Kirsten Storms (Maxie, GH) had abso- lutely no intention of forging a bond with Cynthia Watros when she came in to replace Michelle Stafford (now Y&R’s Phyllis) as Nina. “That was another, ‘I’m gonna hate her’ situation,” Storms chuckles. “I was the same way when Julie Marie Berman left and they hired Emme [Rylan, Lulu] to replace her, and we all know how that went! It’s so funny; I don’t know why I put that on myself because I’m not that person. Like, I don’t go crazy bitch until you give me a reason to be that person! But Michelle and I became insanely close to each other. I still talk to her regularly. When she said she was leaving, I sobbed because I work with Nina so much and not having her there just felt like heartbreak for me. I felt super-jealous knowing other people were going to have her. It was rough. And then I was told that Cynthia was coming. I never watched LOST [where Watros played Libby], but I recognized her and knew of her work and was really excited that we were getting such an A player to come to the show. And then one of the first days she was working, she was in a scene with Ingo [Rademacher, Jax] and I watched her on the monitor and my jaw dropped. She’s so good! And she’s the sweetest person and so caring. I didn’t want to like her, and now I love her!”
Despite the comical aspect of the scene, Eric Martsolf (Brady, DAYS) wasn't exactly overjoyed when he read the script where Brady and Sarah's romp between the sheets got derailed by performance anxiety on his character's part. "It's a scene that Iw as a little concerned about," admits Martsolf. "The two of them go upstairs to do the deed, and then you see them just lying in the bed, staring up at the ceiling in the most awkward fashion. They couldn't do it. Brady's looking at Sarah and saying, 'I just want you to know that this has never happened before.' And she's like, 'No, no, I'm sure.' As funny as the scene was, I was like, 'Really? Brady's going to have these issues now?' As a man, I don't want to forecast that.' Fortunately, Co-Executive Producer Albert Alarr saw Martsolf through it. “Our faithful producer talked me into it,” explains the actor. “Albert took me to the side and said, ‘I’ve got to say, man, I think this is very sincere. I know what you’re thinking about, but I think it’s really lovely. He still loves Kristen.’ ” The chat helped Martsolf get on board and forge forward. "I realized that was the reason behind it," says Martsolf. "It wasn't performance issues. It's just that Brady still loves Kristen."
B&B’s Courtney Hope (Sally) says she was surprised to learn that fans have strong opin- ons about her alter ego’s love life. “Either they were really upset with what was happening to Sally or they were happy that she was finally taking control of her life," states Hope. "But what I found very surprising is that a lot of fans were pushing for Thomas and Sally again, which I haven't heard in a really long time [since Pierson Fode left the role in 2018]. A lot of them were like, ‘Screw Wyatt. Leave him. Now that Sally is crazy and Thomas is crazy, they’d be fun together.’ There were so many people saying that. It made me laugh because it seemed to be a resounding thing. I haven’t heard anything about that [from the writ- ers], but now with Matthew [Atkinson] in the role, it could be a fun and interesting dynamic to see play out. Who knows?”
That Holiday Spirit
As thrilled as Elissa Kapneck was about her Outstanding Guest Performer Daytime Emmy nomination for portraying Sasha, a desperate single mother who left her newborn in the Newman barn on Christmas day, the real-life soap fan was even more overjoyed to work with Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki). “Melody is such an icon and a class act,” raves Kapneck. “She took me under her wing and made comments to me that were so sweet. She asked if I wanted to come to her dressing room so we could run lines and I was like, ‘Oh, my God, yes!’ When we came into her room, I saw all of her framed Soap Opera Digest covers on the walls. After we rehearsed, she told me, ‘You remind me of myself a lot.’ It felt so incredible to hear that from her.” Even a sudden curveball didn’t faze Kapneck. “Right before the scene was going to shoot, they told me, ‘Oh, by the way, we’re actually not using the dummy dolls, we’re going to give you a real-live baby,’ ” the actress recalls. “Melody asked me, ‘Have you ever worked with a baby before?’ I told her, ‘Never on a set but I love kids.’ So, when I finally held the baby, she cried just once and then fell asleep in my arms. Melody looked over and said, ‘Did that baby just fall asleep? You’re fantastic!’ She is absolutely amazing!”