B&B’s Joshua Hoffman (R.J.) is thrilled to have Lisa Yamada join the cast as the new Forrester intern, Luna. “I’m not the new intern anymore!” he quips. “Actually, I love working with her and I think there is definitely a chemistry between the two characters, and between the two of us as actors. Since R.J. has been back, he has been surrounded by plenty of family but Luna is different. She is actually a friend to him, someone he can talk to, and he appreciates that.” No longer the new kid on the block in real life, Hoffman has made it a priority to show Yamada the soap ropes. “It’s nice to be able to show somebody else how the show works,” he smiles. “She has been doing great. She handles the different situations that come up on the set incredibly well. Honestly, I did one read with her, and I remember the read that she did was super-solid. She did great. She was selected for this part, and I think she has been killing it. She is very professional, and we definitely do have chemistry on the set. It’s going to be fun to see where the writers take this.”
Bryton James (Devon, Y&R) has developed an app called Dysko to help people deal with social anxiety. “It’s a passion project that I’ve worked on for almost five years,” he explains. “It helps reduce the stress when it comes to meeting strangers because no matter the social setting, there’s only one option to connect with someone and that’s to physically approach them. I really wanted to create a new thread of connection between strangers. Developing it came from feedback with focus groups conducted with around 200 high school kids who are going off to college to new environments and needing something, aside from therapy or medication, to help alleviate that anxiety. Everyone has a cell phone, so an application to help with this seemed so logical.” How does Dysko work? “You look through your phone’s camera and see floating profiles of other people around you within a set radius, all in real time. You just click on a profile to see the information they want to share with you, so right away, you know what someone has in common with you. Several universities have committed to using the app as an anti-anxiety tool. There are technological updates that we’re still building in so stay tuned e for when our official rollout date will be.”
Lisa LoCicero (Olivia) enjoyed shooting the ruckus that broke out at GH’s go-to dive bar, The Highsider, when Mason hit on Olivia — but, she clarifies, “Shooting fight scenes is never as much fun as hopefully they are to watch because you don’t want anyone to get hurt. That’s always in the back of your mind. But the actor who plays Mason, Nathanyael Grey, he’s a lot of fun to work with, really game, and we finessed [our interaction] a bit so that it came across believably, not like he was just some caveman at the bar. And, of course, it was really fun to do all that with Laura [Wright, Carly] and with Wally [Kurth, Ned].” Behind the scenes, precautions were taken so that the brawl was executed safely. “We have a wonderful stunt coordinator that we work with on the show,” LoCicero notes. “There is always a stunt coordinator on set if someone has to so much as stub their toe, and to do the kinds of stunts going on here — to get a punch to really look right and to know how you’re going to shoot it so that you’re not going to land it — you definitely need a pro to help you. Everything went well and I think it turned out great!”
After a few years away from DAYS, Jen Lilley was eager to play the hellion that is Theresa Donovan. “I missed that she’s sassy,” says Lilley. “On my Great American Family movies or my Hallmark movies, I play very sweet all the time. That’s lots of fun as well, but it’s really fun to ruffle people’s feathers. It’s very fun to get in people’s personal space and make them uncomfortable, because I don’t do that as Jen either. So it’s a real treat for me to be like that as Theresa.” Lilley admits that she’s learned a lot from playing the havoc-wreaking character. “Theresa did teach me to be more assertive, and she also really helped me with my mom voice,” notes the mother of four. “When I’m disciplining my children, now I know that I can be scary, if I need to be. Whereas before if I was trying to be serious, people would be like, ‘You’re adorable.’ Sometimes as a parent, you can’t be adorable. You have to really have the serious face so your children know you mean business. I could not do that if I had not played Theresa. I also learned how to be a much more empathetic person overall because of her. If you’re generally a law-abiding citizen as a person, it’s easy to cast judgment on other people who don’t make good choices. I had to learn, as Jen Lilley, to really always look at somebody else’s perspective and reasons for why they behave the way they do. So she taught me a lot as a person. I think my heart grew two sizes by playing Theresa.
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