When the search was on to find a new Summer on Y&R, Michael Mealor (Kyle) was immediately impressed by Allison Lanier. “My first thought was that she’s super-intelligent and confident,” the actor recalls. “She wasn’t nervous or anxious, just very self-assured. During the read, she made me feel comfortable. I didn’t need to take the reins and show her what to do, she kind of led the way right off the bat, which was nice.” It only got better after Lanier was chosen to be Mealor’s new soap wife. “While working together, we’ve found a security with each other that just keeps growing. It makes having a conversation with her, whether it’s between our characters or when we’re talking off-set, very easy, which I think helps with our on-screen chemistry. I like that her sense of humor is very similar to mine. She’s also extremely professional and always prepared, but she totally knows how to take a joke and laugh and doesn’t take everything too seriously. We make fun of everything and that’s great.”
B&B’s Darin Brooks (Wyatt) and Kelly Kruger (ex-Eva; ex-Mackenzie, Y&R) will appear on screen together in the upcoming GAF Family holiday flick, THE ART OF CHRISTMAS — and the experience turned out to be a family affair. “We had a blast,” raves Brooks. “We were in Toronto for two weeks, and it was the first time traveling with the kids [daughters Everleigh, 3, and Gemma, 10 months]. It was the first time doing a movie together, the first time getting a nanny, the first time the kids got sick. It was a whole whirlwind for those two weeks of shooting. It was crazy.” Brooks was not expecting to be part of the cast but the stars aligned. “Kelly had worked with the producers before and they were still casting and Kelly was like, ‘Let me ask Darin if he wants to do one of the roles,’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, sure.’ It was very cool that worked out, and it was so fun for us to work together again.” THE ART OF CHRISTMAS is set to air on December 9.
Gregory Harrison (Gregory, GH) marvels at the ability of his frequent scene partner, Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis), to commit her lines to memory last-minute. “I attribute that to her having done this for so long; she’s got, like, second-nature skills. I have yet to find if they’re ever going to be there for me, or maybe it’s that I don’t trust that my last-minute skills will save me, so I do a lot of prep. But I tend to be that way as an actor. I love the prep, I love to explore ideas. Because we don’t have a lot of rehearsal time, I have to do all of that sort of in my head sitting with my script or when I’m in my car driving to work.” He’s also impressed by Grahn’s creativity in stashing her script on set. “Today I was working with Nancy and she was sitting on her script! We were at a restaurant table [in the scene] and I jokingly asked her if she was learning her lines by osmosis. You know, she basically does that! I have yet to find a good hiding place for my script. I usually get up from where we’re doing the scene, walk 30 feet away, put it behind the camera, then walk back to where we’re shooting, do the quick run-through for the camera, run back, put the script away, run back, shoot the scene. Everybody else seems to have a plan and I’m still the guy who’s running around trying to get the script out of sight!”