Daytime Superstar Sean Kanan Takes A New Leading Role In Studio City
We always knew one of our favorite television drama actors was a “triple threat.” For almost thirty years, we followed his characters A.J. Quartermaine and Deacon Sharpe through General Hospital, The Young and The Restless and The Bold and The Beautiful. He actually also appeared briefly in Sunset Beach.
Now, Sean has expanded his creativity to go both in front of the scenes and behind the camera in Amazon Primes’s latest hit, Studio City.
Soap worlds collide in this stirring new daytime digital drama created by and starring soap star and actor Sean Kanan. The cast includes Emmy® award winning talent and daytime royalty Carolyn Hennesy, Sarah Brown, Patrika Darbo, Tristan Rogers and Scott Turner Schofield. Additional cast members include Michael James Lazar, Philip Bruenn, Erin Michele Soto, Melissa Riso and newcomer Juliet Vega.
Studio City is a “love letter to soaps” that follows the journeys of Sam Stevens (Kanan) and the cast of fictional show-within-a show, Hearts on Fire, America’s #2 daytime drama. The characters navigate their own messy personal lives while working it the parallel universe of soap operas. Each episode gives fans a double dose of storyline by weaving in clips from the fictional “daytime drama-within-the-show.”
STUDIO CITY illustrates how life often imitates art especially in the world of daytime, since they are the longest running shows in the biz. “Soap Operas have been an integral part of my life and I wanted to create a project that reflected my deep affection for the enormous talent behind their continued success and longevity,” according to co-creator Jason Antognoli.
I recently sat down with Kanan and we discussed his latest project, return to daytime dramas, and growing up Jewish:
How did you come up with the idea of Studio City?
Studio City has actually been in the works for quite a while. More than ten years ago I began writing a show about an aging soap star who has a great life but feels disillusioned and wants more. Little did I know that years later that would serve as the embryo for Studio City. I was very fortunate to encounter some very special people along the way who have made this into a reality. My co creator Jason Antognoli and I partnered with executive producer, Brian Levine.
We worked together developing the early script and refining the characters. The next phase partnered us with our producing partner, Timothy Woodward, Jr. who is a gifted director, producer and a consumate perfectionist. He directed all six episodes of Studio City. He and I have worked on several films together previously including the recently released feature, Beyond the Law. My wife, Michele Kanan also served as a triple threat, producing, writing and casting the show.
We are all so proud of the project. Daytime has been an integral part of my life and I wanted to create a show that is effectively a love letter to the Soaps while showing, sometimes in a comedic light and sometimes with profound drama, what it is like living the life of an actor on a Soap Opera.
You brought on some of daytime television’s super stars—was that hard?
It’s really a very special thing to work with Tristan Rogers, Carolyn Hennesy, Sarah Joy Brown and Patrika Darbo. I have a significant work history with all of them. This creates a shorthand and a level of trust when we share a scene. They are all some of the best in the business and I am truly fortunate to have them in our cast. My wife, Michele Kanan, is a terrific producer and writer who really helped champion and elevate Studio City. I love working with her. Sometimes the process is more friction than absorption but ultimately we converge creatively.
Tell us about your background?
Although I am not what many people would call very religious I am in touch with Judaism. I had a Bar Mitzvah, my father was at one time president of our temple and I was confirmed. I hadn’t attended high holiday services in years but went this last year and fasted and definitely felt a special connection.
My relationship to Israel is somewhat enigmatic. I have always been very pro Israel although I have yet to visit it. I suppose that part of that comes from the knowledge that should I ever choose to immigrate there I could become a citizen. I believe many Jews feel that way as a result of the holocaust. I am a proud and loyal American but it is still reassuring to know that is an option if that nightmare were to ever rear it’s ugly head in our great nation. I would very much like to visit Israel and connect with the shared past of my fellow Jews.
Sean is also touring the country speaking with his best-selling book:
Cindy Grosz is a Jewish activist who promotes projects, products and awareness to everything Israel and of international Jewish concern. She represents celebrity spokespeople who speak up for and about Israel. She is also a contributor and Co-host on The Jersey Joe Show 710AM WOR, Sunday nights at 7 EST, or available anytime, anywhere through iHeart Radio.