April 5, 2019 at 9:37 pm #1202841779
That’s so interesting because I have the exact opposite opinion! I have not liked Gina int he role of Phyllis at all, and am thrilled that Michelle is returning to her signature role. Today’s episode had Gina’s Phyllis with bff Michael – Gina and Christian have zero chemistry, whereas Michelle and Christian are amazing together! I am incredibly happy about it. A different opinion, that’s all…April 6, 2019 at 3:24 am #1202841960
I don’t wish for a person to get fired from his job. But, I recognize when something is lacking or is not working. And sometimes it is not the fault of the actor.
This situation has me thinking of ABC’s prime-time hit series The Good Doctor. I like cast member Fiona Gubelman. I have seen her be quite radiant in plenty of Hallmark Channel productions. But, on The Good Doctor, she plays a character, Dr. Morgan Reznik, who does not work because the character lacks substance. Here with CBS’s The Young and the Restless, I did not think Gina Tognoni playing Phyllis worked either.
I looked at Tognoni’s casting, in 2014, as Y&R having cast a name. (Which is something the soaps tend to do.) During the last five years, the only on-screen chemistry I bought with Tognoni was her pairing with Jason Thompson’s Billy. It wasn’t the characters, who together were unappealing and sleazy and not convincingly in love, but it was two actors working very well together. (That “romantic” pairing ended.)
Michelle Stafford and Gina Tognoni have two very different personas. Tognoni has a darker, dramatic persona. Stafford has a lighter, more comedic, and more bubbly persona. Stafford’s persona works better with playing sexpot Phyllis. For Tognoni, obviously her past roles as Kelly Cramer on ABC’s One Life to Live and Dinah Marler on CBS’s Guiding Light were smashing successes for the actress. (She was more loose, more comedic in those roles.) Both actresses are Emmy winners. (Stafford won for Y&R in 1997 and 2004. Tognoni won for GL in 2006 and 2008 and Y&R in 2017.)
This is a situation of having the opportunity to have the right actor for a given role. As I wrote earlier—I don’t wish for any person to get fired from his job. But, since this is a thread topic, I will mention that I prefer this move.
For Gina Tognoni—if she stays in daytime, I am confident she will go to one of the three other daytime soaps in what seems little time. (I would like to see her on ABC’s General Hospital.) She is established. Connected. And wanted. In fact, there is another topic thread here on GoldDerby: https://www.goldderby.com/forum/daytime-tv/gina-tognoni-has-apparently-become-most-wanted-woman-in-daytime/.April 6, 2019 at 5:49 am #1202842074
I love Gina and am very upset to see her leave and Michelle return. Gina brought class to the character that Michelle never could. Gina did not deserve this!!
I have to agree too. I have gotten used to Gina and grew to love her as Phyllis. So I was NOT happy by thisApril 6, 2019 at 9:28 am #1202842235
I love both actresses. Gina didnt bring any lightness to Phyllis and Michelle created Phyllis. I loved Gina as Dinah ,can Dinah just move to Port Charles ? lolApril 6, 2019 at 4:16 pm #1202842540
I think why Gina was so successful is she didnt mimick Michelle. She made the role her own by adding her own qualities. Michelle was more of that sex kitten vixen. While Gina was more intense, serious and a darker Phyllis. Everyone is so divided about Michelle and Gina. It’s crazy they can’t keep both actresses because the fans liked them both. I think in a weird way Michelle missed the big limelight she got as Phyllis. Nina just wasnt a huge success. She had great scenes in her last year with Nathan’s death and Vslentine. There was a struggle to make her character work. I don’t think Michelle YR thinking they would recast her successfully and Gina winning an Emmy was huge. Gina was a bigger success as Phyllis then Michelle was on a different soap. It’s very hard to strike lightening twice. Gina has had three successful runs. She was Kelly for 6 years, Dinah for 5 and Phyllis for 5. Thst says something in this biz. I have seen so many actors/ actresses that were big iconic on one show but bombed on a different soap. Gina is probably getting calls as we speak. Shes smart she wont do a dud role. U know whsts funny u know that Sandy role Sarah Brown played which tanked it was originally created for Gina but she passed. She came back to OLTL instead.April 7, 2019 at 6:57 pm #1202843517
It’s also no secret that GT is very easy to work with and beloved by co-stars. Stafford has a much more polarizing persona. As far as Phyllis, I don’t love the character, but I thought GT worked very well with Peter Bergman, whom Y&R seems to no longer view as romantic leading man material. Maybe they can bring back Daniel since GT seemed too young to have a nearly 40-year-old son.April 8, 2019 at 10:07 am #1202844315
I want to echo was FreemanGriffin and DS0816 have said.
For me, Michelle Stafford is the clear choice here, and Y&R probably should not have tried to recast Phyllis when they did. I suppose Gina Tognoni’s run in the role must be considered successful — she has tons of fans for playing the part and won an Emmy in a very competitive year. Imagine if Y&R had created a new character for Gina Tognoni and integrated that person as a love interest for Jack rather than trying to wedge her into the role of Phyllis. A serious and neurotic businesswoman who comes in to run some division of Jabot but obviously has stronger ambitions than just being VP of operations or whatever. Ultimately they could have built her up to a player on level with Jack and Victor (as the show so often goes back to that rivalry, they could have at least disrupted it with a third party). Jason Thompson coming in to play Billy, even though I don’t love that casting either, at least makes sense to me as a decision that needed to be made because Billy was in the middle of storyline when Billy Miller left. Phyllis was off screen and in a coma when the show hired Gina, so she could have been anyone, not confined to playing a character she’s not as well-suited to play for playing out the relationships with characters with whom she now has little connection or chemistry.April 8, 2019 at 8:06 pm #1202845021
Stafford plays neurotic Phyllis very well and GH’s Nina wasn’t the right fit for her. I think Gina just looked too young for Phyllis. Sandra Nelson was someone I liked in the role. She had nice chemistry with CJL. My issue with the character of Phyllis is that she’s sometimes written like GH’s Carly. An awful character who’s supposed to be liked enough to be a heroine and the writers think we’re stupid but we’re not.
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