In 2010, after being winless in four Daytime Emmy nominations, Scott Clifton took to Twitter in a self-deprecating manner to question if he'd ever win a Daytime Emmy. Fast-forward seven years, and the actor is now the first male performer to win in all three acting categories: 2011's Younger Actor, 2013's Supporting Actor, and now 2017's Lead Actor.
And Clifton says it's an honor for which he almost didn't allow himself to be considered.
"The fact that I even got nominated in the category was shocking and inspiring and humbling and the best compliment of my life," the actor explained. "I had been insisting on continuing to submit in supporting, because I'm young and I'm not one of those guys. And [B&B publicist] Eva [Basler] said, 'Listen, you're being kind of a chicken shit. You can't keep hiding behind the Supporting Actor. You've been in lead story, and you should [enter].' And I said, 'Okay, but I'm not going to do it until I have a story that I feel like I really believe in,' and so I skipped a couple years. And then this last year, this cabin amnesia storyline -- and we don't call it amnesia on B&B, by the way. We just call it 'memory loss.'"
Submitting himself in the Lead Actor category isn't the only area where Clifton had doubts. The actor has also expressed concerns that he might not have been a good fit on B&B.
"That's a testament to [our executive producer and head writer Bradley Bell]. He took a chance on me. The show is called The Bold and the Beautiful for a reason. Everybody is gorgeous on the show. And the men are dignified and strong and decisive and commanding and masterful. And Liam is not any of those things. Let alone me," Clifton shared. "So, yeah, I kind of play just this dude who came on the scene with his hands shoved in his pockets, and he ends up discovering he's the son of a multi-billionaire, and I think, to Brad's credit, that was interesting. He's not that guy, and to have a lead in a story where he's not acting like a lead has been the greatest gift I could ever ask for."
To date, there is only one other performer to win in all three categories -- Clifton's B&B costar Heather Tom. When asked if he wanted to enter himself into the Lead Actress category next year, Clifton mused, "Yeah, talk about a glass ceiling I'm going to break! [Laughs] That's the one!"
Clifton is the first actor from The Bold and the Beautiful to win in the Lead Actor category.
Taking over an established role can be a daunting task, even for a long-time veteran and two-time (now three-time) Emmy winner. Gina Tognoni acknowledged that as she stepped into the role previously held by Michelle Stafford, who won a Lead Actress Emmy in 2004.
"I did not mention her [when accepting the award], but I will mention her now! Michelle, thank you for giving me awfully big shoes to fill," Tognoni shared backstage. "You know, Michelle and I are two different actresses. She has such a different style; I have a different style. I never went into it thinking I was going to copy her in any way. Robin Strasser [ex-Dorian Lord, One Life to Live], who is a woman who taught me quite a bit about acting at One Life to Live, always said, 'Put your thumbprint on your character.' And I think I'm just starting to do that now, and I'm three years into it. Michelle and I share that same, I think, quality that we want to embrace it, because it's easier that way. You can walk away from it and say, 'That was mine. I owned it for the time that it was mine.' She's such a great actress. I didn't know that they flashed to her [during my acceptance speech]. That's very cool. She's so beautiful."
Tognoni previously won two Supporting Actress trophies as Dinah Marler on Guiding Light. She also spent eight years as Kelly Cramer on One Life to Live and admits that she does think about her past daytime roles.
"You know what's funny? I believe that God pushes you in certain directions that you're meant to go in, and the character of Kelly, the character of Dinah on Guiding Light, and the character of Phyllis are all characters that were meant for me to play. And if you look really close, some days you'll see pieces of Kelly. Because those are tools that I can use. Things that work, that I know worked, and they have to be organic, but it's storytelling. So, yes, I do miss Kelly. She was light. She was a light spirit."
Despite having already heard her name mentioned on past Emmy Nights, winning an Emmy is not something that Tognoni takes for granted.
"It felt like this whoosh of energy in the center of my chest and I looked over to my husband, and he was crying. And I thought, 'Ooohhh!' That just opened my heart, but it was already open. And then I just kind of kissed all of my cast mates and Peter [Bergman, Jack Abbott] and Kristoff [St. John, Neil Winters] and Jess [Walton, Jill Abbott]. You know, I didn't expect it. I thought that this category was so amazing. I know the work last year was very good; I was proud of it. But I didn't really get my hopes up either way. I said, 'What will be will be.' And they said my name, and I just thought, 'Oh, goodness gracious.' And I thanked God. And I hope I mentioned everybody! I know I mentioned my husband, because there was a year I forgot to thank my husband! I never forgave myself, so I made sure to do that. What a blessing. It's a blessing."
On Twitter, fellow nominee Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis Davis, General Hospital) congratulated Tognoni by saying, "Well deserved my friend, @ginatognoni Your work was beautiful and continues to be. Enjoy your lovely Emmy and all the goodness that goes with it."
Tognoni is the fourth Y&R actress to win in the Lead Actress category. In addition to Stafford, Jess Walton and Jeanne Cooper are previous winners.