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Daytime Emmy Nominee Q&A: John McCook (Eric, BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL)

The 51st ANNUAL DAYTIME EMMY AWARDS will be held on Friday, June 7, with the ceremony airing live on CBS starting at 8 p.m. ET. Digest chatted with the nominees to get the scoop on how they found out, what episodes they submitted, and more as we count down to daytime’s biggest night!

John McCook

Howard Wise/

Outstanding Lead Actor


What episodes did you submit?

“Well, I took the little pieces. I put the end of three different shows because when you submit, you can’t just think, ‘Oh, the fans loved Eric and this.’ The fans, the people that watch the show all the time are very happy with subtleties that maybe somebody who doesn’t know you and doesn’t watch your show [wouldn’t get]. You really need to tell a story. I picked a scene in the office with Ridge and Eric, where Eric was very happy to be behind his desk again, and Ridge was hiding the fact that he knew his father was dying. And so there’s subtext going on with that, and they tell each other how much they love each other. Then he says, ‘Oh, by the way, there’s your old stapler.’ And Eric sees the stapler [engraved by his late wife Stephanie] and realizes that they’ve all done that for him. They hug each other and we see how much they love each other.

“Then a quick scene when Eric is at home with Donna and he’s feeling very physically alarmed by his hand shaking. He says, ‘I’m really scared, Donna.’ And then he collapses, which scares her. And then the last one is at the party where he’s been going around, telling everybody how much he loves them. And, of course, everybody knows he’s dying, but he doesn’t know [they know]. And then he realizes that Ridge lied to him about him winning the fashion show and realizes that it’s a wonderful thing that his son did for him. And then he collapses and dies and there you go, and cue the band and go home. So it was pretty good.

“I talked to Brad [Bell, B&B head writer, and executive producer] quite a few times over the months that we played this, and one of the things that he really wanted Eric to demonstrate to our older viewers especially, is that dying is not something to be afraid of. It’s not scary on the other side. It’s a happy place, it’s good, it’s positive. And for him to be able to say that when he came back from the hospital and say that to his family, that it wasn’t frightening and not to be scared for him. If it happens again, don’t be afraid for me. Yeah. We forget that we have huge numbers, a huge percentage of our audience is older than 50 years old, and some of them really quite older. So it’s really something.”

“Oh my God, I’m just realizing I haven’t told anybody this — in the market yesterday, I went to pick up some things and there was a woman who smiled at me and she said, ‘I want to say hello to you.’ And I said, okay. And she said, ‘I saw you 10 years ago when I had my first open heart surgery, and I saw you right after that. And I did well.’ I said, ‘Well, obviously, you did. You’re here. And then she said, ‘I just had to do it again, and here you are.’ And so that’s really nice. Being able to touch people at those times in their lives with our stories is a very good thing. We forget that all of us get to influence people’s lives, and if nothing else, we get to entertain them. And that’s the beauty of it. That’s the fun of it.”

Did you do anything to celebrate?

“Not particularly. I haven’t thought about that. I haven’t really changed clothes since yesterday. The celebration is when am I going to work Thursday and Friday of next week. We’ve been on hiatus, and so I’ll be back in the office, back in the studio, and usually we pause for a few minutes and we clap for each other when things like this happen. I don’t have any plans. I know that the women get together. That’s a fun thing. That was an event that Susan Flannery [ex-Stephanie] put in place years ago. The ladies who were nominated would all go out to lunch together. I don’t think the men are going to do that. Those [are] tea and cucumber sandwiches lunches. I don’t think we’re going to do that, although it would be fun to meet in a bar somewhere, but I’m not sure we’ll be doing that anyway. The fun is to see each other.”

Will anyone in your family be attending?

“Well, my sweet Laurette, my wonderful wife. She’s with me everywhere and for everything. And now what’s exciting in our lives is not just this, but it’s that Laurette and Jake, our son, have written a book together [The Cliffs of Schizophrenia]. It’s doing really well. And all this talk is about editors and distributors and stuff that we don’t know anything about. We’re all learning a lot of stuff about self-publishing.”

Any thoughts on your fellow nominees?

It’s really neat, really exciting. I was just texting, and I have to interrupt that and I’ll go back and do it later. I was going to text Eric Martsolf [Brady, DAYS] because I don’t know him, but I wanted to text him and congratulate him. I don’t know if he’s been nominated before or what, but it’s pretty exciting. There are three men in my category from our show. I mean Thorsten Kaye [Ridge] and Scott Clifton [Liam]. The three of us from our show in one category is fantastic. That’s great. And then Braeden’s [Victor on Y&R] across the hall, and he’s a titan. I consider him with his wonderful stature and his wonderful accent and what he does, he’s a very powerful actor.”

Are you a “prepare a speech” or wing it kind of person?

“I’ll think of things. I won’t prepare a speech in terms of writing something unquote, but sure, I’ll think about it. I don’t want to go out and say the same thing I said last time. It’s a really nice dilemma, isn’t it?”

Will you bring a lucky charm?

“No. I’d like to say I wear the same underwear, but I’m not sure if I will, because I don’t remember. But no, I don’t have any good luck charms. I just need to have a drink when it’s over. That’s all I need.”

How do you feel about other acting nominations?

“I’ve been on the phone and texting and hearing from actors from other shows and the people that I work with and people that I don’t work with. Yeah, lots of congrats and fun. I’m so proud that Jennifer [Gareis, Donna on B&B] got nominated. I’m so proud for her and happy because she’s never been nominated before. And little Linsey Godfrey over on DAYS OF OUR LIVES [she plays Sarah]? She got a supporting nod. And I haven’t talked to her in a while, but here she is. We talked and we laughed together. I really enjoyed her when she was with us [ex-Caroline on B&B]. And that’s what’s fun. And Courtney Hope [now Sally on Y&R], she was on our show. We’ve had actors come and gone from our show who are on different ones now, and it’s really neat.”