.
In the Press Room, each of the winners came through, hanging onto their Emmy’s. Gina Tognonoi (Dinah, GL) didn’t prepare a speech because she thought her cast mate, Crystal Chappell (Olivia, GL) would win. Tognoni is just as big a soap fan as the rest of us. When she saw her hero, Tony Geary (Luke, GH) she was speechless – almost, “I was so focused on him coming up the stairs. He’s so great. He said some very nice things about my reel and that was a real compliment.” When she heard that Tom Pelphery (Jonathan), her co-star on GL had won she was more than generous, “First of all, I love Tom very much and he knows that. I was expecting it. I’m not surprised.” Whether the show will pair them again remains to be seen, but Tognoni hopes so.
Tom Pelphery was up next and he was in a great mood because GL was so well represented on the podium. Big news, Pelphery is going to be around for a while. Not leaving the show any time soon, but couldn’t really talk about his contract. “I really do love where I work and I love the people.” Working with Kim Zimmer (Reva, GL) is like a dream for any actor, “It just raises the stakes 110% every time you do a scene and it makes you step your game up. When you get a partner like that you can’t ask for anything better.” Pelphery doesn’t have TIVO and doesn’t watch very much. Every once in a while he watches an episode, if he had a great time shooting it.
GL was sweeping the acting categories and when Kim Zimmer (Reva, GL) now a 4-time Emmy winner, won, she was in a word – Verklempt! “I’m just so proud of my show.” What a difference a year makes. Last year GL asked her to take a pay cut, but she wasn’t at the end of her contract. Now, she is. “I don’t know, maybe the Gods are intervening and saying you can’t leave now. How can you leave when we’ve just honored you with this fabulous gift? We’ll see what happens!
She started to praise Tom Pelphery and had to stop for a moment. It was all she could do to keep from crying, “Tom is a very special young man and a wonderful actor and he’s done wonders for my career, as well. We’ve kind of grown a lot this past year. Tom gave me the opportunity to stretch myself and to start taking chances again, because I got stale. And I didn’t want him to play the part. I’ve been very open about that in the press. He was my last choice and God, I’m glad they don’t listen to me.” Zimmer gushed about her co-star of 20 years, Robert Newman and she loved the menopause story because, “It gave me great story and it won me this,” as she proudly held up her Emmy to much applause!
Jordan Clarke’s been playing Billy Lewis on GL for almost 22 years and can’t believe his good fortune after all this time. “The material’s got to be good!” He used to live in LA and didn’t recognize the neighborhood, but he didn’t seem to care. He was flying high!
Jennifer Landon (Gwen, ATWT) finally broke the GL hold winning an Emmy for Best Younger Actress. Up in front of the press she was calm, cool, and incredibly balanced. She’s been on the show a little over a year and has really taken off. “When I read the role of Gwen, she was a waitress with a band called the Itty-Bitty-Kitty Crew and I would never name a band that and so I was like – What? But, I do relate to her in so many ways. But the character I read is very different from the character that anybody will ever see. I have an idea and then it’s filtered through me. So, it’s a lot of me, whether they like it or not.
The first person to ask Best Actor winner, Tony Geary (Luke, GH) a question was a newsman from Holland. Since Geary lives in Amsterdam half the year, he speaks the language and responded to the man in a great Dutch accent. The nomination alone meant a great deal to the GH vet. “The daytime medium, as it becomes more and more youth oriented, those of us who are over 50, and even over 40, sometimes feel overlooked and don’t get the better story lines and the attention I think we deserve. So, this is a very gratifying win for that reason. I find that the older I get the better my work gets. My face maybe falling, but my heart and my spirit are still soaring.”
Geary paid tribute to his late great mentor producer, Gloria Monty, who passed away earlier this year. “In the ‘70’s, she re-invented the medium and we’ve been walking around in her shoes ever since. And, I don’t just mean General Hospital I mean all of the shows. In fact, all of the shows have copied what she did very successfully.” And, then he went on about this incredible woman. “I’m here because of her. Nobody would have hired me, then, certainly not today to play a leading man. She liked actors. She wasn’t interested in looks and pectoral muscles. Her legacy is that she came into a medium that was very stale and she decided that the only way it would survive was to give it a big kick in the ass and she did that. And she had such passion about telling stories. But she didn’t follow her audience. I remember when they first started doing focus groups and I wondered how she felt about them and she said, ‘I hate it.’ Then I asked how she got through it? She said, ‘I smile acidly and count the hours.’ She didn’t care what the audience wanted. She was interested in giving the audience something they didn’t expect.”
Geary loves to work with younger actors, “I’m re-invigorated every time I walk on the set with Julie Berman, who plays my daughter, and Scott Clifton who plays Dylan. These people are alive and fresh and new and they’re hungry for information about how to make it work. They remind me of how you used to feel about it. And, in a way, it gets me re-charged up. So, I’m very, very excited to work with younger actors.”
By this time GH had won for Best Show and Geary paved the way for his producer, Jill Farren Phelps. Giving the audience what they want is what she did this year by bringing so many icons back and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. They did it because the show has very smart writers. “We were fortunate enough to see that when Rick Springfield came back that there was really an appetite for the historical characters, which allowed us to open the door to the other historical characters. And, that’s what these shows are about. They’re about the legacy, the history, the generations.”
Any age will come if you tell a good story and that’s what daytime does day after day, and one night each year when they honor their own!
|< Prev||Next >|