What scenes did you submit for consideration? “What I submitted was the evening where Jack had perhaps one too many glasses of juice. He was getting into a darker place when Phyllis stopped by to check on him and he tells her that he never fell out of love with her. It’s a quiet conversation. I don’t raise my voice once on this entire tape.”
So your 15 minutes was one scene instead of snippets strung together? “To me, daytime television is at its best when you’re watching people who had known each other for decades. I love when the viewer goes, ‘Did you see that, she just changed her mind! Oh, my God, I just watched him fall in love with her but he doesn’t know it yet and she doesn’t know it yet, either, but I know it.’ Those are the magic moments of daytime television.”
How do you like sharing the category with your TV brother, Jason Thompson (Billy)? “Jason is one of my favorite actors, who I like very much as a person. I’m delighted to be in any category with him. Jason and I determined that if one of us wins, the other person is going to run up on stage and smack him.”
How great is it that Melissa Ordway (Abby) got her first nomination? “I think it’s fantastic. What people don’t understand is all of the things she does. She’s asked to be funny, emotionally deep, romantic, sexy, glamorous and on top of all of that, maternal. They really do ask a lot of her, so I’m glad that she’s been recognized.”
We’ll be seeing you at the awards ceremony then? “I will be there with my beautiful bride, Mariellen. She’s the best possible companion on an evening like this. I’ll have a nervous stomach and she’ll just be calm, calm, calm. And then I get to go home with her at the end of the night.”

How do you feel about your nomination? “It’s exciting. It’s always nice to be invited to the party. You know that you work hard, and getting an Emmy nom is not what it’s all about, but still, it’s nice. It does mean something so it’s good and I feel very, very grateful. It’s kind of taking stock that I don’t suck.”
What scenes did you submit for consideration? “Billy usually gets some fun stuff to do but this last year was a little bit challenging. I kind of just put a few things together, like Billy trying to get his company back from the Newmans and he and Lily were in cahoots to try and make Adam believe that Billy was falling apart. It was fun for me to be out with Lily and having a good time at dinner, and then turning on a dime in order to pretend that I was falling-down drunk. I felt those combination of scenes showed a range.”
What was it like to win an Outstanding Lead Actor Emmy in 2020 during trying circumstances? “Yeah, because of Covid, there wasn’t an awards ceremony as we know it, and all of the acceptance speeches were prerecorded, so it didn’t feel the same as what you dream about, getting up there and being able to say your thank-yous live in front of your colleagues and friends. It’s always something you kind of picture and rehearse in your mind, but the truth is, you just never really know. So, I think for me, it’s worth it to have something ready in my head.”
So, you’ll be attending the award ceremony? “I’ll be there but I’m also in my friend’s wedding that weekend in Wyoming, so we’ll be getting on a plane that night in order to make a couple of connections to get into Wyoming by the next day.”

How did you find out you were nominated? “I got a call from our lovely new publicist, Lia [Maiuri]. I thought I was in trouble. Instead she called with this really great unexpected news.”
What was your reaction? When it happened, Greg Vaughan [Eric] was standing outside my dressing room. Greg saw me and gave me a token air hug from the hallway, trying to maintain protocol. Then I found out Ari [Zucker] had been nominated, too. She let out a scream or a shriek, and I put two and two together. I realized there was some happiness going on in our hallways. It was definitely a good day.”
This is your first time going up for Lead Actor, correct? “Yes. I’d always sat on the soap box of suggesting we’re all supporting players. That was always my mantra. I always believed soaps were a team sport. Coaxed by some co-workers, maybe some production staff and my sons of all people, I decided to throw my hat into the lead category. My boys said something one night like, ‘Dad, how old do you have to be to be a lead?’ I was like, ‘You little stinkers. I’m going to check this box, just because you said that.’ ”
What scenes did you submit? “That was easy. I submitted the same scenes that Stacy Haiduk [Kristen/Susan] submitted, which was Brady and Kristen’s breakup. It was a very heated, very emotional and extremely raw set of scenes.”
Will you bring or wear anything to the awards that holds special meaning to you? “That’s a very pertinent question right now. I would have said, ‘No,’ a year-and-a-half ago. I now wear my father’s collegiate ring from Michigan State University. He’s one of the big reasons I went into the acting profession. I was scared to do it, and he said, ‘Don’t be scared. Go for it. You love it.’ So I will have that ring on me, especially that night.”

How did you get the news? “It was cool. Brad [Bell, executive producer/head writer] called and he was ebullient. He was excited and happy and congratulatory and very proud that I’d gotten this nomination, and I said, ‘Thanks to you, Brad.’ ”
What was your reaction to your fourth Daytime Emmy nomination? “It’s cool. I’m very happy, actually much happier than I realized I would be. I’m tickled. My kids are really happy and I must say, I am very happy to be nominated this year.”
What did you submit? “The scenes with Eric and Ridge, where Eric was saying he didn’t want to be alone in this house.”
When B&B launched the controversial Eric/Quinn/Carter love triangle, did you ever imagine it would result in an Emmy nomination? “No, I absolutely did not and the fact is Brad called me up to his office and he told me about the story [about Eric’s ED] and he wanted to make sure I was comfortable with it. I said I’ll be glad to play it but I don’t want him to be pitiful. I want him to take control, and he made some bad decisions in letting Quinn have a physical relationship outside the house as long as she stayed with him. I thought it was really powerful. It wasn’t histrionic. It was just the opposite. It was very emotional but no one was throwing things. That’s why I’m so surprised and pleased that these scenes got a nomination.”
Do you think a fourth time may be a charm? “I guess so, maybe, but that’s not what I think about. It really isn’t. It’s win, lose or draw!”

How did you find out you were nominated? “I knew the nominations were coming up, but I didn’t remember when. I got a phone call from Lia [Maiuri] and she said, ‘I’ve got some good news.’ I was shifting through my mind and said, ‘What is it?’ She told me I got nominated.”
What was your reaction? “I said, ‘Wow! Great.’ It was sincerely a surprise. I was very happy about it. I’m more than pleased and more than happy, but I wasn’t really expecting it. It has been a couple of years since I had submitted anything.”
What scenes did you submit? “I submitted scenes from the stand-alone show, my anniversary show. They were scenes where Abe was meeting Lexie in heaven. They were very nice, and the young actress who played Lexie [Jennifer Lee] was wonderful. I kind of felt like Renee [Jones, ex-Lexie] might have been there. You never saw her face, but she looked like Renee and her voice was very similar. And she was such a giving actress. I was very pleased about that. I put the scenes together in a little different way than I had before. So that contributed to my uncertainty. Then to find out that everything worked? I was very, very happy.”
Have you spoken to Eric Martsolf? “Yes. I was talking to Eric the other day and we thought, ‘Maybe we’ll tie.’ To be truthful, we’d both be happy with that. It was all very nice and positive. Eric is such a nice guy, and we really have enjoyed sharing the nomination.”
Do you have a lucky charm or personal memento you might bring with you to the event? “My wife [Lissa] is my good-luck charm. Although a couple of years ago, a friend gave me hourglass cuff links, so I may wear them.”

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