Henry: He is not a nice guy! He is rude, and he is snide. He’s so conceited!
Katie: Okay, he’s not all warm and fuzzy. And on the outside, he’s a little cold.
Henry: Try heartless.
Katie: He’s driven.
Henry: He’s a monomaniac.
Katie: He’s focused. That’s why he’s a good doctor.
Henry: He is focused! He’s focused on himself all the time.

— Katie and Henry

Van Hansis and the ATWT Cast in the Netherlands | Quick Recap – 8.00 p.m. Show, 15 January 2011

Good morning from sunny Utrecht! The forecast was for rain all weekend, but I’ve not yet seen a drop. The sun is now shining, which is probably a hint to me to get out and do some sightseeing while I still have time!

Photos and a lengthier update are coming. I tried to audiotape the whole event but may have missed the first three interviews (the ones I most wanted to see – Van, Liz, and Martha).

Huge thanks to the organizers, especially Marissa (more on that in the longer review).

In the meantime, here’s what I remember off the top of my head:

  • The cast has been together in Holland since Thursday evening for a group dinner. They did a photo shoot and guest spot on RTL Boulevard (like Entertainment Tonight). At least Van and Marnie spent a chunk of Friday touring Amsterdam (Van: “She took pictures of EVERYTHING!”) and they stayed in Amsterdam for the duration of their visit (took a minibus back after the show).
  • The event started with a video montage. VERY FIRST clip was of Van and Eric filming! (Reid doesn’t air here until Summer 2011)
  • Host said a lot of stuff in Dutch so call me clueless.
  • Liz Hubbard was first and talked about Martha’s departure, her role as a sexologist on a Dutch program, and the bathtub scene with John and Lucinda. They talked about her Dutch boyfriend and how he prefers to stay out of the limelight, though it sounds like they are happily enjoying each other’s company.
  • Van Hansis was next. He was asked about being cast and whether playing a gay character affected his life (he said no, he keeps work and personal separate pretty well – sounds like Reid!), screen kisses (he demonstrated a brief screen kiss with a female member of the audience; as Luke would say, it was “clinical”), whether he still gets recognized (comes and goes), and declined to say much about Occupant.
  • Martha Byrne talked about what it was like being recast (“my friends were auditioning for Lily!”), coming of age on-air opposite Jon Hensley and Brian Bloom (“every girl in America had a crush on Holden Snyder”), working with Elizabeth Hubbard. She sang a song she sang on the show that she wrote about Holden/Lily and her own love and respect for Jon. She was asked about her music career by an audience member and briefly talked about her Gotham web series, writing for another soap, and appearing on another soap.
  • Paolo Seganti did indeed say this was his first acting gig (can’t remember if it was in America or in English. The audience dissed his gray buzzcut (“how do you like the haircut?” boooooo…) to which he replied “I’m an actor, it’s for a role” (so’s the mustache). He talked about Damian’s evolution from a love interest for Lily, to a darker Damian since Holden and Lily were clearly “IT” and Damian was just a foil; he knew he would not be on the show indefinitely. They showed classic photos of all the cast and one of Paolo’s was of him butt naked on a horse (!). Strangest fan gift ever received: pictures of naked women. In strange positions. He also demonstrated a kiss with an audience member and really went for it (the Italian way)! He’s apparently written a number of books (they had the latest one for sale, but it was in Dutch!) and some of the topics sounded like they might have some gravitas. Oh yeah, and I think he did a guest shot as a French guy on The Nanny!
  • Marnie Schulenburg was asked about her first days. Like Van and Billy, this was her first paying gig out of college. Her Alison Stewart did crossover stuff (I think) with Adrienne Franz (Amber) over at B&B and on the web before she started on ATWT. She joked that her first episode was playing the porn star and she didn’t even know it because she hadn’t been given a script before being told to show up on set the first day because she didn’t have any lines! Poor girl was asked by an audience member who was the best kisser – Aaron, Casey or oldChris. When she couldn’t answer she was then asked who was cutest!
  • Billy Magnussen came on toting his guitar looking absolutely adorable. I admit it, I’m a Van girl, but Billy was smokin’ (especially without the dorky hat!). He played a nice tune and was definitely milking it, looking like he had a great time. I recall almost nothing about what he said (perhaps because they kept playing clips of him and Emily at the Intruder offices! rawr). His audience question was “Will you marry me?” The answer was no; he has a girflriend (maybe she makes him wear the hat?). Then the host asked him if he’d take off his shirt (!). To which the reply was also “NOOOO!!!!” (with a clearly implied, “Hell, no!”)

After the cast members were all on, they played a montage of clips, a montage of kisses (the host spoke all in Dutch here so hard to tell what exactly was going on).

There were several prominently featured Nuke kisses (NONE cut away like the @#$&%ing CBS Daytime Emmies tribute) that got big ovations (though not necessarily bigger or smaller than anyone else’s kisses, which to me is exactly how I think it should be with the general population).

At some point during/after the kisses clips, Paolo demonstrated a proper “ravage me!” kiss by demonstrating with Martha (!).

They closed by asking for 10 “couples” to come from the audience. MASS PANDEMONIUM ensued as people all over the place were jumping up and down to be chosen. The cast members milled about the stage pointing to people they recommended and a parade of mostly women (but there was a team of two men) made their way to the stage.

For all you Cake fans, there was a brief moment when Van walked up and put an arm around Billy, but it was so brief I couldn’t get my camera open fast enough, so I missed it. Awww….

Each team was shown a clip and asked to pick the correct answer from two choices. Clips included a scene during the Meg/Emily/Paul Eliza kidnapping mini-arc, Alison’s kidnapping during Luke’s election storyline, a scene with Meg Ryan’s Betsy and Steve, and I think the one where Rosanna reminds Craig that they got along fine before he put her in a coma.

Each of the 10 teams answered their question (with shoutout help from the audience) and received their prize (they were giftwrapped, but judging by the size, I would guess it was a Martha Byrne CD). The last team, however, the two guys remained on stage, at which point, one of them was handed the microphone.

I’m paraphrasing from memory here, badly, but I’ll use quotation marks so you can see roughly which parts are quotes. He started off with, “You are probably wondering what’s going on here today….” As soon as he said that, I remember thinking “OMG this sounds like a proposal!” (I later learned that they did some shuffling to get them into easily selectable seats. Plus one of the guy was in a suit…with good reason!)

Then he went on to say a lot, but I was so amazed to be seeing this that my brain froze. I’m pretty sure there was something about “You were there for me all last year” which seemed to include some tough times. Thankfully he did all this in English (so the cast could understand!). “So there’s only one thing left to ask – will you marry me?”

The crowd went beserk – in a very good way. There was loud cheering, clapping, stomping, screaming. I can’t quite put it into words, but this was a really amazing moment to me. Given where I started 10 months ago (started watching LuRe in March 2010), LGBT life, culture and concerns were really far out on my periphery.

The fact that I’m here in Utrecht because of Luke and Reid, Van and Eric, and have listened to and internalized all the outcry about the ending for the gay characters from ATWT has gotten me from nearly unaware to pretty consciously aware – especially for a straight girl living in a very traditional community with no current (close) gay friends (at least that I know of…but then again, maybe they’re not so close if I don’t know).

In some ways, I’m even hyper aware. As they were choosing candidates to kiss Van and Paolo, I distinctly remember looking around and wondering whether any guys had volunteered! (The audience was 95%+ women).

So, to see this guy get down on one knee in front of 1,500 people (wouldn’t be surprised to hear it makes RTL’s highlights reel) was just cooler than cool.

This was a hard act to follow, but all on stage toasted with champagne, and the happy couple joined the cast as they were serenaded by Martha Byrne singing “I Can’t Make You Love Me If You Don’t.” I thought this was the nicer of her two songs, though kind of an odd choice for the occasion (I’m guessing she had prepared two songs without knowledge of the proposal, which I think was organized on relatively short order).

So, then they closed by asking everyone to look at their colored wristbands, and everyone who had a purple one was invited to the Meet & Greet. The cast stayed on stage for maybe 5-10 minutes to press the flesh and wave to the audience who swarmed the stage, before they were ushered off to the Meet & Greet session.

The lobby was PACKED with people for a long time. The Meet and Greet was held in what looked like a permanent-tent extension off one side of the lobby. There were a few people gathered at the gate outside looking in – I thought I saw Paolo talking to fans. There was a bar, and there was loud music blaring.

They had Martha’s CDs, some really nice postcards of the cast (the same as the posters around the venue), some smokin’ pictures of younger Paolo, and Paolo’s book for sale in the lobby. Since I couldn’t speak Dutch, it took me forever to find the darned stand so the CDs and postcards were all gone by the time I got there. 🙁

The Meet & Greet line was long, but it looks like each person got their picture taken with the entire cast. After the Meet & Greet there was a VIP reception in the same space where people could just go have their pictures taken and chat with the stars.

One particularly nice post-show moment was that I got to see Van talking to MarkDutchViewer, who uploads all of Luke’s scenes with the Dutch subtitles as aired on RTL, and giving him a “we’re not worthy” bow.

Paolo was really camping it up with the girls doing kissy poses and the like. Van and Billy were both extremely endearing and really attentive, asking questions and sounding genuinely interested in their fans. Martha was in high demand and I saw Marnie chatting away as well. Liz Hubbard stayed mostly to herself in a corner with a few companions, so I’m not sure if she was tired (the cast arrived at 7am and left just before midnight to return to Amsterdam) or just “fanned” out.

So, all in all, a LONG evening, but pretty cool. Off to see more of Utrecht and Amsterdam….

4 Responses to “Van Hansis and the ATWT Cast in the Netherlands | Quick Recap – 8.00 p.m. Show, 15 January 2011”

  1. mmc says:

    I was glad to hear that Van was there.i’ve been missing him and hoping he’s ok.i wonder if they’ll do any fan events in NYC.I haven’t been too well, but If i had a chance to meet Van it would mean so much to me.Thanks for the info about the netherlands trip!

    • lovelure says:

      Sorry to hear you haven’t been well. And hope that you get your chance, soon. He seemed in good spirits and comfortable with where he is and what he’s doing. I can’t pinpoint what he said that gave me that impression, but that’s what I took away. He didn’t specify anything, but I also didn’t get any discomfort or skirting the issue from him.

  2. kwbalan says:

    LL,
    Thank you so much for this. Love the “Quick” recap.

    I thought the following was so wonderfully stated:
    I can’t quite put it into words, but this was a really amazing moment to me. Given where I started 10 months ago (started watching LuRe in March 2010), LGBT life, culture and concerns were really far out on my periphery.

    The fact that I’m here in Utrecht because of Luke and Reid, Van and Eric, and have listened to and internalized all the outcry about the ending for the gay characters from ATWT has gotten me from nearly unaware to pretty consciously aware – especially for a straight girl living in a very traditional community with no current (close) gay friends (at least that I know of…but then again, maybe they’re not so close if I don’t know).

    In some ways, I’m even hyper aware. As they were choosing candidates to kiss Van and Paolo, I distinctly remember looking around and wondering whether any guys had volunteered! (The audience was 95%+ women).

    So, to see this guy get down on one knee in front of 1,500 people (wouldn’t be surprised to hear it makes RTL’s highlights reel) was just cooler than cool.

    I was so touched by this whole section LL. I feel exactly the same way and this whole past year has been a life changing experience for me.

    Thank you again for this amazing recap.

    Kim

  3. Badaddiction says:

    Loved your recap, but have to admit this long time Damian/Paolo Seganti lover (from the moment he stepped onto the ATWT canvas in the 90s) was amused and thrilled to read the PS bits. LOVE HIM! And yes, he did a guest spot on the Nanny. I saw the episode when it originally aired. At the time I was so amused that he could do the stereotypical American version of a French accent while speaking a foreign language. In other words, you had an Italian with an Italian accent speaking english with a French accent. LOL! Hilarious

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