Stage and Heard – Soap Opera Digest

Ariane Zucker was totally on board when DAYS decided to review Nicole and EJ’s relationship with Dan Feuerriegel. “I love these two characters [together]and i like it when Aliit’s [Sweeney, Sami] in the mix,” says Zucker. “We have a hoot together in everything we do. It’s awesome. I am happy [the writers] think again about those relationships that have existed for so long. I love when they reflect on things and give us a bit of history. You never know when things will come back. Zucker had admired Feuerriegel long before they started sharing scenes together. “I saw Dan working on the stream and I was like, ‘Wow! He’s really, really good. I wanted to share this with him, because it’s hard to fill [another actor’s] shoes,” she says, referring to the original EJ, James Scott. “I wanted this new person to feel as welcome as possible.” Along with welcoming Feuerriegel, Zucker also offered some advice. “At first I was like, ‘Whatever you do, don’t read the negative comments, because unfortunately there will be people who say they don’t like you. They will say things that aren’t nice and that have nothing to do with you. It’s up to them and how they feel,” Zucker says. “Number two, I told him to have a good time creating his EJ, and I feels like that’s what he did. He’s such a solid actor and I love his intensity.

Y&R Courtney Hope (Sally) attests that the steamy sex scene between her character and Adam was anything but. “The love scenes are really technical and far from romantic,” laughs the actress. “There are so many things to think about at the same time. It’s like, ‘Okay, you have to lie down this way, now turn your body this way but orient your head this way.’ Then there are so many angles they want to achieve, but at the same time you want everything to look natural, which involves a lot of choreography. We had to figure out how we could head into the office so my arm could hit the stapler a certain way to make it fly in an exact direction but at the same time do it while I’m wearing a tight skirt that I’m really embarrassed because I don’t want an unintended peep show. And it’s hard to be intimate when you have all these crew people watching. And then there’s damage control – or lack thereof. “I broke so many things in this scene!” Hope admits. “I broke a vase, a coffee cup and when we clinked glasses with wine glasses, the stem of my glass broke. When they handed me a bottle of champagne, I asked: ‘ Do you really want me to have this?’ ”

Parry Shen (Brad) and Kelly Thiebaud (Britt) had as much fun as their characters did when GH scripted a drunken Valentine’s Day outing for them at the Savoy. “There was a lot of improvisation just because of unexpected things because of falling props, but it didn’t matter because it kind of worked in the scene,” Shen recalled. Thiebaud agrees: “There were a few funny elements in the Valentine’s Day episode that we didn’t talk about; these additions, they happened naturally because we were both there, present and playing against each other. For example, Shen chuckles: “There were these sparkly hearts and I was trying to fill them up and pull them out because Brad was exhausted and then Kelly grabbed a whole bunch of them and threw them at my face and I reacted. I remember Franc [Valentini, executive producer] laughed and said, ‘Kelly, whose idea was that?’ Ramasse Thiebaud, “Yeah, he was like, ‘Kelly, who told you to do that?’ and I was like, ‘Nobody told me to do this!’ There’s another part where I’m playing with this little heart-shaped wand or something and I see Carly and I instantly try to hide behind this heart-shaped wand. I mean, it’s a really stupid drunken thing. It was so Amusing!”

When ALL RISE returns to the airwaves on OWN after two seasons on CBS, Y&R alum Wilson Bethel (ex-Ryder) assures that the show’s central platonic friendship between his character, Mark, and the leading lady Simone Missick (Judge Lola) will remain intact. “We’ll see more of that, plus a deeper sense of how these friends care for each other in ways that aren’t sexualized or, ‘Are they okay? Is not it ? or something like that,” warns Bethel. “And, honestly, it’s been one of the great pleasures for me to do this show and explore this relationship and work with Simone. So hopefully we can continue to do that and continue to deepen their relationship. And just from a general storytelling point of view, I would add that because we don’t have to engage in the tropes of “Will they or won’t they?” and the relationship dynamics that often hosts these male-female relationships on TV, it means we have a lot of time to explore different types of relationship development that are, quite frankly, I think more unique and interesting.

About Madeline J. Carter

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