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General Hospital Previews Their Nutcracker Gala With First Look Photos!

Photo Credit: ABC

Photo Credit: ABC

Christmas is coming to Port Charles, and many of the citizens of the town will be attending The Nutcracker Gala to benefit Toys for Tots!

The upcoming event will begin airing on the December 21st episode of the ABC daytime drama series, General Hospital.

The episodes team GH with Toys for Tots to bring awareness to the annual Christmas drive by the organization. Featured in some first look photos released from ABC are series stars: Tyler Christopher (Nikolas), Roger Howarth (Franco), Rebecca Budig (Hayden), Leslie Charleson (Monica), Robert Palmer Watkins  (Dillon), Kirsten Storms (Maxie) , Haley Pullos (Molly), William deVry (Julian), Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis), Michelle Stafford (Nina) and Vinessa Antoine (Jordan).  The musical special guest for the Nutcracker Gala is none other than soul songstess Indie Arie!

So, what do you think will happen during the gala?  Will it be a night of celebration and good will, or will it turn into a drama-filled evening?  Check out a few more photos after the jump, and then let us know how you think the gala will turn out!

 

Photo Credit: ABC

Photo Credit: ABC

Photo Credit: ABC

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CeeCeeKevin O.ChardayShayJimh(leave it to beaver) Recent comment authors
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Mister Media
Mister Media

It will be both a night of celebration and a drama-filled evening. I suspect it will herald the return of Robin or Scorpio or both. What a great cast! There are some heavy hitters in that group photo. And it’s all for a good cause. Long live GH!

Nancy
Nancy

Can’t wait. Love my GH!!!

Tammy Kreiss
Tammy Kreiss

It’s a soap, if an event goes smoothly something would be very wrong in regard to writing! Lol My money is on Tracey /Monica mayhem. Then of course Franco will bust out the popcorn and maybe throw fuel in that fire.

Jimh(leave it to beaver)
Jimh(leave it to beaver)

Looks good…good they included Monica… good cause…

Shay
Shay

True enough, jimh……but here is our fantabulous “Dr. O.?”

Jimh(leave it to beaver)
Jimh(leave it to beaver)

Maybe she will make an unexpected appearance with Krampus but unfortunately that is something Ron C. might have done…i still have my fingers crossed!

CeeCee
CeeCee

Hey, Shay, my love: off topic, but, I saw your much loved JULIE BERMAN on CHICAGO MED tonight. I think she may be a regular. Later.

Shay
Shay

@CeeCee…..So, what did you think of “Real LuLu?” I’m sure JMB’s character on CHICAGO MED is vastly different from the bold and blonde streetwise offspring of the legendary Luke and Laura that she portrayed on GH, but could you envision her in her original role, and see why we still pine for her version of Lesley Lu Spencer???? The difference between her spunky, gritty “Cupcake,” and the porcelain-perfect princess played by Emme Rylan is like day and night. (That’s no knock on Rylan’s talents….I actually like her presence, I simply cannot reconcile her more refined demeanor with being Luke’s once so spirited and scrappy little girl.) I’ll tell you one thing, CeeCeeGirl….JMB’s canny Lulu would have NEVER tolerated Val-Chops moving in on her man….she would have seen her coming a mile away and stopped her cold in her tracks! Fact!

Shay
Shay

That should be “where!”

CeeCee
CeeCee

Hey, ShayGirl.
I actually caught a few episodes of GH with Julie as Lulu. From the little I was given, I truly liked her a lot. I do hope you will catch her on CHICAGO MED…..she plays a highly skilled doctor, Toni Zannetti by day, per se, LOL. But, by night, the audience was given a very sexy, revealing scene …..lacy, black intimates and all, with her favorite guy.
I won’t compare her with Emme, since as yourself, I love Rylan. Each is beautiful in her own way. I guess I identify with Emme; same hair and stature; but a bit more endowed, I am, lol.
Dr. Zannetti surely knows how to turn her male counterparts heads. And, I am sure you’re right. She would have given Valerie the one-two and a left hook by now. ‘Nite, babes.

CeeCee
CeeCee

Should read, ‘male counterparts’ heads…’.

Shay
Shay

@jimh…I do believe the Krampus left the GH building with Ron C….but hopefully, Liesl will come up with another wonderfully cringeworthy antic to crash the Christmas festivities! And she’d better perform at least one number, if not two….a campy and comical opening and a fitting, beautiful song of the season to close the show. Kathleen Gati’s Dr. O. can convincingly do both types of presentations, and it would be a shame not to utilize her versatile talents to the utmost.

Jimh(leave it to beaver)
Jimh(leave it to beaver)

She has a lovely voice…i do hope the new writers use her…she could recite the alphabet and id be happy!

Shay
Shay

So true, jimh! KG is multi-talented….comedy, drama, tragedy or the absurd….she’s on top of it, no matter the task at hand! Whilst I love her musical numbers, I especially enjoy when Dr. O. lets loose in German….now if she did the alphabet in her “native tongue,” it would be an absolute hoot!

Harry
Harry

Well, I am happy to see Monica and Tracy anyway.
Franco and Nina? Square pegs in round holes–they don’t fit and they have zero chemistry. I wish they’d stop trying to make these two work, give up and call it a day. In other words, Bah Humbug!

rebecca1
rebecca1

Bah humbug indeed Harry. yay to the Franco and Nina! Love those crazy “kids!”

Rodd
Rodd

I agree. I love Franco and Nina together.

Shay
Shay

So very well put, Harry! I’m in total agreement about Monica and Tracy….those glammed-up vets are putting their less-elegant counterparts to shame, and your most excellent “square-peg” analogy is absolutely spot-on!!! In fact, it could apply to at LEAST a half-dozen other characters on the current GH canvas, as well! (I know you know to whom I’m referring…..)

rebecca1
rebecca1

Thanks Rodd. I think there are a lot of us in the silent majority who have grown to enjoy and care about this not-too-hard-on-the-eyes duo…these two lost souls who found each other…the development and evolution of each to fiercely loving and loyal. They add heart. Would like to see them more integrated somehow…perhaps with the their new espective jobs.

su0000
su0000

I LUV FRANCO & NINA!!
the most unique couple, ever..!
I am enthralled when they are on screen !

Matilda
Matilda

Yup Harry, Toys for Tots and Franco, what could be more perfect.

Frank will never stop with Franco, he thinks he’s Todd and he thinks GH fans really care about Roger Howarth, wanting to see him more than GH characters and actors that they have loved for years. Hasn’t been the case yet and it’s not going to happen.

CeeCee
CeeCee

Lol, Matilda. Bite your tongue, now!!

CeeCee
CeeCee

Yup, Harry. Square pegs. But, that’s what makes them interesting to me. Besides, those round holes? Well, they should be square….all’s well with the soap world with Nina and Franco in it. TaTa…..lol.

CeeCee
CeeCee

@AJQ.
Hi,
Now, that would be unrealistic, would it not….tuning in just for Franco, that is. I, for one, love my Roger/Franco; by the same toke, I definitely do not watch BECAUSE of him. C’mon! Give those of us who are Franco/Nina fans some credit.

edie bailey
edie bailey

So glad to see Franco & Nina featured in a Port Charles party arc. They are pure magic, just wish they would be allowed to consummate their relationship. The waiting time on this has been totally ridiculous.
Never watched GH until Roger Howarth brought Todd Manning to Port Charles and I do wish he could still be Todd–but Roger has done wonders with the challenge of humanizing Franco. Love his work with Kiki, too. Indeed, I only tune in and really watch the Franco episodes. Hoping that Franco & Nina enjoy a lot of overdue romantic scenes, complete with mistletoe and ring in a happier 2016 with champagne. We need more Franco who deserves much more airtime!!!

AJQ
AJQ

Lol! Franco deserves more airtime. When he got all the air time in August the ratings plummeted from the already all time lows. The demo fell from the 450-460K range of june/july to below 400K, down to 369K and 380K on successive weeks.

As soon as Franco was gone and dropped to two episodes in September, the ratings rebounded to where they were before the August of Franco.

If people are tuning in just for Franco, then it begs the question of how many tune out when he’s on and the answer is a lot.

Lou Piikes
Lou Piikes

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Port Charles.

Charday
Charday

Great to see “Monica” (Leslie Charleson) back. The hairstylists need to work on her hair–it’s too flat.

su0000
su0000

Toy’s for Tots is cool and needed..
but– most everywhere I go is collecting toys for the children..
It would have better imo if it were for the homeless ..
mothers and their children sleeping in cars and under bridges.. they need shelter/food/and a Christmas, too ..

Amyways.. it looks like a fun affair..

CeeCee
CeeCee

What a very noble and altruistic thought, su. Believe me, there are a million and one charities taking care of the homeless. In my neck of the woods, things are speeding up as we speak. We try our best for needy families to get a decent meal, especially at Christmas.
I would like to point out, su, that every child needs to receive a toy. His/her joy is priceless to watch….what is Christmas without a toy for a child? Mentally and emotionally, makes these kids feel worthy; gives them a sense of belonging; makes them feel loved. Peace on earth, my friend!!

su0000
su0000

hi CeeCee,,
All the big retailers as Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target, Costco, Toys r Us and the list goes on and on, all donate a truck load of toys for tots, also..
Most every organisation donates toys…
It is HUGE the toys donations.. HUGE! there is more than enough toys for the tots..
I still would rather that much help went to the homeless, they greatly suffer..

CeeCee
CeeCee

@su.
I understand, su. But, I have first-hand knowledge of how much effort is put into feeding, helping or sheltering the homeless. The sad part, su, is that most of them do not want to be helped. They do show up for a meal; they do show up for shelter on freezing nights; but, an overwhelming many slip out as silently as mice. There are, however, those who are more than willing to be ‘rescued’. We never give up, su…..
The children are our future. Regardless, I would never let a child suffer; not if I could help it. My hand is always open…palm up!!

Guest
Guest

Where are ALL the VETS!! This is ridiculous! Lucy & Kevin, Mac& Felicia, Anna, Jason, Sam, Laura, Scott,etc… That does not look like much of a Gala.. smh

Soapluv2010
Soapluv2010

It’s premature to start whining. We have no idea who will be at the event. It’s just one picture. No one said those cast members are the sum total of the attendees. Besides, Lucy and Kevin are not on the show at this time. Same for Scott and Felicia. They’re not in any current story and it’s a holiday celebration not a reunion.

Tracy’s dress is amazing! Monica looks absolutely lovely. Same for Laura. She shed 10 years right along with all those pounds and looks fabulous. Glad she signed a contract with GH before Y&R came sniffing around again.

Helen Conboy
Helen Conboy

There is always drama when PC throws a party & this one will be no exception. I bet Liz shows up & there will be fire works btw Sam Carly & Monica. Also I’m so mad that GH did not include Ric in this. Can he have at one holiday celebration with his daughter Molly. At least I hope his name his mentioned & after this Rick Hearst (Ric) gets back on screen with a story & a love interest. It’s long overdue for him.

rebecca1
rebecca1

I agree Helen. I like Rick.

Timmm
Timmm

This is nice to see. It gives the cast another chance to shine and show off other talents. Indie Arie does nothing for me. Since its such a great cause I bevel they could have scored someone like Barry Manilow or Michael Buble? Anyway, TFT is a great charity and it would have been nice to see GH get a prime-time spot to air their show and have a live call center for donations? BUT, this is just me thinking out loud, I’m not complaining about ANY of this and cannot wait to see that Frank has lined up? I hope they do this every year. Oh, one other thing, since this is a charitable event for kids I hope they let Emma, Spencer and Cam do a number together.

Mary
Mary

Where is Genie Francis

Bonnie
Bonnie

This was their charity of choice last year, with the multiple plugs. This will be different, I imagine a sub for the NB

Rodd
Rodd

Remember folks, these are “first look” photos and don’t show everyone that may be in the episode. Enjoy the pictures and look forward to more and watching the episodes. Theses are just teasers.

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

I hope that this, much like the Nurses’ Ball, because an annual event.

Debbie
Debbie

I am happy to see Leslie Charleson involved in this celebration. I have missed seeing Monica on screen. It will be a real treat seeing her and Tracy!

Charday
Charday

I’m still waiting for the scene where Monica confronts Sonny for murdering AJ!!!

Kevin O.
Kevin O.

Charday, I totally agree. The Qs should make it their mission to destroy Sonny.

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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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