Deep Soap: Daytime Stars Sound Off

Stephen Nichols (Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

Daytime soaps always have at least as much drama going on behind the scenes as there is in front of the camera. From the firing of veteran actors, to fans insulting stars on Twitter, to the unexpected return of characters, several stars sounded off about the hottest issues on their shows at the Television Academy’s Daytime Emmy nominees reception. They also shared their thoughts on the ceremony’s return to Los Angeles.

DVR Saturday’s Daytime Emmys, Airing on HLN at 8/7c

Stephen Nichols (Tucker “The Young & the Restless“)

Tucker’s been a bad boy. He’s lost Ashley. What’s coming up for him?
I guess I’ll have to find myself a new woman. Tucker can’t be without female companionship.

How do you feel about Eileen leaving the show?
I’m devastated. I was shocked and I’m still upset, especially because we were so good together. We really, really got it. These things happen.

You’ve been working with Genie Francis lately. Is the show trying to recreate the Stefan and Laura magic from “General Hospital“?
I don’t think that’s what they’re trying to do at all. If they were trying to do that, they would be foolish. But it doesn’t feel like that.

How do you feel about the Emmys returning to Los Angeles?
I think it’s great. We don’t have to fly to New York. Although the parties used to be great in New York.

Watch the Latest Episode of “General Hospital”:

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Jen Lilley (Maxie, “General Hospital“)

It’s Maxie’s fault that Matt is in jail. Lisa’s murder investigation was closed until Maxie confessed, and Matt had no idea he was guilty.
That’s an interesting way to look at it. It’s funny because when you play the character, you really take their side, so I hadn’t even thought about it like that until now but I think that she was having a panic attack, an emotional breakdown at Robin’s funeral, so I think she spoke too soon because she originally wanted to be punished. She wanted someone to make her pay for what happened to Robin and everybody kept saying it wasn’t her fault. But I kind of think that it’s Spinelli’s fault that Matt’s in prison because he was the one that broke his promise and blabbed to the court. Of course, as Jen Lilley I understand the motivation for his actions, but I still think that Maxie could have handled it herself because she’s smarter than she looks. She could have finagled her way out of that situation and I think the whole thing is really smart and a really good way to write the storyline, but really frustrating.

Are Maxie and Spinelli going to get back together?
I don’t know. I really hope that they do because I’m such a Spixie fan. But I don’t think so. I think it was kind of a really cataclysmic end to that era because as you see in the most recent episodes, he’s going to annul the marriage. Right now I’m still walking around with my wedding ring. So it’s very strange that Jason Cook’s not on the show but she’s wearing a ring and I don’t know how she’s going to get out of that but it’s really interesting and I don’t know what’s going to happen with Spixie, but right now it is not looking good.

You joined the show as a temporary recast, then ended up sticking around when Kristen Storms turned out to have more serious medical problems. A lot of fans were initially hostile to you. How did you deal with that?
There were certain people that would say, “you made her sick.” Those people were easier to write off because clearly they’re not mentally in a state that’s stable. Those people you really can’t dignify with a comment or a reaction. But the people who would insult me personally, it was hard because I’m not asking everybody to like me. I’m not asking anyone to even give me a chance. If you want to have an I Hate Jen Lilley séance in your basement, do it. That is your right as an American and as a viewer. But it was when they would say it to me personally that I would put it into a Twit longer. “Hey, if you say this to me personally, it’s hurtful.” But overall the fans have been great. I understand that it was an unfortunate circumstance, an awkward circumstance. I have used this reference so many times, but I love “Dexter.” If Michael C. Hall wasn’t Dexter and they had a replacement, I don’t care how good the replacement was, I would be devastated. I get how it’s emotional and heartbreaking, but they’ve really come around. I really appreciate the GH fans.

You had a small role in “The Artist” which won the Oscar for BEst Picture. If GH wins the Emmy for Outstanding Show, you’ll be two for two.
I so hope so. That would just be the most amazing, amazing year for me ever. I’m so blessed to be on “General Hospital” and I’m so excited we’re nominated for 23 awards.

Are you willing to go on the record and state that the presence of Jenn Lilley means a project will win a lot of awards?
I would not say that. I don’t know.

Do you like what Ron and Frank have brought to the show?
I love them. I think they’re so fun. I think that they really get the show and I think that they know how to shake it up and they know what we need.

Watch the Latest Episode of “Y&R”:

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Blake Berris (Nick, “Days of Our Lives“)

Your return to “Days of Our Lives” is shrouded in secrecy. Can you give us a hint about it?
I think everybody’s dealing with the question of whether or not Nick is reformed and whether he’s changed. Suffice it to say that I don’t think anybody thinks that anybody can go through years of prison without being changed in some way. They have everybody guessing whether he’s reformed or not.

Was there any hesitation to come back to Days?
I wouldn’t call it hesitation. I would say that it was a decision that we discussed, me and my team, for a while but as we hashed out the deal and I learned what their ideas are for the character, it became an opportunity that we couldn’t pass up.

Nick started out as the daytime  version of the guys on “The Big Bang Theory” and ended as a psycho. How did you feel about the character’s transition? It came a little bit out of left field.
To me, I felt it was a quality that was always there. They kind of dealt with it with the Willow incident. Then they revisited it with Melanie. That’s what I love about what they’re doing now is they’re really kind of exploring the psychology between that light and the dark. Because everybody has the light and the dark in them and I think that’s what makes Nick such an interesting character.

What’s it been like on the set? Have things changed from your initial time on Days?
They have, and they haven’t. There’s some new people, but there’s a lot of the same people. I fell into the rhythm again pretty easily. I had four episodes yesterday and that I was like, ‘Wow.” Even when you’re on an indie film and you’re doing nine pages a day, people are like, “Oh my god. This is crazy.” And then you go to a soap set and you’re doing 100. It definitely exercises that muscle a lot.

What is Nick’s relationship with Melanie going to be like this time around?
It’s fraught.

How do you feel about the Daytime Emmys moving back to L.A. and the telecast moving to cable?
I feel like I’ve been deprived of a cool trip somewhere. The first time I went, they had just done it in New York. Then it was in L.A. for three years. Then I left for a couple years and they did it in Las Vegas. So I feel like I’m always missing out on something.

Are you saying that your presence in daytime determines whether the Emmys will be held in Los Angeles?
I think so. There’s definitely a correlation there. There’s probably a causation as well.

Any predictions for who is going to win?
I think Chandler [Massey]  is going to win. I would love to see Molly [Burnett] or Shelly [Hennig] take it as well.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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