From the winner’s circle — comments from Anthony Geary, Heather Tom, Chandler Massey and other Emmy winners at the 39th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards.
TVSource Magazine’s West Coast Editor William Dallman attended the 39th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. It was TV Source’s third year attending the kudocast and it certainly topped the last two years by a mile. Once again we interviewed some of the biggest soap stars in the industry on the red carpet and the media room following their victories.
We’ll have photos from the red carpet in the coming days. You saw the presenters, nominees, winners and speeches, but here’s what we were able to get from the major winners.
Inside the Winners Circle with Anthony Geary (Luke, GH)
Inside the Winners Circle with Heather Tom (Katie, B&B)
Inside the Winners Circle with Jonathan Jackson (ex-Lucky, GH)
Inside the Winners Circle with Chandler Massey (Will, DAYS)
Inside the Winners Circle with Days of our Lives’ Writing Team – Rick Draughon
Coming off his record setting seventh win for Outstanding Lead Actor, General Hospital star Tony Geary praised former head writer Robert Guza Jr., for taking Luke into a dark place last year. The storyline saw Luke accidentally kill his grandson Jake Webber in a motor vehicle accident. “I have been begging Bob and a couple other producers to explore Luke’s dark side. Bob came up with an amazing dark story.” As far as the audience’s reaction to the storyline, Geary was very direct. “I love the audience, they have been very good to me, but I don’t work for them…They didn’t like Luke raping Laura, that’s how I started.”
The actor had nothing but praise for former-costar Jonathan Jackson. “Jonathan is the best actor I’ve ever worked with.” Geary revealed that he tested with Jackson when the show first cast the role of Luke’s son Lucky. The young star asked all the right questions about his character, such as why Lucky didn’t have a pet.
Jackson was not the only co-star he raved about, saying that he loved all three of his current leading ladies — Jane Elliott (Tracy), Finola Hughes (Anna), and Robin Mattson (Heather).
With the summers usually reserved for Geary’s annual trips to Amsterdam, many fans have wondered if Luke would be taking off on one of his “adventures.” Turns out, we’ll actually see Luke throughout the summer! Geary says his annual vacation will be broken up this summer and will travel back and forth. Could this decision have something to do with Luke’s blooming romance with Anna? Speaking of Anna, what would Luke’s good pal Robert have to say about Luke and Anna/s relationship? “I hope we get a chance to find out,” states the actor.
General Hospital has undergone a lot of changes behind the scenes as of late, but the veteran actor is welcoming of the new powers that be. Geary called GH’s new executive producer Frank Valentini a “great producer,” and noted that the show looks great and everyone is working harder than ever.
“Oh my goodness,” said Heather Tom shortly after her Emmy win for Outstanding Lead Actress. “It’s kind of crazy that I’ve been doing this long enough to actually have a shot of that.”
Tom’s win marks the highest point thus far in her twenty-one year soap career. In 1991, when she was only 16 years old, she was cast on The Young and the Restless as Victoria, the daughter of super couple Victor and Nikki Newman. The star won the first of her eventual four Daytime Emmys in 1993, taking home the Emmy in the Outstanding Younger Actress category. She’d win Younger Actress again in 1999. In 2011 she won for Outstanding Supporting Actress for her work as Katie Logan Spencer on The Bold and the Beautiful. Twenty two years and three soap operas later, she is now an Outstanding Lead Actress winner!
“Honestly it’s little intimidating,” said Tom of her win against the nominees. “I am friends with all of them. I know all of their work. I am a fan of them. I think that they are all amazing women and actresses and this is a big surprise for me and I am thrilled about it.”
She spent the first half of 2011 embroiled in a frontburner storyline on The Bold and the Beautiful in a triangle featuring Katie, Bill Spencer (Don Diamont) and Steffy Forrester (Jacqueline MacInnes Wood). “I felt like I had a story that warranted a lead actress try and I felt like I have been doing this for 22 years so why not,” said Tom about her decision to submit in the lead category. ” It was one of those things where I just felt like I am gonna jump in and see what happens and I’m glad I did.”
The actress noted she had difficulty selecting her reels due to the amount of material she believed she had. “I felt like I had a lot worth submitting.” After making her selections, Tom changed her reels at the last moment, “I switched because I wasn’t thrilled with the earlier scenes in that episode.”
Much has changed in the daytime world since Tom broke into the soap business. When Tom started on The Young and the Restless, there was eleven soaps on the air – today there are only four. “I think that there are only so many talk shows, cooking shows and things you want to watch,” said Tom on the changing landscape of daytime television. “People want to be entertained and that’s what these shows do, they are a guilty pleasure and you can’t just replace that with something else because it might be cost effective.”
Though her job on B&B keeps her quite busy, the actress has another project in the works. “I am doing an HGTV show. It’s a design show. My husband and I are decorating houses. We actually do that in real life, it’s a lot of fun.” The untitled series is set to air this fall. That’s not the only thing coming this fall. The actress and her husband recently announced they are expecting their first child, a boy, due this fall.
Jonathan Jackson picked up his second Daytime Emmy win for Outstanding Supporting Actor at the awards on Sunday. When asked how it felt to win the same night as his former on-screen father Tony Geary, Jackson said, “That’s really the most special part about winning. We just went to some pretty dark places because there is just so much trust between us.”
On his Emmy submission, “We really pushed ourselves as much as possible in 2011. I ended up going with the episode that was just Tony and I talking in a room. I spent a lot of time in his dressing room just digging and digging. It’s a gratitude for the time that I had with Tony.”
Though the actor departed the show last December, would he consider returning sometime down the line? “I’ll always be open to that,” said Jackson. He shared he was in talks to try to work something out for a return, but it fell apart. While his new ABC series Nashville will prevent a return anytime soon, he certainly didn’t rule out a possible return at a later date.
Days of our Lives star Chandler Massey (Will) entered the press room at the Beverly Hilton to massive applause. The young star won his first Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Younger Actor after only his second nomination. His win makes him the first actor to win a Daytime Emmy Award for playing a gay character. “It feels great, it’s an honor,” said Massey of his win. “I told my mom and my dad, my grandfather and my brother and sister… not to [come] because I wasn’t feeling the magic, but I am now.”
When asked how he planned to celebrate his win, he jokingly replied, “Going to Disneyland after this!”
For his reel, Chandler submitted the December 29th episode, which saw Will confide in his grandmother Marlena (Deidre Hall) about his failed relationship with ex-girlfriend Gabi (Camila Banus). “I chose that episode because I asked my mom what her favorite episode was of that year and she said that one. It was not really dramatic, but I like that stuff where it’s a heart-to-heart [conversation].”
In recent months, Massey’s spent a lot of time working with co-star James Scott (EJ). Scott’s character blackmailed Will, forcing him to work with him. The chemistry between the two can only be described as inappropriate at times. “Some of the dialogue – for example, we were talking about getting off a crime but Will says ‘EJ are you going to get me off?’ We do play up kind of the natural chemistry that’s there.”
Massey says a lot of what drives Will is his relationship with his mother Sami (Alison Sweeney). “Will’s formative relationship was with his mother Sami, and kind of his whole life he has to watch her go from guy to guy. The thing he really wants from people – because he didn’t get it from his mom – is love. He has a secret and everyone can relate to wanting somebody to love them – wanting their family to love them and everyone has parts of them that they feel insecure about at first. That thing that, if came to light, would change people’s opinions about them. So I just found whatever that was in me and played it.”
When the Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing Team was announced, it wasn’t former head writers Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas Jr., who accepted the award, it was script writer Rick Draughon. In the press room, Draughon explained that the show had a multitude of writers and not all could attend due to personal life events. He says the winning submission was chosen because of a balance of heavy drama and some lighter fun.