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Y&R: Michael Fairman Interviews Michelle Stafford
Topic Started: Mar 11 2009, 12:08 PM (583 Views)
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THE MICHELLE STAFFORD INTERVIEW - THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS

She is a daytime dynamo, a force to be reckoned with, and one of soap opera’s most highly respected and praised actresses. I could only be talking about two-time Daytime Emmy Award winning actress, Michelle Stafford. Each week, fans of the number one rated CBS soap, “The Young and the Restless”, are riveted by her performances as Phyllis Summers Newman, and the complex situations in which she finds herself.

As the long running debate between “Phick” and “Shick” fans has heated up over recent developments in the storyline, On-Air On-Soaps chatted with one of the women at the epicenter of the marital merry-go round between Phyllis, Nick, and Sharon.

Who can forget the stunning scenes when Phyllis witnesses Nick and Sharon kissing in Paris, and its aftermath? What has followed has been a stunning portrayal of a woman scorned who tries to hold onto her marriage.

Michelle explains from her vantage point.

MICHAEL:

I thought it was an interesting choice that Phyllis made after she found out about the affair, and after Brad had died. She stopped getting histrionic and downplayed things regarding Sharon and Nick… like it’s no big deal. How did you feel about how she handled finding out about the affair and the aftermath of that?

MICHELLE:

Maria Arena Bell (head writer, “Y&R”) had told me she was going to go that way, and I liked that. It’s a lot different than “Get out of my house you idiot!” And truly, when this does happen to people in life, rarely do they leave. They work it out when they have children. It’s completely real to me that it would happen. Phyllis is in love. The two had a very good relationship up until then. They understand each other, and they seem to have a lot of sex, and love each other. In Phyllis’s mind Sharon is the problem. If they lived in another town she wouldn’t have a problem at all, but Sharon and Nick’s guilt regarding Sharon, is a problem in their marriage.

MICHAEL:

Does Phyllis ever look back and feel she is responsible for breaking up Sharon and Nick in the first place?

MICHELLE:

Personally, sometimes I have an opinion on the way a story is told. But, one person does not make up for the all the reasons marriages fail. If Phyllis and Nick fall apart, it would not be Sharon who broke it up. I am talking as Michelle. Things break up for many, many reasons in life. Relationships fall apart not because one person stole them away. That’s silly, and Phyllis doesn’t feel that way. Phyllis and Nick got together because the loss Sharon and Nick had with Cassie was too great for them, and they couldn’t get together. Then Brad came into the picture, and Sharon went to him for support. Nick went to Phyllis for support and he fell in love with her, and that’s kind of what happened.

MICHAEL:

What do you think now about Sharon having a breakdown, stealing things, and sleeping with Billy? Phyllis is standing back watching her melt. Is she enjoying watching her fall apart?

MICHELLE:

She is not enjoying watching someone falling apart and someone in pain. She is not enjoying it, but she is enjoying seeing Sharon be the person that Phyllis knew Sharon was. Phyllis didn’t think Sharon was a strong or worthy opponent. She didn’t think Sharon was very smart. In her head, she knew Sharon was a tramp. This is all in Phyllis head. This is not how I feel. I really want the “Shick” and “Phick” fans to know I am speaking from my character’s viewpoint. Phyllis thinks that Sharon is a tramp and really needy, and goes to the only man she knows that can help her. She can’t stand on her own. So she is enjoying saying, “Look, see? She is being the person I knew she was.”

MICHAEL:

But how is Phyllis dealing with the fact that Nick slept with Sharon? How can she go forward with her marriage when she knows there is something going on between the two that she can’t deny? It’s got to be so horrendous for her! It’s tough to watch.

MICHELLE:

Of course, it’s horrendous! It’s tough for me to watch, it really is. I think, “Oh, God this is so pathetic,” and when she was crying and found out about the affair, and at the end she says, “Please don’t leave.” I mean, my heart hurt. I was like, “Oh, my God!” Just watching it was just sad. It’s sad!

MICHAEL:

Does Phyllis need a man to stabilize her?

MICHELLE:

I personally don’t believe in that, so I can’t even answer that. She is not unstable; her husband is screwing around on her. I had a conversation with Maria Arena Bell, where they were writing that Phyllis was insecure and I am like, “Maria, as a woman, I find this offensive. She’s insecure because her husband is screwing around on her.” She said, “I agree.” I said, “Please get everyone else on board here.” A woman who is the other woman in a relationship is always insecure, period. And Nick and Phyllis went into their relationship on “funky” terms, so she always thinks her husband is going to wander because he did with her. So, why wouldn’t he do it again? There is already that instability. But, Nick and Phyllis has been a good thing. So, she doesn’t really think about that. Then, the ex-wife is always coming over and sniffing around and looking around at him longingly, and it makes her insecure. On top of that, Nick says to her, “The way you think is crazy,” so that makes her insecure. Then she thinks, “Okay, well alright. I will get over it myself.” Then she moves on, and she and Nick have a good thing. Then he is sticking up for his ex-wife and that makes Phyllis insecure, and she says, “Wait, that’s not right. You are my husband.” So that makes her insecure, and then the ex-wife is in Paris and he is in Paris, and she sees them making out. Yeah, I would say that makes her insecure and she is upset about it. Then Sharon keeps sniffing around, and she makes it very clear to Phyllis that she is going to be around Nick, and that’s the way it is. Well, yeah, that makes her insecure. Then he goes away, and Nick is always like, “Poor Sharon, Poor Sharon.” And, she goes away and he comes back and says he slept with her! So, for anybody to watch and think that Phyllis is wrong for how she is feeling is silly.

MICHAEL:

For “Phick” fans, do you think they will be happy for awhile, or will there be trouble ahead?

MICHELLE:

I don’t know, but, I personally have my own ideas. I really don’t think a woman can take this kind of thing for too long. I think that she needs to say, “Get out of my life, you are hurting me every single day. You are hurting me. You are sleeping with her and you are hurting me. On top of it, you are not even trying to keep this together.” I have my own personal issues with it, and if I was a viewer I would be outraged, and I would really want Phyllis to walk out. I don’t know how “Phick” fans are going to feel. I know for certain they like the triangle, but eventually you can’t keep freaking out your viewers.

MICHAEL:

How is working with Joshua Morrow (Nick)?

MICHELLE:

It is a joy, joy, joy to work with him! We laugh the whole time, and he has been really wonderful. What I like the most about Josh when I work with him is he is not over done and over studied. He is truly there in that moment and I really like that about him.

MICHAEL:

What about Sharon Case (Sharon)? You have this animosity on the show. How is working with her?

MICHELLE:

I knew Sharon before we were on the show, and we have known each other for many years. We have a friendship that goes back prior to the show. We are good girl friends.

MICHAEL:

When you have those big scenes where you are bitchy to each other, are those hard to play? Do you have a good laugh afterwards?

MICHELLE:

This is really funny. I know you are not going to believe this, but I really have a hard time playing bitchy scenes with women.

MICHAEL:

But you do them so well!

MICHELLE:

I know that’s what everybody thinks. I hate the emotions I have to conjure up towards another woman. If somebody is mean and rude to me, yeah, I am going to stand up for myself. But, I am not like a bitchy woman, or jealous of women. I like women. I have women friends. I have a hard time going there. It’s easier to go there for me with a man, because that kind of fight is easier to have with a man. It’s more real to life than to be in someone’s face and go, “Get away from my husband.” It’s such a weird concept to me. I suppose if “my man” was being a jerk-off, I would be mad at him. Of course, I dated someone who was “popular with the ladies.” We lived far from each other and I would go and see him, and I would see how they these woman would respond to him. I could clearly tell who he dated, and who was interested in him. So, I would walk up to the woman and go, “Hi, I’m Michelle,” and let’s just call him “John”. “Hi. I’m John’s girlfriend, what’s you name?” And I would just insinuate myself into that conversation they were having with “my man”. I would let them know with my kindness and my manners, that you better back off, Sistah! (She laughs) So, when Sharon Case and I have to do those scenes, I kind of walk into them like, “Oh, God. Here we go!” I am a bit more trepidacious about it, but when the director yells, “5, 4, 3, 2, 1”, I bring it.

MICHAEL:

Well, those scenes between Phyllis and Sharon end up being fantastic scenes to watch!

MICHELLE:

Nobody ever asked me about Sharon Case before. You are the first person to ask me, “How is my relationship with Sharon?” I truly, truly, went on the boards two years ago, when the Phyllis and Nick thing went crazy. Lynn Latham (ex-executive producer “Y&R”) at the time said, “You’ve got to go check out the boards. Everybody loves you. You’ll see.” I went and saw that there was this post saying, “I think Michelle Stafford is ugly. What do you think?” And a lot of people responded to it. I was like, “Oh, my god!” Then there was another post about, “Who is prettier, Sharon or Michelle?” Since I was on the message board, I saw there was this whole debate on who was prettier and nicer, whether it was Sharon or Michelle. One of them was, “Michelle must really be like that if she can play it so well.” You know, Sharon is my friend. I would never want Sharon to go look on those boards and see that they wrote, “Michelle was prettier” or something. It’s crazy to me. Sharon and I are friends. We hang out and talk, and we have our lives. I don’t want the “Phick” fans to talk bad about Sharon personally. And, I know Sharon wouldn’t like it if the “Shick” fans did that to me. I don’t mind if they fight, and I have heard that they do, but keep it within the context of the characters, not me and Sharon personally, because we are friends. I am not Phyllis, and Sharon is not Sharon Newman Abbott.

MICHAEL:

But you know the “Phick” fans are very passionate about Nick and Phyllis! They adore you.

MICHELLE:

Yes! I have heard that the “Phick” fans get every upset. Those are my peeps! They are passionate!

MICHAEL:

In wrapping up, I want to talk to you about the wonderful work you do with charities, in particular, animals and children.

MICHELLE:

I have a problem with anything that is helpless, and that is animals and children and that is why I do a lot of charity work for them. It’s shocking and so confusing to me that anybody would want to hurt an animal or a child that is totally helpless. I work with some wonderful animal charities and a few human rights charities that support children like: “Product Cuddle”, “Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights”, “New Leash on Life”, and many others. All of these people do wonderful work, and it is very important to me to be involved.

http://michaelfairmansoaps.com/article/articleItem.cfm?cms_article_id=79
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I love Michelle, this lady is a real class act.

Thanks for posting this, it was very interesting.
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KMan101
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Oh, that was a fantastic read!
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