Steve Burton (Jason, GH): How did you choose what category to submit in? “It’s always kind of a toss-up between Supporting and Lead for me. I was like, ‘I don’t know, just go with Lead,’ and one of the producers, Michelle Henry, helped me [compile my reel]. I didn’t really have a ton of stuff last year, so it was some scenes right after the court hearing. I remember I had my suit on and I went to talk to Carly about Sam going away [to Pentonville]. All my scenes were with Laura [Wright], I believe.” How did you find out you’d made the cut? “I got a text from a friend on the East Coast saying, ‘You were nominated.’ It was exciting! Being in daytime this long is such a blessing, first and foremost, and to be nominated for an Emmy is pretty cool. It never gets old. I didn’t expect it, but it’s like, ‘Wow, this is amazing.’ ” What do you think about the Emmys being virtual? “The fact that it’s on prime-time is great! It’s going to be fun. I’ll probably have my family with me. You know, if I lose, I’ll be happy for whoever wins — but my kids might not be! They might go, ‘Aw, man, that sucks!’ ” Have you thought about your background, maybe superimposing a big picture of Maurice Benard behind you? “Definitely not that! If it’s on Zoom or Skype, I’ve got my backgrounds ready. Maybe I’ll put up the nurses’ station or the Quartermaine foyer. And I might just have a black T-shirt on, go figure.” If you won, where would you put Emmy No. 3? “All I know is that if I did get a third, I’d have to split it with Maurice. I’d have to give him half because one reason I am where I am in my acting career is because of him — and if I gave him half, we’d both have two and a half.”
Thorsten Kaye (Ridge, B&B): This is your fifth Emmy nomination, but your first for the role of Ridge. How does that feel? “It’s not my first rodeo but it’s going to end the same way — with me on the ground, dirty.” What did you submit? “I submitted the Ridge/Thomas hospital scenes and the big breakup with Brooke — but I don’t know what the big breakup with Brooke was because I think there were, like, seven of them?” What do you think about the telecast being virtual for the first time? “It’s funny how that worked out. I don’t usually submit myself for these things, but I didn’t know I had to Zoom in because if they were on television, I wouldn’t have gone.” Thoughts on your fellow B&B nominees? “Well, Heather [Tom] has about 17 Emmys already. She’s like whatever the opposite of [Susan] Lucci [ex-Erica, ALL MY CHILDREN] is. [Katherine] Kelly [Lang] is so lovely and so deserves the nomination. I’d love to see Kelly get one. And Annika [Noelle] worked really hard, as well. That was a tough story to play out and she did a great job with it.” Should you take home the gold, who would you thank? “I really don’t think that’s going to be a problem for me on that particular evening, but it’s nice of you to think that it could be. The worst thing about these shows is that it’s not the people you thank; it’s the people you forget to thank. Am I right? You will forget somebody. That’s another reason I don’t like award shows. There are too many people to thank, so maybe I just won’t thank anybody.”
Photo credit: Sean Smith/Courtesy of Bell-Phillip Television Inc.
Jon Lindstrom (Kevin/Ryan, GH): How did you get the news? “Well, I put together an audiobook recording studio in our master closet, and I was in the middle of recording when I got this text from Cady [McClain, ex-Dixie, ALL MY CHILDREN et al, his wife] downstairs: ‘You got nominated!’ So, that’s how I found out — my wife interrupted me while I was working [laughs]! Two years in a row, two nominations, two characters! I’m so thankful and gratified.” What did you submit? “At the beginning of the year, Kevin was trapped in a basement and Ryan was out wreaking havoc. The arc I liked the most was [later], when things sort of came to light and Kevin had to eat crow from everyone and Ryan refused to kind of give in to his situation. To me, there was a really well-grounded base to the story of these two brothers and their journey. So that’s really what I submitted, the story after the story.” Who were the first people you got congratulations from? “Frank [Valentini] called while I was still in the booth recording. I just talked to Stevie B [Burton]. I think Maura [West] might have been the first one to send a congratulatory text.” How do you feel about this year’s virtual ceremony? “Well, I wish we could all be together with the open bar and the dinner and have some laughs, but it’s not to be, so we should make the best of it! It’s still the same honor and I’m still going to feel just as good should I be lucky enough to take one home.” Where will you be that night? “I don’t know — maybe I’ll find a pool and sit at it in a tux? This is uncharted territory! If we’re allowed to do it, maybe I’ll have some friends over. So you might see a room full of people in surgical masks.”
Thaao Penghlis (ex-Tony, DAYS): It’s been awhile since you were in the Lead Actor category. What does it mean to you to be in the category? “Well, certainly it’s nothing you take for granted. It means a lot because it’s 38 years of work. I think to myself, ‘That would be nice to take the Emmy home to my family.’ Going home again at this stage of my life, everybody else has retired. It means a lot. It’s not just about what it means for me. It means in some way it still stands for something that means something.” Who did you hear from after the nominations were announced? “The first person who called me was Billy [Flynn, Chad]. I was really touched by that. He called me up and he said, ‘I’m so happy you’re on that list. You deserve it.’ And then, of course, I had Deidre [Hall, Marlena] going, ‘Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!’, Leann Hunley [ex-Anna] in tears. And Lauren Koslow [Kate]. I got a lovely message from [Creative Consultant] Ryan Quan saying, ‘Congratulations! Two years in a row.’ ” What will you do for the show? “I’ll have Leann, I’ll have Lauren, I’ll have Nicky [Schillace, Koslow’s husband, head of hair and makeup at DAYS], who paints my mask every day, over. I’ll have some of my close friends, people who have made a difference in my life. I may have 10 people. I just want to keep it small [and] immediate friends.” Who is the person you want to be sure to thank if you win? “Ken [Corday, executive producer] would be at the top of my list. And Gloria Monty [former GH EP] from my beginnings [as Victor]. She said, ‘I want you to get out of daytime. You’re too good.’ She was so on my side. I cannot tell you what a support system she was.”
Jason Thompson (Billy, Y&R): How did you find out about your nomination? “We went out to Malibu early that morning, and running around on the beach with the kids, [the nominations] weren’t in my head space at all. I was taking a couple of pictures of them and my phone was buzzing. I got the good news and I was super-excited about it. I told my kids, ‘Hey, guys, Daddy just got nominated for an Emmy.’ Bowie asked, ‘What’s an Emmy?’ I was like, ‘It’s an award. You know what? DINO DANA and BUBBLE GUPPIES got nominated for an Emmy, too.’ So he was pretty stoked once he heard his two favorite shows were nominated as well. It was a really nice surprise. It feels good.” What scenes did you submit? “When I look at this process I’m always kind of pulled in two different directions: just put in one episode and let it ride, or try and tell a mini story of what this character’s been through. Adam coming back into town, [Billy] starting to feel really out of [his] head and having these visions and nightmares or whatever, and portions of the stand-alone episode where he’s getting confronted with his demons. I think that was the majority of the tape.” How do you feel about the ceremony being virtual this year? “It makes sense. I’m glad we’re doing that. I think right now you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do for the greater good and if this is what we can do and hopefully give people some entertainment, I’m all into it. Why not? It’s been an interesting time, why not keep it interesting?” Who will be with you? “I’m assuming it will be the wife and kids. My life is not quiet right now at all, so I would [ideally] have to go into some sort of soundproof room in another location, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.”