December 1st, 2009  |  Leave a comment

Susan Lucci & Co – The Hollywood Christmas Parade Interviews

Susan Lucci

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It’s that annual tradition in Hollywood where Santa is the real star of the show, and celebrities from film, music, and primetime and daytime television ride in cars and floats to ring in the official start to the holiday season at the Hollywood Christmas Parade. And this year, All My Children’s Susan Lucci was selected as the Parade’s Grand Marshal. The actress attended with her husband Helmut Huber and many notable daytime stars also took part including: Y&R’s Jeanne Cooper, Judith Chapman, Vanessa Marano, Hayley Erin, and Sean Kanan. From B&B: Heather Tom, Jennifer Gareis, John McCook and Lesley Anne-Down. GH brought us Dominic Zamprogna, Julie Berman and John Ingle. In addition, Brothers & Sisters and Dancing with the Stars, Gilles Marini stopped by to speak with On-Air On-Soaps as did Antonio Sabato Jr. A good time was had by all. Associated Television International produced the telecast that will air nationally for the first time on December 10th and again on Christmas Eve on MyNetworkTV!

Listen to the audio:

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SUSAN LUCCI

Susan Lucci

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MICHAEL:

Susan, Jim Romanovich at ATI asked me what I thought of Susan Lucci being the Grand Marshal for the Hollywood Christmas Parade because AMC is heading west. I said, “I thought it was a terrific idea.” How does it feel to be the star attraction along with Santa Claus tonight? Will you be hanging with Mr. Claus?

SUSAN:

I will be with Santa Claus tonight, and I tell you I am so very flattered to the City of Los Angeles for asking me, a New York girl to be the Grand Marshal. It was a big gesture and a big welcome to All My Children who is coming out here January 4th.

MICHAEL:

The cast who is heading to Los Angeles to continue with the soap is going to have to say goodbye to cast members & long-time crew members in the coming days before it heads to its new digs. Is it going to be sad for you to say goodbye? You have been with the soap since the beginning, so you have forged many friendships.

SUSAN:

It’s very hard. There is sadness in the studio that has been there. We all said this to each other coming back from Thanksgiving, which is tomorrow, “We are going to feel it more so. It is drawing to a close and the reality does set in.” I love this crew and it really is an ensemble from top to bottom at All My Children. Not to sound corny or cliché, but we are a family and part of us can’t come out here and that is sad. The goodbyes are sad.

MICHAEL:

Your decision to continue with the show meant you were going to be bi-coastal and fly back and forth to tape.

SUSAN:

Yes, I am going to go back and forth, Dancing with the Stars prepared me for that.

MICHAEL:

You worked your butt of on that show!

SUSAN:

Thank you, I did, but I am glad I did. I had the best time and I know now I can do this and handle going back and forth.

MICHAEL:

Ryan, Greenlee and Erica will possibly have a triangle in the New Year. Are you looking forward to that story?

SUSAN:

I have no doubts about that. The Ryan/Erica thing is very new and we have had some fun stuff to play just before Thanksgiving, and certainly Greenlee coming back into the picture will complicate things. I think it might also mean that Jackson may be back, so we can have a lot of complications all the way around

MICHAEL

So, have you seen where you new dressing room might be?

SUSAN:

We have not moved into the studio. I just know where they are. I know it’s under construction and it will be brand new when we get there. I mean, I drove by it and took a glance.

MICHAEL:

We have heard so much about the 40th anniversary show of AMC that is airing in early January. Was it fun having Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos back (Hayley and Mateo)?

SUSAN:

It was so good to have Kelly and Mark back, and Julia Barr (Brooke) came back and Taylor Miller (Nina) came back, and so we had our own little reunion. But the show itself is a very fun format and really good show, and it was lot of fun with us.

JULIE BERMAN AND DOMINIC ZAMPROGNA

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© JPI Studios

MICHAEL:

I have not spoken to you since your win at the Daytime Emmys. Where did you put the Emmy?

JULIE:

My Emmy is on a table next to my couch because I don’t have a mantle. I look at it and go, “Wow”. I am still insanely proud and surprised and thrilled.

MICHAEL:

So Dominic, what is going on with Dante and Franco? There is some connection.

DOMINIC:

Yes, it has not aired yet. It is something from my past when he was a rookie cop. I stared at all that “Franco” artwork at the gallery opening a lot. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

How was having James Franco on the show? Did you get to work with him?

DOMINIC:

I was in a scene with him, but not with him, we are in the same area at the same time.

JULIE:

Dominic borrowed his clothes after James was done with them. (Laughs) No. No. I did work with him and it was good. He was pretty normal and he was overworked to an extent, but he was a nice guy.

MICHAEL:

But you have been overworked, too!

JULIE:

No, not like that…not five episodes in a day where I am literally holding the entire day’s worth of material. It was above and beyond what he did.

MICHAEL:

Love is blossoming between Dante and Lulu. Lulu gets a man by her side and inevitably screws it up!

JULIE:

Yeah, I know, but sometimes relationships don’t last in the soap world and sometimes it’s not her fault. Maybe the guy is bad, and maybe she won’t screw it up, but he will.

MICHAEL:

When will we see the reveal to Sonny that Dante is his biological son?

DOMINIC:

I have not filmed that yet, and I know nothing. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

What did you think when you found out you would be playing Maurice Benard’s (Sonny) son on GH?

DOMINIC:

It was a really cool thing. I met him and he was a great guy. He is obviously a legend on this show. He is great to work with.

HAYLEY ERIN AND VANESSA MARANO

Hayley Erin

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MICHAEL:

Are the two of you looking forward to doing the parade wave with your hands?

HAYLEY:

We are super excited. I think our hands are going to hurt pretty badly!

VANESSA:

Actually, it was requested by my sister on her birthday that I due the pageant wave. I was perfecting it a little while ago.

MICHAEL:

Hayley, you are playing the daughter of one of soaps most iconic characters, Victor Newman. Did you know anything about Y&R before you started?

HAYLEY:

Vanessa Marano

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I started watching the show since I started the audition process for it. Since then, it’s been crazy seeing the giant community that it is. All the actors are incredible, and it’s an honor to be playing Victor Newman’s daughter, but meeting Eric Braeden at first can be intimidating, but he is such a nice guy. You would never know with that stern look on his face. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Was soap veteran Eileen Davidson, who plays your mom Ashley, helpful to you?

HAYLEY:

She was so helpful, and she introduced me to everyone and was my little mentor.

VANESSA:

I have the best group. I am just going to say it, Christian, Greg, Judith. Tracey and Ted, all of them are amazing. It’s a loving group of people who are hysterical. I never expected this to be such a remarkable experience.

MICHAEL:

And you, Vanessa, kiss Kevin Schmidt (Noah) all day long on the show, and poor Abby has no love interest!

HAYLEY:

I have a horse. (Laughs)

VANESSA:

I have kissed Kevin a lot. Whenever I have a scene with Kevin, I don’t have to worry about memorizing lines because we are not doing anything but kissing each other.

CAROLYN HENNESY

Carolyn Hennesy, Asher Book

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MICHAEL:

Carolyn, are you going to do the pageant wave from your car/float in the parade?

CAROLYN:

I have my gloves on and am going to do my Queen Elizabeth the second wave, absolutely.

MICHAEL:

I watched GH on Thanksgiving and I almost fell off my chair! That was funny, and I am talking about the scenes with Max and Diane.

CAROLYN:

I was going to say, that might be my Emmy episode.

MICHAEL:

Your hair was messed at the end after having sex on the floor with Max. Do you add all those little nuances to Diane?

CAROLYN:

Yes. I messed my hair and I said, “Can I bring the glove and the plunger in with me? Can I scream off camera and go, “Bring it”… these type of things. I think so wacky and they will reign me in, but if the producers and the directors think it’s a funny bit, they will be the first to jump on board.

ANTONIO SABATO JR.

Antonio Sabato Jr, Family

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MICHAEL:

So your reality show My Antonio ended, and then what happened next for Antonio?

ANTONIO:

My Antonio was over last April and it was good and I had a great time doing it. But after it was over I was single again, and then I met Cheryl and we have been an amazing couple. We have been working through some stuff, but it’s working out.

MICHAEL:

Is he a good guy?

CHERYL:

He is amazing. Good person and good father.

MICHAEL:

Would you back to the soaps?

ANTONIO:

Yes, if they would call me! Put in a good word for me at GH and tell them to call me. They are probably the only ones. I am ready to come back.

JUDITH CHAPMAN

Judith Chapman

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MICHAEL:

We have not seen a lot of Gloria lately on Y&R. Where the hell is she?

JUDITH:

Gloria has been so on the back burner, but I think the New Year will bring good things for Gloria, because she always wants her money in the pie, and so I am planning and thinking and hoping and praying. That is what I want for Christmas, not my two front teeth. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Do you ever go to the writing team or the producing team and make suggestions for Gloria in terms of story?

JUDITH:

Once in awhile I do, but I pretty much leave it to the powers-that-be. But I enjoy the time off when I can.

MICHAEL:

You just did another theatre presentation with your all-star soap actor group, The Troubadours of Daytime?

JUDITH:

We just did Night of the Iguana. It was quite the slugfest, and I am actually thinking of doing another show in the spring with a much larger cast in Palm Springs. This one we had Orson Bean, Alley Mills and John McCook, so we are getting more and more names and actors participating.

GILLES MARINI

Gilles Marini, Daughter, Son

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MICHAEL:

How was dancing with Daytime Emmy host, Vanessa Williams, during the Emmy broadcast?

GILLES:

You know I worked with Vanessa Williams on Ugly Betty and that was the chance of my life to work with her. The next thing you know, I get this call from Dancing with the Stars and I am telling you my life got so much better. I wish everyone understands that Vanessa is like 23 years old. You dance with her and you feel her body…I mean this is unreal. I dance with 20 year olds and they are nowhere near the shape she is in. Vanessa is professional and she sings, dances and acts. She has got it all. If you ask me who in the entertainment is a complete performer? Vanessa Williams is complete.

MICHAEL:

You have had so much success before and now so much more after Dancing with the Stars? How are you managing it all?

GILLES:

The truth is I never really think about what comes next. In this business, it’s come and go. I want to keep my family and friends. Next to me is my photographer who I met when I was 18 years old. I keep the people with me I trust together with my family. The business is the business, and I work to do my best and I like to make people dream. If they like what I do, then I will be in this business for a long time.

MICHAEL:

What project are you looking most forward to?

GILLES:

I so cannot wait to go back on the set of Brothers & Sisters. I mean Sally Field…I mean who else on TV has this powerful a cast? They have a gay relationship on the show that people did not go, “Ooh”. They made it happen in a way that it is accepted.

HEATHER TOM

Heather Tom

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MICHAEL:

What do you feel thankful for and how do you feel going into the New Year about our country, and the state of the soap genre? I know I am throwing a lot into this question. (Laughs)

HEATHER:

There is still a lot to be thankful for. I wake up everyday and am thankful I have a job to go to and that this genre still exists. I am grateful to our fans and the people that support us. I think our country is slowly turning around and hopefully we can get some health care legislation passed and hopefully that will be something to be grateful for, or at least 35 million people will be thankful for.

MICHAEL:

On B&B into the New Year, will we continue to see Bill and Katie as a couple? Or will that be short term, as many B&B couplings tend to be?

HEATHER:

I hope so, and I think Don is on the same page with me. I want to keep them going regardless of whatever wrenches get thrown into the mix. I always think it’s more interesting to see a couple work through their bad times. I want to see them work things out as a couple.

MICHAEL:

But, Bill was hiding the truth of this kiss planted on him by Steffy. How is Katie going to react when the truth comes out and she confronts Steffy? Is she going to throw things?

HEATHER:

Those were fun scenes, and I did not throw things at all. I think she believes Bill when he tells her nothing happened between them, but I think the way she deals with Steffy is a completely different issue.

MICHAEL:

Last week’s Malibu remote, where Ann Douglas played by Betty White dies, were some very special B&B episodes! What did you think of those?

HEATHER:

I thought they were so pretty and everything worked really well, and it shows what you can really do on daytime, if you want to. I think even though they were remotes, we did 60 pages that day. I think you can still do great work.

xmas-3

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