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Y&R: Daniel Goddard interview with Fancast


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It’s nearly impossible to keep a plot twist a secret these days. From soaps, to primetime finales, to movies, everything leaks on-line. So The Young & The Restless fans were truly stunned last week when, at the end of Friday’s episode, the show revealed that Phillip Chancellor III, who died in 1989, was alive and in seeming cahoots with Cane. There was no prior announcement that actor Thom Bierdz was returning to the show. The spoilers said only that Cane having a secret that would be revealed at his wedding. Sorry Grey’s Anatomy, this was last week’s most surprising plot twist. Somehow, the show kept the secret until Thursday, when the episode aired in Canada. Maybe Executive Producers Paul Rauch and Maria Bell should work for the CIA. Were Cane and Phillip in cahoots all along? Is Phillip Cane’s Uncle Langley? Is Bierdz actually playing Phillip’s twin brother? (If Cane and Phillip really were switched as babies, Phillip could have a twin.) How did the show pull it off? Daniel Goddard, who plays Cane, shed some light on this intriguing new storyline.

How did you manage to keep this twist a secret?

I have to give all the credit to Maria Bell. She did a phenomenal job keeping this quiet. I was so honored to be part of it.

Did the show turn off the feed to the rest of Television City while the scenes were taping and only distribute script pages to the people who were directly involved in the scenes?

Yeah. We did. That’s great in my opinion. When you have a great plot twist the last thing you want to know is let people know early because it dilutes it.

So what, exactly, is going on? Is Thom Bierdz playing Phillip?

The funny thing is, I don’t even know! I haven’t seen the air episode that people are talking about yet. I’ve been kind of kept in the dark. I wish I could tell you. It’s a fantastic storyline. It’s a great twist either way. It’s apparently turned a lot of fans upside down.

When you were cast as Cane, what were you told about the character? Was he supposed to be running a con, or was he sincere?

I wasn’t really told anything. I try to work page to page because if you get too far in front you start to play something that may or may not happen. If you start to play what you think is going on and then it doesn’t happen, you’ve put yourself in a corner. I generally take the script, see what it does and if I’m fortunate to get four scripts down the line that are written and printed, then great. But I try to figure out the story arc in terms of what I have. I wasn’t told anything about Cane’s motives other than what the initial set up was which was that I was looking for my biological Mom. At this point it seems that everything is about to change. Who knows? It’s a very interesting web they weave.

His Uncle Langley was referenced early on, and there was the implication Cane could be up to something. Then that was dropped. Was it difficult to play a character who kept changing?

When I started to read the developments that seemed to be happening my first instinct was, “Wow if this breaks out I have a really big story to play.” I had a conversation with Peter Bergman a while back. He said, “Don’t try and control the process. Go on the ride. The writers know what they’re doing. Make the ride as exciting as you can make it for the audience.” When I saw the possibility that Cane may not be Jill’s son, and that everything he said may not be the truth, it gave me the opportunity of saying, “let’s see what they do.” Every scene I get, every episode I get, try to make it as interesting for the audience as possible. At the end of the day all that matters is that the audience goes on the ride.

Cane has been conned into marrying women on two different occasions. If he turns out to be a con artist himself, how do you reconcile that with him being repeatedly duped?

You can look at it two ways. The first is, if Cane is not on the up and up it would make more sense to look like the victim and thus gain sympathy then to try and be this super-smart cookie. Then people would say, “This guy is smart,” and when things don’t add up they’d think, “Maybe he’s a con.” I think that the way the storyline is being constructed it allows you to question it. Or maybe he’s this guy who came to town, made this phone call, was on a mission to get some sort of recompensation for something and then over time he changed. He finally found people that loved him. He didn’t have a family growing up, which I believe he was honest about. Then it’s a case of, I meet this girl who has this innocence that Cane lost as a child. Cane recaptures his innocence by being around her. Then he falls in love with her and he realizes that the one thing he never had was this trusting love. This is why I think that Peter’s advice was so accurate. Because what if everything is not on the up and up? What if he truly does love Lily? What if he truly does love his family? If you had a different motivation, why would you let Chloe look like she’s smarter than you? Maybe it’s act weak when you’re strong and act strong when you’re weak.

Why do you think Lily and Cane’s love story has struck such a chord with many viewers?

It’s an honest relationship in its emotion. These two people found each other at a time when they needed what the other person represented and their love built from that. which is why if Cane is option A, not who he says he is, has Lily changed him to the point of, “I wish that old life could bury itself and never have the chance to resurface”? Or how do I deal with the fact that this is going to come up and risk losing this person who will love me unconditionally, who will never leave unless I do something so horrendous it makes her leave? I think it’s a brilliant twist. Whether Cane really is Jill’s son or whether he’s somebody else’s son who went to Australia to do something, you don’t know. There’s such a wonderful array of storylines that can stem from this. It comes down to crossing your Ts and following your backstory and making sure all the pieces add up. I’m so excited about it.

Is Nina going to be involved in this story? You may not know this, but she was the arguably the great love of Phillip’s life.

I backstoried the whole thing and watched old tapes because I wanted to know everything about Nina and the relationship. I love working with Tricia Cast! The other day we were doing this scene together where she’s trying to figure out what’s going on. She has a timing that’s so hard for me to time off her. It’s like a sparring match of dialog. I’m trying to time the way she delivers dialog and her cadence. She’s a challenge. I love it. As Daniel’s trying to time Tricia it looks like Cane is trying to figure out where Nina’s coming from. It’s art imitating life and it works really well. I think it’s a great thing to bring her back because she wants to get to the bottom of it more than anybody else. That’s Cane’s worst nightmare if he has something to hide.

How would you compare Maria Bell’s writing with Lynn Latham’s writing?

Writers are like actors. Every one has their strengths that make them special. Lynn was very plot-driven. Maria is very character driven. If you have plot driven storylines then you have to find the character within them. As long as you arrive at the point of good storytelling you will be a successful writer. I think Maria has done a wonderful job coming in and tying up the Langley storyline that was touched upon by Lynn. She’s done a phenomenal job bringing Lily and Cane forward to the point where they are married. I’m very happy that Maria’s writing at the moment. I was so happy to start the show when Lynn was writing. I’m very blessed to be part of the show.

What do you think happened with the Emmys this year? Why didn’t Y&R get nominated for best show and best writing?

That leads to the question of do the politicking and the structure of the voting lead to accurate [results]? Because you look at the people on our show. Michael Grazadei, in my opinion, should have won the Emmy in 2008. As he was breaking up with Lily he had a confession scene with Michael Baldwin that’s one of the best things I’ve ever seen in daytime. It was so honest and so truthful. He didn’t even get a pre-nom. How do you even judge whether you get a nomination or not. Congratulations to Christian, Emily, Jeanne and Bryton and everybody else on our show who got them, and to everybody who was nominated. But at the end of the say it’s like the Oscars. Whoever wins at the Oscars for best actor are they really the best actor? It just comes down to the voting. I’m astounded Y&R didn’t get best writing, best directing and best show. I think it’s been one of the best years of the show. So I take it with a grain of salt. I think we are the best show. We have the best writers, the best directors and the best cast. We’ve already won the best show in my mind. The reason our show is the number one show and has been the number one show is that reason. The fact that we don’t get Emmy nods, so what?

You were involved with Y&R’s dream wedding contest. What did you do? How do the fans vote for the winners?

Go to theyoungandtherestless.com and vote. I’ve had some wonderful opportunities with Y&R: presenting at the Emmys, Josh Morrow and I co-hosted an episode of The Price Is Right with Drew Carey and on top of that we got to pick the four finalists for the dream wedding. We got 25 couples we looked at. We wish we could have given all 25 the opportunity of having the fans vote. But we had to narrow it down to four. We found four couples where you see the love for each other. They get a chance to go to Vegas and have Christian LeBlanc and Tracey Bregman in their wedding party. There’s a couple from the Bronx. The man is a police officer and his wife got breat cancer. You hear him tell the story, “I’m a police officer and I want to protect my wife.” You see their love for each other. Then you see another couple where the man bought a house for his wife and she didn’t know. She thought she was looking at a house just to look at it and he says, “I bought it for you.” It’s beautiful to see that the show has the abiity to bring that romance out in people. That’s what Y&R is. It’s romance. It’s love. It’s drama. It’s life.

http://www.fancast.com/blogs/deep-soap/dee...shocking-twist/

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That's an interesting interview. It has to suck a little to play a character when you aren't quite sure what his motivations are or where the story is going.

I totally agree. I've always said I don't like Cane but I don't necessarily think it is DG's fault. Cane has been all over the place now it seems MAB is trying to make him more definitrive. At least he seems to get the show in general don't know about the MG emmy reference though I'm trying to remember the scene in reference. Good read T4P

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He's confirming what I have always suspected. In the trainwreck that's called Cane, it is the writing that's mostly at fault.

Second of all, it's fun to hear him say how difficult it is to keep up with Tricia Cast. That woman is a Goddess!

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I'm sorry, but I don't see it with this dude. They threw the [[email protected]#$%^&*] Beastmaster off some backwater syndicated cable show onto daytime like he was a "name" - this is what passes for "name" in daytime - and made this Australian piece of ass into the real Thom Bierdz for no apparent reason, rupturing all that history. I don't give a [[email protected]#$%^&*] about "Cane" and I am thrilled if it's true that he is being denounced as a fake.

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