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Exclusive: Austin Peck Dishes on His 'Tainted Dreams' Role, Returning to 'Days of Our Lives', What's Coming up for his character and so much more!
Austin Peck recently made a return to 'Days of Our Lives' as Austin Reed, he also currently airs on Amazon Prime's 'Tainted Dreams'. Over the years he's been a fan favorite playing different daytime roles which include; Brad Snyder on 'As the World Turns', Rick Powers on 'One Life to Live' and Austin on 'Days'. Soap Opera News caught up with the talented actor to have a chat where he discussed his daytime return, his role on 'Tainted Dreams', what could be in the works for Carrie [Christie Clark] and Austin and so much more. Read the full interview below:
Guiding Light Alum Grant Aleksander Dishes on His Time On GL & AMC, His Role on Tainted Dreams, the Rumor that He Joined Days of Our Lives and More!
Grant Aleksander is best known for his role as Phillip Spaulding on ‘Guiding Light’, a role he played on and off from 1982 – 2009. He is also known for his role as Alec McIntyre on ‘All My Children’. Currently, he plays the role of Adam Clark on Amazon Prime’s ‘Tainted Dreams’. Soap Opera News caught with the talented actor as he dished about his daytime roles, his role on “Tainted Dreams”, the rumor that he was joining ‘Days of Our Lives’, If he would do another daytime soap opera and more. Read the full interview below:
I am so proud of your series "Tainted Dreams" and I'm sure you are too, how did you became a part of the show?
Grant: Sonia contacted me and told me about the project and the people participating. It all sounded great so I said sign me up.
What can you share about your character Adam Clark?
Grant: Adam’s not a bad guy but he’s got commitment issues. The arc of his story ultimately forces him to confront them.
Your daytime roles include; Alec McIntyre on All My Children and Philip Spaulding on Guiding Light - What storylines were most memorable for you on both soap operas?
Grant: My favorites were the Phillip /Beth love story and the Four Musketeers on Guiding Light and the work I got to do with Kelly Ripa and David Canary on All My Children.
And, you previously had a mini reunion with some of your former Guiding Light co-stars last year - did it bring back any Guiding Light day memories?
Grant: Oh yes. Anytime a group of us gets together its like a family reunion.
It would be nice if there was ever some form of Guiding Light reboot, possibly online - if so, would you be apart?
Grant: I would welcome any opportunity to work with those folks again. We just had so much fun together.
Have any of the current daytime soap operas reached out to you? Could you see yourself on another daytime soap opera? If so, do you have a character in mind that you would love to play? Grant:
Grant: I’d love to. I’m based on the East coast but the way the shows are produced these days that’s much less of an impediment than it used to be.
Have you kept in touch with your former Guiding Light co-stars and who?
Grant: Michael O’Leary [ex-Rick], Ron Raines [ex-Alan], Justin Deas [ex-Buzz], Robert Newman [ex-Josh]…the list goes on.
What has life been like since the cancellation of the show?
Grant: Great, But different! We were all lucky to have a “regular” job in Show Biz for so many years. That just doesn’t happen very often. When it finally comes to an end there’s a real period of adjustment.
After a photo was shared with you on the set of Days of Our Lives, the rumor began that you had joined the NBC daytime soap opera - what was going on there?
Grant: I was visiting a dear friend in the commissary who directs on Days. It just happened to be the day the Show was celebrating a big Anniversary. So I joined him in the Studio to say hi to some old friends and say congratulations.
Wouldn't it be nice if there was a Beth, Lujack and Philip reunion on Days?
Grant: Stranger things have happened!
Outside of acting, what keeps you busy?
Grant: I have been doing a lot of teaching and directing lately.
It's a new year - What's on the horizon for you (Career Wise) this year?
Grant: I have a couple projects in development and a book that my wife and I are editing for publication.
So fans – would you like to see Aleksander back on Daytime? Which show would you like to see him on? Share your thoughts below
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GH Alum Natalia Livingston Talks Tainted Dreams, Working with Tyler Christopher, If She Would Return to GH and More!
'General Hospital' alum Natalia Livingston, who is known for her roles as Emily Quartermaine and Rebecca Shaw on the ABC daytime drama spoke with Soap Opera News about her roles on Tainted Dreams, Days of Our Lives and General Hospital. Livingston also shared what her current 'GH' connections are, working with Tyler Christopher [Nikolas Cassadine], If she would return to daytime and more. Read the full interview below:
First of all, Congratulations on your marriage to Matt Aldag, can you share how you guys met?
Natalia: Thank you! We met in college at Emory University in Atlantag (where we actually had mutual crushes for each other) and reconnected years later via FB.
How has marriage life been?
Natalia: It’s been wonderful. I love being Mrs. Aldag. Matt is the sweetest husband a girl could have. He’s kind, supportive, thoughtful. He makes me laugh.
It's so good that Tainted Dreams was picked up by Amazon, what can you share about your character, Liza Park?
Natalia: I think you know about as much as I do. I’m excited to get our new scripts! I love the character of Liza. She has a lot of heart. It’s easy to feel for her. I’m rooting for her and hoping she finds her daughter. I absolutely love working with Grant Alexander and hope they continue to unfold that relationship. Perhaps, there will be a future for them?
What's it like being a part of such a (Soap) star-studded cast?
Natalia: It’s been a great experience so far. I’d always wanted to work with Alicia Minshew [ex-Kendall, All My Children]. Playing her best friend on Tainted Dreams is such a joy. She’s truly lovely. And, Sonia Blangiardo our director is fantastic. She’s so easy to work with and is dedicated to the success of Tainted Dreams.
Your character, Emily Quartermaine was pretty big on General Hospital and still remains a household name to this date - what can you share of your time at the ABC daytime sudser?
Natalia: I loved every minute of it. It was a beautiful chapter in my life. I feel honored to have been a part of such a talented cast and crew. I hope General Hospital continues for years to come.
How was it doing Emily's rape storyline, preparation and all?
Natalia: It was a grueling and challenging task. I wanted to make sure I did the storyline justice. I did a lot of research, spoke to victims and visited sexual assault centers to prepare. So many women deal with the aftermath of this horror. I hope we helped victims in some way. If nothing else, I hope they felt they were not alone.
You even played Emily's twin sister, Rebecca Shaw in 2009, what was that like?
Natalia: I enjoyed playing Emily much more. Emily was the center of the Quartermaine Family. I still think it’s such a shame that she is not on the canvas anymore. Rebecca was fun but I wish they had developed the story a bit more.
How did you find out Emily was being killed off? Do you feel like there's more story to tell for her?
Natalia: I was told she would return and that the character was not gone for good. Emily returned as a figment of Nikolas’s imagination. I think there is definitely more to tell in Emily’s story. I always hold hope that GH will bring her back. I know the fans would love it. There are so few central characters on soaps. Characters with real history. Emily was certainly one of those characters. She was so young. There were endless possibilities for her.
Your character and Tyler Christopher's Nikolas Cassadine was a big thing back in the day - do you guys stay in touch? Do you stay in touch with former General Hospital co-stars?
Natalia: Tyler and I say hi every now and then. I feel grateful to have worked with him as much as I did. I have many dear friends from my General Hospital days - Tamara Braun [ex-Carly], Cynthia Preston [ex-Faith Rosco], Alicia Willis [ex-Courtney] and Rick Hearst [Ric Lansing] are still very close to me to this day. I talk to them all quite regularly. I’m also so fond of Becky [Rebecca Herbst - Elizabeth], Maurice [Sonny], and Steve [ex-Jason] though I don’t see them very often. It’s hard to name just a few. I made so many friends during my time on General Hospital.
What would it take for you to return to General Hospital?
Natalia: A great storyline. Maybe Emily somehow being Rebecca when she was killed that day. Helena up to her evil tricks. Something like that!
And then you also played Taylor Walker on Days of Our Lives in 2011 what was it like joining the cast of DAYS?
Natalia: Days is a great show. I was happy to be a part of it. I don’t think the character and how she would fit on the canvas was well thought out but I did my best to play it.
If the story was right and timing, would you consider going back to DAYS?
Natalia: Probably. There are some truly lovely people on that set.
Would you do another soap - possibly B&B or Y&R or even a primetime series?
Natalia: I think so. I don’t have any immediate plans to return to soaps. I’m very happy and busy in this new chapter of my life but I’d definitely consider returning to soaps if the role intrigued me. We’ll see!
So, what's on your horizon for 2017? Any new projects? or personal life objectives?
Natalia: I’m enjoying being a wife and a business owner. Family and friends are everything. I’m trying to focus on that for now and take one day at a time. I feel very grateful for my life so far and look forward to what’s to come.
So fans - would you love to see Natalia return as Emily on 'GH' or Taylor on 'Days'? Where would you like to see her next? Share in the comment section below!
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INTERVIEW: Robert Newman Dishes on His Time on Guiding Light, His Popular Pairing with Kim Zimmer, Which Soap Opera He Would Do Now & More!
AMC Alum Jennifer Bassey Talks Upcoming Wedding, Time on AMC, If She Would Return to AMC Should the Show Be Revived & More!
INTERVIEW: Trent Dawson Dishes on Playing GH's Huxley, Reuniting with Maura West, ATWT Family Life & More - Read Here!
Trent Dawson is a well loved American actor. From his work on 'As the World Turns' as Henry Coleman to his most recent daytime return on 'General Hospital' as Huxley Lynch, Dawson became a household name. He spent years wowing daytime television viewers with his work on ATWT from 1999, where he was brought on to play the role for a few days, but was placed on contract in 2005 until the soaps cancellation. Since then he has made a number of appearances on a few primetime series before returning to daytime TV on 'GH' briefly this year. Dawson received a number of award nominations for his work on daytime TV.
Soap Opera News was very happy having caught up with Trent. In our discussion, he spoke of his work on As the World Turns, Returning to daytime on GH, Reuniting with his former co-star Maura West [Ava, GH], family life and more. Read the full interview below!
Days of Our Lives Interview: James Reynolds Talks Abe & Valerie Romance, His 35 Years on the Show, Abe & Lexie, What Could Happen for Abe by the Next 5 Years and More – Read Here!
James Reynolds recently celebrated his 35th anniversary as Abe Carver on ‘Days of Our Lives’ and continues to do a stupendous job on the show. Soap Opera News caught up with the fan favorite who talked about his milestone and his on screen developing romance with Valerie [Vanessa A. Williams]. We also discussed his on screen children Brandon [ex-Matt Cedeno], Lani [Sal Stowers] and Theo [Kyler Pettis]. Reynolds also talked about working with Renee Jones [ex-Lexie Carver] and Aloma Wright [ex-Maxine] and what could happen for his character by the next 5 years. Read the full interview below!
Hi James, How are you today? By the way congrats on a successful 35 years as Abe Carver on Days of Our Lives.
James: I am doing great this morning. Thanks for the congratulations. It was a fast 35 years.
Indeed it was! What can you say about those 35 years? I mean you've done exceptionally well on the show with your pairings, with several different characters, different storylines, working as Police Commissioner and more. What can you about those years?
James: Abe has been in the middle of things in Salem since the very beginning. I think his rise to Police Commissioner and now Mayor is indicative of that. He has been called the moral center of Salem. I think that is true. He has stumbled but his motives have always been selfless and noble.
Definitely! Now, it looks like Abe is finally going to get a love a story - with Valerie, Anything you can share about that?
James: Well, let’s see what happens. One of the many great things about Valerie is that Abe knows her. They were passionate when they were together years ago. Now, obviously, they have lived lives that have involved them with different people and different experiences. It is going to be fun seeing where this leads.
We can't wait. It's also great to see Abe with his children - Theo and Lani, how has it been working with Sal Stowers and Kyler Pettis?
James: Yes, I love both Kyler and Sal. I feel so fortunate to have them both as part of the Carver family. Sal is a delight. She grows stronger into the character of Lani with every show. Kyler has, what I call, the most challenging job on the show. He walks the line with Theo’s autism beautifully. I feel so lucky to have these two playing my children. I feel very paternal toward them.
And, job well done! By the way very powerful scenes when Abe was shot. What was it like filming those scenes?
James: I really wanted to convey Abe’s physical and emotional pain when he was shot. As usual his first thoughts were of his children and especially Theo. He did not want to leave him parentless. So his fear had a great deal to do with the fear that he had not completed the job of raising his son. Then we have the reality of a man in a tremendous amount of physical pain. I glad to hear so many people were touched by that.
Yes, indeed those scenes were sad but were brought across pretty well...thumbs up for doing such an amazing job. Where do you see or would love to see Abe 5 years from now?
James: That pretty specific…5 years. Obviously, Abe should still be Mayor and involved in all of the things that make Salem special. Hopefully, Theo has flourished in his relationship with Ciara or Claire and is a success in whatever career he chooses. Lani might be the Police Commissioner by then. Let’s not forget Brandon. Maybe he has moved back to Salem. And, of course, Abe should be lucky in love. With Valerie? That would be nice.
Lol, all of that sounds nice. Now, probably one of your most popular pairings was with Renee Jones' Lexie Carver. It’s been years since she left the show and then there was that developing bond between Abe and Maxine [Aloma Wright]. We haven’t seen neither of these ladies in quite a while, have you kept in touch with any of them? Where are they now?
James: Renee and I text. She is doing well and really enjoying retirement. We have a special bond. I think Abe an Lexie are one of the iconic couples of Days of Our Lives. I used to run into Aloma at different events before she was on the show so I look forward that happening again.
Ok and let's say you had the power to bring back one of the ladies or family members from Abe's past, who would it be?
James: Obviously Lexie would be at the top of that list. Fans miss her and so does Abe. He still wears his wedding ring. I also think Fay would be fascinating to see again. That relationship was never fully explored. It would also be good for Nicole to have her mother around.
Thank You! Are there any projects you are working on outside of Days that you can share about? And, is there anything you would like to say to your fans?
James: We always have things going. As you know, the Fremont Centre Theatre is ongoing. Young Stars Theatre leases from us and does wonderful productions for young people. We are co-producing Word Now, Dec. 4 at 7:30 pm. It is a story telling show that is funny, dramatic and inspiring. I will absolutely be there and happy to meet fans of Days…always! Look for several things in 2017. I will probably be performing my one man show, again, for the first time in seven years.
So there you have it ‘Days’ fans! What are your thoughts: would you love for Renee Jones to return to the show? Do you want to see Abe and Valerie hook up? What would you like to see for Abe? Leave a comment below!
General Hospital Actor Robert Palmer Watkins Dishes on Kiki and Dillon Pairing, Morgan's Death, Working with Richard Burgi, The Upcoming Daytime Emmy's and More!
Popularly known as Dillon Quartermaine on 'General Hospital', Robert Palmer Watkins stopped by to discuss with Soap Opera News a number of things. Watkins talked about his on screen pairing with Hayley Erin [Kiki Jerome], his relationship with Nina [Michelle Stafford], working with Richard Burgi [ex-Paul Hornsby], the upcoming Daytime Emmy's, life outside of GH and more. Read the full interview below!
About the popular pairing you have with Hayley Erin's Kiki Jerome. We know that your fanbase is pretty huge and we know that a few fans were disappointed with the recent happenings regarding Kiki and Dillon. So, what is it going be like going forward for Killon?
Robert: Well, I wish I knew [laughs]. Now, one of the funny things about being on a soap is, we are only about four weeks ahead of the viewers. So every episode you see, we only shot that about four weeks ago. And, another thing a lot of people don't know is that we don't know what's really happening any much soon than the viewers do. But, I will say that I'm rooting for Kiki and Dillon. I'm really, really excited about where their love story is hopefully going and the potential that it has. I think Kiki and Dillon are ready for a fresh start; I think they're ready for love and I think they match up well together. But, you know it is a soap opera and that could change at any point in time. Right now it's looking promising and everybody is really excited about Kiki and Dillon and it's looking like they might happen. But, you never know. Just wait and see because things change very fast on soap operas. I try not to get my hopes up.
But I do think they have potential for a Supercouple Status.
Robert: Yes, i think they have amazing potential. The reaction that the fans have to Kiki and Dillon have been awesome. I mean, I have been paired up Lulu [Emme Rylan], I have been paired with Valerie [Brytni Sarpy] and it looked like Maxie [Kirsten Storms] and Dillon was going to have a little bit of a thing. All of the fan reaction have been great but the reaction to Dillon and Kiki that I've seen on social media has been insane. And, I think the writers know that and hopefully it ends up happening in the long run. But you don't want it happening too quick then there's no story.
Another thing, is your scenes with Michelle Stafford's Nina Reeves. Fans thought something was going to happeen between Nina and Dillon, what's your thoughts on that?
Robert: Well, I think they have a special bond. I love what the writers have given Nina and Dillon. It's an interesting dynamic, because she's the boss, the head of Crimson Magazine and Dillon is really her employee. But I like where they're going with this because they do have a special friendship. And, I think there is a little bit of a flirty dynamic between the two characters, especially that episode where Nina was super drunk and she tried to kiss Dillon. I think that's the scene where everybody thought there was going be a story with Nina and Dillon. And, I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon but it's possible. I think they have a special bond, a really good friendship and I really love working with Michelle Stafford; she's so great to work with, she's so funny. I think that's why the fans like them together, because they play off each other so well.
Ok backtracking a little bit to the scenes surrounding Morgan's [ex-Bryan Craig] death. How was it preparing for those scenes, especially with Kiki blaming herself for his death and pushing Dillon away. How was it filming those scenes?
Robert: Those scenes were really difficult. That whole week was stressful because they were a lot of pain from a lot of different characters. Kiki was feeling guilty, like it was her fault, she was heartbroken. Carly was feeling like it's Sonny's fault, Sonny was blaming himself, Micheal was devastated and all the characters were affected. Dillon is obviously sad, he's also sad because he was so close to getting Kiki and now it's all put on hold. It was definitely a lot of emotions going through that week of filming. But, I was just trying to be supportive of Hayley Erin; she's a great actress, she's really grown a lot over the past year and I knew that these scenes were really, really crucial for her, her character and the whole storyline, So, I just tried to run the lines with her as much as she needed me to. I tried to be positive and supportive of her. Once we do a scene and we cut and have a little break, I will let her know she's doing a great job. I thought she crushed those scenes and it came from a very authentic real place which is hard to do as an actor on a soap. They don't give you a lot of time to prep for those scenes, they don't give a lot of rehearsals. If you are filming a movie for a big emotional scene like that you have much more time to get to that emotional state while on a soap you'd have to be there in that state on the first day. But Hayley did really well and I'm proud of her.
Thumbs up to Hayley. Another thing is the Daytime Emmy's coming up in 2017. We have been watching your scenes and you've done a great job especially in those scenes where your father was revealed as the GH killer. Will you be submitting any reels for the upcoming Daytime Emmy's?
Robert: Aww, thank you, I appreciate that. And yes, I'm definitely gonna submit but I would have to go back through and think about which scenes were the strongest. There a number of scenes that I love this past year and that I'm proud of, but I have to think about what was my strongest work. I definitely plan on submitting and I think every actor should.
And those scenes were very powerful! But, have you kept in touch with Richard Burgi since he left 'General Hospital'. How has the relationship been between you guys?
Robert: We are really good friends and I do keep in touch with him. He and his wife came to my event - I had a party in Hollywood and they came. We definitely stay in touch and I'm hoping that he's brought back to 'General Hospital' occasionally or as a recurring character. I think he's a really great actor and he adds a lot to the show. I'm really hoping they find a way to incorporate him for future episodes.
Now, outside of "GH; what are the things that keep you busy?
Robert: Right now, I'm moving into a new place with my roommate and that's been keeping me busy. But, I love staying active. I love going to the gym and working out. I love hiking, going to the beach and I love music. I also do a YouTube 'Funk It Friday'. I do music videos and now that I've moved into my new house I hope to work on some original songs. I am also involved with Roden and Fields [skin care] which is a little side business and that's been amazing. Other than that, anything creative. I got a lot of friends in LA that are always producing movies, short films or TV pilots. Hopefully one day I'll do more music or Broadway.
So 'GH' fans are you rooting for Dillon and Kiki as well? Which scenes do you think Robert should submit for the Daytime Emmy's?
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