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Access Hollywood Chats It Up with General Hospital's Emme Rylan and Kathleen Gati!

Courtesy/AccessHollywood

Courtesy/AccessHollywood

Access Hollywood’s Sharon Spaeth was on the set of General Hospital earlier this week for the 13,000 episode celebration and had a few moments to pull none other than Emme Rylan (Lulu) and Kathleen Gati (Liesl Obrecht) into the GH wardrobe department to get some face time in this video interview with the two talented ladies from Port Charles!

During the conversation, Kathleen reveals how she first found out that none other than the evil Dr. O was going to end up being Chief of Staff at General Hospital!  Plus, Emme discusses the difficulties she faced replacing Julie Marie Berman in the role of Lulu Spencer Falconeri!

But, what of that dark secret that Dr. Obrecht is carrying around?  That Britt’s (Kelly Thiebaud) baby Ben is actually the bio-child of Dante (Dominic Zamprogna) and  Lulu, whose marriage fell apart because they thought they lost the only baby they can ever have, when it was revealed baby Connie, now baby Georgie, was actually Spinelli (Bradford Anderson) and Maxie’s (Kirsten Storms)!   Oh, what a tangled web!

Watch this very cute and engaging interview with Emme and Kathleen after the jump!  Then, let us know what you thought about their comments!

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jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

I know some fans arent but im ok with Emme as Lulu and Kathleen Gati…a Star is Born…she is my favorite Queen Of Mean!!!

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Meanwhile, is Jerry Jax going to kidnap Robin again? If Luke is buried in that grave…wouldnt he have suffocated by now…where does Carly go potty being tied up so long;she’s going to need a change of undies, lol…i see Victor Cassidine comes back Fri!!!

Mary SF
Mary SF

LOL– I always think the same thing when people are held captive on soaps– like Robin when she was in that lab for or when Duke was tied up with Dr. O in the cave at Nicholas’ home— where or how do these people go to the bathroom.? Now I do realize soap time is different than our time, meaning what might play out on screen over days our time in their reality might be only a few hours, like Nicole and Fr. Eric in the basement but still??? And have you noticed for the most part their hair remains clean and neatly brushed– oh well– just be glad our television sets don’t have a smell feature.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

It was Victor, not Jerry…

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Then if not Luke…since he is at sanitarium…then may Carly will be buried in that grave like i originally thought and this is when Shirley Jones guest stars?

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Victor head of the wsb does explain how Dr.O became head of the hospital…Victors sinister plot to take control of PC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

So Victor kidnaps Robin to have her attempt to bring Helene and Stravos back from the dead!!!!!!

Rodd
Rodd

What a great interview! Loved it! Love them! Love GH! Love this site! Love you, Michael! Love, Love, Love!

su0000
su0000

great!

Kathleen Gati (Dr.Liesl Obrecht) and Roger Howarth (Franco)
are the two most exciting, intriguing, intense, awesome characters with General hospital !!
I can’t get enough of either of them..
both portray their characters with excellence… BRAVO !!

luv.. DrO and FrancO … !!!

Cindy
Cindy

I agree 100%, we need to see more of them.

GH50
GH50

I don’t know how you could compare a talent like Kathleen Gati to Roger Howarth. She is a total pro with so much range of emotion and so much nuance to he performance and she elevates the actors around her.
Howarth is a one note actor who has one tool in the tool box. Twicth, tick, stutter, physically flail around and chew the scenery. He gives other actors no room as he lights his hair on fire in every scene. There is no comparison between the two.

Patrick
Patrick

@GH.

I’m noticing that… more and more… his physical ‘ ity… emoting… and he drudges out his dialogue….

it’s kinda like huh? where is this coming from? why?

he’s cute, sexy for his sake… and it’s a little long in the tooth.. if you will… how he’s soapbox ing…. I would never hurt Carly… and LOL…. poor Carly.. is it worth cheering for her at this point?

for the sake of her kids… damn them… for getting in the way… it’s her way or the high way… yawn… carly being carly… girl gets what she wants….

at least… we’re not seeing her scream.. about her kids….

even ditzy Heather… with her ruination… is still alluring and captivating enough… that she’ll talk circles around… ” but , it’s Carly”

there’s no comparison… Kathleen Gatti’ Dr. O… is mainstream… and has brought so much potential… with her all that

what to do with Franco… watching him and silas … with conjoined jail cells….

ugh! i’m certain… Kiki will rally these two….

Yikes… ! the three amigos… fool us again

Charday
Charday

I love Dr. O!!!

Lin
Lin

Great interview. I had no idea the actress who plays Obrecht was not German. My only complaint (not about the interview or the actresses) is that the writers/ producer etc are being very unfair to Leslie Charleson. Why can’t they give her more of a part. I’m surprised she does not quit. And though it’s rather funny having Obrecht as the head. How stupid is that? It’s not a comedy show, but that’s what it’s become. Everything is implausible.

k/kay
k/kay

The female joker! What a sad joke GH has become.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

I like Dr.O…my current favorite daytime villain…i do agree that ‘seems’ stupid she is head of the hospital but there is more to this story than her just getting a job…just gotta wait and see how it plays out!!! I do wish they give Leslie more of a story…hope they ring on Nina’s father and it turns out he was an old flame of Leslie’s before she came to Port Charles…Leslie became pregnant by him but put the baby up for adoption…he and his wife adopted that girl and it turns out to be Nina but he never told his wife he is really Ninas father and Leslie was the mother…i would love Oltl actor Jerry Dorn to play the father!!!

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

bring not ring…lol

Lin
Lin

Who is Nina?

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

I meant Monica, not Leslie…

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

MONICA! not Leslie…ok Leslie C. plays Monica…i meant Monica…dont want some to think i meant Leslie played by Denise Alexander, who by the way could be doing more too…like in scenes with Lulu instead of just bein Spencers babysitter!!!

Lin
Lin

I agree, Denise Alexander could do more too. I don’t know if she just wants to work once in a while or wants more work, but I get the impression Leslie Charleson wants more work. Having Obrecht the head of GH is beyond stupid. And I hate Cassadine story lines (meaning the evil ones, not Nicholas) So I guess that guy is going to kidnap Robin. Stupid, but not as dumb as Obrecht at GH. While the actress is talented and funny, I think spinning her off in a comedy soap would be better. Some humor on a soap is good. Cioming from Luke, fine. TRacy fine. But having the hospital itself the comedy, then you have to change the type of show. Maybe we can get OLTL and AMC back on ABC if they become funny. Maybe Obrecht can become a neighbor in Pine VAlley. A competitor of Adam’s company or take over Erika’s empire. Maybe she could start another newspaper i Lllanview. But head of GH = no.

SZima
SZima

Well, Leslie’s not on contract, so she could do other projects if she wanted to. I’m sure she appreciates having the job, at this stage in her life, even though she’s not on that often. But I agree…they haven’t been fair with her. I’d love to see her in a different S/L away from the hospital, maybe getting involved at ELQ with Tracy, but the show is juggling so many stories right now that they’re not doing justice to half of them.

And I agree…this whole COS storyline is THE most implausible I’ve seen in a long time!

Lin
Lin

I don’t know if the writer is male or female from your users name, but “I’m sure she appreciates a job at this stage of her life..” What about Tony Geary who does whatever he wants on GH and is on or off as he chooses. They just brought in some new Cassadine guy. I have seen his face and heard his name in soap magazines but have never watched anything he’s in. He looks older than Leslie Charleson. Just because she’s not young there are many story lines good writers could manage. I don’t know what COS means. This writers PTB do not respect older women.

Charday
Charday

I miss Monica Q, too!

SZima
SZima

Lin…I’m a woman just a couple years younger than Leslie, so I know of what I speak when I said she must appriciate a part-time job at her age, and a good one at that.

FYI, Leslie Charleson and Thaao Penghlis are both 68 and Tony Geary is 66…same as me.

I know I wouldn’t want to be working full time at my age and consider myself lucky to be retired! 🙂

stefano cute smooth gay guy
stefano cute smooth gay guy

I love dr. o. I’m so happy, she is staying on gh. she is a wonderful actress.

Phil
Phil

Love Emme as Lulu! I hope fans start to warn up to her! No she is not Julie Marie Burman, but that is fine with me! I liked JMR, but loving the feminine touch that Emme has given to Lulu! Now if only she and Dante could reunite! Oh, and Dr. O is one of my favorite daytime villains tied with DAYS’s Nick Fallon!

DEEDEE
DEEDEE

If people haven’t warmed up to her in a year it’s not going to happen. BTW the feminine touch? really? JMB dressed way better than ER does.

Patrick
Patrick

JMB… has the bodacious… “BOD” to pull off ANY thing…. man… woof! through the roof HOT! when she gussies up and make ups her hot to trot!

recall her this past year at the emmy’s: when she won… that dress… hair up with make up…. dang!

you know how it goes…. Fans.. have no choice… but.. to let the shows… carry on… recasts are

I have accepted emme rylan as

she’s by all appearances more feminine and dolled up….

she’s smaller, petite… and wheres those puffy sleeve shirts alot… to hide her stick arms

I just wish… the mindset of our lovely females…

please gain some weight…. it’s OK

rebecca1
rebecca1

I agree Phil…that’s what I said on another post…Julie Berman was more of a tomboy.

Beth CP
Beth CP

Kathleen Gati’s beautifully crafted Dr. Obrecht has proven a worthy opponent for Finola Hughes Anna. Not only is she a wonderful addition to the cast, she is a warm and genuinely charming woman in person. Definitely a keeper.

Patrick
Patrick

what a delight… to see how animated… Ms. Gatti is

as she, and others have coined…. it’s truly a symbiotic relationship

when a newbie takes off and helps FIYAH our shows…. I couldn’t be happier that she enervates herself… as an actor… and the audience feasts

trust us, Kathleen! you as well… are a highlight of General hospital

————-

Emme Rylan… hang in their… trials and tribulations abound….

Newbies are to be commended, when your acting contributes… some more than others… but… it all comes together

Lin
Lin

What is FIYAH?

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Hope your the same Lin who asked me who Nina is…i dont know if you have or havent been watching lately but Nina is currently the unseen wife of Silas Clay who is accused of allegedly putting his wife in a coma…some of us believe its his lookalike brother Stephan who is responsible for Nina’s coma…Stephan is Silas’s brother who was on the show over a year ago who may or may not be a vampire?

Lin
Lin

Thanks. Yes, I am the same Lin. I guess I’m stupid as I still don’t know what FIYAH is. My understanding is that Leslie did want to work full time. I didn’t think of his wife in a coma when she was just referred to as Nina, but yes, I do know who she is now. I’m not a fan of the Stephan Clay/vampire/or not story line. I stopped watching whatever that show was they were on (can’t remember right now) when the vampire storyline started. Not into it at all. The character of Silas is not acting like an innocent man. I’m not a big fan of Silas. He’s not very likable or lovable, though had been improving until this storyline. He is not acting the way most people would act, faced with that situation. His reactions to me are not believable, especially for an innocent man.

Shay
Shay

@Lin….That would be “fire”…..fueled by the highest octane!!! Kind of like sizzling to the nth degree….at least that is my interpretation!!!! ; )

Michael Cahn
Michael Cahn

Some of the best soap actors were at one time a recast of their characters.

heidi
heidi

Fun interview!!! Liked them together! Kathleen is a delight off screen as is Emme (I’d seen her interviewed before)!

missellie
missellie

I am a big fan of Dr O but was not happy to see her as Chief of Staff. I wish that TPTB could have found a better way to keep her on GH. KG exudes so much charisma and warmth. I am a fan.

Lin
Lin

I totally agree. The actress is totally different than I expected. There is room for humor in a soap. But I don’t see this character in the hospital. Perhaps in a David Hayward (from AMC) role where she develops crazy things but not as head of the hospital.

Patricio
Patricio

Replacing Lulu was going to be difficult but in the hands of this talented actress was done with ease! Ms. Gait is a find! A villain that they just don’t make anymore. Glad she is sticking around!

Callie
Callie

It seems Ms. Rylan is trying way too hard to convince the audience that she has chemistry with Dominic Zamorogna. It’s just not their, IMO. Hoping Frank and Ron move Lulu in another direction AWAY from Dante.

Beth CP
Beth CP

I had that distinct distinct impression also. Thanks for confirming my thought.

Harry
Harry

The actress is doing the best she can but she’s just not Lulu. I understand she didn’t even audition for the role.

Beth CP
Beth CP

@Harry-Regarding the current occupant of the role of L. That is correct. The recast did not go through the audition process nor was she required to do a screen test with Mr. Zamprogna.He informed us at a fan event the weekend of March 9, 2013, he had not even met her in person. The first time they met face to face was their first day of taping together on March 18th (as I remember from an interview published later).

lll
lll

Agree. When I heard that I was like “what chemistry?” I certainly didn’t feel it.

Beth CP
Beth CP

Ditto.

Beth CP
Beth CP

Ditto. Truthfully never have felt it.

Harry
Harry

Dr. O was fun as Faison’s side kick but a little Dr. O goes a long way. She’s like a jalpeno pepper that way.
Over using her is like over using Fonzie, and hence begs the over used phrased, they’ve jumped the shark. Having her become a cartoon villain ruins the character’s mystique. I am glad Ron is having a lot of fun playing Batman with his characters, but he’s entered the land of cartoons and doesn’t seem to know how to write a daytime drama.

Patrick
Patrick

I agree.

her “MEAN”ingful looks… and shrill caricature… is villian’ness… and intent

but… let’s not get too cartoonish…. i’d hate to see Ms. Gatti go by the wayside… like the ruination… of Heather Webber

I love you Robin Mattson

these two… are meant to savor and stratosphere witty

I love them still

Marisa
Marisa

Love, love, love Kathleen Gati!!!!!

Matthew
Matthew

I like Emme Rylan a lot more after that interview and hearing her express her excitement and dedication to the character of Lulu. I thing she’s doing a great job, I’d wondered if she was really giving it her all, now I think she is but that being said Julie Berman is a much stronger, emotionally charged believable actress and if the show ever had the opportunity to have her reclaim LuLu, I think they should jump on it. Just saying… I know this is off topic but I have to throw it out there every so often, Sarah Brown. Never stop calling her GH!!! Create a new character and make an offer that she can’t refuse.

General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Lucas Gives Wiley To Michael; While Willow Learns the Devastating Truth

Friday’s episode of General Hospital, brought the highly-emotional moments viewers had been waiting for all-week long; following the year and a half reveal that Nelle (Chloe Lanier) and Brad (Parry Shen) engineered a baby switch with Willow’s (Katelyn MacMullen) dead baby, Wiley being passed off as Michael (Chad Duell) and Nelle’s newborn, Jonah, and Jonah being raised by Brad and Lucas (Ryan Carnes) as Wiley.  Now with the truth out, it was time for two of the heaviest beats of the story to be played out.

When Willow comes to at the hospital with Chase (Josh Swickard) by her side, needless to say she is dazed and freaking out that Nelle took Wiley.  Chase tells her he has some things to tell her and it’s not going to be easy to hear. Willow braces herself and then Chase tells her the story of the baby switch and how her baby died a SIDS death while at Brad and Lucas’ and then how the babies were switched.

Photo: ABC

In a heartbreaking and powerful performance from Katelyn MacMullen (yes, she is our pick for “Power Performance of the Week”), Willow struggles to come to grips with the truth and starts to realize all of Brad’s machinations, as she thinks back to herself how could she do that to her son … to trust him with Brad, only to have the little infant die.  The devastation played by MacMullen, whose Willow, now must realize her baby never lived the full and happy young life she thought, was gut-wrenching.

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Meanwhile, in yet another top-notch performance, William deVry (Julian) showed the pain and the need to unburden himself as Julian talks to his sister. Ava (Maura West) and spills what happened.   He goes so far to admit to Ava that he knew what Brad had done. Ava cannot believe he did not go to Sonny (Maurice Benard) right away with this Intel, but Julian just could not do this to his son, Lucas and rip the baby from his arms.  Julian says he will face-off with Sonny and not leave town, if it comes to that.   Ava says they have to come up with a way to silence Brad … before Brad gives up Julian’s part in the whole baby cover-up.

Photo: JPI

And in yet another masterful performance, we have to give it up to Chloe Lanier.  Who can play Nelle and spin stories and the tears so well, that if you did not know this pathological liar you would think she is telling the truth. When in opposing holding cells at the PCPD, Nelle lays it on about Brad so that the guard can hear them. She blames Brad for being the instigator in the baby switch and taking advantage of her – a distraught new mother, confused and dazed on the route where the baby switch happened.  It works! Brad is moved to a different cell and thinks look very grim for him.  Nelle smiles through her crocodile tears!

Photo: JPI

Then, in what we all knew had to happen, and even so, was still as heartbreaking as ever; Lucas spends his final moments with Wiley as his father in the kitchen at the Corinthos’ along with Bobbie (Jackie Zeman) and Carly (Laura Wright).  Lucas starts to tell his mother and sister, all the things Wiley needs and likes, such as having a story read to him.  All of this brings the tears as they know Lucas has to give the child back to Michael; who has been robbed of a year and half as the baby’s rightful father.

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Michael tells Lucas they will work this out, so Lucas remains a constant in Wiley’s life. He also tells Sonny and Sasha (Sofia Matteson) he feels so badly for Lucas, but they tell him to be happy for this chance to have the son he grieved for.   In the end, a tear-filled Lucas hands Wiley to Michael as everyone watches on in sadness for one father … and joy for the other.  Ryan Carnes was poignant in the scenes; as was Chad Duell.

Courtesy/ABC

So, what did you think of the performances from Friday’s GH featuring Katelyn, Ryan, Chad, William, Chloe and Parry? Comment below.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Michael Blasts Brad As The Truth About Wiley Comes Out

FINALLY! On Wednesday’s episode of General Hospital, Lucas (Ryan Carnes) memory is jogged just enough that he clearly remembers Brad’s (Parry Shen) shocking words before their car crash; where Brad confessed that Wiley was Nelle (Chloe Lanier) and Michael’s (Chad Duell) biological son.

At the Corinthos home, Lucas stands up and announces to Michael that Wiley is actually his believed to be dead son, Jonah. Carly’s (Laura Wright) mouth drops and then she takes over getting to the root of the truth of the baby switch.

Brad is cornered and left with no choice but to fess up. He explains how Wiley died when he was no longer breathing, and how he was driving with him, when he ended up on the route where Nelle left Michael to die in the car he was driving (Michael recalls this bit of Intel in a flashback).

Then, Brad explains how Nelle appeared with her newborn baby and claimed the whole thing was engineered by Nelle …  and how he was so upset and panicked, that he went along with her plan.

Michael lets Brad have it for all of his lies and machinations, and the pain it has inflicted on so many people for over a year and half.  How on earth could he do that? Carly also lays into him.

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Meanwhile, Sasha (Sofia Matteson) has urgently called Chase (Josh Swickard), who leaves “Wiley” and Willow (Katelyn MacMullen) behind, and heads to the Corinthos’ where he hears the whole sad truth about the baby switch.

With Chase gone, Nelle goes looking for “Wiley” who is with Willow, and the two get into a major throwdown catfight.  Nelle comes out the victor and goes to get her baby ready to leave town with her son.

So, what did you think of how the truth finally came out?  What did you think of Michael’s tirade on Brad? What do you think will happen next? Comment below.

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General Hospital

GH’s James Patrick Stuart Talks on Valentin’s Downfall and Potential Rise to Power

After all his bravado, machinations and lies to keep the woman he loves, and believing he was the rightful heir to the Cassadine fortune, suddenly it all came crashing down for Valentin Cassadine (James Patrick Stuart) on recent episodes of General Hospital.

Payback can be a bitch, but for Valentin; who’s past has been fraught with numerous physical and emotional tribulations since his childhood, he now finds himself at the lowest point in his life; losing Nina (Cynthia Watros) who’s now taken up with Jax (Ingo Rademacher), realizing he is the biological son of the evil Helena Cassadine (Constance Towers), and not Mikkos, and having all his best laid plans and misdeeds backfire.  (Remember, he shot and “killed” Nikolas, and set up the ruse that led Sasha to pretend she was Nina’s bio-daughter.)  Now, enter Nelle Benson (Chloe Lanier), who could very well hold the ticket, to Valentin’s rise to wealth and power all over again.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with James Patrick Stuart to get the lowdown on: those heavy and emotional scenes opposite Constance Towers, working with Cynthia Watros as his newest Nina, if Valentin might really kill Jax the next time he thinks about it, and what about a potential relationship between Anna (Finola Hughes) and Valentin?

Not many can play bad as good as James in this industry.  He does it so effortlessly and still brings out the humanity in the guy that has t-r-o-u-b-l-e written all over him.  Here’s what James had to share about all of Valentin’s recent dramatic moments, a tease of what’s to come, and much more.

Photo: JPI

Valentin’s world has imploded at the moment.  When did you initially find out that he was going to turn out to not be a true Cassadine heir?

JAMES:  Well, there were some clues dropped by Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) back when we did the gallery auction where Helena’s portrait went up in flames.  Frank looked at me and goes, “Hey, Jack Nicholson it up.  Have some fun!  You’re not going to be feeling pretty good for a while.”  (Laughs)  I’m like, “Oh … what are the plans?”  He pulled me aside and goes, “Yeah, you’re going to lose Nina, but you’re going to try to take over ELQ.  That’s when I started to go, “Wait a minute!  That sounds to me like Valentin’s losing his money.”  (Laughs)  With the character of Nikolas (Marcus Coloma) coming back; it’s pretty great.  I think the writing was on the wall there.  I put it out on twitter the other day.  I said, “Look what they’ve done to my boy.”  Somebody chimed in, “They gave him a storyline!” (Laughs)

Who doesn’t love to see you, James Patrick Stuart, play tortured soul?  They audience loves to see you get the opportunity to go to those depths in your performances.

JAMES:  It’s been really interesting for me.  I’ve had a lifetime of playing bad guys because the line was always shorter. (Laughs)  Everybody wants to be Tom Cruise, but the Alan Rickman’s of it all, to me, were what was so interesting.  Early on, you play one dimensional kind of twisting of the mustache, tying a woman to the train tracks.  After a while, you start to watch the truly great actors.  They start to take you on a ride.  If you’re paying attention, you start to feel what it would be like to be that damaged, and that’s why you do it.  Then you start to see the vulnerability. To me, I thought, “This is a great time in my life because I’m ready to do that.” A lot of people say, “I don’t understand.  I feel like that makes no sense. because why would I root for a person who behaves like this?” and that to me, I feel is the greatest compliment of all.

So much happened recently to Valentin in one fell swoop; he overhears Nina telling Ava (Maura West) she kissed Jax, then he envisions shooting Jax and then he is drinking himself into oblivion and he gets a “visit” from Helena!  But … the scenes between Valentin and Helena really summed up the bitter truth for him, wouldn’t you say?

JAMES:  Yes.  In the “Helena” scenes, it all basically is revealed.  It all comes down in a moment where he “sees” her.  I think he realizes with the DNA test; he’s not the person he thought he was, but he certainly had no idea that he had her blood in his veins.  The truly tragic moment of the evening is when it dawns on him that he has a daughter with Helena’s blood in her veins.  Now, he would kill her a thousand times over in that moment.  He can’t do it.  He’s fighting phantoms.  That’s the bottom below the bottom, and things got worse than he ever thought they would get.

Courtesy/ABC

Does Valentin have any idea then, who his biological father could be?

JAMES:  I don’t think so.  I don’t believe so.  I know I don’t.  I think once he realizes that Helena is in fact the mother, I think he’d rather just go into oblivion.  I think at that point, he’s out of answers.  Enter Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) …which is wonderful because I think the world of Nancy, and she saves the day.   Alexis basically talks him out of hurting himself, telling him to count his blessings that he is not a Cassadine, etc, which was a really sweet moment.

I assume, when you have this kind of material to play, it must be exhausting, but exhilarating at the same time?

JAMES:  I think that’s exactly right.  As an actor, I think you want to do this stuff.  Maura West and I compare notes all the time.  I think it can be kind of emotionally draining.  You do feel it, and I felt it when I had spent a lot of time with Nina and Valentin, and when the actresses changed, and we brought Cynthia Watros in.  I worked twice as hard to make sure that Cynthia’s landing was as easy as possible, and I really grew attached to the Nina and Valentin connection.  So, when Jax steps in, Cynthia’s love life means nothing to me, I don’t care about that, but Nina’s love life means a lot to me!  And it bums me out, and I don’t know that I’ll actually be watching any future love scenes between them as much as I love them both!  I have a deep attachment to the Valentin connection to Nina.  So, the lines get burred because we just play these characters so long.

Photo: JPI

What was it like sharing those tough scenes with Constance? No one can play icy, evil villainess like her … and yet in real life, she is such a gracious and kind-hearted woman.

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JAMES:  In real life, Constance is such a sweetheart, and she’s so grateful to be there.  She was so ready to work, and rehearse, and play, and find the stuff, and she was great.  I’d been in scenes with her before.  Last time, we didn’t really talk to each other.  I was with the hump.  I was being Valentin pre-surgery.  It was some sort of moment in a graveyard, but this time we actually got to interact with each other.

You look at Valentin, and he’s not had the greatest life.  Do you bring his entire back-story into your performance; such as when he was deformed with the hump and how he had to literally reconstruct his life both in the physical and in emotional ways for many years?

JAMES:  Absolutely.  It’s the brokenness that he’s making choices from.  He was never truly and authentic person to begin with which is why his love fell apart.  He’s always been faking.  He’s always been putting on a show.  That’s not sustainable in matters of the heart.  It was unbelievably easy for Jax to swoop in, because it was inevitable that things were going to fall apart.  Of course, that anger and that brokenness were what lead him to want to kill Jax.  There’s no question.  He was prepared to do that.  If you look in the eyes in the fantasy sequence in the shooting, he just wanted to watch him die.  He wanted to watch the light go out in Jax’s eyes.  He was so furious … and even more tragic is … that was all he could think of, and somehow, he realized in that moment that wouldn’t work, because he’d lose his daughter.

Photo: JPI

Anna and Finn (Michael Easton) just kind of busted up.  Do you think Anna and Valentin will hookup? There is a connection and a history between the two of them whenever they seem to be in proximity of one another.

JAMES:  Personally, I’m waiting for that.  I hope so!  There is a finesse and elegance to that woman, and not only that, there is an effortless to the connection between Valentin and Anna, if one can say that about one’s own coupling.  I love to look at it!  I think we go together like a wink and a smile.  I just find that chemistry really great.  I think that’s mostly Finola, though.  She can probably have chemistry with most anything.

Valentin was going to leave Port Charles with Charlotte (Scarlett Fernandez), after Nikolas revealed all and the fallout began.  Interestingly enough, it was Anna who came to Valentin’s side and tried to talk him down from fleeing with his daughter and showed such compassion for him!

JAMES:  Wasn’t that great?  She was the one who got him.  She was the one who was able to calm the beast.  There was no one else he would have listened to.  In the moment in the police station, after Charlotte had been kidnapped, and there is that moment where Anna has that bruise, I thought it was such a tender moment.  I just said, “If I kiss my finger and touch your wound?” and she’s like, “Do it.”  It was just this moment where we had been bitter rivals and enemies for so long, but he just adores her so much it’s undeniable that he sees her wounded and wants to make it better.  It’s floating out there waiting to be done.  I know that everybody knows it.  It’s just a matter of what the right away to go about in the writing would be.

Photo: JPI

So, you’ve worked opposite two acting dynamos in the role of Nina – Michelle Stafford and now, Cynthia Watros.  Was the transition difficult for you when Cynthia came to GH?

JAMES:  It wasn’t.  It was scary because Michelle Stafford wasn’t just one in a million, I mean, she is one of a kind.  The last thing in the world that I would ever want to consider doing myself was recast that actress.  So, my deal was (and I’ve said this to Cynthia) I said, “I have no control over this.  All I can do is make the landing as easy as possible for Cynthia.”  We did a lot of photoshoots together, and I had flowers waiting for her, and I did everything possible to make sure that she knew that she had a friend and that she had somebody that was going to make it as easy as possible.  It was rough because a lot of the trolls on social media were just awful to her… just brutal, and she goes, “I have thick skin.  I can take it,” and then a week later, she goes, “I’ve closed all my social media accounts!”  (Laughs)  It’s been fun to watch those guys turn around and go, “You have a really special person.”  That wedding stuff was just incredible!  She came so prepared and she knocked it out of the park.  Cynthia has been wonderful.  I love them both.  I love her the reddest, and I love Michelle the bluest, and together I love them the purplest.  (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

It’s interesting that all the women in his life such as Anna and Nina, all have a soft-spot for Valentin; even though they don’t necessarily want to be with him.  These ladies are just drawn to this dysfunctional guy.

JAMES:  Don’t you think?  Is it that you want to help him, you want to fix him, you see the potential, you want to help him despite himself?  I think that’s what it is.

Courtesy/ABC

Do you think Valentin’s still going to try to win Nina back, or is that done? 

JAMES:  I don’t know.  I do know that the Valentin I know will never shake Nina, and when he loves, he loves forever.  He can be simultaneously in love with Anna whenever she’s near.  I don’t believe he ever truly got over Nina hearing his story and his brokenness and still loving him twice as hard.  Years ago, there was a moment where he said to her the stuff that he’s never said, and Michelle beautifully kissed my tears away and said, “You’re beautiful” to me.   I think in that moment his fate was sealed.  I think he knew that this was his woman forever.  So, I just don’t think that that goes away.  I think he will always carry a torch for Nina, for sure.

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Do you see Valentin becoming darker and darker now that he had found out he is Helena’s offspring?

JAMES:  Well, yes and no.  I remember watching these scenes and we’ve done a lot of this stuff, and you know how easy it is to sort of go, “Let’s go dark, let’s go dark, let’s go more dark,” and after a while, I go, “You know, maybe he does learn something.  Maybe there’s hope for this guy after all.”  Of course, more bad stuff will happen to him, and he will do more bad stuff, because that’s just who he is.  A leopard can’t change his spots, and those are his survival instincts, but there are some new colors, and it’s all a direct result of all of just these horrible things that have happened to him… mostly learning that he is part Helena and he can’t undo that.

Photo: JPI

We saw that Nelle (Chloe Lanier) called and then goes to see Valentin, because she wants to sell her shares of ELQ.  So, obviously he has the potential to become really rich here which is what would give him his power back.  How do you think that will go over with the rest of the Quartermaines? (Laughs)

JAMES:  (Laughs) A lot of the Quartermaine actors have been asking me that in the hallways of General Hospital!  Isn’t that interesting how he’ll just sort of switch families? (Laughs)

Of all the people, just as Valentin’s life is in the gutter and he is at his lowest, who should show up with a sort of lifeline, Nelle! How will he go about attempting to gain control of ELQ?

JAMES:  Valentin knows he has to get the majority shares to gain a control of the company, and he has to do it fast before people see that he’s doing it.  So, that’s where Michael E. Knight (Martin Gray) has been.  He’s gallivanting the states rapidly accumulating shares.  (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

It’s been so fun seeing you and Michael Knight on-screen and on a daytime soap together again, as so many remember you as Tad Martin and Will Cortlandt on All My Children.  How has it been getting the chance to work with Michael?

JAMES:  My God, are you kidding me?  He taught me!  He’s the guy who taught me.  I didn’t know how to do this.  Nobody instinctively knows… this is a very unique art form.  It’s more Jazz than anything else, and he showed me how to do it!  Walt Willey (Ex-Jack, AMC) showed me how to do my hair, and Michael Knight taught me how to break down a script!  And, what’s so funny is he is still doing it.  In a scene on GH, when he threw in that line, “From now on, you pay in advance,” I just about fell on the floor!  I thought, “There he is!  That’s the Michael I’ve always known and loved.”

Photo: JPI

Who would have thought that you guys would get to share scenes like that again on soaps?  You just never know in this life who may be wind up back in your orbit.

JAMES:  It’s incredible.  That’s what we say all of the time… “Who would have thought?”  You could never plan something like this and that we’d still be doing it at this point.

Now with Lulu (Emme Rylan) learning that Valentin is not a Cassadine, and Nina apparently moving on to a relationship with Jax, what do you think it will mean for their relationship in raising their daughter, Charlotte?

JAMES:  I think in the short-term, Valentin’s shelved any ideas of getting her out of Charlotte’s life.  He’s sort of putting out the fires in his own personal life.  Charlotte needs a mother in her life, and he’s quite willing to share custody as they always have been.  She seems to be looking at this as an opportunity to paint him as an unfit father, and she wants full-time custody.  So, we’re back to that again.  It looks to me like Lulu is kicking Valentin while he’s down.

Photo: JPI

It was so nice to see you, and some of your GH co-stars such as: Steve Burton (Jason) and Maurice Benard (Sonny) show up for Y&R’s Eric Braeden’s (Victor Newman) 40th anniversary on set celebration at CBS.  It was quite the event; speakers galore, and so many from our industry and beyond in attendance.

JAMES:  It was pretty profound.  Eric has always been kind to me.  I only worked with him on one movie, a western, called The Man Who Came Back, and that was probably 12 years ago.  He has been so complimentary of me in interviews and in his book.  So, if he does that with me, I can only imagine how many dear, dear friendships he has.  So, the fact that everybody showed up like that from the president of CBS Entertainment to local councilmen, and that they were willing to do be there for 2 hours was really proof of how much they love him.  Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R), who I don’t even think was working that day, came in for it and spoke at the event. There was so much respect shown for Eric and what he has meant to this medium.

Photo: JPI

Your album The Apple Tree was so well-received, and everyone always loves seeing you get the opportunity to sing on General Hospital as well.  Will you continue to put out more music in 2020?

JAMES:  Yeah, that’s the plan.  I have another one that I’m working on.  I have a bunch of songs.  I’m in no rush to get it out.  Unfortunately, I lost Glen Roven, who wrote the cello part for Book of Love, passed away right after the Nurses’ Ball where I played Book of Love, which is really heartbreaking, and then, Michael Sherwood, who helped me with a number of songs on the record passed away right after The Apple Tree came out.  So, I’m a little gun-shy.  But, I’m planning on having something out by December for Christmas.

In closing, what would you say the fans should look forward to in the weeks ahead from Valentin?

JAMES: Look forward to that moment where Valentin is so low that there’s nowhere to go but up!  The comeback is going to be one for the books.

So, what do you think of how Valentin’s life hit rock bottom?  Do you think he will ever win Nina back? Do you think he will takeover ELQ? Share your thoughts on James’ recent performances and his thoughts contained in this interview via the comment section below.

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