Interview: Kevin Spirtas Talks ‘After Forever’, Hot Soap Topics & Writing Himself Back Onto the Canvas
No question – Kevin Spirtas knows his soap operas. During his 25-year-plus career in Hollywood, he’s performed on Days of our Lives (Craig Wesley), One Life to Live (Jonas Chamberlain), Rituals (Tom Gallagher) and even a brief stint on The Young and the Restless (Les). But he’s also been a pioneer on web soaps – including one he co-created with former Days writer Michael Slade, After Forever (playing the role of Brian). And it’s this one that in many ways is nearest and dearest to his heart. He told Soaps.com all about what makes it so personal, once thinking soaps were “corny,” and learning to stand in the “absolute truth” of who he is.
Interview: Maurice Benard Opens Up About His Memoir, Being Bipolar, Finding Joy & Learning From Sonny
For nearly 30 years, Maurice Benard has been known best as General Hospital’s Sonny Corinthos, the mobster with a moral conscience, a role that’s earned him two Daytime Emmys. But fans also know something else about Benard – that he’s struggled with bipolarism since his 20s – and that has also become part of Sonny’s ongoing mythos. Now, Benard has written a memoir about both his history in the soaps (he also played All My Children’s Nico) and how he learned to live with being bipolar in Nothing General About It: How Love (and Lithium) Saved Me On and Off General Hospital. He spoke with Soaps.com about Sonny’s unique heritage, melting down behind the scenes, and finding joy.
Having to quarantine solo isn’t easy, but Carolyn Hennesy is making the best of it, as she told Soaps.com. And we’re not surprised that Hennesy knows how to keep things moving: She appears on the soap opera General Hospital (Diane Miller) and has turned up on CBS’ The Young and the Restless (Penelope); she earned a 2017 Daytime Emmy for her portrayal of Karen on digital soap The Bay and she has a pre-nomination this year for Studio City (Gloria). Hennesy chatted with us about loving Diane, why we all still love soaps, and finding the time to get her kitchen cabinets clean.
Paul Telfer (Xander Cook/Alexandros Kiriakis, Days of our Lives) is so good at being bad – at least, on camera. Fans have watched the Scottish transplant do some pretty reprehensible things (occasionally with his shirt off, so there have been benefits) on the show since 2015 – and yet they still can’t get enough of his wicked ways. Telfer – who like everyone else is sheltering in place – spoke with Soaps.com about being lucky to hang out with his wife more often, his character’s questionable mental state, and a new film where he makes Xander look like a pussycat. Mrrow!
Gregory Zarian didn’t set out to be a soap opera star – actually, soaps found him. And though he’s gone on to a modeling career and dozens of appearances on TV shows since his debut role as Brent Anderson on Days of our Lives in 1986, Zarian has never strayed too far from soap opera-dom, including his latest role on the web series Venice: The Series – which has landed him a Daytime Emmy pre-nomination. Zarian spent a few minutes with Soaps.com’s Randee Dawn to share his classic story of discovery, why his Venice storyline has such personal meaning, and the importance of French bread in his life.
Anthony Hopkins is not playing by your rules. The actor, who earned his latest Oscar nomination this year for “The Two Popes,” has had an expansive, lauded 60-year (and counting) career that’s handed him roles as a prince (“The Lion in Winter”), a god (“Thor”), a psychopath (“Silence of the Lambs” earned him his first Oscar in 1992) and another kind of god (“Westworld”), to name just a few — so the rules are really his to invent. And as he tells The Envelope, he’s not interested in examining or lingering on his past roles, but he does have a lot to say about religion, taking things seriously, and sinning with bread. Let the games begin.
No matter what some directors or producers might assert, no film makes it to the screen with every frame shot. There are always a few scenes that just couldn’t be made to fit. Length can be an issue, but cuts are also made for clarity and plain old storytelling. So what didn’t you get to see? Here, six filmmakers talk about the shots that couldn’t fit — and, in some cases, where you can still see them!
This year’s crop of WGA-nominated adapted and original screenplays appears on the surface to be a grim lot. There’s war (“1917,” “Jojo Rabbit”), insidious homewreckers (“Parasite”), a Civil War-era coming-of age (“Little Women”) and an arch murder investigation (“Knives Out”), to name just a few of the nominated scripts.
But here’s a surprise: Every one of them is funny. Or, at least, funny in parts. And as screenwriters and producers alike admit, a script without funny moments is possibly the grimmest one of all.
“Ah, yes, the hilarious ride that was ‘1917’!” laughs Kristy Cairns-Wilson, who wrote the WWI screenplay with director Sam Mendes. “Here’s the thing: even when you’re going through something horrible, you often crack jokes. Our characters were young men. There’s a wanking joke in the trenches!”
There’s that one point in every film where an actor’s performance turns on a very thin moment — the moment when they truly embody the character and convince the audience of the importance of the story being told. These are those moments from the 10 actors and actresses nominated for lead-acting Academy Awards this year.
In the opening shot of Sofia Coppola’s “Lost in Translation” (2003), Scarlett Johansson is lying on a bed, back to the camera, shown in partial view, wearing underpants. In Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner 2049” (2017) a banged-up Ryan Gosling stares up at a bone-thin, enormous nude projection of a woman. More recently, Jay Roach’s “Bombshell” (2019) featured Margot Robbie lifting her dress for John Lithgow as the camera takes in her legs.
All typical images from Hollywood films, all doing their job: telling story, building character and providing context. These are images that have been used in cinema almost since its beginnings more than 100 years ago. But what if many shots framed and filmed by directors and cinematographers — men, women, nonbinary — actually do something else, too — like undercut every other progressive stride women make on the camera, and in real life?