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Emme Rylan & Finola Hughes Back To Work At General Hospital!

Photo Credit: S Bergman

Two beloved faces from the genre are back to work at General Hospital!

Emme Rylan (Lulu) announced via her Instagram that she is back from her maternity leave and in the swing of things and the action in Port Charles.   In another cute photo, Rylan showed her real-life newborn baby girl meeting her on-screen daughter Charlotte played by Scarlett Ferrnandez.

She expressed: “My TV daughter @officialscarlettfernandez and my real life daughter finally meet!#GH I’m BACK!”

Courtesy/ABC

Meanwhile, Finola Hughes (Anna) is back from her summer hiatus and announced her return to the ABC daytime drama series, via her Instagram account.

Hughes wrote alongside a pic of some “Anna wear”: “Black wardrobe on a hanger #anna is back to fight crime #gh ”

Glad to hear that Lulu and Anna will be back on the air in the weeks to come?

What do you hope happens next in storyline for these two key female characters in Port Charles? Comment below.

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Jimh
Jimh

Didnt even know they were gone…

Celia
Celia

Oh, my!!….. Jimmy, you never fail to get a chuckle out of me. Love it !!

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Neither did I, but “go, Finola.” Love you fighting crime–and wearing black! 🙂

dmr
dmr

I haven’t missed the annoying, insipid Lulu. I’ve always liked Anna. Finola is an amazing actress!

su0000
su0000

I did not notice they were gone so I didn’t miss them..
I use to really like Anna .. J&S destroyed the character,,
when Anna said Duke a million times every day for near a year and became a needy weak woman I started to FF her..
Lulu is usually a FF .. she is irritatingly boring.

I never FF Valentin and that is the only time I don’t FF those two only because they are talking to Valentin and then he’d be FF too, so then stuck with them.

Rhonda
Rhonda

I’m with you, DMR. Love Anna Devane but could really do without the forever perkiness of Lulu. And shouldn’t her maternity leave be longer considering she worked up until the hour of her delivery?
And another thing is that with Lulu gone, Laura is more front and center. I hate that Laura tends to play Lulu’s maternal side kick. To me, Laura is always the star.

Charday
Charday

Me, either. I always FF through LuLu.

JMER
JMER

Always happy to see Anna’s face on our TVs, unfortunately, the writing has been so below par this year (starting late last year) that I can’t watch the scenes with her character anymore because I care what happens to her and how well it’s executed. We know she’s not allowed to actually fight crime, at least to her fullest potential. ABC/Disney execs apparently don’t like that version of Anna so much because there’d actually be some justice on this show, but that is who she is.

They are doing a little better with Laura’s character, and I will keep taking a peek at those scenes every now and then. The rest of the show has gotten so bad, there’s no point in thinking about it besides checking headlines to see if things have gotten better. GH deserves better than what ABC/Disney is willing to give the show. CBS does viewer polls, has an active, respectful dialogue with fans via its DT CBS twitter and ABC looks pale in comparison. They just want to use it for their own purposes.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Yes, I agree that they are doing better with Laura’s character. Hope that continues.

Steve
Steve

At least we are well past the “justice for Duke” portion. It’s definitely time for a new adventure for Anna. The chem test with Andre was a dud.

JMER
JMER

I don’t think many viewers will be past Justice for Duke until Julian pays in some long term way and/or Duke is brought back to the show. THEN we’ll see fans return. I really don’t see much of an improvement for the rest of the year whether it’s a new adventure, an Andre romance or being entangled in the Two Jasons story. I stuck it out when I saw Jelly were writing a Justice for Duke story complete with Duke’s son (as well as more for Tracy and Laura) and when that fizzled, I stuck around a bit for Anna taking down Paul, Griff being Charlotte’s dad and then left and returned again for the Olivia return. That’s many more returns to the show than most fans were willing to do, and I’ve had my fill.

Steve
Steve

@JMER
With deVry out, perhaps that justice will come.

I think Duke has used his 9 lives in Port Charles. There’s just so many times they can do a back from the dead with one character. That doesn’t rule out ghostly visits like the one with Olivia J earlier this year. Whenever this show goes off the air, Anna & Robert will be endgame.

Like you, I’ve almost had my fill. I’m gonna see where they go with Steve Burton before I pull the DVR plug for a while.

Timmm
Timmm

Yes, now if we could eliminate mentioning Morgan EVERY other word!

JMER
JMER

Steve, deVry isn’t out yet. Latest word is that negotiations *may* be worked out which says much about where the show is headed in a larger scope.

I wouldn’t count on a Robert & Anna endgame when Robert is offscreen with Holly and Anna is wasting her time onscreen with nonsensical stories. The current PTB would rather just ship endgame Anna to Berkeley with Robin, Emma and Patrick and be done with her rather than put her with Robert or Duke. The best thing would be for all four of them (that is Robert, Duke, Anna, Holly) to be onscreen. It would be fresh, never done before, and fun and light hearted, and it would please the majority of Classic fans out there.

GH has miles to go before it sleeps (according to DC) so none of that talk, please. So does Duke. He only “died” once and really it was another actor that died so fans didn’t think he was dead the first time around. His second run left more holes to fill in than his original one did. Look at James Bond; more than nine lives. Nothing wrong with that as long as it’s done well. And Ian did read for the Bond role so no doubt he’ll pull it off when the time comes.

dmr
dmr

Agree, the characters are not fully developed/evolved, and the storylines are not fully executed. Storylines are either rushed, or forgotten about, and it’s hard to watch at times. I haven’t watched in weeks. I did see a clip between Carly and Diane (love Diane), where Diane is worried about Max (being shot). I found it really unfortunate that the entire scene was written around Carly and Sonny’s relationship and how brave and strong Carly is to stand by Sonny and that they need to seize this opportunity to be together. God forbid any scene or storyline be written about another character/couple (or Morgan not be mentioned in some way).

Celia
Celia

Everything is written around Sonny and Carly, dmr…..even Sam’s Toxoplasmosis had to be centered around Sonny, which took most of the emphasis away from Sam and family.
I mean, EVERYTHING. ….Ava, AJ, Jason, Oscar, Nelle etc. can you think of any character who does not dance around these two?
Sigh….we’re ‘gonna’ hear more and more and more….beautiful Morgan…so pure and innocent–
Sonny, such a good father/man, but so misunderstood—
Carly, the epitome of motherhood, steadfast friend, loyal wife. Barf.

Timmm
Timmm

Where is Julie Berman?

Finola, great to see her back, I hope they move forward with her and Valentin and leave Nina in the dust! She can go back to Freako which I am so glad he has been off the air and Liz can go to Sleepy Miller and Steve and Kelly can reunite!

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Where is “Feako?” In contract dispute (again)?

Timmm
Timmm

Freako reportedly signed a new 4 year contract but I guess he is on summer break? I like Roger but I could care less if Franco EVER comes back to the show.

Steve
Steve

They had to write RoHo out for 2 months for the dispute. This coincided with their annual buildup of episodes to take a 3-week July break. He’s back taping and should be onscreen this month.

dmr
dmr

I liked Lulu when Julie Berman played her, too. I didn’t think of Lulu as the annoying, insipid, little sister, as I do now.

dmr
dmr

I like Roger Howarth, but I do not like the character of Franco, and I don’t like him paired with Elizabeth. I know that Becky Herbst has a large fan following; however, I find the character very boring. Liz needs some oomph!

K/kay
K/kay

I don’t know I thought she left daytime soap to hit it big in the movies. ER plays her like a rich spoiled girl which she is not .

Timmm
Timmm

Maybe she has done Hallmark or Lifetime work? Havent seen Berman anywhere. You are right, Lulu shouldnt be spoiled and isnt rich. She was better with the bad boys and acting more like her father when she bent the law. Laura used to be that way to. Dante needs to go back to Val, Berman needs to return and hook up with Johnny Z!

dmr
dmr

I’ve never liked Emme in the role. I think she plays her like an insipid, immature, annoying little sister, not a wife and mother. She’s like nails on a chalkboard for me.

Soaphound
Soaphound

k kay & Timmm, I saw Julie Berman on season 1 of CHICAGO MED, where she unconvincingly played a brilliant brain surgeon. She was the temporary love interest of the insanely handsome Colin Donnell’s character. She was on, maybe 6 times? Should have stayed on GH.

Shay
Shay

I actually like Emme, the actress, very much…she’s beautiful, extremely pleasant and is a great addition to any soap canvas….problem is, she simply is not Lulu for those of us accustomed to Julie Berman’s gutsy, gritty portrayal of this street smart character. Rylan’s Lulu is just too fluffy and lightweight to be believable, which is a true shame, because she should have been cast in another role for which her particular persona was far more suitable.

Celia
Celia

I did catch Julie on “Chicago Med, a few times—she plays a doctor, T.

SZima
SZima

Glad Anna is back! She’s always a breath of fresh air in a sea of bad actors!
This seems awfully soon for Emme to come back! She just popped that munchkin a few weeks ago! Can’t say I missed her tho

Jimmy
Jimmy

I haven’t been a fan of Emme Rylan as Lulu; I found her much better as Abby on Y&R because she can play the spoiled, annoying little sister role well. She popped a lot more on Y&R than Melissa Ordway does in the role. I would love to see Julie Berman come back because she was great as Lulu. I would also love to see Lucky recast because I think it’s insane that they haven’t had one of the show’s legacy characters on canvas permanently in years.

As for Finola, she’s always amazing. She can turn even the worst stories into good ones with her performances, and I’m glad she got to play dual roles this year. Bringing back Alex was a great move. However, I’m not impressed with the pairing of Anna and Andre. He’s such a boring and undeveloped character, with no ties to the canvas, and there’s no chemistry between them. I actually loved seeing Anna and Valentin’s scenes, even though the story was a bit wonky, but that’s probably because James Patrick Stuart could have chemistry with a slice of bread, he’s a fantastic actor.

Timmm
Timmm

I love Melissa as Abby!

I thought they could have explored Finola and the twin a lot more than they did. Like every story these hacks write, it never has an ending or one that pays off!

JK
JK

ITS TIME FOR VALENTIN AND ANNA!!

Rhonda
Rhonda

I so agree with you, JK. Anna and Valentin have the makings of a super couple and their chemistry is off the charts.
Nina is just one big fat DUD! She drags Valentin down and he can’t carry her anymore.
Please, Anna and Valentin. Send Nina away. She manages to be both annoying and depressing and never could find her footing on GH.

Shay
Shay

Exactly!…Anna and Valentin sizzled from Day One, whilst Nina has always been a total dud, no matter what elaborate machinations have been employed to make it appear otherwise! From the beginning, it’s been one highly-contrived plot after another with every possible combination of major characters utilized to prop and impose this ill-fitting femme onto the GH canvas. None of it has worked and as one poster observed not long ago, the effort is extremely obvious…everything about this character is quite forced…always trying too hard to be sexy, to be liked, to be a part of something of which she clearly is not. Time to give up the fight…Nina will never be an accepted member of Port Charles society and the best solution is indeed to “send her away!” Pronto!

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

Hey Rhonda!

I think it would be interesting to see Valentin and Anna…although seemingly against what the small sampling of GH fans on this site always clamor about. They seem to want their “heroines” with upstanding citizens, which Valentin is not. While likeaable, charming, at times endearing and sympathetic, he’s also a dark character with an extremely troubled past. And we still don’t know if he actually killed Nicolas or if he’s in as yet undisclosed deal with him to make it LOOK like he murdered him.

Anna apparently seems conflicted over Valentin; not sure if it’s attraction or just guilt/gratitude for what he thought he was sacrificing for her back in their WSB days when in fact it was her sister.

Nina? I love Nina. She’s elegant, beautiful, down-to-earth and fiercely loyal. I also like how they evolved her from a lost, volatile, (understandably) emotionally troubled woman to someone who fought her way back to life. Admirable!

I do wonder if James DePaiva is staying on. He might be a great match for Anna.

Suzie rm
Suzie rm

I loved Lulu as played by Julie Berman. She WAS Luke and Lauras daughter. Nothing against Emme, but Lulu now comes across as a spoiled annoying sorority girl.

Don’t really care for the Anna Character. They have her propping Valentin. Her character has changed the last few years, like they can’t decide what to do with her.

Love Laura and that they are finially giving her more story. They need to focus on her lovely relationship with Kevin. Will she ever set a house? Sure she has moved in with Kevin, but will we ever see their house? She seems to be the only character without a set. Why.? To me she is the heart of the show and they need to make her and Kevin the moral center of the show.

As much as I love Laura, the focus on Sonny has me not wanting to watch. It started with the death of Morgan and has continued. It needs to end. Making him the center of the show is not working

Steve
Steve

Sets cost money, which is tight on soaps these days.

Of the contract players, Laura, Andre and Griffin don’t have sets (the hospital doesn’t count). If you count Crimson as Nina’s, then she has one. Finn might get a set if he moves into that house with the strange greenhouse after Hayden departs. He’ll probably keep living at the MC (which I don’t count as his, since if you change a few things around and lose the lizard, it’s Scott’s room).

Some characters have multiple sets — notably Sonny and the Q’s. Had to laugh when Sonny said he was selling his restaurant as I don’t remember anyone other than he & his family being there.

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

Curtis and Nelle have homes! As does Liz; even Franco has his studio. I think they’d give Laura and Kevin a set if they were actually present for any length of time. I’m not sure if that’s the actors’ choices or if they’re just not being written for. Another case where they tease the viewers with returns and then barely write for the characters.

Mac and Felicia? Ugh! They took Mac from a great character to zero…gave him the boot…and now he’s brought back as a gag/avid follower of Ask Man Landers. Cute, silly fun. Yes. But Mac (and John York) deserve so much more.

Steve
Steve

@rebecca1
Mac’s fade away started with JFP’s I’ll-advised decision to burn down the Scorpio house during the Lisa Niles storyline. It was the oldest set on the show (having been home to the Webber siblings initially, then Rick and Leslie/Ginny, then Tony and Tania/Lucy, then Aunt Charlene et al, then Robert and Anna, then finally Mac and Felicia).

Remnants of that set have been included in Elizabeth’s new house, mainly the fireplace and the staggered stairwell.

Rodd
Rodd

I thought they did a good job with Emme’s maternity leave. As for Finola, I didn’t even realize she was missing, so they must have done that well, too. Always happy to have these fine ladies back on screen.

Allen Saint James
Allen Saint James

i hope the new writer knows how to write WSB STORYLINES for Anna. Yes they have been way better writing for Laura. It seems like Anna off the show they switched to Laura being the star Matriarch of the show. I enjoy Anna but Laura shoukd be given as much story as she(not just when Finola is off).

Shay
Shay

Yes! First and foremost, Anna Devane is a sophisticated, internationally-based WSB operative…everything else is secondary to the character, and she needs to be written as such…trying to domesticate her or bring her down to the local-yokel level simply doesn’t work. She needs to jump back feet first into the spy field and the foreign intrigue that made Finola the GH star she is….and if Robert or Duke shall not be in the picture, then another agent (Frisco?) would be her perfect match. Or at least some really interesting European dude who comes to Port Charles for whatever purpose…..this actress does her best work opposite players that possesses her similar continental sensibilities.

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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