One on One With Michael Fairman


One On One with Michael Fairman

Michael Fairman is expresses his love for being a part of The Young and The Restless.


Michael Fairman, an accomplished actor and writer for television, has been thoroughly enjoying his time on the number one CBS soap, The Young and the Restless. He has had an extensive acting career, including shows like Hill Street Blues, Dynasty, and WKRP in Cincinnati. In addition to prime time, Michael is no stranger to daytime drama as he appeared on ABC’??s General Hospital as Harry Silver for several years (1994-97). He is also an accomplished writer for television and has been credited for writing many episodes of WKRP in Cincinnati.

Michael has enjoyed being a part of CBS’?? longest running daytime drama for the past 6 months and he has been working with long time veteran Jeanne Cooper in a storyline that has garnered many fans. In a recent interview with TVSource Magazine, Michael praised his on screen leading lady, Jeanne Cooper and expressed his feelings about what possibly lies ahead for his character.

TVSource Magazine: Your storyline with Katherine Chancellor has blossomed from a budding friendship and being supportive of her to building more of a relationship. How has it been for you working with Jeanne Cooper in this storyline?

Michael Fairman: When I met Jeanne at the first audition,she made me feel at ease the instant I walked into the room. Because of her I was very comfortable and free. The scene we read was of substance and we had a lot of fun doing it. I felt close to her immediately and I believe she felt the same regarding me When we started working together on set, we kept that going. We each looked forward to seeing the other. As we progressed in the story,we became even more comfortable with each other.

TVS: Do you like where this story is going?

MF: Murphy has come to be somebody who supports her and she has grown to respect his opinions about things. It’??s given him strength in the relationship, and allowed her to show her vulnerability. With the two of them strong and equal, the story could go anywhere.

TVS: Why do you think Katherine and Murphy have garnered such a positive response?

MF: We both have very young hearts and points of view and I think that’??s what attracted us to each other — both as actors and characters. We have a very high spirit of play. We’??re laughing and joking all the time on the set. When she walks on the set, my eyes light up and when I arrive she’s happy to see me and I believe that spirit of play comes across in our work. I’m sure that’??s very attractive to the audience. Here are these two geezers [laughs] that are acting like a couple of young kids. The relationships of the younger people on the show seem somewhat unstable. So here comes Murphy, a down to earth relatively even tempered man who gives Katherine a stable relationship. There’??s now a calm amidst all the stormy nuttiness. That’s a very interesting contrast which I think the viewers find attractive and different..

TVS: Would you like to see more stories for Murphy without Katherine?

MF: I’m sure the stories that could be created for Murphy and Katherine are endless.

TVS: You mentioned ad libbing; do you and Jeanne ad lib a lot?

MF: The show is pressed for time each day so it’s not encouraged to go off the script a lot. Sometimes Jeanne and I improvise a bit — little things to create more texture for our characters and the relationship. For example, when we were playing gin rummy in a scene, we did some kidding around which was not in the script and it enlivened the scene. And we’ll both ad lib funny comments when we’re ending the scene.

TVS: Your career is extensive, do you have a preference? Do prefer one over the other or is it more whatever comes along?

MF: For many years I did whatever came along so that I could earn a living. That was mostly in episodic television. When I started doing feature films about 12 years ago I found those much more rewarding. There was more time to create and to improvise. The most exciting have been major motion pictures. In those. an actor has the most available time to contribute and try things. In both daytime and nighttime television there are time constraints.The shooting schedule and the script both have time constraints. So the actor is limited by that. I’ve done several daytime shows but I’m having the most fun with this [Y&R]. In fact I’m having the most fun working I’ve had in years. I’m on the set 3 and 4 days a week, I love the character of Murphy, and I love working with Jeanne and the rest of the cast. Exercising my acting muscles several times a week is just wonderful.

TVS: Does your experience as a writer affect your acting choices?

MF: Oh absolutely. When you’re writing you are creating a character, I’ve learned that first in acting, and applied it to writing and then it became clearer and influenced the acting again. Writers should always study acting and vice versa. I think any good writer if studied acting would make him a better writer. To break down a character, to know what a character wants, to define a character comes from working on roles as an actor and sometimes writers cannot do that.

This interview is not to be reproduced without written consent from the author and © 2009 TVSource Magazine. All rights reserved

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