September 11th, 2010  |  Leave a comment

The Eric Sheffer-Stevens Interview – The Follow Up – As the World Turns

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This week soap fans watched in sadness, horror, and frustration, as their beloved Dr. Reid Oliver, played magnificently by Eric Sheffer-Stevens, met his maker on As the World Turns. After being fatally injured in a collision with an oncoming train, while trying to save the life of his colleague Chris Hughes who needed a new heart, the story moved at breakneck speed.  But the sad soap twist was, that in the end it was Reid’s heart that saved Chris’s life.  And with that plot point in place, that ended the beautiful and developing love story of Luke Snyder and Reid Oliver.  In over nine months time, the popularity and meteoric rise of this same-sex couple was something rarely seen by any daytime couple, straight or gay.

And with the show’s controversial decision to kill Reid for dramatic effect the final weeks of the series, (it goes off the air next Friday, September 17th), fans were struggling to get their bearings and grieve for Reid.  All the while, the show moved at a lightning pace to tie up the loose ends of his life, get the donor heart transplant completed to save Chris’s life, and bury Reid… all within three episodes.   For many right up until the end, Sheffer-Stevens turned out performance after stellar performance.

As promised to you, the fans of On-Air On-Soaps, Eric and I caught up with each other last night after you watched the week’s worth of air shows on Reid’s death, to deliver to you part two of our conversation… the follow-up to our interview last month. We delve into the shocking ending for his character, Eric’s true thoughts on the matter, which may surprise you, the fundraising efforts of Doctors without Borders, the phenomenal performances of Van Hansis (Luke) and Terri Colombino (Katie) and much more, as we say our final farewell to this one-of-a-kind actor, and this one-of-a-kind soap character.  Here’s Eric…

MICHAEL:

Well, that was quite the shocker; that a train hits Reid.  I don’t think anyone really thought 100% prior to Chris Goutman’s reveal to TV Guide, that this was the way things were going to end!

ERIC:

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Yeah, it’s great, right?

MICHAEL:

Terri Colombino had told me on our new On-Air On-Soaps Podcast, that initially she laughed when they saw the scripts, because it was like how were they going to show that?  How were they going to show Reid getting struck by a train?  I mean, what did you think when you saw that, when the script came to you?

ERIC:

First, I feared the worst of how it was going to come out, but I loved the ending of it.  If you have to have it end, it’s a great ending.  ATWT EP, Christopher Goutman, had told me beforehand, and before the scripts came out.  I think I told Terri and Daniel Cosgrove (Chris), that there is going to be some really intense shots of me, and then cut away to the train from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood at an intersection, and it would go back and forth. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

That is what it looked liked! That is the one thing that really bugged me, that was that the train was going so slow!  When I was reading the synopsis of what happened and it said ‘he was hit by a train,’ I presumed it was a speeding train, and this was a Choo-Choo!

ERIC:

I did not quite get how I was stuck on the tracks, that wasn’t quite clear to me, but overall, as an idea; I loved the idea of Reid dying and giving the heart to Chris, and all of that.  I thought, “Yeah sure, that is not a neutral way of going out.” (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

You went out with the biggest bang ever!

ERIC:

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Yeah, so that’s good.

MICHAEL:

You did not know from the beginning of your run on ATWT, that you were going to die, or did you?

ERIC:

Oh, no!  I only knew like a month before we shot it.  I am sure Reid would not have died right away if the show, as a whole, was not wrapping up.

MICHAEL:

I think fans of Luke and Reid felt short-changed, as these death scenes were so short and quick and the whole episode moved at lighting speed.  They wanted more scenes.  They had just enough time to see where Reid looked at Luke for his parting glances, and to get the legal stuff all sorted out to propel the story.

ERIC:

I was not upset by it and it felt right to me, because once you have the collision, it’s all about other people’s reaction to it.  You can’t have many scenes after you have been hit by a train… it’s just not going to happen. (Laughs)   It’s a miracle to get out a couple of lines, and then that’s it.

MICHAEL:

Yes, I know.  For a few minutes Reid was lucid, and then all of a sudden he was brain-dead.  If you watched how it played out, did you like that Reid went out a hero?

ERIC:

Oh yeah.  I loved that, and I think that was great.

MICHAEL:

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When Van Hansis was doing those scenes with you, while you were lying there and he was emoting all over the place, what did you think of his performance?  It was just so powerful.

ERIC:

I could not talk and they had something strapped in my mouth, but I thought Van was fantastic in the scenes.  And when I watched them this week, both he and Terri were really beautiful, and they did beautiful work.  I was proud of them both.  It’s not easy stuff to do, especially in that situation when you are doing the scenes so fast, and to have an emotional connection like that in such a bizarre environment of a soap set.  I was very impressed with both of them.

MICHAEL:

It was really sad.  People did not get to see their happy ending for Luke and Reid.   Do you feel at all it short-changed the fans?

ERIC:

I am sure when you are pulling for somebody, there is nothing happy about this kind of ending, but as far as telling a story, I am happy about it.  I have a different set of criteria than someone who is just into the story and wants there to be a happy ending.  So, of course, it’s going to short change them, but then that is not always telling the best story or the most interesting story.  As the person playing the character, I was happy with it.

MICHAEL:

My favorite scene was actually before the train crash, when you went to play golf with Chris Hughes and the hospital trustee guy, and the guy asked you, “What is your handicap?”  Eric, I thought that was the funniest of all.  I sat here and laughed.

ERIC:

You mean, when I go, “I don’t know where you have been.  But, we don’t refer to them as handicaps as anymore. Now they are ‘physically challenged’.” (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Yes, and then Reid hit the golf ball perfectly!

ERIC:

I actually did hit the ball perfectly.  It was amazing.  I was shocked.  It was one of the best shots I have ever had.  I just put the ball on the tee and I hit it and I went, “Wow, maybe I should do this all the time and not think about it.” (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

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Do you play golf?

ERIC:

I play very infrequently, and not when I am in New York, just when I am out of town.  My dad and I played a few times recently.  I would love to play more, but living in the city does not lend itself to that.

MICHAEL:

I thought one of the really key and important moments for the fans of LuRe to take with them, was as Reid was heading out of town to get the heart for Chris. It was then he told Luke he loved him.  Obviously, it was a pivotal moment for Reid.

ERIC:

I think he was that comfortable with where they were, and it was a lot easier for him to say at that point.

MICHAEL:

What do you think of the Uncle Angus scenes? James Rebhorn is such a phenomenal actor, and it was so touching.

ERIC:

I love that guy, and when I saw that he was playing my uncle, I went, “I love him.”  I thought, “Oh, wow, I cannot imagine it was anything that was not good.”  I am just behind two days right now, so I have not seen those scenes yet.  I am going to see every single episode!

MICHAEL:

It was so sad!  There is footage of little young Reid, and Lily and Holden go to tell Uncle Angus that Reid loved Luke and vice versa, and that Reid died.  It was a beautiful scene and there was a chess piece…

ERIC:

I read that part…

MICHAEL:

And Angus gave the chess piece to Lily and Holden to give to Luke.  And I know everyone is so upset by losing Reid, but the show has in its own way honored the character of Reid, as if his legacy lives on.

ERIC:

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I thought so.  It turned out way better than if he didn’t die (Laughs).  I mean, to have that be on the final week of the show’s run is amazing to me.  It’s a great thing.

MICHAEL:

So as you may know, the gay fans are upset because they ruined the romance of the gay couple, and poor Luke ends up alone without Reid.

ERIC:

Right, “They ruined the romance, they killed the gay guy, and everyone else is happy.”

MICHAEL:

I don’t believe the writers were sitting there going, “Let’s dismantle the gay couple, because they are gay.”

ERIC:

I don’t think so.  I feel that it’s the better ending, and it just raises the awareness of it all the more, and to have them interacting with a funeral director… and it’s all about a gay couple.  All the focus then is about the gay couple and how they love each other, and how it should be easier to take care of Reid’s remains and effects.  But they are not married, but they are a couple and they are not quite being treated the same way, as if they were a straight couple.  That is all good stuff, but not satisfying stuff.   But, to have the couple be the focus of everybody’s conversation and grieving, I can’t think but that helps bring awareness to gay couples.

MICHAEL:

It is like you are the focus and center of attention of the 54-year-old soap as it goes off the air, and you were only on the show for nine months of it!

ERIC:

It’s bizarre to me and wonderful, and not just for Reid, but to have the gay couple be such a focus at the end of the show.  All the other storylines are dealing with it in someway.  It helps raise people’s awareness of gay couples and relationships, and how normal and fantastic they are.

MICHAEL:  

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Luke makes this beautiful speech.  In it he says, he never got to go to the farmer’s market, or a movie, or make-love to Reid.  It was so true.  It was two young people in love who just got started and then it got smashed to smithereens, literally!

ERIC:

Yeah, and that is more tragic and story-wise that is a good thing.  There was a lot of promise there, and then it gets cut short, and it makes it more poignant.

MICHAEL:

Have you been reading facebook, or the fan forums and websites, on the overwhelming amount of comments about Reid’s death?

ERIC:

No, I haven’t.  But I checked in on the fundraising they have been doing… its incredible!  I was very moved by it.

MICHAEL:

It’s been unbelievable and I am so proud of them.   Can you tell me how this came about?  I understood that they had wanted to send some parting gifts to you and from there it sort of morphed into turning their grief into this amazing charitable effort.

ERIC:

I had been asked about receiving stuff, and I said, “No, it’s OK.  I can’t receive anything. I am not at the ATWT studio anymore.” And then I was approached with; because somebody had come up with the idea of turning their grief into trying to raise money for charity, and they concentrated on that.  Someone asked me what about a doctor theme that tied in with a charity that I really cared about.  So I wrote back and said, that Doctors without Borders is one that I really care about and support, and that has a doctor tie-in.  So they went with it and set it up. They talked with somebody in development at Doctors without Borders, and set up the page and it exploded.  I am amazed by it.

MICHAEL:

We had “Black Friday” where when the train hit Reid they raised $3,000 in donations, and then on “Tragic Tuesday” they meet their goal of $15,000.  Now I hear they are going for $20,000 this coming week!

ERIC:

I was amazed! Yes, someone had forwarded me an article you had written about “Black Friday” and I was amazed.

MICHAEL:

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And then on “Tragic Tuesday” we had over 140 posts on my site of this forum, to let us know if you are grieving for Reid and how you feel about him being killed-off.  And these fantastic fans took so much time to write and share their thoughts.  You must have done something right to make them comment passionately, and endlessly!

ERIC:

Oh my gosh. That is amazing!  That is very flattering.

MICHAEL:

If the show would have continued, what would you have loved to have seen happen between Reid and Luke?

ERIC:

I don’t know, but I was interested in seeing how they were developing the relationship and where it was going to lead them.  I would love to see them date and have Reid open up some more, like Katie said he was finally doing at the end.   And, see him in a relationship, and get really close with Luke, and showing them living together.  And Luke is a man now, so whoever Luke would end up with, even if later down the line the Reid relationship didn’t work out, that is the next step… to show him with somebody, and living with him, and being a proper couple as adults.

MICHAEL:

Did you think there was going to be a sex scene between the two of them before you found out how Reid was going to be killed? Was anything ever on the table to have that scene occur?

ERIC:

Nobody had ever mentioned anything.  I just assumed that is where that was going, and even when I got the scripts that he was going to be killed, I still wondered if they were going to have them have sex or not before it happened.

MICHAEL:

I thought it would be really good if they had gotten together, and then he got killed. 

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ERIC:

Yeah, it would have!  But, that is not the way it went.

MICHAEL:

When you look back on the whole journey of playing the part of Reid, what were you favorite moments?

ERIC:

I loved the end, as that is freshest in my mind.  I loved Reid getting closer to Chris, and even though they never showed it, he had a genuine respect for him.  And it was one of those buddy relationships, and he really wanted to help him.  And also, Reid being more open about his feelings for Luke, I liked all that.  I loved the very beginning, it was just as fun as anything else… coming into Oakdale and pissing everyone off, and all the writing they were doing for him, one-liner after one-liner.  I loved the situations he was getting into, and the elevator scene, and all of that.  I am not sure of any specific moment, but there was a lot of fun material to play.

MICHAEL:

Katie and Chris had a line after Chris finds out he has Reid’s heart and comes to terms with it, where he says something to the affect of, “Now that I have Reid’s heart, will I be chewing my food with my mouth open?”

ERIC:

Did he say that? (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Yes!

ERIC:

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I told them when I read the scripts that Chris was going to live, but he was going to wake up as a crabby gay doctor.

MICHAEL:

When you went to film the scenes with the car crash/train accident, was that filmed in New Jersey?

ERIC:

Yeah, it was a train track on location in New Jersey.

MICHAEL:

So did that pose any difficulties in shooting?

ERIC:

No, it wasn’t an active train track.

MICHAEL:

(Laughs)  

ERIC:

It wasn’t used anymore! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Of course, it was The Mr. Rogers train! (Laughs)  Now, leaving behind the whole part of Reid, what can we say to your fans that are still grieving the loss of Reid?

ERIC:

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As far as fan response, I am just blown away by it and very moved by it, and that they are that affected by his death, and it’s an incredible thing to me.

MICHAEL:

But, what everyone wants to know is if you are OK with the show’s decision, and that you stand by the show’s decision to kill the character, and that you don’t feel short-changed as well?

ERIC:

No, not at all, I was very happy with it.  As a storyteller, and as an actor and playing a character, it’s been a great arc to come in and do that and have a big final ending, and then have everybody grieving over him.  I liked it and it was good storytelling.

MICHAEL:

Has it been odd for you, this whole soap experience?  When you took the job, you probably had no idea how big this character would become.  Do you feel weird that fans wanted to know more about you?

ERIC:

It is strange to me.  I am pretty private and I just like people to see the work and that be the only thing that people know about me.  So it’s interesting to me that my profile is being raised at all because of this.  It is surprising!

MICHAEL:

I think they are also thinking, if this would be the ending you would have chosen for Reid, because they all had become so invested in this character?

ERIC:

If the show wasn’t going off the air, eventually sure.  Who knows how long the character would have been around?  But whenever he went out, I loved the way it ended under these circumstances.  Now under other circumstances, I can’t really say.  But to have him die and donate his heart, it’s great.  

MICHAEL: 

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I really appreciated in our last interview, how strongly you felt for gay rights.  It is commendable that you have a good grasp on it.  I thought people came away with even more of an affinity and positive thoughts about you.  I think it’s important because that is the whole problem and issue of how gays are reflected on daytime television, or not reflected.

ERIC:

That frustrates a lot, and no story is reflected in daytime television, as it would be in life.  So that is a given.  But it is frustrating for everybody and should be.  They are not at a point yet where they should be, to tell a gay storyline as they would a straight storyline.  And, that has to do with who their sponsors are and their audiences are.  And, they have to take that in to consideration, and everybody understands that, but that does not make it less frustrating.

MICHAEL:

So what are you working on now… a new film?

ERIC:

I am doing a film right now, shooting over three weeks here in New York.  I am playing a sad divorced Lit professor.  It’s about three friends who are at a point in their lives in their mid-thirties, and they are not quite where they wanted to be.  They are 15 years out of school, and it veers off into their own storylines, and mine is that I am just trying to find my situation.  It’s funny and it’s real and fun.  I have grown a beard and let my hair go curly and being as disheveled as I can be.  And it’s gone really well.  I am working with a lot of friends.  A lot of them are people I went to college with.  So, it’s great, because I just did Much Ado about Nothing with people I went to grad school with at the Vermont Shakespeare Company, and that went very well.  This group has a lot of people I went to college with at different times.  The film is called, Lefty Loosey, Righty Tighty. Pretty soon there will be a website for the film, and I think it’s going to be Leftythemovie.com.

MICHAEL:

Any more thoughts about L.A. since our last conversation?

ERIC:

I am going to be going back and forth pretty soon.  I will be out there for chunks of time.  The future is always unknown to me.  Right now I am doing this film, and when it gets done I start looking for work again.  It’s been a good couple of years, but there are always stretches of time when you are not working and that is going to come back.  And as an actor, you have to believe in the cycles of things.

MICHAEL:

Would you take meetings at the L.A. CBS soaps like, B&B and Y&R?

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ERIC:

I don’t think so.  That is not what I am gunning for. This was a great run on ATWT, but I am not looking to move right into another one right now.  I am always open to anything.  I would like to do more episodic work in primetime, as well.  I just started watching Mad Men and thought that would be a great show to be on.  Anything with great writing, I would just love it.

MICHAEL:

As we close Eric, I just want to personally tell you that watching you on As the World Turns has been witnessing one of the great portrayals of a gay character, as it was fresh, original, and not a carbon copy or stereotype of how some still perceive gay people, and I want to thank you for that and tell you, “you did good”.

ERIC:

I appreciate you saying that, and it means a lot to me.

  1. kwbalan says:

    Thank you for this wonderful interview. Although as I have said in the past I am very disappointed with the end to this story I do understand that from an actor’s standpoint it was a great ending. And had it not been for the incredibly talented Eric Sheffer Stevens & Van Hansis I would not have been so completely sucked in to this amazing love story. What is making me so sad is the fact that it is over and I am losing a show that has been a big part of my life, and a story line that I have been completely immersed in for the last 9 months. Kudos to Eric & Van!
    Thank you again Michael for this wonderful interview and for allowing us to voice our opinions here on your site.
    And one more shout out to the incredible ESS & LuRe fans that I have come to know and love. Contributing to such a worthy cause as Doctors Without Borders has helped to ease the pain. What an amazing group of fans to come up with such a wonderful idea and run with it. I am so proud to be a part of this.

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  2. Teri says:

    ROFL at the Mr. Rogers Neighborhood comment. Though I gotta say those puppets in the Neighborhood of Make Believe used to scare the bejeezus outta me.

    Thank you Michael for the follow up and for everything you have done to help promote not only this story but our efforts with Doctors Without Borders. While I can’t be happy about the way this story ended, I do have to agree it gave us some amazing performances. And I totally get where Eric is coming from it is much better to go out with a bang than a whimper.

    Eventually my broken heart will catch up to my more intelligent brain and I will be able to see the ending more objectively.

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  3. Isabel says:

    Thanks, Michael, for asking insightful questions. And a great big thanks to Eric for his entire run on this show. I think Reid and LuRe fans are extremely devastated because we care so much about the character, and that is due to Eric’s fantastic portrayal. But it is what it is, and if Eric can accept it, then we should too . . . eventually.

    Great interview, though, and I do hope Eric’s popularity leads him to bigger and better things.

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    Barb replied

    Yes, Isabel, ICAM. Eric definitely deserves a huge thanks for bringing Reid alive. I am not a fan of gay storylines. As a matter of fact I was very turned off with Luke and Noah; they seemed so “blah” IMHO. Then when Reid BURST on the scene and finally confessed that he was not only gay but had a thing for Luke, well I perked up–much to my surprise! I so looked forward to the development of these two individuals becoming a couple who not only were in love with each other but their discoveries would be boundless! Well, TPTB (P&G) really showed us how they felt when it came to the fanbases of ATWT.

    I was impressed with Eric from the very beginning. I thought “finally, a character that says what everyone else is thinking”–was a novel idea! Too bad P&G didn’t have the same vision as the fans of this show.

    After everything is said and done, I truly wish success to all the actors of this wonderful show. I only just returned to ATWT when Julie Pinson came on board; but I soon fell in love with so many of the characters. I will miss then all–best wishes, God bless and I’ll be looking to see you all (ecpecially Eric!) some time in the near future–some where!

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  4. Alice says:

    Wonderful to get a new interview from ESS! Thank you, Michael!

    I’m very glad that he had an enjoyable experience on ATWT and that he’s pleased with the way his character ended.

    However, I’m horribly upset. His death was utterly pointless – Chris could have gotten that donor heart from Bay City quite easily.

    Leaving Luke, who is sweetness and goodness personified, heartbroken and alone at the end of the show while everyone else is celebrating births and marriages is a real slap in the face. We won’t get to see him recover – the show’s over. We will be forever left with those gut-wrenching images of him crying over the man he only just realised he was in love with.

    And Reid too had already evolved, he had already changed into a better man thanks to Luke and Katie’s love, he didn’t need to carve out his own heart to prove it.

    There is nothing satisfying about this ending from a fan perspective. It was rushed, poorly-written and the Hughes family just looked like vultures swooping in to claim Reid’s heart while Luke stood there in shock.

    The utter unbelievability of Reid being brought into the hospital “too hurt to save” yet still having all his organs fit to be harvested makes a mockery of the viewers’ intelligence. Why he was even brought to Oakdale when he was only 10 minutes away from Bay City hospital is also too stupid to be real. Let’s not even get into the ridiculousness of his body being cremated and ashes scattered so soon after his death. There is a legally required 24-hour waiting period for cremation.

    Oh, and let’s not forget that pesky little issue where gay men who have been sexually active since 1977 are not actually allowed to donate blood or organs!

    The writers were clearly too lazy to spend 5 minutes googling in order to make their stupid ending plausible. The whole thing makes me sick to my stomach.

    The only thing that didn’t suck was Van Hansis’ INCREDIBLE acting out of Luke’s grief. He was completely heart-breaking. And ESS also did an excellent job with the death scene.

    Those guys have provided us with amazing acting and chemistry over the past nine months and I am so grateful for that. I wish them well and I will follow their careers closely.

    The fact remains though, this ending is devastating for Luke and Reid fans. Pure and simple. If I manage to get through a full day this week without crying, it will be a miracle. I feel like someone I know died.

    ATWT should be ashamed.

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    Anne replied

    Alice you said it perfectly….

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    Chastity replied

    sad that ATWT is ending & sad that Reid died!!! Really dislike the way this is ending!

    mmc replied

    As much as I’m still crying over this sad ending, the most poignant things I’ll always remember is when Luke was telling Reid, “i love you and you love me”Etc.And the way Reid was looking into his eyes with so much love….not a word was spoken by him after that, but it was so appropriate because from day 1 they spoke volumes when they looked into each others eyes without speaking a word.What a sad ending to a beautiful love story…and no one could have done it better than Eric and Van!!!

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    Chastity replied

    you are so right!!! Wish it would last for many years to come… Reids character captured many hearts because of that unspoken certainty…. Reid & Luke had great chemistry and i am very sad to see it end.. Hearts have been breaking since Reids death all over the world…. Amazing character…

    Michael replied

    Alice said the following, “Oh, and let’s not forget that pesky little issue where gay men who have been sexually active since 1977 are not actually allowed to donate blood or organs!”

    That was completely uncalled for and in my opinion, ignorant on Alice’s part as well. And it did not start in 1977 either lady. Get your friggin’ facts right. The entire HIV/AIDS epidemic didn’t start until 1981, not 1977.

    As a person living with HIV for 17+ years myself, it is ignorant people like you that make me want scream bloody murder and it offends not only me but everyone else’s intelligence!

    Maybe you need to educate yourself more before you go making blanket statements like you just did. You owe the many men and women and children who are living with HIV and AIDS a major mea culpa for your stupidity and ignorance.

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    Alice replied

    Actually, I do have my facts right. A man who has had sex with another man since 1977 is prohibited from donating. Despite the fact AIDS/HIV started in 1981. That’s the law.

    Alice replied

    Oh, and for the record, I don’t like it and I strongly disagree with it. I’m not sure why you’re jumping down my throat, I was merely trying to point out how badly-written the whole mess was and how poorly researched the ATWT writing team is. The fact it didn’t even occur to them that gay men might not be allowed to donate shows that even though their homophobia might not be conscious, they’re certainly ignorant of gay rights issues.

    Michael replied

    Alice, that’s beside the point. You NEVER should have injected that whole issue into this conversation and I have to say, I’m disgusted that I’m a human being among a bigoted and calloused woman who thinks she’s far above and more superior than anyone else. Get a life pizza face!

    Anju replied

    Wow Michael. That was just straight up rude. Comments like that don’t create an good environment for mature conversation. I know it’s not my place to butt in, but anytime I see such complete disregard for others, I feel like I must say something. Alice pointed out something factual, it’s a clear cut guideline that UNOS goes by. You can disagree, but there’s no reason to take your anger out on others. This is a conversation that’s occurred in many fan forums, because of the nature of the storyline. We know soaps are not always realistic, but we do expect them to have some connection to reality.

    “You NEVER should have injected that whole issue into this conversation” When exactly should this point have been brought up if not now? It’s like saying we shouldn’t talk about gay marriage laws, if all of a sudden a soap decided to get a gay couple married in a state(for argument sake, say illinois) that we know doesn’t have such a law passed.

    The only real point I was trying to make was, there’s just never a reason to be rude to others and denigrate someone just because you’re hiding behind the safety of your computer.

    teresa replied

    you said everything i wanted to say and you said it beautifully.
    thank you,
    teresa

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    mmc replied

    alice, why is everyone getting so upset…We all know all the writers took liberties in every sense of the word.Nothing was done right with this whole Luke Reid ending.I think we should all remember the stupidity of TPTB.They had the story of a lifetime in their hands and didn’t know what to do with it, so they killed reid and left luke alone.if i wasn’t such a lady, i’d call them the A-Holes that they are!!!!

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    MC Solano replied

    Alice: Absolutely! Could not have said it better! My mind is still boggled by the complete ignorance of the writers and producers of ATWT – how the hell they could not get that EVERYONE would see this ending as homophobic…. so sad.

    Reply

    Lewis replied

    Alice: You absolutely nailed it on all fronts! The question of the state of Reid’s organs after suffering such an accident was brought up by others I know, not to mention the problem of where you are allowed to scatter one’s ashes. But this IS a soap opera after all. Eric’s perspective is not the same as that of the viewers, and the writers should have taken more deliberation regarding the potential affect their ending would have on its audience. 9 months is a long time to invest in a daily storyline that is given such an abrupt and convulsive conclusion. The Soaps are geared to play on one’s emotions but the absolute finality (in more ways than one) of this aspect of ATWT’s storyline was close to being over the top. When one strips away all of the ancillary coupling that was wrapped up, the end of the Luke/Reid relationship stands out as being even more unsatisfying than it initially appeared.

    Reply

  5. lovelure says:

    Hi, Michael – I can’t believe there are no comments posted yet – there must be an enormous stack in the queue waiting moderation! Thanks so much for following up with Eric and for asking many of the questions fans have been asking. There will certainly be fans that disagree with his responses, but he’s entitled to his opinion and he has more than done his job of bringing the character to life.

    As a straight woman, my kneejerk response to Reid’s death was for a character I loved, not for a gay character that I loved. But reading all the posts from LGBT fans who are devastated has swayed my opinion to think that we are not yet at a point in our collective social history to treat the death of one of daytime’s few gay characters (and arguably the most compelling one ever, at that) as “just another death.”

    At this point I’ve resigned myself to pointing out all the shortcomings of the ending, in the hopes that people somewhere listen (other soaps, network executives, mainstream media). But meanwhile, I will remain forever grateful that Reid Oliver graced our screens for nine months and that I found Eric Sheffer Stevens and his amazing fan base. His support (and yours!) of the DWB campaign has made the ending of this journey about much more than a TV show – it’s been very special for all of us.

    Finally, on a more frivolous note: thank you for the question/answer about that golf swing – I remember watching that and thinking a) wow! I don’t remember golf looking like that and b) that actually looked like a really good shot. I particularly love how all three actors stayed in character (and either did some great ad libbing, or followed along with a script just knew that Reid/Eric would nail the shot!).

    Reply

  6. SnapeGirl says:

    I’m honored to be the first comment. First, I want to thank you, Michael, for doing the best interviews with your guests. They are in-depth and you always get to the point of what the fans really want to know in a graceful and respectful way.

    I have been watching ATWT for over 25 years, and even in his short 9 months stint, Dr. Reid Oliver has become my favorite character on the show (actually surpassing Dr. John Dixon in my book, so it was brilliant for me to see them together). I have to thank Eric Stevens for giving us the best performances to cherish and make this last year of the show such a treat to watch. I personally wanted to thank him for bringing to the forefront some of my favorite veteran actors–Don Hastings, Kathryn Hayes and Larry Bryggman. It was great to see how well Eric effortlessly interacted with them. He raised the bar for every scene partner he performed with–for instance the lovely moment he had with Lesli Kay during the ‘non wedding’ episode of Molly & Holden.

    I was thrilled to see Eric and Van Hansis working together. They are both so talented and complemented each other so brilliantly. Their scenes were electric whether they were fighting or falling in love, and it was a real treasure to fall in love right along with them. I think that’s why it’s so hard to deal with the ending TPTB gave their story.

    I understand, as actors, why they enjoyed playing out this story ending, and I do see Eric’s point that they end up honoring Reid in the end. But I’m not quite sure anyone involved knows just HOW TRULY devastated the fans are who have been following this story from the beginning. Literally EVERYONE in Oakdale ends up with their ‘happily ever after’ but Reid and Luke and Noah. It just seems a horrible decision to, once again punish Luke who in his short life has seen such tragedy, in order to give Katie husband number SIX in the end; and to save the life of a man who caused his own problems by making bad decision after bad decision. Because when it comes down to it, heroic story or no, that’s what we are left with. And I just think the fans want someone to acknowledge the unfairness of it.

    Not to end on a sad note, I will never regret the time I spent watching Reid and Luke’s story. I do honor the fact that they gave us this beautiful character of Reid Oliver to show the world what a proud, brilliant, sexy, sensual, kind, noble neurosurgeon–who just happens to be gay–looks and acts like. And the fact that this story was never a “gay” story–it was a love story with entwining lives. Reid was a closed-off human who was able to open up his life because of Luke’s love for him and his love for Luke. Changing so many lives in the process.

    The most amazing part for me is what flourished from these two characters. The artwork, the moving videos, the incredible fanfiction (which unfortunately honored the potential of this story better than ATWT did), the websites, the blogs, the incredible friendships, and of course the fundraising campaign that ALL stemmed from the beautiful LuRe relationship that Eric and Van brought out in their work. That’s the true beauty in all this tragedy. And I thank Eric and Van for inspiring all of it! It will be a long time before anyone forgets those performances.

    All my best,
    JoAnne :)

    Reply

    SnapeGirl replied

    Um… I didn’t realize until after I posted that they don’t put the comments up right away. So I guess I wasn’t the “first” comment. LOL, but I might be the LOOOOOONGEST! Geez, sorry people. I had a lot to say. ;) <3

    Reply

    kwbalan replied

    ITA snapegirl with “And I just think the fans want someone to acknowledge the unfairness of it.”

    I would love to hear TPTB acknowledge this. Not the actors. I truly understand where they are coming from. Most of the story was great for the actors.

    But from a fan’s standpoint it was devastating. Everything about it. From so little airtime, even alone time for Luke & Reid toward the end, to no sex scene, to every heterosexual couple getting a happy ending but not the homosexual couple. What makes this worse is we will never even get to see a happy ending for Luke.

    So we have to say goodbye to a show that I personally have been watching most of my life and to add insult to injury we lose the one character that was the best to hit daytime in a very long time if ever in such a tragic way… Just doesn’t make sense to me… Never will.

    Alice said it perfectly. ATWT should be ashamed.

    Reply

    SnapeGirl replied

    I agree. I really don’t expect Eric OR Van to do anything other than give the best performances of their ability–which they did, beautifully. Unfortunately, I expected the EXPERT show runners to know how they were going to dishonor their loyal fans who kept the show on the air for so long. But they showed us they never cared, by insulting our intelligence and breaking our hearts this way.

    Michelle replied

    I couldn’t have said it any better myself. :)

    Reply

    teresa replied

    joanne, i totally agree with everything you said and couldn’t have expressed it any better.
    teresa

    Reply

  7. LUCIA says:

    I disagree with what is said: the end of ATWT is not focused on Reid, it is focused on LUKE and on how Luke lives the loss of his boyfriend. It is Luke’s journey that is told in that end of the show and it is Luke’s emotions, feelings and attitudes that we are witnessing. We are watching episodes of Luke dealing with himself and with his dreams.

    Reply

  8. bluemirror144 says:

    Thank you for doing this follow-up, Michael. Eric is lovely, of course. Perhaps his decision to be taciturn about the controversial ending is motivated by the fact that he’s such a private person. I get the sense that he wants to be able to say “it’s all good” and go on with his life. He’s certainly intelligent and wise enough to know that the writing for his character went from brilliant to abysmal, that the second half of the storyline was ludicrous in its avoidance of intimacy for Luke and Reid. Perhaps he’ll never be able to understand how ripped-off the fans feel, and that ATWT’s “focus” on Reid toward the end of the show’s run appears to fans as the use of his character to prop up a much less interesting and less developed straight couple. There was something about Reid, and Eric’s portrayal of him, that became deeply important to many of us. He resonated for me in a way no character ever has. Watching him changed something in me. To witness him being artifically transformed into a dead hero at the end cheapens the nine months so many of us invested in him, and in his relationship with Luke. That they never were sexually intimate doesn’t sweeten the tragedy to me; it makes me feel manipulated and played. Again, thank you Michael.

    Reply

    Lisa replied

    “it makes me feel manipulated and played” Summed up my feelings!!!

    Reply

    elphau replied

    well say !!! you pretty much said everything that is in my mind. 100 +1% agree with you 

    Reply

  9. Badaddiction says:

    Thank you for another interesting read. I enjoy and respect ESS’ POV on the character he’s portrayed skillfully and wonderfully for 9 months. I may not miss the horrific writing and production values of ATWT, but I will most certainly miss the remarkable acting talent of Mr. Sheffer-Stevens and his co-workers.

    Reply

  10. JenA says:

    Thanks for the extensive and well rounded interview, Michael. And thanks to Eric for doing it. I still can’t get behind the ending for Reid at all, but I can see where ESS is coming from as an actor to support it. Also glad to hear that he is not going to keep going for soaps in the future. ESS is so much better than that, and after watching ATWT, I feel burned by soaps anyhow. Won’t be watching any more of them.

    Also love ESS’ support for realistic gay portrayals in the media. He certainly showed how it’s done!

    Reply

  11. sera says:

    I think that Eric as usual comes across as a charming, talented actor that puts a lot of thought in his craft. I’m interested in his new film project & will be sure to check it out as well as any acting gigs that he does. But, but but….

    He has no clue about what the soap opera audience wants in an ending. Especially a soap that is really ending. This ain’t no 2 hour movie. The soap characters on the show are part of the daily fabric of people’s lives. They become like friends to the viewer. So to see ‘a friend’ end up as roadkill only to give his heart to an asshat who caused his own problems in the first place is so, so not a satisfying ending for the viewer. The fact that the only ones to die on the show this year is an attempted rapist (Silas) & the gay character(Reid) & the only one to get the super sad ending is another gay character (Luke), compounds the issue.

    The message that gays don’t get happy endings is the overriding one many will take from this. Which is a shame because the show did create
    one of the more refreshing, wonderful, just happens to be gay characters that have ever graced our screens. Thanks Eric for bringing Reid to life & bringing much enjoyment (except for that train crash/heart transplant thing) to many in this final year of ATWT.

    Reply

  12. ltklo says:

    Michael, thanks for another great interview. While I am unhappy with Reid’s final storyline, I understand why ESS appreciates it as an actor. And it did give the opportunity for some fantastic performances by ESS and Van.

    Great news that ESS is currently filming a movie and I hope ATWT opens many doors for him. I’m excited to see him in great things!

    Reply

  13. Bumblebee says:

    Is ESS going to be giving interviews six months from now? I have never seen a media tour like this. It’s too much. He says nothing new, and I’m sick of the bloggers fawning all over him like he is the best character ever in daytime history. I’m glad it’s over only if I never have to hear another interview about how Reid thou art.

    Reply

    mmc replied

    What’s your problem?i’m an older viewer and i was devastated by the ending of this show….And to see everybody get a happily ever after except Luke and Reid was a knife in my already broken heart. Eric and Van will go on to bigger and better things I hope an emmy for each!

    Reply

    ShellyB replied

    he may not be the best character ever in daytime but REID OLIVER IS THE BEST NEW CHARACTER THIS YEAR!!

    Reply

    SnapeGirl replied

    Bumblebee,

    In Eric’s last interview, he wasn’t able to answer a lot of questions about the end of the show because it hadn’t happened yet. MF and Eric promised this interview to give us FANS the final word on how he felt about the issues, and I’m thankful for it. If you don’t care for him, you have every right not to come here or read it. I don’t think it’s too much coverage for an amazing actor who was head and shoulders above others in the soap world, or to give attention to a breakthrough character on daytime TV who gave a positive spin on a gay couple. He’s also gotten a lot of press because the show is ending as is his time in the ‘soap world’ most likely, so this will be everyone’s last chance.

    Reply

    Anne replied

    Nobody put a gun to your head and forced you to read it. That is really a stupid comment. If you don’t like him don’t read about him, but to compalin that he is giving interviews…seriously ignorant…. it is really strange that you know about all of his interviews but don’t like him… strange.

    Reply

    PastPerfect replied

    Hmmmm…it would seem that this poster is regurgitating the JS site party line about how much attention ESS is getting. Stay classy, Nukesters.

    Reply

    garnett77 replied

    Ahh, the Nukies. So bitter. I must agree with the other comment that no one is forcing you to read this. And, for my money, Reid Oliver WAS the best soap character ever, in the history of the genre.

    Reply

    Lisa replied

    WOW!!! How let the DOG’s out?
    Go take your med’s

    Reply

    Tristan1 replied

    Eric played a good part. He is obviously a modest person full of praise for people in his profession and greatful for those who appreciate his skill. He answered the questions he was asked and he stated that he has already moved on to other projects long before your six month deline. I guess you didn’t read the entire interview.

    zubie replied

    1) to me personally ( and really, its for everyone, so for you to say he is not is a bit……. yeah, im trying to stay nice, so i wont finish that sentence) he IS the best character i have ever seen!
    2) so, he’s already moved on to other projects, but he’s asked for interviews, cuz he’s got a really large fanbase, and for him to still take interviews, just shows how kind he really is. Its not like he runs around, asking people to interview him. Again, he has moved on to other things, as he should, since he finished this job three months ago.
    3) why are you here reading this interview if you diskike him? And WHY do you dislike him? Have you met him personally? Got a beef with him? Or are you just a pissed Nukie who wants to be heard? Kinda unfair to take it out on an actor who is just doing his job. You might want to redirect your anger to a certain executive producer and headwriter(CG and JP) who were in charge of killing this show.
    And you go around reading ALL interviews you dont like? Scour the internet for stuff you DONT want to see? Seems like a waste of time to me. You should be spending that time looking at stuff you do want to see ad hear. Just saying…..

    Reply

  14. Michela says:

    I can’t honestly say that I agree with Eric re: the pace of Reid’s death episode, in particular, because, to me, it felt frustratingly rushed (not to mention poorly written and shot, if brilliantly acted by Van); and the lack of *real* focus on Reid & Luke was insulting, to say the least.

    That said, I enjoyed this interview immensely. And Eric’s words about Van’s performance + about what he would have liked to see happen for LuRe if the show hadn’t been cancelled and Reid killed made me really happy.

    Reply

  15. Annie says:

    I do understand why Eric like the wrap up of his storyline as an actor and that this ending is a bless, to end up a story that there is so much buzz around. Now when his character is killed off the buzz is even bigger but not in all positive ways.
    It would have been lesser painfull for the fans (and me) if LuRe at least had the chance to complete their relationship by that i mean have love before he was killed and I think it’s endearing that Eric, even when he got the script of the train accident, he still belived that Luke and Reid would manage to do it before.
    I love this interview Michael as you always ask the right questions and in a nice way so that the actors relax and opens up to you..
    Thank you for a great interview

    Reply

  16. sarah says:

    I loved Michael’s questions he is amazing as always ,but I didn’t like ESS answers to the ending question cauz no matter what I didn’t and will never like it cauz it was so wrong in every way possible and offensive to the fans that rooted every f****g day for this couple.

    Reply

  17. Ripley says:

    Oh, Eric. Oh Michael. <3
    This was a wonderful interview, though that is hardly a surprise considering the two of you!
    I wish I had more time to comment on every little thing I adored [such as the comments about the DWB campaign, gay rights, Eric's take on the end], but I must run!
    Though you can expect a much more long-winded response later =] Haha.
    Thank you, Michael and Eric, for this incredible interview!
    And good luck, Eric, with your film!
    <3

    Reply

  18. Denise Robinson says:

    Michael,

    Thank you for doing the follow up interview with ESS. I’m just so glad that he’s been so busy with new theater and film projects, since ATWT taped its final episode back in June 2010.

    Reply

  19. mmc says:

    Thank you Eric for portraying one of the best characters i’ve seen on this show for years.Both you and Van portrayed two men ,so different at first, who took the best from each other and fell in love.And both of you portrayed these two men as human beings and took away the stereotype of gay men.I’m glad that you are happy with the outcome, but as a longtime fan it leaves me saddened that Reid and Luke won’t have that happily ever after.You and Van made me feel so much sadness when you lost your heart and he lost the love of his life.My wish for both of you is continued success and 3 Emmys….one for you one for Van and one for this storyline!!!!

    Reply

  20. Robin says:

    Mr. Fairman,
    Thank you for this follow-up interview with Mr. Sheffer Stevens.

    I’m so glad he is happy with Reid’s story arc. It appeared to me that Mr. Sheffer Stevens gave the role his all, and it has to be rewarding to tell the story from beginning to end. I will say, however, that because of his wonderfully nuanced portrayal of the multi-dimensional Dr. Oliver, hearts were broken everywhere when Reid died, and hearts continue to mourn for Luke in his loss.

    That’s what great acting does – draws you and makes you believe in the characters. Luke’s scene with a dying Reid were so emotional. Van must get an Emmy for his work!! It’s unfortunate that the show had to fast pace Luke’s stages of grief over three days while we had weeks of Barbara talking to a clown.

    Sorry. I just had to say that. :)

    Watching Mr. Sheffer Stevens play Reid was a pure treat!!! Television can get so bland and here comes a character so in your face, so bold, yet vulnerable. The evolution of Reid was pure storytelling for any genre of TV.

    I have donated to Doctors Without Borders in honour of Mr. Sheffer Stevens’ work. I’m so glad he supports a multi-national organization, since I live in Canada.

    I would like to thank you, Mr. Fairman, for great interviews, and Mr. Sheffer Stevens for being Reid. I also wish Mr. Sheffer Stevens great luck in his future endeavours, some of which, I hope, bring him back to TV. :)

    All the best.

    Reply

  21. Laura says:

    Fantastic interview Michael- you asked all the right questions and Eric always gives thoughtful answers. We were truly lucky to have him this last year.

    Reply

  22. Kelly says:

    Thanks for the great interview. I loved hearing Eric’s take on everything. I’m so gonna miss him! Even though Reid’s story ended in tragedy, I think it’s awesome that he found true love with Luke. If Reid had to die, at least it ended with Luke and Reid being in love and admitting they loved each other. Luke and Reid were soulmates. Reid definitely helped Luke to see that he and Noah weren’t right for each other and now one day Luke can find somebody who loves and respected him as much as Reid did and he will know not to go back to an unhealthy relationship.

    Reply

  23. Minnie Choice says:

    I had stopped watching ATWT and Reid appears and I never missed an episode. Oh, how I love this actor and I hope he soars to even greater heights.
    Good Luck

    Reply

    Jackie M replied

    I too had not been watching the show for awhile but started again once Reid came to Oakdale! I think it was an awesome interview and I am one of those grieving the loss of Dr. Reid Oliver. I’m sad that it ended that way, but understand. I have been watching all the episodes again to get my Reid fix! Thanks for the great interview!

    Reply

  24. Tiffy says:

    Hey! Great interview with Eric Sheffer Stevens. Very insightful! ATWT now feels so empty without the great Reid Oliver. He definitely was the best new character to come on this show in a long time. Eric Sheffer had chemistry with everyone on the show-Luke, Chris, Katie, Bob, Henry, and others. That’s very rare.

    I didn’t like that Reid died, but at least he died happy and in love. At least Luke did not go back to his miserable ex and discovered that it was Reid that he truly loved and wanted. How sad that Luke will spend his final days grieving, but at least we know that Luke did love Reid and chose him. That’s what is important. Now we know that if Luke does go back to Noah, it was only because the ‘other guy’ is dead. However, I think Luke has gained too much self respect than to settle for less than he should. Thankfully, it was Reid who taught him that. Reid Oliver was truly an amazing character.

    Reply

    mmc replied

    Luke has grown into a man…he will never go back to Noah but will continue to grow and do good things because he loved and was loved .Reid and Luke was the love story of the century…two men who fell in love and became better because of it.And to be portrayed in a non sterotypical way was lovely.Thank you Eric and Van ….you made me laugh and cry and i wish the best for both of you!!!

    Reply

  25. tess says:

    Thanks Michael for the interview. Though i dont agree with everthing Eric and Van have said in their interviews(since they have to say those things anywai) am glad for the 9 months of LuRe, too bad it ended in tragedy. All the other couples get a happy ending except for the gay ones, thats very sad indeed. I wish them all the best in what both Eric and Van undertake. I cant wait to see ESS’s movie. x

    Reply

  26. HH says:

    Interesting interview as usual Mr. Fairman. As for Mr. Eric Sheffer Stevens, how I disagree with you, let me count the ways. Death is not the only option. Lets repeat in new words: interesting story does not have to equal death scene. You can have all the drama of a car crash, a heart transplant story & turn Reid into a hero (Why?) who gets the heart , without having him die. Everyone gets to cry, moan wail to the heavens. John Dixon comes in & saves both Reid & Chris. The people in the town promises to change their ways & use the example of Reid & Chris. But in this case Luke & Reid also get the HEA & the audience gets to be happy as well.

    But instead what did the Soap Gods give us. The wonderful characters of Luke & Reid, so Yeah. Then they were in a relationship. Then they talked around each other to avoid offending anyone who might think gay people touch each other, so boo. Then they were backburned for a month (2 or 3 appearances in 1 month) Then when bought back, they repeated the same stories twice so continuity sucked. Then we had hospital drama to avoid showing a romance & offending viewers. Then they got sucked into propping Chris/Katie uninteresting romance & heart issue. Their only date–blocked by Chris. So what did this equal? Months of frustration for the fans who put up with it because ESS & Van are so talented & entertaining (when they’re on) & someone said watch till the end for the reward to your patience. And then we get to the end to be rewarded with: horrific train accident, deathbed scene(excellently acted), visions of people walking around with Reid’s eyes & skin, an uncle that may or may not have been abusive to child Reid, Reid in a cardboard box & the worse memorial ever, attended by someone who hates Reid (Noah) & 2 people who claimed to have seen the love between Luke & Reid all along (offscreen of course) And end with the empty praises of the townspeople calling Reid a hero. They took the funny, snarky, intelligent guy & tried to turn him into a superhero, but no one wanted that.

    Can I just say as a soap opera fan, I qualify that as worse ending ever. So agree to disagree with the supremely talented actor, Eric Sheffer Stevens.

    On the plus side, we got to see the talents of Eric Sheffer Stevens as the snarky but lovable Reid & I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. (I love the insight on the golf game. Just a really terrific episode)I’ll watch his movie when it comes out & I’m checking out Showtime The Big C just for his guest appearance on the show.

    Reply

    tess replied

    My sentiments exactly. We could have had more good drama if they attempted to do a gay wedding as a finale for LuRe that would have been epic.!

    Reply

    JenA replied

    God, wouldn’t that have been great! We could have had all sorts of gay marriage dramas playing out with Luke leading the charge and getting in people’s faces, and on the other hand, great scenes of Reid silently panicking because he is terrified of marriage and is worried maybe this just isn’t for him. Of course, in the end, they would go through with it, but just imagine how great it could have been, how touching and how funny. Goutman and his cronies didn’t just miss the boat, they bombed and sank it first!

    JenA replied

    Ha ha! This was like, the best summation of just how craptastic the ending of the Reid Luke SL was. Thanks for putting that together. It’s nice to know so many others feel equally ripped off!

    Reply

    teresa replied

    perfectly stated yet again

    Reply

    zubie replied

    yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes!
    You summarizes exactly what many are feeling in a great way|!
    And if i was glued to the screen for every minute , it has EVERYTHING to do with this wonderful actor ( and Van ofcourse), and MINIMAL to do with the shows writing. They could have these two just sit there in the background, and say nothing, and i would still be glued to the tube, thats how strong their chemistry was.
    I will hopefully never get sucked in again in anything they do ( CG and JP), and hope Van and Eric get to do a lot of stuff in the future, that i do get to see ( living in Europe, so here’s hoping), as i will be following their career from now on.
    thank you ESS for the best 9 months ive seen on ATWT for years ( 25 to be precise)

    Reply

    mariska replied

    I am totally agree!
    The end was disgusting and sick and not great or heoric at all!
    I think Eric is a nice guy and wil or cannotl say exactly what he thinks about it.
    Besides he has to move on.
    He is of course a great actor and touched so many people with his acting.
    It was not necessary to gave him this ending to be remebered.
    His acting during the show did all that.
    I am wondering, what Reid Oliver would have said all about this.
    OAKHELL!!!

    Reply

  27. hl1522 says:

    thank you Mr. mickeal for the interview!
    I love eric, he’s an amzing actor and reid will remain the best caracter I ever watched in a show!!
    I’m very disappointed with his POv!! i understand that he’s an actor and he’s not as invested in the caracter as the fans are! but i expected him to be more considerate to our feelings! a fanbase that supported Reid and expected some kind of payoff!! I don’t get how he finds this ending great! how? everything about this ending was badly done!

    He liked how Reid’s death had an impact on Oakhell citizens.. but it’s not about Reid or the other caracters who didn’t care about him when he was alive! It’s about Lure,the gay couple of the show and Luke the gay legacy caracter! why Lure like the straight couples didn’t get their HEA and Why deprive Luke from the love that he was seeking for??

    what awerness is he talking about? the ending was homophobic plain and simlpe!
    Reid was an out and proud gay man, dosen’t answer to anyone. he was in a relationship and whoever didn’t like that then tough! he’s a doctor, he saves lives everyday. He was going to be in charge of one the finest neuro wings in the country and even a COS! if he managed to go to bay city and brought the heart, he would’ve been really considered a hero!
    wouldn’t that rise more Awarness??? and help to give a positive image to the gay community?

    this ending really hurt me! and till now noone understands and I think it hurts more

    Reply

  28. Becky says:

    Thanks so much for this interview, Michael! You always ask such great questions, questions people want to know the answers to & you always come across as very respectful. And thank you, Eric, for doing this interview as well!

    I respect that Eric doesn’t hold back with saying how the gay storyline is treated differently than the straight storylines & I also respect that he likes this ending from an actor’s perspective. I think for me, in concept, this WOULD be good storytelling if I actually rooted for Chris as a character & it didn’t feel so rushed & we got a bit more happy LuRe moments in the process, but I respect Eric for his opinions on the matter b/c as an actor, I’m sure it was great material to play out for not only him, but Van as well, even if it *is* beyond heartbreaking & sometimes frustrating for me to watch as a viewer. It’s definitely been great seeing both of them act out this storyline from start to finish – from contempt, to understanding, to attraction, to starting a relationship & falling in love to it being cut so tragically short.

    I feel like the point of this is to see Luke as being able to stand on his own, which, for the character, IS a good thing – I just wish it didn’t come at such high a price as losing the guy he just realized he’s in love with (and me losing one of my all-time favorite soap characters of all time – Reid – too). And I loved watching Reid change & evolve from someone who used his snark & sarcasm & rough exterior to keep people at bay to softening because of his experiences in Oakhell & with people like Luke, Katie, Jacob, Bob & Chris. I love that he kept his sarcasm & snark right up until the very end, that never changed, but that he did evolve & we saw how much he’s truly able to care about people, not only his patients. It’s been a really beautiful thing to watch, how Luke & Reid have changed each other & made each other better in the process. But this really does show how great Eric’s been in this role, because we wouldn’t all be feeling such loss & grief & heartache right alone with Luke if Eric wasn’t so darn good as Reid & didn’t create something we all came to love & root for so much (along with Van, who’s amazing as well).

    Also wanted to add how proud I am of the friends I’ve made because of our common love of LuRe & our appreciation of Eric as an actor for bringing Reid to life for all of us. We started this awesome campaign for Doctors Without Borders that’s surpassed the original goal of $15,000 in just 19 days! 19 days! THAT is amazing – and we met our goal on the day Reid died, so way to turn a negative into such positive! (And thanks again Michael for being so supportive & helpful in this endeavor! It’s so appreciated, you have no idea).

    http://www.firstgiving.com/ericshefferstevens

    Also wanted to add that there’s a charity in honor of the other half of LuRe – Van’s – birthday – benefitting a student from his Alma Mater, Walnut Hill. If anyone’s so inclined, check it out & show your appreciation to Van as well for his part in making this couple what it was to all of us! :)

    http://www.walnuthillalumni.org/s/116/index.aspx?sid=116&pgid=371&gid=1&cid=1016&ecid=1016

    Reply

  29. Lisa says:

    Thank you so much to both Michael and Eric for the wonderful interview. I am one of those frustrated fans that wishes Luke and Reid could have had a little more romance and love prior to the end. In that way I feel extremely short changed.

    Having said that, the ending was a great way to showcase everyone’s talents and push them in their craft. I am glad that pretty much the entire week was dedicated to the characters of Luke and Reid. While I would have enjoyed watching happier times, I hope both of these men are able to be acknowledged during awards season for their amazing work.

    I am even more excited to hear that Eric is currently working on another project. Can’t wait for more of it. I am proud of my fellow Lurians and all the good work we have done in the name of both Eric and Dr. Oliver. :)

    Reply

    mmc replied

    As an older viewer, i was caught off guard with the way Luke and Reid made me feel.i was devastated by their sad ending.I loved the way they fell in love….a wonderful story.Needless to say their acting was so good they did what a good actor always wants…to bring out such emotion in the viewers, and they did that.Most of us loved them and it will be a long time before we see acting like this again. .Hope they win Emmys i’m sure we’ll see more of Eric and Van and we’ll always remember Reid and Luke!!!!

    Reply

  30. Mary Pariseau says:

    Thanks Michael for doing the followup interview with Eric. I liked how Eric still confirmed that he liked the ending and even explained a little why. I get the reasons from an actor’s pov why this was a good ending, but I was a little disappointed in that he doesn’t quite understand all the reasons why the fans hate it. And I would have loved to hear his opinion on the reasons why the GLBT community felt like we were slapped in the face with this ending. About how we see the message that was sent was that only the people that deserve to happy are straight characters, that if you are gay then you don’t deserve to be happy. We get this enough in RL (and don’t need to see it on TV) where people don’t think we should be happy, that we should not be allowed to be married, that the strength of our love for our partner are not as strong as a straight couple’s love.
    I think that ATWT could have done a better job in educating the public about how we are the same. You do this first by allowing the gay couple to be happy. You do this by showing that they react to everyday issues the same. You do this by allowing them to make love. You do this by letting them live together. You do this by giving them a wedding or with a commitment ceremony.

    But besides all that, I enjoyed the interview. The comments on the golf game. The scenes that he loved doing. His praise for Van with the death scenes. The DWB mentions. And I can’t wait to see his movie. And I think that he will be getting more work then he thinks. I believe that with all the attention this ending is getting, more people will see how great ESS is and will want him to work on their show.

    Reply

  31. Karen (limeybird2) says:

    Thanks Michael for this great interview with Eric.
    At first i was very upset by them killing off Reid, but after time i’ve accepted it & at least we know that Luke & Reid loved each other & i know Luke will be a better man for loving Reid.
    If they would of gotten their happily ever after nobody would be talking about this storyline & Van & Eric wouldn’t have a shot at an Emmy. It is raising awareness for gay & lesbian stories & hopefully the other shows who do do a story involving gays & lesbians will do it with dignity like ATWT has done within what they could do.
    Thank you for posting our Doctors Without Borders campaign & when we meet goals & if it wasn’t for all the press it’s been getting we wouldn’t have raised the amount we have so far. So some good has came out of the tragedy of the death of our beloved Dr. Reid Oliver.

    Reply

  32. anonymous says:

    I can understand why an actor would like this ending so I cannot blame ESS for liking it. But as others have pointed out it does not work from a fan perspective. The obvious homophobic double standards that apply to the ending is one big reason. But the other reason is that it did not feel like the natural or satisfying ending to the story that they were telling previously. It felt plot driven as well as poorly set up and paced and TPTB deprived fans of the pay off they deserved.

    Reply

  33. ShellyB says:

    Thank you Michael so this follow up interview with Eric Sheffer Stevens. You asked all the questions we would’ve asked him. I respect ESS opinions to this horrible LuRe ending, but as a fan…I was quite disappointed. Fans like me who have followed this blossoming love story were devastated to find out Reid’s fate. Why kill this amazing character so he may save this slacker douche bag Chris Hughes? If it was any other character like Jack or even Henry I can understand the sacrifice but Chris Hughes? Ugh.

    I’m grateful that ESS appeared in our radar and saw what an amazing actor he is.

    Reply

  34. cara says:

    I think we’re seeing that the actors got something out of this story. Terri Conn was bored so getting a big bang ending helped. Eric Sheffer Stevens liked his story arc. Van Hansis might get an emmy nod out of this. The actors it seems are satisfied.

    The viewer understands why they might love this story. It’s just odd that they & the columnist who praise the ending, seem to dismiss the audience that hate it. How can you love it, when most of your fans are not watching it out of enjoyment, but out of a sense of obligation like I have to support the actors so I’m going to watch till the end. Or I’ve stood by Luke & Reid so I have to see it through. Or how about the soap watchers who has followed Luke for many years only to have the show close & their final shot of their favorite character is seeing him trying to cope with loss & grieving, surrounded by all the other character smiling & getting their happily ever after.

    The ending disappoints & frustrates many of the fans. That’s got to mean something right?

    Other than Jake Silbermann, who was concerned that his fans were at peace with the ending, I don’t get the sense these actors understand how horrible this ending was for the viewer. So congratulations on doing such a good job of acting & making us care, Van, Eric & Jake & bringing 3 unique gay characters to life. But the ending still blew chunks.

    Reply

    Michael Fairman replied

    Hi Cara:
    Thanks so much for your comments. Just of note here and I want to correct you, I am not praising the decision made by ATWT anywhere in this interview with Eric. I merely pointed out that if their goal was to “storywise” make Reid a hero becomes of this, in death, than that is what they have done as the impact of his death resonated through the characters and town of Oakdale.

    I did not interject my beliefs on how the story should have ended. I conducted an interview with Eric, for the fans.

    I completely and 100% agree that it is frustrating, disappointing, and unsatifying for fans of LuRe, and Luke Snyder, that he did not get a happy ending, and Reid was sacrified in the end to propel story.

    But Eric has a valid point as well, in that, it did put the focus on the gay couple throughout the final weeks of the show, in a different way than some might have anticipated, or were hoping for, but it did that nonetheless.

    Hope that makes sense.
    Thanks again for your continued interest,
    Michael

    Reply

    cara replied

    When I wrote about the columnist, I was thinking of a couple of other writers on a different soap opera websites who had written opinion pieces praising the heart transplant storyline. I was not referring to you at all, although rereading what I wrote, I can see how you came to that conclusion. I think your interviews are fair & impartial.

    As for Eric’s view on the focus of the gay story, in theory he is correct. How it came across to the viewer however, was forced & ineffective. Several people who had little or no contact with Reid (Lily & Holden, Margo & Tom) or actively disliked him (Kim) praising him in death is not to my view, raising the focus on the gay relationship. Actually showing the gay relationship & giving the couple some real airtime would have been the more effective way to do this.

  35. Raj says:

    Michael thanks for the follow up interview.
    Do I think the end sucks, YES, did I want to see a happy LuRe ending, YES.
    However from a tragic ending there is triumph , and that’s the DWB campagin. The whole idea here was to turn a negative into a positive, and the fans have been incredible with their support. To quote Luke “it’s about saving a life”, and that’s what we are going to do, help “real” doctors save “real” lives. Thank you for your support in promoting the campagin.

    Reply

  36. PastPerfect says:

    Even though we (I) might not have the same perspective as ESS does regarding the end of his character, I have to say that this man really gives good interview. He comes off as both humble and engaging and, for me, manages to supercede his larger than life character in likeability (which is quite a feat, as Dr. Reid Oliver just flat out knocked my socks off).

    So, while I am still mourning the loss of Reid and I am still angry as all get-out, I can at least look forward to whatever ESS has in store for us in the future. That and the fact that nearly $16,000 has been raised for DWB has made this bitter pill a little eaiser to swallow.

    Thanks for being the guy we go to for a great interview, Michael.

    Reply

  37. garnett77 says:

    Thank you Michael & Eric for the great interview. While I completely understand where Eric Sheffer Stevens is coming from as the actor who played the role, as a fan for 30 years I have to say how disappointed I am in this ending.

    Fans have an emotional investment in the characters and want a satisfying resolution. Something you would think an EP like Goutman would have understood.

    I watched as Luke Snyder was born, grew up, struggled with his family and coming out, finding love. I rooted for him and wanted him to find happiness. Viewers fell in love with Reid as Luke did. Fans simply want closure for their favorite characters when a show is ending forever. It seems callous and cruel of the writers to leave everyone on the show happy but Luke while at the same time killing off one of the best characters to hit daytime in Reid Oliver. That he had to be sacrificed for the umpteenth recast of Chris, the lack-luster Chris/Katie pairing and so the straight people could get to live happily ever after is an added slap in the face.

    Reply

    garnett77 replied

    I forgot to add how much I have enjoyed watching ESS in his short time on the show and I wish him the best of luck in his future projects. Can’t wait to see him on-screen again and look forward to his upcoming movie. He’s a great talent.

    Reply

  38. lori murphy says:

    Sorry honey, you want to be private but everyone is in love with you!!! You are just that amazing!!! I HATE that word, it is waaay overused, but in your case, it is completely warranted . Can’t wait to see you alive and well in your next “project”!!! xoxoxox

    Reply

  39. anonymous says:

    “But Eric has a valid point as well, in that, it did put the focus on the gay couple throughout the final weeks of the show, in a different way than some might have anticipated, or were hoping for, but it did that nonetheless. ”

    But,imho, it is telling that there was not as much focus on the gay couple when there story was mainly about romance rather than tragic sacrifice.

    Reply

    sera replied

    You’re exactly right. They were very uncomfortable with showing them as a real couple, so they went this route. On the day of the train crash episode, I believe that Luke & Reid got to spend approximately less than 45 seconds together. In some ways, you almost think they went this way because Luke in the to be continued episode said all I need is a bed and some privacy for sex. You can almost believe the train crash & death of Reid was done to avoid having to deal with gay sex on the show.

    So focusing on Reid after he is dead is not a step forward to me for gay rights. In fact, in some ways it’s a step backwards. This satisfies the viewers who likes to see people punished for homosexuality (see, he got killed right after saying I love you to another man) . The fact that Luke will end up without a partner at the end will also make many of those viewers happy.

    Reply

  40. Sarah says:

    As a Luke and Noah fan, I hated that they used Reid to break them up. I’m one of the many Nuke fans who actively campaigned for Reid’s death. We did not buy the sudden epic love story between Luke and Reid, which was really just a rebound. The reason they are killing off Reid is because everyone knows Luke belongs with Noah. Really they should have killed him off a long time ago. Luke and Noah will be the last ones standing. As it should be.

    Reply

    JenA replied

    Ugh, if that’s a rebound, then I’ll take it! The Noah/Luke pairing was stale bread long, long before Reid entered the picture and the writers knew that. They finally created a character in Reid who was not just a viable option for Luke, but the desired one, and fan support has showed that ever since. And by the way, Luke and Noah will not be reuniting in the end, and that is as it should be.

    Reply

    Sarah replied

    Make no mistake about it, Luke will be joining Noah in LA. There is just no way that the real Luke will not. There’s no way that Luke ever should have been in any ‘relationship’ with Reid and he will realize that. This epic relationship had nothing no love, no sex, and no memories. We Nuke fans did not campaign for Reid’s death for nothing. It’s about time Reid was finally thrown under the train. I got sick of watching the writers take turns throwing Luke and Noah under the bus. I hope you all enjoy the endgame.

    JenA replied

    Dream on Sarah. Your stress on ‘memories’ is like something out of a bad Hallmark card. Luckily the rest of us know that Luke really loved Reid (as he said), begged him not to die and leave him, and that Luke will still be mourning him at the end of the show (and not moving out to be with Noah). Anything else you want to fanwank after that is fine, but it’s in your head, it’s not canon.

    Chastity replied

    I am with you!!! LUKE & REID!!!

    garnett77 replied

    So, if “everyone knows” that Luke & Noah were to be together then why did the writers have Luke plainly state to Noah’s face just the other week how wrong they were together, that they were never right for one another & that Luke was in love with Reid? I’d take Reid as a “rebound” any day, as apparently Luke, the writers and a huge, huge portion of fans would, too.

    Reply

    E replied

    I’m sorry but Luke made a decision. He chose to stay with Reid and there is nothing you can say or imagine to change that, just as there is nothing we can say or wish to change the fact that he died. I just question your investment in Nuke if what satisfies you most is one half of the couple experiencing the worst heartbreak imaginable. Something about that just does not sit right with me.

    Reply

    Alice replied

    OMG you Nukers are so delusional it’s not even funny. It’s tragic!

    No one “campaigned” for Reid’s death, it wasn’t put out there as an “option” to be voted on. It was a stupid move the writers pulled because they thought it would be great drama.

    Let’s not forget that Luke CHOSE Reid, and most importantly of all, he finally realised that he and Noah were “not right for each other.”

    I’ll be forever grateful to Reid for teaching Luke some self-respect after that dysfunctional, toxic relationship that the once-sweet Nuke had morphed into by the end. And even IF Luke ever went back to Noah he wouldn’t stay long. He knows now, that what they had didn’t work. Thank god for that. Thank god for Reid.

    Reply

    Abbafemme replied

    I’m not sure how ANYONE could have “campaigned” for Reid’s death, when folks didn’t know anything about it, until a spoiler came out on another website, that’s NOT the Jake Silbermann forum.

    Yet, it’s still interesting that a majority of the Nuke fanbase are still “fanwanking” things, in order to fit what they wanted to see for the show and still no on-screen sunset ending for Noah and Luke.

    tess replied

    @Sarah you nukers are the same. Jake did an interview which you can still go and put your two cents there but no one went crazy about it. ESS does an interview now your here intoxicationg it with noah boredom? Please get a life and for Nuke end game maybe in your dreams. Luke loved Reid say that loud and you might get closure.

    Reply

    mmc replied

    Lets tell it like it really is…Luke and Noah were children when they were together..when Noah wanted no part of Luke anymore was when the Luke Reid love story started.Reid and Luke truly fell in love, little by little.Reid became more tender and caring, and Luke became stronger and a man.There was sweetness and sizzle when they were together.The chemistry was amazing.I like Jake, but Luke and Noah were kids playing at love while Reid and Luke were men truly in love.I’m sorry you Nuke fans are unhappy , but Luke grew up.He found his soulmate and that’s that!

    Reply

    Eagles replied

    Ok, let’s just be brutally honest here — Eric is a better actor than Jake. Yes, I said it. Because that is what really has you Nuke fans so butt-hurt right now. Jake is a nice guy. I like him despite my thoughts on his fans. He did an ok job as Noah but he was never phenomenal. Then along came Eric and he blew everyone away. Fans, critics, the writers, his fellow actors, etc. He’s getting attention galore and it’s chapping the butts of Jake fans that Noah or Jake never garnered this level of adoration and critical acclaim in his years on the show that ESS has managed to achieve in a few short months.

    I like Jake. I wish good things for him. But Nukies need to come to terms with the fact that Jake/Noah/Nuke will not and should not be the focus of every interview given by Eric about his character on the show.

    Good luck to Nukies in their fanwanking of the ending. Tell yourself whatever you need to make yourself feel better. The rest of the viewers will accept the ending as it is and move forward to enjoy all the wonderful projects Mr. Eric Sheffer Stevens no doubt has in store for us.

    Reply

    JenA replied

    Eagles – you just typed what most of us are thinking. Sorry, JS, you seem like a great guy, but a great guy with a very limited range. And that was clear even before ESS as Reid came on the scene – it just became a little more painfully obvious afterward. You think Nuke fans would at least be happy that VH finally got someone great to play off of in his last hurrah as Luke, but I guess not.

    LUCIA replied

    Van is a better actor than Eric on many levels, especially when it comes to convey emotions!

    Karen (limeybird2) replied

    & Sarah this is the problem most people have. you rejoice in the death of someone. that tells a little something about the basis of the relationship you want everyone to support, that you want Luke to go back to a relationship where he was whiny, clingy, needy & never made to feel like he was good enough for Noah & then he would push him away again for doing something he didn’t like.
    the fans of Reid NEVER wanted anything bad to happen to Noah but find happiness, you never heard anyone yelling for Noah to die, but that he should realize his dreams of making movies & find someone he doesn’t have to try to change to love him.

    Reply

    Spitz replied

    It looks like it’s time to go back on the lithium, Sarah.
    You can say whatever you want to. I can say the sky is purple. Is it? Nope. Just because you claim something is true, does not make it so. So keep on spouting your delusions until you are blue in the face, they are only that- delusions and fiction. None of what you just said is canon. Everyone with half a brain and who hasn’t been abusing drugs and household products, can see the truth.

    Reply

    PastPerfect replied

    Sweetie, you did not “actively campaign” for Reid’s death. Noah fans simply do not have that kind of power or leverage. It was a (poor) decision made without your input by the producers and writers.

    Jake is a lovely man, whom I adore, and I find it so disheartening that you and your ilk are turning many viewers against him with your acrimony and venom. Jake deserves better than that.

    Reply

    Delia replied

    Aww SarahC, why so hateful? I see you haven’t changed. Chill out hon, HATE gets you nowhere – it only gives you wrinkles ;)

    Another great interview, Michael.

    Reply

    Anju replied

    “I’m one of the many Nuke fans who actively campaigned for Reid’s death. ”

    I wish the energy you supposedly spend on campaigning for Reid’s death was spent for better purposes, like maybe getting Jake/Noah a better storyline or future jobs. But I guess that shows the kind of “power” Jake/Noah fans actually have. If you were so successful in bringing on Reid’s death, where were you for the past three years when Noah was relegated to day player status? I love how you boast about campaigning, just like others boast about Jake’s wealth of talent. He’s still a young’un, he’s got miles to go before he’s great!
    And please don’t ruin nice Jake Silbermann’s reputation, but adding yourself to the list of Noah/Jake fans list, you give the Noah fandom and the Nuke fandom a bad name.

    Reply

    zubie replied

    so you actively campaigned for his death? Cuz you knew this was the only way Noah could win, right? Seems you totally agreed with the rest of us; There’s no way Luke would go back to Noah if reid was alive! Nice to hear a Noah-fan ( cuz thats what so-called Nukies are) agreeing with us, that loved the pairing of Lure SO MUCH!
    but, all the bashing aside; you might want to put all that negative energy in to something posituve, like the DWB-charity they set up in ESS’ name. You know, honor the actor, instead of spending your time with this BS. Im sure thats what JS would prefer to whatever it is your doing now.

    “campaigning to have someone killed”,……pff, thats some crazy shit!

    Reply

    Nicole replied

    Hi guys, may I please make a small request? I’m a Nuke fan (as I got to tell ESS yesterday — AAAHHHH! Sorry, just had to let that out).
    I sincerely hope that you lovely Lure fans will not lump the majority of us Nukies in with the negativity posted here. Or be baited to say negative things about JS just because he’s got some nutty fans — *not* his fault. Don’t swim in the mud with them, y’know?

    For the earlier poster who asked if ESS would still be doing interviews 6 months from now, all I can say is, I hope so! Because most of us will still be very much interested in what he has to say, and he has shown time and again what a class act he is. I hope we fans on all sides can honor his example by striving for the same.

    There will always be some people who don’t like a particular character. And that is their choice; if there had been an active campaign to kill off Chris Hughes, I can’t say I would’ve opposed it (problem solved lol). So, there’s nothing inherently wrong with writing to a TV show and saying you don’t like such-and-such character; please kill them off. That’s your opinion, and you’re entitled to it.

    The problem lies in failing to consider the feelings of others who think differently. It’s one thing to want Reid killed off. It’s quite another to come to a page where his portrayer is interviewed, and essentially dance on his grave.

    What’s the point of that? Yeah, we get that you feel bad Luke and Noah broke up. So do I! For me they have been and will be THE supercouple of this show, and I could debate all day long why I think they are meant to be and LuRe was not.

    But that is *entirely* beside the point. Seeking out LuRe fans to lord your glee over their pain is crass and mean. It reflects badly on you, and if you’re a fan of JS at all, surely you can see all you accomplished was encouraging disparaging comments towards him, his character, and his fans. (This is why I say *if* you’re a fan — would a true fan of someone be that actively detrimental to them?)

    So again, I just want to say there are a great many of us Nuke lovers out there who also adored Reid, and cried right along with the LuRe fans. Reid was the most original character to come along in daytime in YEARS, bar none (my apologies to Noah and Luke lol). Anyway, I’ve said my peace on this.

    Great interview w/ESS, Mr. Fairman. :)

    PastPerfect replied

    NIcole, thank you for coming here and reminding us not to let one bad apple spoile the whole bunch. In theory, I am aware that not all Nuke fans are sociopaths who find comfort in the pain of others. I am. But, unfortunately, the wingnuts seem to be the most vocal bunch and I sometimes forget that they do not represent their fandom as a whole. And you certainly do not deserve to be painted with the same brush as someone like SarahC.

    I really enjoyed your “15 minutes” yesterday, by the way. You are just as eloquent on air as you are in print.

    Nicole replied

    PP – Thank you for your kindess. And yes, wingnuts in *any* walk of life are usually the most vocal bunch.

    I think my 15 minutes was more like 5, but wow, what a 5 it was! I feel I was less eloquent, more spazzy — but am glad if I sounded calmer than I felt!

    zubie replied

    He Nicole,

    i listened to that interview, and thought you were great. And i certainly didnt meant to tell of ALL nuke fans. Just the really heavy ones, you know, like the one above, Sarah. Like i said to her, im sure Jake could not appreciate this bs, since he’s really a nice guy, and in the end, theyre all actors, doing a job.

    Nicole replied

    zubie, thank you — I think I was talking a mile a minute, lol, but at least I was able to somewhat form words. I consider this a victory!

    BTW, you’re correct in your earlier post. Jake commented on his own Facebook page about the DWB fundraising being done in Eric’s name. If I remember right, he called it “amazing” and “inspiring”. Like ESS, a classy guy.

  41. tasha says:

    i cryed when reid died. i thought they should have had reid die on the 17th when the show ends. i am upset that they did not show them making love before reid died. there have been a lot of rumors that luke is just dreaming about reid dying. and they said there will be a covnsteal end that involes luke. i think they killed reid off so that luke could get back with noah. i loved luke and reid as a couple and the fact that reid said he loved luke before he died. and luke told reid he loved him in the hospital room before reid died. i hope luke does not get back with noah. thanks for putting luke and reid toegher. eric you were great as reid and i am sad to see you leave the show so early. and thank you van for a great run as luke on the show. loved all of the castmembers hope they will all find something else they love to do. hope to see some of you on other soaps.

    Reply

    Chastity replied

    I hope Luke is just dreaming… Hope I am to and this show is not going off the air…. Reid and Luke just started out and this is just not how it is suppose to work on my soaps!!! Where is the happily ever after..

    Reply

  42. Feli says:

    Thank you, Michael, for making this follow-up interview with Eric. Nobody else could have done a better DR. REID OLIVER. His end is almost such a memory for me as it was with “Brokeback Mountain”.

    Reply

  43. Colleen says:

    First of all, I want o express my appreciation to Eric for doing this follow up. ATWT has been over for him for close to 3 months and I am grateful that he talk time to speak to the fans who are, at present, so invested in the end of the show.
    I also want to express my sincere thanks to Michael who has done so much to help us spread the word on the DWB campaign. I have no doubt we could not have reached out goal so quickly without his support and exposure of the effort.
    As far as Eric’s point of view of the end of the show, I have to respect that his feelings on how it ended are going to be vastly different from mine as a long time viewer of the show. While his commitment to excellence in bringing Reid to life was evident on screen, there is no way he would be as invested in this character as the fan base would be. Whether you have watched the show for 30+ years (I started as toddler with my Mom and my “Nana”) or started when Reid came on the canvas, a fan has a connection to the character that the actor who creates it will not have. I think this is especially true for someone like Eric who does not have a soap background and had a relatively short tenure with the show.
    It is a testament to Eric’s talent, as well as to Van’s, that LuRe was able to capture the hearts of viewers so quickly and with such passion. For all my years as an ATWT viewer, I never got involved in the “fandom” until this story arc. Once in, I dove in feet first. To be honest, my experience has been both positive and negative. I have been shocked at times by the fervor with which the opposing fan bases have expressed their opinions. I have enjoyed the show as a long time viewer and have admired Van and Jake throughout their time together on the show. Luke’s coming out story arc was groundbreaking and will always be my favorite. I watched with pride as THE kiss was finally allowed to happen. While I enjoyed the early days of the relationship, the story was not allowed to progress and the writing and arc was, at many time, not up to par. While the actors did the best they could with what they had, I was not engaged due to lack of development.
    The parallels to real life drew me in when Reid showed up. The first love that was Luke & Noah had taken many hits and run its course as often happens in real life. The LuRe story line gave Luke a chance to mature and develop and, as someone invested in the most special legacy character, I took great pleasure in watching that happen.
    Whatever one feels for the character of Reid, it is hard to dismiss the amazing way Eric brought him to life and developed him in such a short time. The chance to create, develop and end a character is unique in the soap medium. I can see how that would be appealing to the actor who portrayed it. Eric as Reid captured our hearts from day one and made him an integral part of the story. In my years as an ATWT viewer, it was unprecedented. I am grateful to have enjoyed the show as much I did in its final year.
    I will always be sad that the LuRe story ended the way it did. We have loved Van as Luke and most of us are saddened that we don’t get to see how his story progresses. I will be forever grateful for the magic that Eric and Van created on our screens for past 9 months and look forward to seeing both of them, as well as Jake, achieve great success in their future endeavors.

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  44. Eagles says:

    LUCIA — You get no argument from me that Van is a fantastic actor. I think he’s excellent, I’ve never said I didn’t. I think he and Eric both are very talented which is what made their work together so special. Neither was having to carry the weight to make up for the other’s failings. They both brought their own strengths to the scenes and it worked beautifully.

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  45. Sandra says:

    Michael, thank you so much for this wonderful follow up to your interview with Eric. Reid is now my favorite fictional character of all time, and although I personally despise this ending for Reid (and Luke), it was fascinating to hear Eric’s take on the ending from a performer’s standpoint. The man seems to be modest to a fault; I don’t think he is aware of just how much we fell in love with Reid as a character and how invested we were in his happiness alone and with Luke. I don’t know if making him aware of the level of devastation we are feeling at the end of this storyline would flatter him or scare him!

    Eric should be proud of his work, not only because his performance made so many of us care so deeply that we felt as if we lost an actual loved one (after “knowing” him for only 9 months!) but also because his fanbase is so awesome. The donations to Doctors without Borders in Eric’s honor has already exceeded its initial goal because the fans were determined to turn heartbreak into something positive. Thank you Michael, for supporting this amazing phenomenon.

    I wish Eric the best of success and I say that with very selfish motives because I can’t wait to see him again!

    Michael, thank you for the great interviews, and Eric, thank you so much for Reid Oliver!

    Reply

  46. Romato says:

    It seems plausible that an actor wouldn’t have the same take on a character as the fans. He may not invest in his character the way we do. Nevertheless I doubt that Eric would have told publicly if he hated the ending. He publicly supports the show’s direction, what ever his personal feelings are. When he reigns over Hollywood, ready to write his memoirs, we will learn the truth about what he really thought about killing Reid and leaving all the gay characters of the show in the dust.
    Anyway, I hope he gets the great career he deserves. He is an exceptional actor. And apparently a fine man.

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  47. Brian says:

    Eric is a fine actor & a fine, classy guy! :-)

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  48. Lewis says:

    It has been more than 10 days since the demise of Reid and his storyline, and I still feel empty. The fact that I do feel this way is a testament to the dramatic impact of this character, Luke’s response, and the entire ambience of the story and its ending. HOWEVER, the fact that at least 8 couples (count them!) were given happy sendoffs in contrast to the devastating and adumbrated termination of the Luke/Reid relationship does not sit well with me. Instead, I would proffer a variant ending that would have had plenty of drama and suspense without the residue heartache (pardon the pun). Suppose that Reid had been allowed to make it to Bay City and is depicted in a showdown with the novice surgeon there as only Reid could effect; then we are shown Reid leaving the Bay City hospital carrying the heart cooler with a triumphant smile on his face; he rushes back to Oakdale and THEN has the train accident along the way; the audience is kept in the dark as to the outcome for a couple of days; a TV news item comes over the wires at Memorial hospital telling of the accident; those cast members present in the hospital are thrown into disarray; Luke retires to Reid’s office in tears; the sound of police sirens soon fills the air; some rush to the hospital windows to see police vehicles and an ambulance arriving; back in Reid’s office, Luke is still tearful when a hand suddenly appears on his shoulder and a voice says: “Why are you crying Luke?” Luke looks up to see a haggard and somewhat worn Reid who confides that he narrowly escaped from the car with the heart cooler; Chris gets his new heart; Reid becomes head of the new Neurology wing and possibly Chief of Staff; and he and Luke are united along with all the other couples of Oakdale. You have your drama, your suspense, your temporary concern and upsetment, and then you have a positive but still emotional ending which leaves the audience satisfied. End of story. Instead we got the saccharin reunion of at least 8 other couples, marrying for the umpteenth time or repeating marriage with the same individual for the second or third time, or finally getting together only because time had run out and ATWT ended. And that is why daytime soap operas are quickly disappearing. The Oedipus cycle was less incestuous and more credible! Finis

    Reply

    Ellie replied

    Thank Michael for another great interview with Eric Sheffer Stevens. I love the pride that he has in his work, and that he always comes off as being so passionate about the work that he produces.

    While I find the ending lacks the emotional impact that they were going for, and that Reid’s death was pointless, mainly because of the horrible buildup, meaning both the lack of focus on Reid and Luke’s relationship as well as the horrible writing for the character of Chris, I don’t have any complaints about Eric’s work, he was amazing. Eric Sheffer Stevens really brought Reid to life, I doubt that the character would have been as compelling if anyone else had played him.

    So, I just want to thank Eric for all of the good work that he did, and for making the last few months of the show so much fun to watch.

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    mary uk x replied

    totally buy into that ending, it would be so much more credible than the pile of rubbish we ended uo with, feel very bitter about what was done to luke and reid.why this one couple had to be sacrificed and all the others have their happy ever after i will never know, its just wrong whichever way you look at it!

    anyways just want to say that i have loved eric and vans performances, never so totally bought into 2 actors being the people they were portraying! it was an absolute joy and pleasure to watch and i wish them both well in whatever follows, i only hopei get to see it too! not i will retreat back into youtube where reid and luke will live on forever without that silly ending! xx

    Reply

    mmc replied

    Absolutely loved Luke and Reid and their story .When they were on screen i dropped what ever i was doing and watched.They made me laugh, they made me cry.I haven’t been so involved in a storyline in years.We have to thank Eric and Van and their wonderful acting skills for making us not see them as characters but as real people that we got to love!….on one of the message boards someone said that you tube won’t be showing any more ATWT tapes after sometime in Oct.I hope this turns out to be false, but I’ve heard it more than once.It would be sad, I have no tapes of ATWT,

  49. joanne says:

    I grew up watching ATWT but I will admit the last few years were not so good – until Dr. Reid Oliver showed up. Their decision to kill Reid will never make any sense to me, and once they did, the hardest part was getting through the remaining 7 epiosodes without a glimpse of the only reason left to watch.

    Reply

  50. Lynne says:

    Thanks for the wonderful interview, Michael, with ESS. Thanks also, fans of the Luke and Reid relationship, for your comments. I have been devastated by the tragic and unnecessary death of Reid and the grief that Luke felt so acutely. Eric and Van are wonderful actors. I agree, with all of the other couples achieving HEA endings, that the ending for Luke and Reid was a total copout by the writers, etc. I am indebted to the many other fans who expressed their feelings that mirrored mine so perfectly. Thank you all for helping me realize that I am not “out there” with my raw emotions concerning the unfortunate end of the Luke and Reid storyline. I have been watching ATWT for the entire 54 years, since I was nine, and watched it with my mother. Never had I been as invested in the characters and storyline as I had been with Luke and Reid. The best to Van and Eric and their careers. I will be checking on their projects for a long time to come.

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  51. Brian says:

    Wonderful Interview With Eric, Michael! :-)

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  52. selma says:

    sorry for the mistake–new computer–”Don’t you mean, ‘checkmate’ Mr. Snyder?”

    Reply

    selma replied

    Let’s try this again!
    Eric , Michael –a million thanks for the interviews along the way! Eric and Van: Congratulations on a ‘chilling’ final scene–such ‘heart’wrenching symbolism and worthy of professional recognition in the highest degree, I suspect.

    For my final comments I would like offer this on behalf of single gender couples who feel they have no voice; And for people like myself who loved these men to bits. I’ve written my own ending.

    Luke and Reid–a single gender couple–no right to love. Though love is never a choice, it ought to be a right, our human right!

    Two sturdy ‘defense mechanisms’ came to a screeching halt the day Luke Snyder brought Dr. Reid Oliver to Oakdale. Taking stock of each other’s obvious assets, Reid did not miss Luke’s sexy eyes and Luke couldn’t seem to stay out of Reid’s orbit. Reid realized he was in danger of falling in love for the first time. Luke’s caring nature and perceptiveness, Reid’s self-confidence and genius acted like some magnetic force drawing them together. The sexual tension and unmistakable compatibility culminated in a declaration of love. Still, no love scenes were forthcoming like in the case of their double gender counterparts. Their kisses came to be beautiful expressions of a desire for more. Because of Luke’s love Reid opened up to the idea of caring for others which took him on a journey to Bay city in search of a donor heart promised to Chris. IN MY ALTERNATE ENDING Reid is involved in a serious traffic accident. What we see played out on our tv screen is either a dream Reid experienced during his period of unconsciousness or a film made by Noah called, “THE BOYFRIEND”. You choose! When Reid woke up Luke was by his bedside to tell him how happy he was to see him and that Chris was doing well. Reid told Luke about his two year old son, Cory, a sperm bank baby living in his Dallas apartment with mom, Cindy, a gay woman. Luke decided they ought to move to Oakdale and he would ask her to be his surrogate so their two children would grow up together. He also told Reid Lucinda signed over her house to him. She came by later to drop off the keys. They were overwhelmed by her generosity. “It’s a wedding present,” she joked. Upon his release Reid’s range of movement was still poor but they couldn’t wait to check out their new home. As they paused in front of the master suite, “Shall I carry you over the threshold?” asked Luke with a cheeky grin. “You might want to bench press better than 200 lbs. and save your strength for the wedding night,” suggested Reid with a straight face. “You don’t weigh 200 lbs.,” argued Luke checking Reid over appreciatively. “I will by then,” promised Reid confidently. “I wouldn’t count on it if I were you, with my grandmother on the job we don’t have a prayer,” warned Luke, “so you might just as well take those measurements for the tux –and, oh yes, make it in baby blue to match those stunning eyes.” Reid started laughing and holding on to his rib cage. “Gotcha, Dr. Oliver,” smirked Luke. Reid held Luke’s glance with a sly smile, “Don’t you mean, ‘checkmate ‘ Mr. Snyder? And the serious issues they brought together by way of fears involving commitment and abandonment were lost in another intimate exchange as the chief of staff and hospital administrator entered their master suite ‘to continue’ where they left off on Katie’s couch, only this time there would be absolutely no interruptions.

    Reply

    Lewis replied

    Selma, I loved your possible “endings” and actually prefer the idea of it being a film by Noah. That brings even more total closure to ATWT in general and LuRe in particular. Besides, too many dream sequences have already been done to death in Soaps. Great dialogue. You remained true to the characters’ character and nailed the substance of their relationship. (My own alternate ending given above was based upon ATWT’s own scenario. You branched out and extended the storyline.) Well Done! I will now ask the same question that was asked of me: “Why couldn’t the writers have come up with something like that?” The answer lies, I believe, in the fact that for all their ground breaking characters and storylines, soap opera writers are trapped in an idee fixe and can never truly move far from it. Notice how many names, situations, and character types are endlessly repeated throughout the “Soap World” until they all merge into one repetitive histrionic confusing mess. No matter which one you turn to, it seems to be the same as the one you just left. Not even the names are changed! Forget any reality: Front doors are never locked, conversations are always overheard at a critical moment, who’s your daddy is laughable (no one takes pregnancy precautionary measures on a soap), whole companies change ownership overnight, no one ever works regular hours, if at all, people get buried alive, and OJ had nothing on all those individuals who go free after committing or nearly committing a murder, and on and on. And that’s why one after another is disappearing in favor of the even more trite “afternoon interview gab fest”. Welcome to the 21st century!

    selma replied

    Thanks, Lewis! Yes, there was a way to give the actors their opportunity to flex their professional skills, the characters their loving relationship and the viewers a boost of joy! —–What a way to disappoint so many people!

    mmc replied

    Selma, you and Lewis both wrote lovely endings and I thank both of you with all my heart.I never thought beyond a dream (nightmare) Luke had and when he woke up Reid was beside him and they lived happily ever after.Mine kept me sane, but either of yours will keep me happy! Thanks again….

    selma replied

    MMC, a million thanks! This has been such a shock to viewers because nothing was resolved. The Noah story was left hanging and the Reid story took a dismal twist which left the Luke story without a clear resolution. I guess the writers ultimately own the characters but we the viewers put our own interpretation on them as do the actors. I never thought of that until I looked at the Van Hansis interview and how he spoke of Luke having a need to become a writer. I never thought of Luke that way. I see him in the role I gave him, hospital administrator–a boss–someone who can organize and manage large numbers of people and processes and hold everything together. I can’t see him spending days and nights alone inside his own head creating alternate lives. I believe our stake in the story was sidestepped as the story fast forwarded to an end, any end and we were left with an overwhelming sense of loss.

  53. reidstheman says:

    Great interview and I am glad that Eric was happy with the show’s ending from an actor’s viewpoint. But, I can tell he is not used to the soap world and he doesn’t realize that, to soap viewers it’s “all about love and romance.” The viewers were absolutely crushed over the ATWT writers total disregard for our feelings and killing part of the BEST couple ever to appear on daytime..or anytime…and to do it without even letting them make love was totally brutal!!! Over a month later, I am still so upset over this ending! Van and Eric were so great in these roles, they got the viewers so emotionally investedi in these characters that we just could not bear to have them permanently separated by death. We wanted to imagine them growing old together, running Memorial as the new “Bob and Kim” of Oakdale…wasn’t worth what they “thought” was a great story to destroy the fans the way they did…we were already upset over the cancellation and to add this was just ruthless.

    Reply

  54. Brandi says:

    I love reading the interviews with Eric. He is such a fantastic actor, and I am waiting anxiously for this next movie, as well as Occupant with Van Hansis.

    I have been trying to donate to the Doctors Without Borders fundraiser since the day it was established, but not being a credit card holder, I can’t! Its really frustrating, but completely worth the trouble of finding the solution. ESS is easily my favorite actor after his amazing job on ATWT. He gave the show new life, and connected with his audience magnificently.

    Reply

  55. GAELYN THOMSON says:

    would you do as the world turns again for luke and reid have there happy ending

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  56. Alexander says:

    If anyone was totally thrown under the bus by soap-killing head writer David Kreizmann from day one he took over after the cancellation of Guiding Light, it was the YEARSLONG gay supercouple that, still in 2013, is inspiring millions of fans all around the world: Luke AND NOAH! It was a total distortion of characters and history and an incredible disrespect of millions of fans who had been supporting ATWT for year. Noah’s devastating condition was shamelessly trivialized and he was painted as the bad, annoying guy who allegedly didn’t value the yearslong relationship he had with Luke – while history proves just the contrary – only to pimp Dr. Housewannabe and give him all the air time and put all those (not so) “funny”, “supercool” lines into his mouth. No wonder the ratings got worse and worse. We wanted to see more of NOAH and Luke together. By the way, Jake Silbermann’s portrayal of Noah after losing his sight, with the ridiculously air time he got, was brilliant. He perfectly portrayed the devastating condition and inner turmoil Noah was going through, but was never given any credit for that. Shame on the writers and everyone who allowed that he and Luke were given such a terrible last year only to pimp a new character most of us couldn’t have cared less about. It was such a predictable, apparently personal agenda of the new head writer.

    Reply

    jennifer replied

    van hansis and eric sheffer stevens are wonderful actors and it was a shame their story had to end so soon I think that the luke and reid story was the best on daytime tv I love gay characters so much I wish that luke and reid were had been given the chance to live together and be a couple. i’ll always wonder what could’ve been for luke and reid but now we’ll never know because as the world turns is cancelled.

    Reply

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