Connect with us

General Hospital

As GH Is On The Move Today, Maurice Benard Says Of Cartini: "They''ve Been Able To Make This Show Into An Ensemble!"

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

Today is an important day in this history of General Hospital as this afternoon it moves into its new timeslot, one hour earlier at 2PM EST/1PMCST and PST on ABC.   And as the series has been hyping. it hopes to deliver to its long time viewers, and new viewers, some action/adventure utilizing and focusing on many of the beloved character of Port Charles.

Series star (for almost 20 years now), Maurice Benard (Sonny Corinthos) spoke to EW.com about the difference in the long running soap opera,  with its new lease on life from ABC, and since head writer, Ron Carlivati and executive Producer, Frank Valentini came over from One Life to Live to General Hospital and have been evolving and tweaking the show.  For many years, it’s been the “Sonny Show” where Benard’s character dominated screen time, which has often been a criticism by fans of the legendary soap.  To that Benard stated about Cartini’s revitalization of GH:   “They’ve been able to make this show into an ensemble. Which it’s never been. If I had the old ego, I might be upset. But I love it. It just adds spice to life. To me, if the show’s better, that’s what matters.  Six months ago we were dead men walking. Now we’re on the team to go all the way to the Super Bowl.”

Benard also shared although he doesn’t always have a say in the story direction,  he does have a wish: “I would like him to be with Kate (played by Kelly Sullivan) and happy, but not complacent. With her and I, it’s never going to be boring because Kate’s crazy. Sonny’s crazy. Crazy people put together, it’s nice.”

So soapers, do you see and feel the difference in the new GH?   Does it feel like more of an ensemble?  Many of you have commented in previous posts that you feel it is.   So does the show feel more balanced to you? Weigh-in!

Click to comment
Advertisement

Leave a Reply

avatar
caroldee
caroldee

It’s because they are all working together to save their lives. Next month when it all dies down there will be the same divisions in characters as there was before. ANYTHING that brings more OLTL people into GH the better. ABC lost a loyal fan folllowing there and they know it. I like the on location drama very much and wish it was that way all the time. I do know that it’s way too expensive and difficult for them to do it all the time though. (I recall a lot of location work on OLTL and GH in the past though.) Hope the cast can keep the action going with great writing and acting and GH can move to the top!!

Brandy
Brandy

I think GH has enough OLTL characters we really
dont need anymore as we have amazing talent, I do welcome the adition but it has gone from the Sonny show to the Todd show so lets not make the same mistake twice! Keep it balanced and keep it GH! Sorry I also watched OLTL but it was sadly cancelled and thankfully GH wasnt and i think its time oltl fans accept it and not keep wanting gh to turn into oltl.

Osgood
Osgood

Oh, stuff and nonsense. It is not the Todd show, it’s just when he’s in a scene he chews up the scenery.

susan M.
susan M.

There are only three OLTL crossovers on GH …..And GH is far from turning into OLTL…..OLTL was my favorite soap…..I don’t think it’s the Todd show…I think it is balanced…..There is enough talent to go around……I don’t see making the same mistake twice at all…..Gh & OLTL are as different as night and day..I watched OLTL for a very long time…..GH is definetely on the right track….,

aria
aria

Well said Brandy, GH has a fully rich history, it doens’t need to rely on OLTL to survive, i’m happy with the few additions, but this is not Llanview stoping ground for the whole town, OLTL was cancelled and their fans need to be happy that at least GH was around and able to intergrate some of their characters to the canvas, but the whole cast thats just ridiculous, OLTL is gone, mourn, and move on.

Robert in Jersey City
Robert in Jersey City

Reality Check. These characters are working actors. There’s no where else to go. Actors used to move around all the time. I think it’s good that with the Jason character leaving that OLTL leads have the opportunity to work. Yes, GH has a rich history, all the ABC soaps did. To me, there’s nothing wrong in rolling all of it into the one soap left. I think the current cast proves only the best survive. I remember GH in 2005 had all these characters that were awful and one by one were killed off. GH is now the best of the best.

On the flip side, it doesn’t leave much room for new comers to break in. Survival of the fittest. Work is work.

susan M.
susan M.

Again there are only THREE OLTL characters on GH….Not the whole cast of OLTL..Just maybe a few more One or two more… Like Erika Slezak (Viki) Or Roxy…………………………………I miss my OLTL…Happy to see them on GH!!!!!!

Bruce
Bruce

Yes it does. I’m really enjoying it. Keep Florencia, and Kassie, and it would b perfection!!

Jan
Jan

not if natalie cant come. kassie maybe.

susan M.
susan M.

What about Erika Slezak Or Roxy…

Max
Max

Most definitely Erika Slezak. And Roxy, too – Port Chuck seems to be lacking a hair salon where people can regroup – Roxy’s such a riot, it would really add to the humor they try and work into the show.

And what has Erika Slezak been doing since OLTL. I can’t seem to dig up anything new on her. Can’t believe another soap hasn’t snatched her up yet. Such incredible talent and she has such a following. Where Erika goes, ratings will go up!

susan M.
susan M.

Erika Slezak has a soap fan club where you can write to her…I don’t think she is doing anything..Last time I read she was spending a lot of time w/her family…..Didn’t say anything about her working anywhere…HMMMMMMM!!!!!

Amanda
Amanda

I can surprisingly agree with MB regarding the “ensemble” remark. The last week of GH has been alright. I mean Carly, Tracy, Todd, Sonny, Johnny all in the same room, scene together? Wow and hilarious much? More of Alexis has been awesome along with reuniting her with Jax as BFF. The forthcoming action christening the new time slot is chops-licking. They just need to spice it a wee bit more for me by interacting other characters that are closely tied to each other. (Luke & Sonny’s kids, more sibling interaction as well between). The Quatermaines seriously need beefing up as well.
No more of the one person, two people take over storylines thank you :)

Flavia
Flavia

I think GH is better than it has been in years! It’s definitely “must watch tv”. I was never a OLTL fan, but LOVE the characters they have brought to GH. It mixes things up and makes it much more interesting! Cudos to ABC and GH for reviving GH and making it much more fun to watch!

susan M.
susan M.

I agree……….. I was a OLTL fan..

Tali
Tali

Welcome to 1:00 GH! Really impressed with the edit on todays extended intro. Super nice work, exciting and thrilling, and a good catchup for new and/or returning viewers. Wonderful to see the characters of Todd and John blending so seemlessly. They invigorate General Hospital and still give those of us who loved One Life to Live – a little more life to hold onto.

susan M.
susan M.

I agree with you 100%… Especially the last line of your comments..

boes
boes

Me too! I had decided to give GH another look when I first heard Ron C. and Frank V. were going to be working with the show. And this was after I had given up GH completely, for almost 10 years. I would check in every now and then, but the overwhelming Mob presence and the destruction of core families drove me away. And not only me. IMO, even the sad caricature that AMC became was better than GH these last 10 years.
Of the two, OLTL was head and shoulders better than GH in these past few years. And OLTL was ahead in the ratings. That’s the show that should have survived. And if it had, I would have welcomed characters from Port Charles to Llanview, as long as Llanview stayed Llanview. And I think that’s what has happened with the three – count ’em, three – crossover characters. The addition of these characters from my favorite show, along with the invigorated storytelling and more balanced cast has made me a faithful GH fan again.
If all those things hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t be watching. I hope that the GH-only fans can appreciate that we crossover fans from OLTL are contributing to hopefully helping save GH, and not resent the small but good OLTL infusion.

Remedy
Remedy

boes couldn’t have said it beter myself. I too was a GH fan since the 80’s and checked out when the mob became a dominate presence with MB leading the way. No offense to MB but he has about much energy as a sleeping dog and the show followed that lead. OLTL is the show that should have lived on butt at least GH fans are seeing only the tip of the iceberg OLTL had. I tune into GH now because of scenes like the docks as it reminds me of old GH and the crossovers have contributed to that energy as well as OLTLs EP of twenty plus years FV. I continue to hope that more crossovers come to PC namely Blair, Jack, Vicki, Clint, David and hopefully Dorian. It will only improve GH. Of course u would have to make room so some would have to go and one of the three i wish to be gone (can u guess) are gone.

Ann
Ann

I’ve been watching GH for 30 years. I think the show is fantastic right now. I didn’t think I would like the OLTL characters coming over but I was wrong. I love them! Mcbain and Todd are fantastic and I think it really does add to the show. I like Mcbain with Sam now that Jason is leaving and Todd and Carly are a good match. Keep up the great storytelling. I hope the show lasts another 30 years. Tell the network they have way too many talk shows. It’s ridiculous. GH is the only thing worth watching.

Christy
Christy

oh, 30 years… can you imagine! that would be great! I’d be a very happy octogenarian if my soap lasts that long! 🙂

susan M.
susan M.

I agree with comment on 9/10 at 11:52a.m………..

ethel
ethel

i haven’t been this excited about watching gh in years – gh is on fire thanks to the new regime!

susan M.
susan M.

I agree with you totally!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Christine
Christine

I have to agree as well. The last time I watched GH was with the last return of Brenda … and they blew it. It was so boring. I kept waiting and waiting for her and Sonny to run into each other in the courtyard of her hotel. The building up was wonderful, but then it flatlined. I couldn’t keep any interest.

I loved Megan Ward as Kate, but hated the character of Kate. I can enjoy her now because she finally has some back story and I feel for her.

When OLTL went black I decided to support GH as I have watched it for many years, though I left from time to time when I got bored. I decided to support this lone ABC soap and I am glad I did. It has been such a wonderful little daily cliffhanger. I DVR it and watch it after Y&R because I love the thrill it gives me after a long day with my little ones. I just love to escape. I shudder to think what I will do if the soaps disappear altogether. I guess it will be reruns of I LOVE LUCY and shows like that with primetime cable shows.

Beth
Beth

ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC…. The GH of today, is more like the heyday of Gloria Monty. I totally enjoy every aspect of the show . Love, love the OLTO characters that are under contract with GH. So glad the writers are still continuing the humor in the character of Todd. One of the greatest exchanges in conversation ever in daytime happened last week. Todd said very quietly to Sonny….I know you know where Jimmy Hoffa is buried. Sonny answered as he was walking away, I will tell you later. And this was done without a smile or a laugh from Maurice B. Twelve months ago, it seems like GH was on a quickly sinking ship; today, the ENTIRE GH family, looks happy and hopeful. All of us long time viewers are being awarded with sixty exciting minutes five days a week. Thank you to whoever at ABC had the smarts to work parts of OLTO into GH. And the show, could not have a better EP and HW. JMO

jp
jp

When I was a kid, I was an avid viewer of OLTL and GH. I have only recently come back to GH since OLTL ended. I am tired of hearing some, not all, GH fans they are sick of the OLTL characters on GH. You should be saying, thank you, to them and Ron C. and Frank V. for saving your show. What about when any new character is introduced to a show? You learn to love or hate them. So my advice to GH fans is: Embrace it! Be thankful that you can still tune in each day to see your favorite GH characters stories. Be accepting of the OLTL characters who have added spice and intrigue to as Maurice Bernard said, “six months ago, we were dead man walking. I wish I could have my soap, OLTL, back but I have moved on and accepted it. At least, I get to see some of my OLTL family and came back as a GH viewer. Isn’t that what matters? The more people who tune in, the better chance you get to keep the legacy of GH alive.

ac
ac

Show is better than ever. character development, cast integration, witty dialogue. i love it again

susan M.
susan M.

Me Too !!!!!!!!!!!!!

andrea
andrea

it is must see tv again luv McBain and Todd too

susan M.
susan M.

I especially like John ….I wish Natalie would join him….And Liam..It would ake it complete………

JustSaying
JustSaying

The fact that they brought Monica back for one episode doesn’t make up for lost time. Here we have a storyline with an epidemic and she’s nowhere to be found. How can a senior medical staff member not be involved in the hospital crisis? Why isn’t she involved in Tracy’s storyline? They’re just playing favorites again. This time with different characters.

kay/kay
kay/kay

Amen Leslie Charleson who plays Monica was very vocal on the direction GH took years ago making MB the star etc and the veterans treatment. They cleaned out Jackie Zemens dressing room and fired her with no warning and no one would talk to her cast members except Kin Shriner Kristian Wagner and the gal who played Lucy Coe. That is why I only watch this show when I am excited about a storyline I still say MB looks away half the time when he is saying his lines.

Osgood
Osgood

Too bad Steven Burton had to act like a petulant brat and leave the show in a huff because it no longer revolves around his pompous butt. He should take Maurice’s cue and be a class act.

Rodd
Rodd

Osgood, you’re totally off base on why Steve is leaving. Please see Michael’s story on Birton’s reasons for going.

Phil
Phil

Nothing is always as it appears…there actually may be some truth to what Osogood is saying. If Burton ends up on Y&R within the next few months it even sounds more plausible.

kay/kay
kay/kay

He probably is but you can commute to work my husband did it for years and it was a 5 hour flight of course he is a commercial airline Captain so you fly for free.

kay/kay
kay/kay

I was referring to Osgood stranger things have happened and deep down in his interview with Michael Fairman I got the feeling he was jealous of Michael Easton but I could be way off base. I do know he has been looking at Nashville for a long time.

Remedy
Remedy

Osgood is right on base. Steve B is leaving cause he had a hissy fit about airtime . Watch and see he will end up at Y&R with the EP who kissed his butt and let GH tank. Soooo glad he is gone no talent always looking constipated. He will be followed by the next one who not used a EP that wont kiss her butt. LW.

xaraxara
xaraxara

I have been so surprised by how much I have enjoyed GH lately. It is great to see the show return to an ensemble performance. So many talented actors are finally getting screen-time and storylines. I really enjoyed the recent “1%- er” scenes, it was so refreshing to have Tracy in the mix. I loved seeing Heather return after so many years, just hearing her say “Steven Lars” reminds me of the GH of long ago. I am really enjoying Todd, the wit and humor he brings to scenes, especially with Carly, is lots of fun. Great work and professional attitude from Maurice Benard. The combination of less screen-time (less time repeating the same speeches over and over)/better storylines has really helped make Sonny interesting and watchable again.

GeneRosa
GeneRosa

Out of all of the commentary I read, your by far mirrored mine best. I fell off of the GH wagon and now I’m riding it with popcorn in hand. I’m excited about the next day’s outcome and have been caught shocked on many more occasions then usual. What is most exciting is seeing so many of the veterans from long ago make a comeback and visit the show again. They visit looking so impeccable and adding depth, while reminding viewers of the show’s history. People keep mentioning OLTL stars, but I think Tea Delgado’s character plays her role at a superb level and is more worthy to be a recurring role. Keep up the ensemble work GH. We are all watching and wanting more…

susan M.
susan M.

GH is the only thing worth watching on daytime programing !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I watch nothing but GH on daytime programming & nothing else….There is nothing else worth watching on daytime programing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I like the direction GH is going in…Much better stories and intrigue………………………………..

Trisha
Trisha

I must disagree with MB about his vision for Sonny. I’ve watched Sonny since he first arrived in PC and I think the fact that he was a tortured and lonely soul for some time , it made Sonny that much more appealing. We loved to see him trying to walk the thin line between being good and bad and happy and miserable.

MB makes it sound as if he’d never been happy with any of his loves, Brenda or Carly, but that’s not true. Like any pairings they had happy time and bad times, but his idea that suddenly Kate is going to make him happy and because she’s ‘crazy’, they won’t be boring , really is OFF to me. I still find them boring, with or without her craziness because of Kate’s sudden “history” which was written in off screen and because she just doesn’t have what it takes.

Deborah McClendon
Deborah McClendon

I’ve been a fan of GH since 1980. It was the only Soap on American Forces Network (AFN) overseas in Germany on the base my husband was stationed at Sembach AB. Obviously, I became hooked and never looked back. I’m excited for GH, however I would love to see the old soap opera style back with rivalry, jealousy etc. I most especially would love to see Vanessa Marcel G. come back and cause a divide between Sonny and Kate. I absolutely love Todd, he has wonderful comic relief and I would love to see Sonny with some comic relief like I’ve seen him do with other characters on GH (He was fun to watch). Great seeing Jax and I would love to see Felicia and Mac as well as Alexis ans Shawn together more. More personal storyline less shoot em up!

Ronnie
Ronnie

Love how everyone is working towards the good of PORT CHARLES. You’ve got Sonny, Jax and Shawn who all used to work together trying to stop Jerry and trying to save Alexis who they all love. Then you’ve got Dante and McBain who are trying to save the city from a madman’s intent to see all of PC die of his lethal pathogen. Then you’ve got Johnny, Todd and Carly as part of the one percenters are focused on helping Todd come up with the cash needed to get the antiserum. Although Todd and Johnny still cannot put their differences aside even while deathly ill for the sake of Carly who they both have feelings for. All in all I really am glad to see all these people playing a pivotal part in trying to help one another and the citizens of PORT CHARLES. Really hope that this won’t be the last time a great cast like this is able to deliver great episodes for the future of General Hospital.

Jen
Jen

I’m really liking the show as an ensemble, the umbrella story lines, etc. I’m not a huge Sonny fan (though he has his moments) but I love how Maurice has been such a good sport and really seems to care if GH continues. He seems to have a really positive attitude.

susan M.
susan M.

More compassionate & understanding Sonny has become…..I like that a lot….

Rodd
Rodd

I love the ensemble! The show is at its best when we see bits and pieces of characters’ storylines throughout the week and not just the same six. I would like to see the Q’s beefed up. They are hilarious when they’re on together! Plus, they have such rich history on the show.

susan M.
susan M.

True !!!!!!!!

Tea
Tea

I Love Maurice! I’m so glad he’s happy. I agree totally with him. Sonny & Kate need to be happy. It’s about time Sonny had some real & lasting happiness. Well, as much as a soap will allow, anyway.

susan M.
susan M.

Didn’t Monica look terrible on GH today (tues.) …. She looks like she got a very bad face-lift…..Her nose , lips, chin…It looks so weird to me…..It doesn’t look normal….I know people get older.. It looks like she had her whole face re-arranged….

JustSaying
JustSaying

So did Edward. So I’m hoping it’s story related.

And I hate how they made it seem like Edward died. That was nasty.

kay/kay
kay/kay

From what I am hearing John Engle/Edward is very ill in real life so yes that might have been his last apperance. Very sad.

Christy
Christy

wow! today’s show was great! Very … shall I say it? Very explosive! Couldn’t resist.

I just couldn’t wait to watch it at home today so I watched it at work with captions on! and did I miss it, or were there no previews? I mean, it was another Tuesday cliff hanger for sure and previews usually mess up cliff hangers.

susan M.
susan M.

On today’s episode did John finally cut the right wire to the bomb???? I think he will in a matter of seconds…It will be real close !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Will Johnnie die???? That bad bullet wound…Todd would like him to die …. and we all know why !!!!!! Antidote just enough for on person hmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Will they get more in time???? And Jerry is sick and hasn’t got too much time left……………….GH is ROCKIN & ROLLING !!!!!

MBmomof3
MBmomof3

Great show & great interview. Thanks to MB for being a team player. I’ve seen and read more interviews with him in the last 6 months than I have in years. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK GH!

Jewell
Jewell

I have noticed a difference and I wasn’t never a fan until two months ago, I would watch it with a friend and could never get into it, because too much mob storyline. Now I’m hooked on GH. I hope they don’t make the same mistake and have Todd take over the show now. It would be nice to have a couple of All My Children characters on GH like Krystal and she can be best friends with Blair. Would love to see David Hayward too.

susan M.
susan M.

Ck. my message below about Vincent Irizarry(david) I found a movie from 1996 he was in………………LMN MOVIE….All info below!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

susan M.
susan M.

What do you think about this movie with Vincent Irizzary on LMN??? Did you ever see it???? Read my whole comment below………

susan M.
susan M.

If only the truth would come out about Sam’s baby being alive…She said of things were different!!!!! But they could be if the tuth will only come out…This should resolve this storyline next…..They found the antidote & everyone is out of danger of dying….Again the truth about Sam’s baby should be the nt. storyline ……That’s what I think…..

susan M.
susan M.

This is for all AMC soap fans..I saw a move on LMN today with Vincent Irizarry…It’s called : “Lying Eyes (1996) Suspense…Someone stalks and tries to kill a high-school senior(Cassidy Rae) who ended a secret affair with a powerful lawyer(Vincent Irizarry)…He plays Derek Bradshaw a handsome 33 year old lawyer…Who has a thing for high-school senior cheerleaders….It’s a really good movie..He looks great!!!!! If you are interested in purchasing it go to amazon.com ..It’s on dvd and the price is $9.98…It’s 97mins….It will be on LMN again on Oct. 7 at 8:00a.m. That’s with my cable provider in FL….You will have to ck. your own cable provider because times & dates will be different…Again it’s a LMN Movie…..ENJOY!!!!!!! I did….

susan M.
susan M.

The truth about Sam”s baby is out thanks to Spinelli ..He has some good news for Jason…..And Jason will surely tell Sam. And possibly get back together!!!!! I like Spinelli a lot….And Sam didn’t sighn the divorce papers….She went to tell him but she saw hi kissing Elizabeth Hmmmmmm !!!!!!!! Coming attractions jason said to Elizabeth I don’t want to hurt you !!!!!

Linda H. Quap
Linda H. Quap

I have loved GH since the early 80’s when I began watching as a early teenager. Starting in the early 90’s the show did become too revolved around the character of “Sonny” and the character had his fingers in too man pies. As a result of that GH lost way too many loyal viewers. Maurice Benard is a veritable genius when it comes to bringing a character like Sonny alive and add enough complexity that viewers can learn to love and want to see so much of a mobster is a testament to his very admirable talent of talent that is wasted on the small screen. He has talent that if his career is managed properly he could potentially become one of legendary stars like Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Morgan Freeman, Wesley Snipes, need I go on? Maurice really is that good…He should be a household name by now and he’s wasting his time on continuing with Sonny Corithinos whose story, less be honest, is not about to change much expect for his leading lady and how much more complex could he become? ) The writers need to bring back more of Robert Scorpio and alumni especially the Quartermaines!! Also, we never hear about Bobbi Spenser these days? What happened to the character, I don’t really recall? Let’s continue with the ensemble and also let’s see more of Roger Howarth (Todd Manny) and Laura Wright (Carly) since they could make a solid coupling and she brings out genuine feelings of love of wanting to be protective of a woman in Todd.. Wow!! Howarth was allowed to display his talent for comedic line’s during the storyline when Todd brought together the wealthiest people of Port Charles to pool resources to buy the toxin’s antidote from Jerry Jax. I loved the line when he said “Think of it “A Wonderful Life Meets Joe Pesci” to Sonny. I loved it, he said it perfectly. Mr. Howarth, could he have potential talent for delivering comedic lines that could someday land him a primetime sitcom role? So many people that I know do not realize the talent that soap opera stars possess and how many lines they need to study for every episode!!! Wow!! I’d loved to see many of the soap stars that have the talent needed for Holywood to make it to the big screen; if it is their desire to do so. This way, they’d be able to sit back and only take the roles that will showcase their abilities!! Constance Towers is awesome in her role as the scheming, conning “Helena Cassadine”, but talent of the caliber needs the chance to win an Oscar in a film that of the magnitude like the film currently at the box offices “Lincoln”. She, Ms. Towers, is nothing short of regal and is capable of playing any role to perfection – I could even seen her in a role where she portrays “royalty”!!! Awesome. General Hospital has always attracted the best… Read more »

Breaking News

GH’s Vinessa Antoine Lands Primetime Series Will Make Canadian TV History!

Fantastic news for General Hospital favorite, Vinessa Antoine (Jordan)! The talented actress had landed the leading role in the primetime Canadian series, Diggstown!

The legal drama is scheduled to air this fall.  In Diggstown, Antoine will play Marcie Diggs, a top corporate lawyer who decides to dedicate herself to a legal aid office in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

This casting news will make Vinessa a part of Canadian TV history as the first Black Canadian actress to star in a prime-time drama on legacy network television, CBC.

Antoine spoke to the Toronto Star about her starring role, “When I first read the script I was really attracted to the notion that she was a corporate lawyer and she believed in the system. And when that crashed for her, life nudged her to do something extraordinary. And because I’m a woman of color, so many things connected. She’s complex, not stereotypical, and that’s refreshing.”

However as suspected, and according to the Toronto Star: “General Hospital fans will not be happy to learn that Antoine, who has been with the show since 2014, will no longer be a series regular when she starts shooting Diggstown in August.”

So, excited to hear Vinessa has been cast in a leading primetime series?  Comment below!

Continue Reading

General Hospital

Dominic Zamprogna Speaks Out On His Decision To Leave GH, His Final Scenes With Emme Rylan & How Dante Exited The Canvas

A few weeks ago, General Hospital fans watched as one of the series beloved stars, Dominic Zamprogna (Dante) exited the show in scenes opposite his longtime on-screen love interest, Emme Rylan (Lulu).  For nine years, Zamprogna brought authenticity, emotion, and heart to the son of Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) and Olivia Falconeri (Lisa LoCicero) to life.  While Dante’s journey started out with a bang, literally (thanks, Sonny!), over the years it appeared he was taking a backseat in meatier storylines.  All the while, Dante and Lulu remained one of the more popular duos with the viewers.

After much reflection, Zamprogna decided it was time for him to walk away from a place that became his second home.  His desire now shifted to play different characters in different projects, but it was not without taking many things into account with his life-changing decision.

Michael Fairman TV talked with Dominic to glean more insight into: if there was anything GH could have done to make him sign on the dotted line again, what went down to make those final scenes seem so rushed, how it was to say goodbye to his co-workers in front of the camera and behind the scenes, if he would consider a return at some point, and how would he feel if GH now planned on recasting Dante, and much more.

For us; we recall meeting Dominic for the first times just six months into his time at General Hospital for our first interview together.  We were instantly struck by his sincerity, humor, and his eagerness to learn from some of the best in the business.  Now exiting as a “soap vet“, per se, it is a full-circle moment that we had the time to conclude his GH journey with this conversation.  Here’s what Dom had to say about it all.

What were the factors that contributed to your decision to exit GH?  Was there a pivotal moment where you were feeling, and recognizing, that you were underutilized that you felt you needed to make a change? 

DOMINIC:  When you named me the “Most Underutilized Actor of 2017!” (Laughs) Well, my plan was never to stay forever.  But half-way through my second contract,  Emme Rylan (Lulu) and I were approached by our producer on set, who said words to the effect of: you guys have been on the sideline, time to get you into the game.  That led to the Dante cheating storyline, which gave us story for about a year … which was great!  But as that ended, so did any subsequent storylines, it seemed.  In the year that followed, I started entertaining thoughts of leaving.  By the next year, I started talking about it with my wife, Linda, who had started to notice that maybe I wasn’t happy anymore, and I wasn’t.  That’s not a good feeling, especially if you’re bringing that energy home with you.  Then, I made the mistake of going on social media, which is a terrible place to go sometimes.  But fans were saying the same sort of things I was feeling.  Was it all due to story or lack-thereof?  No.  I was starting to crave playing other roles, and that’s hard to do when you’re under contract.

Were discussions even had with Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) and the powers-that-be about your feelings of dissatisfaction over not being utilized more in storylines?

DOMINIC:  The discussions happened late.  Not until the negotiation process, actually.  I’m no squeaky wheel I guess, but I also don’t feel it’s in my job description to be one.  I did put out a few ideas here and there, but they didn’t happen.  I know other actors have tried the same and it didn’t lead to anything for them, either.  I was a creation of Bob Guza (former head writer, GH), and maybe I was spoiled by the amount of great writing I received while he was there.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

There had to be some sadness in walking away from GH.

DOMINIC:  Oh yeah… it was sad.  I built that character, and now here I was walking away from it, and essentially my second family.  That’s been the hardest part.  Lifelong friendships were made, and memories.  However, it’s been over a month and a half since I’ve been at GH and I feel happy.  I’ve been up in Canada shooting Tin Star, which has been a great experience.  I’ve stayed in touch with everybody and I miss everybody, in fact, I just spoke to Mo (Maurice Benard) yesterday, and I’m in class with Emme (she won’t leave me alone).  But, I feel like I made the right choice for me at this moment.

To clarify; were you actually trying to work out a deal to stay put, but both sides just could not hammer things out to a satisfactory conclusion?

DOMINIC:  We did try to work out a deal.  After more talks and conversations, I felt maybe we were going to get things done.  I was being told things would change and maybe shift things in the direction we wanted to go.  But at the end of the day, it’s gotta be in writing.  I feel like I’d been told similar things in the past which hadn’t come to fruition.  I was also reminded that it was me who needed to sign my name on that dotted line and live with that decision, and I chose not to do so.

If someone would have said to you: “We have an “A” story for you, and you are going to be driving it,” would you have been more apt to stay?   

DOMINIC:  There was talk about us sitting down and talking about storylines, but that didn’t end up happening, not sure why.  And even if it did, I don’t know that it would’ve changed my mind about leaving, anyway.   But just to be clear: I have no anger towards anybody.  It’s all a business at the end of the day.  Both sides did what they felt was right.  For me, I just felt this chapter had come to an end.

Photo: ABC

When, and how did you tell on-screen scene partner, Emme Rylan that you were leaving?  Was she happy for you and your decision?

DOMINIC:  Emme knew really early on.  Once January rolled around I was like: “I have been thinking for the last six to nine months that I am going to go.”   I wanted her to know, because we have been a couple for five years on the show.  Emme was very happy for me.  I went, “Wait a minute!  Don’t be this happy.  I’m leaving.” (Laughing)  

What happened when you told your on-screen mom, Lisa LoCicero ?

DOMINIC:  She was sad, but she is also said, “You’re in your prime, go see what’s out there!”   I wouldn’t have done this move if I did not get support at home.  My wife is the rock and the one that makes this household go.  Some things outside the show were starting to happen; I had a nice screen-test for a pilot, and then I booked these four episodes of Tin Star.  When you have choices in life; you have power and control over your future.  I think Emme and Lisa as actors realized that.  That’s what made them happy for me … for the future.  The last nine years were exciting.  However, when you can have a little bit more say in what you are doing on a day to day basis, that is empowering.  So, in saying, “no” to something, and saying, “Thank you, but that’s not what I am looking for right now,” that can feel good.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

It was a shame that through all the regimes that they rarely wrote any scenes between Dante and his father, Sonny.  What was Maurice Benard’s reaction when you told him you were leaving?

DOMINIC:  It has been pretty publicized that he and I were dissatisfied at the lack of  storyline, or scenes together.  Maurice asked the powers-that-be, “Why aren’t we working together more?”  We never had a clear answer as to why.  He didn’t know from one day to the next what was happening with my contract talks.  Mo saw me smiling one day and asked, “So does that smile mean you’re staying?”  And I said, “No, that smile is because I’m leaving.” (Laughs)  I said that more to mess with him, and make him sad.  He said, “As long as you are good financially, then I am all for anybody getting out of here and seeing what else is out there.” Really, Mo talks people into leaving so he can get more screen-time. (Laughs)

Let’s talk about the final airshow, and the story that came out of left field to facilitate your exit.  Was that written quickly to accommodate a shooting schedule or contract completion?  It felt rushed to the viewing audience.

DOMINIC:  Left field is right!  I still had a week and a half left of work when they found out I wasn’t going to re-sign, and within twelve hours I had six exit scenes written.  So, it wasn’t done to facilitate anything but a set (Lante’s house), I think.  My final tape date was May 18th, and Emme and I had scenes on the Wednesday or Thursday before that.  I guess they wanted my last scenes that aired to be with Emme, and that might have been the only scheduling day that worked for the set and the actors, and maybe that’s also why it felt so rushed.  All I could assume is that they didn’t think I was really going to leave so they didn’t plan for it, or they chose to protect themselves in this way, by not making a big deal about it.  I had another week of scenes in the PCPD with Chase (Josh Swickard) and Michael (Chad Duell) that was shot afterward.  But they had nothing to do with Dante’s “secret mission!”

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

I thought, “Wait!  Is that it?  Is this Dominic’s final show?  Dante doesn’t say goodbye to his mother… his father … or his son, Rocco?

DOMINIC:  Yeah, that was tough for me.  After 9 years you think you’re going to get a little bit better of a send off.   You also, hope they’re going to honor the character.  Dante wouldn’t leave to go to the 7-eleven without saying goodbye to his mother and kids.   Maurice and I talked about that.  He said, “I guess, they don’t want people to feel really sad.  You and me doing some goodbye scenes, people are going to be devastated.”   I agree with that.  However, I also think it’s a soap and that’s what fans want … good, ole drama.  I would have loved to have had scenes with Sonny, Olivia, and Dante’s kids, but when you make a decision like this, how you leave on-air is not up to you.  Both parties are going to handle it how it’s best for them.   I was very grateful they gave Emme and I something to seek our teeth into. 

They were very sad scenes.  You are one of those actors that can take the material and connect with it while delivering it in a very subtle and heartfelt way.  How was Emme after your final scenes?

DOMINIC:  She was kind of crying the whole time, going “Damn you! Damn you.”   I was having fun with it, because I love making Emme cry.  It’s not a very difficult thing to do.  (Laughs).  We were both pretty teary-eyed, actually.  Then, when we finished the scenes and I looked over and I saw how upset the crew was, that’s what really got me.  Barbara, one of the camera operators actually jokingly apologized; suggesting that if my last shot was blurry it was my fault!  As an actor, when you make the crew feel something it kind of gives you some extra good feels. That was always the best feeling, talking to Craig (our stage manager), or Donna (head of makeup department) after a scene to get the honest truth on how you did.  I’ll miss them.

Courtesy/ABC

Viewers, watching Dante have this flashback about the guy who was responsible for Lulu going overboard the Haunted Star a few years ago, probably needed a moment to connect the dots.  Some viewers were going, “What?  Dante is going after the guy that tried to drown Lulu from two years ago?”

DOMINIC:  When I read that in the script even I went, “What?” Who’s that?”  I had no idea, either. (Laughs)

Then there was this:  Dante was so hard on Lulu for her pursuing her dream as a journalist and how it inadvertently got Nathan killed.  Then all of a sudden in your final scenes, Dante has a line to Lulu in which he says something to the effect of: I understand now – you got to do, what you got to do.  In story, prior to these scenes it was leaning more towards Dante and Lulu were going to break-up over what had recently transpired.

DOMINIC:  Which, who knows?  If Dante had stayed in Port Charles it could have been the direction they were going in.  It certainly looked like they were building toward conflict, conflict, conflict, but with me leaving it was much sweeter to leave on the note that we left on, instead of Dante leaving, because he can’t deal with being around Lulu. This all leads me to believe that they didn’t want to do anything too permanent to give them time to make the proper decisions.

Courtesy/ABC

What was the last day of shooting like for you?  Was it hard to get through?

DOMINIC:  It felt like a regular day, and my final scenes were up towards the end of the tape day. They had a cake afterwards.  Frank briefly spoke and introduced Maurice; who said a bunch of sweet words.  That meant a lot to me.  I said “goodbye” to everybody and took some photos, and that was it.  I already had my room packed up.  Once you’re ready to go, you’re ready to go.  Afterwards, I went out with Ryan Paevey (Ex-Nathan) and Jeffrey Vincent Parise (Ex-Carlos) for some beers and wings at the bar down the street.  It wasn’t until everybody came back after a two-week break that it felt real, because then I was receiving text messages from people saying, “We’re back.  Why the hell aren’t you here?”

The door has been left open for Dante to return.  Would you ever come back?

DOMINIC:  Of course, at some point.  But it might not be my choice, they might recast.  They told me they won’t, but who knows what’ll be done.  Do I think you can just recast a role?  No, I think it’s always a tough sell, but they’ve done it with bigger names/characters than mine.  I would be a little surprised, only because there hasn’t been much story for Dante in the last three years.  For me, as of now, I’ve moved on, and I’m very happy with my decision and my life.  It’s sad in other respects, don’t get me wrong.  I’ve read things that people have said on Twitter, and I want everyone to know I’ve seen it all and it means a lot to me.  People have been beautiful to me.  I’m truly overwhelmed by the love.  I thought there would be more of, “Who cares?” when fans found out I left.   I must have done something right during the years I was at GH.

Did you think when you made the decision to leave they would kill-off Dante? 

DOMINIC:  No, not at all.  I don’t think killing off Dante would be a good idea, especially after they killed Nathan, and also because of the climate we live in with police involved shootings and violence, in general.  In a perfect world as an actor, you crave the opportunity to have one last moment with the other characters that have been important to your character over the years.  That’s all I would have wanted for myself, and Dante.  I’ll take what I got though.  It was extremely meaningful because of what Emme and I had and built.  I feel we got to the heart and soul of those two characters in a pretty short amount of time in our scenes.

Courtesy/ABC

Speaking of Nathan, I think thus far those funeral scenes, which you were wonderful in, and the story arc revolving around his death, are GH’s best bet for an Emmy in the Drama Series category next year. 

DOMINIC:  I agree.  It was so well-done.  We’d all would like to go out like that!  Tragic, but it made for great TV and great soap.  It was phenomenally well-acted across the board.  Lots of Emmy reel stuff for Michelle Stafford (Nina) and Kirsten Storms (Maxie), and Kathleen Gati (Liesl), and hopefully for our directors and crew, also.  They did an amazing job bringing that to life.

This now leaves Josh Swickard as the lone cop now by default on GH.   he PCPD is notorious for being the worst cop shop in the history of soaps! (Laughs) They can’t ever solve a crime.

DOMINIC: (Laughs) I know!  What is Josh is going to do?   Maybe between Chase and Jordan (Vienssa Antoine) they will solve crimes.  Maybe, they’ll bring on a new cop.  Josh is a great guy and I enjoyed working with him.  At the beginning, we had that contentious relationship between the two guys.  That would’ve been fun if it lasted longer, where they had this continual real dislike for one another.  Who knows?  With Dante gone, maybe they will start solving some crimes! (Laughs) Maybe now the PCPD will be the greatest police unit in the USA.

Courtesy/ABC

Over your nine years at GH, would you still consider that your best storyline was coming on to the show and then having Sonny shoot Dante, only for it to turn out that he just shot his own son?

DOMINIC:  Yes, I think you have to.  That was my intro.  They had this story planned eight months before they even cast the role.  To get to that moment, was a classic soap cliffhanger.  I grew up watching soap operas with my grandparents, and if they had been alive for that scene they would have lost it, because it was something that ‘old school’ soap fans would really dig.  For me, doing that story felt so special.  ABC also pumped it with the promotion, and the promos, and the TV spots, and amped it up.  I didn’t feel it disappointed.  It was actually the audition scene that I had to perform to get the part!  Then six months later you get to say these lines that got you the part, and you hope you don’t whiff on the softball.

While putting together and producing the GH 55th anniversary tribute package for this year’s Daytime Emmys, I included that moment between Sonny and Dante.  I remember watching the complete scene before editing it and the dialog was so good.  It still holds up to this day.

DOMINIC:  My manager was at the Emmys that night, and said what a great moment that was.  I meant to thank you for that, because I really appreciated it being in there.

Courtesy/ABC

Are there any other scenes that come to mind that you are most proud of?

DOMINIC:  I also really loved the scenes with Max Gail (Mike). He is a special guy.  There was so much in our scenes; where Dante finds him with Avery in the stables.  Those moments are going to stick with me for a long time.

On June 28th, the airdate of your last episode, you posted a tweet to the fans that read: “The love you guys have given me over the years and continue to give is overwhelming.  It is I that must thank YOU!”  I thought that was extremely touching and very appreciated by the fans.

DOMINIC:  I was thinking, “Man, I have to thank you, because I would not legitimately be here if you hadn’t liked this guy, Dante.”  It was bringing tears to my eyes reading what people were saying, and seeing how much love I was receiving.

Tell me about your role in the British-Canadian production of Tin Star?

DOMINIC:  It’s a recurring role,  I’ve been working on it since March.  It’s something very different from what I’ve been doing the last 9 years.  Can’t give much away, but I play a hired gun type of guy.  There are some great scenes and moments, and I was lucky enough to work with Christina Hendricks, John Lynch, and the legend, Tim Roth.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Do you feel now that you have had some time away now from GH, and have been playing another role, that the thought of playing Dante for you at this point is like: “Been there. Done that?”

DOMINIC:  I would never say Dante is done forever.  Right now for me, he is.  They left it open, hopefully they left it open for me, but every actor hopes that.  We want our cake and to eat it too!  I want to leave right now, but I want you to want me to come back some day.  No one wants their role to be recast.  But it’s an important character, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see.  Who knows what the future holds.  I left on good terms.  Just so everyone knows; I didn’t spring something on GH on the last day of my contract.  It’s important that I let people know that I didn’t just wake up one day and say, “See ya”.  This also wasn’t about money.  Sure, we want to be paid what we believe we’re worth.  But this in no way was about me asking for the moon, or I was going to leave.  It was a very, very difficult decision.

So, what do you think about how GH wrapped up Dante’s story for Dominic’s exit? Would you like him to return to GH sooner than later?  Do you think the role of Dante was problematic to write for?  What were your favorite scenes of Dom’s during his time at GH? Let us know via the comment section below.

Continue Reading

Breaking News

GH’s Maurice Benard Takes On Role Of Police Captain In New Film, ‘Equal Standard’

While the cast of General Hospital is on their three-week summer hiatus, many of the actors have gone off to do different things with their time … some are traveling … some are on tour or making personal appearances, and some are making movies or filming other projects.

Maurice Benard is continuing to land film roles when he has the time to step away from his role as mobster Sonny Corinthos on the ABC daytime drama series.

Now in an Instagram post this week, Maurice shared an update on the filming of his upcoming motion picture, Equal Standard which also stars Ice-T.

In his post showing him in his character’s police uniform sans jacket, Maurice expressed: “Always great to play different characters.  In New York playing a police captain. Very cool and interesting script.”

In story, Equal Standard tells the story of an off-duty New York City police detective who gets caught in an inner city brawl between undercover cops convinced he is a local street thug. The melee ends in a tragic death followed by an uproar within gangs and cops in neighboring communities and across the city. The movie also features Robert Clohessy, and OLTL alum Tobias Truvillion (Vincent).

So, glad to hear Maurice is getting the opportunity to play more diverse roles?  Comment below.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Video du Jour

This week, Nick lost temporary custody of Christian leading to a defiant and emotional turn by Joshua Morrow (Nick) as he has to say farewell to the little boy he has come to love as his own son, and give him to his father, Victor, who wanted and was granted custody of the child. Watch the hankie-inducing moment! Leave A Comment

The Michael Channel

Recent Comments

  • Lisal: “Will miss Jordan on GH ... sounds like a great new show. Congrats to Vinessa!
  • Pjc: “I think it's Nick. I think this is his TAKE DOWN of Victor.
  • Celia: “Gabi is on a slippery slope....I must have missed the repetitive DNA ""switcheroo" part. Oh, Lordy Lord!!…
  • April: “It’s Nick! But I was kinda wishing it was Adam!
  • rose: “Mary SF...I'm in Toronto area this summer visiting my son and grandson. Heartland looks really good, but since I…
Advertisement

Power Performance

Rob Scott Wilson as Ben

Days of our Lives

Airdate: 7-5/6-2018

Advertisement

Popular