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General Hospital Recasts The Role Of Mayor Lomax With Shari Belafonte!

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Here’s some intruiging casting news out of General Hospital! Shari Belafonte has been cast as the new underhanded Mayor Lomax of Port Charles!

According to Soap Opera Digest, Saidah Arrika Ekulona who has played the part since 2012 is out, and the series has brought in Belafonte.

For those in the know, Shari has a long-running tie to the GH family.  Her husband is Sam Behrens, who played Jake Meyer from 1983-1988 (pictured here with Belafonte).  Look for Shari to make her GH debut in her new recurring role on January 19th.

Shari is best known for her work as Julie Gilette on the 1980’s television series Hotel, and is the daughter of legendary singer, Harry Belafonte.

So, what do you think about the new Mayor Lomax of Port Charles … Shari Belafonte? Comment below!

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Leslie-Carole FirestoneRegina AllenFrances StefanskiJuliaCeeCee Recent comment authors
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Joe
Joe

Don’t really care for the recasting but hey, love Sam Behrens! Let’s bring back Jake Meyer!

su0000
su0000

As long as she won’t be in a couple mess of begging someone to love her and all that love gone wrong sappy boring stuff, I’m OK with the recast.

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

As Lomaxs husband…

Liam
Liam

I agree! Bobbie needs some lovin’!! Besides Scott, I think Jake would do the trick…maybe, we’d even get more Lucy as a result (older viewers may remember he got Lucy pregnant). Noah Drake is probably on tour, D.L. Brock is dead, Tony Jones is dead, Damian Smith is dead, Stefan Cassadine is dead, Roy DiLucca is living in Miami, and Jerry Jacks seems to have forgotten (like the show) that he was once with Barbara Jean.

Justin
Justin

Yes Liam! Bobbie and Jake were a great couple! And I believe that’s what started the Lucy/Bobbie rivalry. It was soap magic!

Leslie-Carole Firestone
Leslie-Carole Firestone

I would love to see Sam with Shari I remember him on GH knots landing and another soap. He is also my Cousin.

penny
penny

Love Sheri, she’s a beauty and talent that’s needed on GH!

penny
penny

Oops, “Shari”.

CeeCee
CeeCee

It’s true, Joe. The mayor is such an obscure figure that most of us do not care for the recast. But, I love Shari Belafonte. If we must have a mayor on GH, I’d rather have Shari than Saidah. I just can’t see Shari playing an unscrupulously bad character en league with the DA.

davlestev1
davlestev1

Why do that I like the actress who played the part. These two bubble head writers are long known for recasting or writing characters into corners so you don’t care or forget they’re even part of the show.

Patrick
Patrick

I like the “former” mayor as well

she had a no nonesense approach …. “tough” as nails

ready to pack a whallop

don’t see Shari Belefonte in that arena ???

dang it tho! Sam Behrens…. wasn’t he all that on Knot’s Landing… as Valene husband

CeeCee
CeeCee

Yes, Patrick. But, she could also be bought for a song, no? Did I get that wrong? Isn’t she in the DA’s pocket? It remains to be seen if the recast fits in that same pocket.

Rosie
Rosie

Love Shari — excited about this!
Congrats to her! (I also did love Sam as Jake, so it would be an added bonus for him to show up, too.
Lots for him to do!)

Guest
Guest

Love Shari – think she will be great! And can she PLEASE bring back Sam / Jake Meyer with her!!! PLEASE!!! PC can never have enough Lawyers!! LOL .
Bobbie & Jake were great! <3 Those two!! Think they would still be great together!!

dolores
dolores

has not been such a major character in the past – will be interesting with re-cast

AJ
AJ

Wonder if that means a bigger story is coming up? The rigged election? Maybe it’ll bring Felicia back to the canvas too…

CeeCee
CeeCee

Great point and observation, AJ.

Ces
Ces

Is this another Frank Valentini crush? Didn’t really work for Donna Mills in soap land. Tired of stunt casting. Not to be rude — well, okay, just this onece — but when was the last time Shari did anything relevant? Come on GH, enough with the casting & recasting and over casting!

su0000
su0000

The role is insignificant/hardly seen..
but- Port Charles needs its’ Mayor.. (no big deal…

ces
ces

hope the character remains insignificant 😉

CeeCee
CeeCee

You’re right, su. I made the same point….the mayor is an obscure figure. However, AJ’s point is foremost in my mind, now that I think about it. Perhaps there’s a story to tell about the rigged election coming to the fore. Shari is a lot more charismatic than Saidah, if that is the case.
I also agree with Ces. I want Shari to act and not sing. Not too interested in that side of her.

KM
KM

I wouldn’t say another FV crush but would definitely say another cheap FV publicity grab by hyping a “name” star in a role that will only last a few days at best.

Mayor Lomax is what I think of as a non-character. Just a prop trotted out on rare occasions to further plot points. I can’t even get a mental picture of the actress who played the role before and I doubt too many would even notice that the role had been recast (yet again) much less with Shari Belafonte if GH wasn’t going out of their way to hype it.

No dis to the very talented Shari B and it’s good of her to do the role but she’s not known for her acting and I expect any of her fans who’d tune in expecting singing would be disappointed. Even if they do try to work in a singing number (from MAYOR LOMAX??) into their Toys For Tots Gala it would still be totally WTF????

IA with you. Enough with the stunts. GH should instead try to focus on actual solid storytelling. There can be room for an occasional guest shot within that but if that’s all you’ve got…you’re toast.

CeeCee
CeeCee

Love your post, KM.

CeeCee
CeeCee

Let me elaborate. KM, I know exactly what you’re saying. I am familiar with Shari…..my Gran loves Harry; so, it goes without saying I grew up hearing about the family, the music etc.
But as I stated above, I, too, am not so certain she can pull off the bad girl act.

ces
ces

Pretty sure I don’t want to see anymore “singers” on the show either. Not my style of music. Tired of stunt casting and just tired of more characters altogether … thought Paul would be a partner for Tracy but alas, he’s turned into another gangster.

None of the current stories are terribly exciting, not unless they can keep Johnny Z on the show!

su0000
su0000

To have Shari B sing they would have to put out big money..
it is the way it works, she would not perform/sing for free.
lol her manager would never allow it, either..

clh
clh

Why?

Janet
Janet

That’s a nice recast, since she has some history with GH married to one of GH lawyer guy in real life, so great recast GH

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

Not familiar with her work, but if this ties up the loose ends to Mayor Lomax’s stories, then I am all for it.

Rose
Rose

Now I hope they have another fair election for a new mayor since the last one was fraught with “irregularities” and deals and cost us Felicia.

Timmm
Timmm

I think the mayor will clash with Paul. I dont think the re-election has anything to do with it?

CeeCee
CeeCee

I was thinking the same thing, Timmm. Perhaps the recast is to bring in a Paul adversary, and not one who can be bought. I think a storyline about Lomax is in the works and it directly involves the DA. If that is the case, it should prove to be interesting.

Barbara from Atlanta
Barbara from Atlanta

I haven’t seen a photo of this actress in years. She really resembles her father in this photo.

Bonnie
Bonnie

Cant wait!! She is awesome! I do not think this is stunt casting, we don’t know maybe the other actress got another gig, and they plan to expand the Lomax character. Sheri has the chops to do it and perhaps she wanted to get back into acting. Great addition, just hope she gets screen time.

Yes, and a drop in my Jake Meyer would be nice! He is a lawyer so it is possible

Rodd
Rodd

Was the other actress no longer available? Sometimes I think soaps forget that the audience wants actors to remain in their roles and don’t normally take too quickly to recasts, regardless of how often they’re on. I’m just curious about the “why” of this recast. I love Sheri, but I also liked and was familiar with Saidah. You didn’t have to hit viewers who have been with GH for any length of time with the fact that she was the mayor. Now they will. Are they expanding the role?

Timmm
Timmm

Well okay BUT bring back JAKE to! PC can always use another attorney AND Bobbi needs a squeeze!

Belle
Belle

I like the other mayor, also; however, I’m willing to give Shari a chance in the role.

CeeCee
CeeCee

Yes, of course, Belle. I was thinking that Paul and the mayor will be given more air time together. Now, if Lomax and Paul have had an affair in the past, the present Lomax appears too rigid for my taste. Enter Shari. She is so much softer than her predecessor.

Harry
Harry

I think Robert Scorpio is going to work with his brother and Anna to bring Paul down.

CeeCee
CeeCee

@Harry.
I surely hope so, Harry. Scorpio and Mac should bring Paul, the Don Juan, down. I really like Tracy, and the way Paul is playing her really makes me feel for her. He really is bad news.

Sandy J.
Sandy J.

I’ve never thought of Shari as a singer, only ever as an actress. She’s an interesting recast for a role that no one likes or wants to see – except to bring Felicia back to the canvas – so I’ll reserve judgment until she appears onscreen.

As with so many others who’ve mentioned it, I would LOVE for Sam Behrens to return as Jake. He was Bobbie’s favourite husband of mine.

I so wish TPTB would let we fans see much more of the characters we’ve loved for so long, such as Mac, Felicia, Lucy, Laura, Bobbie, even Alice, and others who I’ve probably forgotten about since I never see them any more. I can really do without Franco, Nina, Dr. O., Paul Hornsby, Dillon, Jerry Jacks, etc. etc. They take up time that should be reserved for the characters and actors fans really WANT to see. Not too long ago I would have included Kiki in that list, but Hayley Erin has been doing a very good job lately. I have more complaints about who takes up valuable screen time, but this was originally about Shari Belafonte so I’ll quit while I’m ahead (if it isn’t tool late). Welcome, Shari, and feel free to bring your hubby with you!

Julia
Julia

I already dislike her character, so she’s doing a great job!!!

Frances Stefanski
Frances Stefanski

She is doing a great job. Someone you love to hate.

Regina Allen
Regina Allen

I knew she looked familiar. She is great in her part as mayor. She looks like”don’t mess with me!

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.

READ MORE
General Hospital Extended Promo Reveals: Turf War, Cassadine Family Drama & Nelle's Plan For Wiley Take Center Stage

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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