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GENERAL HOSPITAL: Sonny Receives A Visit From Stone; Michael Sutton and Maurice Benard Move Us To Tears

Courtesy/ABC

The highly-anticipated scenes reuniting Maurice Benard (Sonny) with Michael Sutton (Stone) aired on Tuesday’s episode of General Hospital. 

Benard had mentioned publicly on his Instagram account about Sutton’s guest appearance.: “Almost 25 years ago I started on a show called General Hospital my first scene was with this man Michael Sutton it was an honor to be able to go toe to toe with him in the AIDS storyline when at times shook me to my knees.”

The brotherly love/mentorship Sonny offered Stone and their relationship in the mid 90’s on GH; helped create one of the most impactful television storylines of our time.  Now in 2017, fans who knew of their work together from the past, and new viewers witnessed the magic these two can create.

In story, trapped on the pier in the construction pit, Stone appears to Sonny within a golden light.  Sonny is trying to hold on form his dire circustances as the vision of Stone appears to him.  When they embrace, if you were an audience member, the tears began to flow. They talk about how Stone’s life was ended way too soon. Sonny questions if he is here with Stone because he’s dying and its time for him to move on.  Stone tells him it all up to him.  A sad Sonny asks Stone if he is to gos with him, if he can he take him to see his deceased son. Morgan?  Intently, Stone listens as Sonny tells him all about his beloved son, and his battle with bipolar disorder, the same illness Sonny suffers from. Sonny’s admits to Stone he has been trying to figure out how to live without Morgan, but maybe he doesn’t have to. Stone asks Sonny if that is what he  really wants. Does he want to leave his other children and his baby girl, Avery?

Courtesy/ABC

When Sonny says everyone may be better off without him,  Stone says they can leave right now and he can take Sonny with him. Having his epiphany, Sonny realizes he’can’t leave his other kids and Carly (Laura Wright) behind.  That is when in a heroic moment, Stone shows Sonny that he does not have to live in fear of what Sonny’s stepfather did to him, which caused Sonny’s long-term battle with claustrophobia. Stone tells Sonny to put out his arms and feel the space and the air around him, and explains there is nothing really enclosing him. Stone shows him the way out is above, and that he knows that Sonny will do what he has to do and fight his way out.  Stone is gone in a flash, and Sonny begins his great escape.

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Trying to summarize the action in the scenes does not do it justice.  It’s all in the eyes, and the heart and soul of the masterful performances by Maurice Benard (who should use these scenes come Emmy time) and Michael Sutton (who should use these scenes for the guest category come Emmy time).  From the moment these two began their short visit, we were pulled in right away.  So much love, so much history, and it was all understated and powerful within the work to put these moments together via the performances, the writing, and the producing.

We only wish there were several more scenes between the two men, before we had to say farewell to Sutton again, who has continued to leave an indelible mark in daytime history with his character of Stone, and Benard, who once again proved why he continues to be one of the finest actors this genre has every known.

What did you think of the scenes between Sonny and Stone on yesterday’s GH? Comment below

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Lin Herz
Lin Herz

I wish I could have seen it. sounds fabulous. But my DVR did not record yesterday for some reason. Does anyone know how I could see it?

Celia
Celia

You can get the ABC app., Lin. Or simply Google it by entering which episode you want.

Lin Herz
Lin Herz

Thanks so much!

su0000
su0000

go to abc.com and in search but in general hoapital, and watch ..

Lin Herz
Lin Herz

Evidently my provider and ABC don’t have a good relationship. it says if your provider is not listed you have to wait a week. 🙁

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

Do you have Comcast OnDemand? If so…soaps are on there.

Celia
Celia

You’re welcome, Lin.

Shay
Shay

I’ve noticed that dailymotion.com also posts current GH episodes and, I believe, each week’s shows are available on YahooView for a limited time period—I think it’s about 6 or 7 days after the original telecast.

Jimh
Jimh

They should had done one of those stories where he dies but instead of a trip to Heaven, Sonny visits Hell instead and sees the Devil(also played by MB) who warns Sonny that if he doesnt change his ways, he will spend all eternity without air conditioning and hair gel-lol

Steve
Steve

That would have been more appropriate, Jimh. As I mentioned on another thread, Sonny would likely be taking the down elevator and not be reunited with Morgan.

Jimh
Jimh

yYeah, i remember reading it now that you mentioned it, and i wish it happened!!!

Shay
Shay

That construction pit would have made a very apropos “portal to h#!!…”

Celia
Celia

LOL, Shay…..that “pit” scene was a complete fiasco. Then, “Carbriel”, the Archangel’s counterpart, came to save him from the rubble—-another pathetically obscene-scene, Ha!!.
Is Sonny made of rubber, or something? How does he survive a gunshot wound, and loss of blood for an infinite amount of time? Was it the makeshift tourniquet that held him together, or his strong relationship with God? Ugh, bien sur!!
These two are super-human….
I was looking up Lauren Holly ( have not seen her since her NCIS days), and I came across her and Maurice (AMC). I had no idea both had been on that soap.
Well, not much to wow me, in his youth, either as Rick? Or Dick? LOL….Can’t remember.
He was not all-that.

Celia
Celia

Perfectly stated, Shay…nothing of import, or better, I could add to ameliorate your summation of this ‘super couple’….uggghhh!!

Scott5
Scott5

Who is the “us” you reference when you say “Michael Sutton and Maurice Bernard move us to tears”? Sutton is a great actor but he is not enough to get me to watch any scenes of Maurice Bernard. All of this pro-Sonny commentary is part of the reason the ratings for GH continue to fall to all-time lows as Nathan Varni incorrectly believe people want Sonny!, Sonny!, SONNY! Ratings disagree. For the love of all that is holy, ABC, dump Varni and move Sonny to a background character!

dmr
dmr

Scott5, I just came back from lunch and I watched Friday’s (8/4) episode, when Carly saved Sonny. UGH! I seriously can’t stand these two. Perhaps it’s because I follow them on social media, too, and it’s a little too much-all about me, similar to their characters (life imitating art). I’ve watched the show since 1984, and I really want to like it. Unfortunately, I haven’t watched a full episode in I don’t know how long..

Steve
Steve

The only tears I shed would be for the direction this show has taken. I feel no sympathy for a character that has no sympathy for others.

Sutton was very good. However, I’m fairly certain that the guest performance category is not open to actors/characters who were once on contract.

Celia
Celia

Your fisrt sentence is much appreciated…too, too funny, Steve. And, I could not agree more.

Shay
Shay

Per your above comments to me about Sonny: And here I was waiting with bated breath for him to be buried alive down in what turned out to be his miracle pit rather than his portal to h#!!…Were there any justice in Port Charles, he would have been permanently ensconced in that God-forsaken hole! I could have envisaged the elaborate cenotaph constructed in the townsquare in homage to St. Sonny….just such an incredible man and humanitarian, don’t you know???? And unveiled by his grieving spouse…oh, make me violently ill! LOL. But of course, “Super Carly” had to go and spoil it all by saving her man so they could live to together lament Morgan for another decade or two or three….Honestly, this show lays on the “Sonny love” so thick that I cannot believe even the writers buy their own hype surrounding this odious character!

Timmm
Timmm

Maurice did very well. I was distracted by Michael Sutton, though. How in the hell is this guy not starring in a soap? The new Adam Newman?

Celia
Celia

But, but, but, T…..Maurice did nothing to wow us…..the same thing, in a roundabout way. I doubt any one of us was surprised how that scene was going to go down. Same stuff, different place and circumstance.
Not his fault. The writing is now stale. When the outcome is already known, the viewer becomes passive….no suspense, no excitement, no ‘be still my heart’ anticipation.
Adam? Maybe. I have never seen Sutton act before, but he seems too nice to be Adam. He’s more like Engen, sans deviousness.
Nonetheless, if he’s as good an actor as everyone says, then he should be able to tackle Adam. I like his presence.

Timmm
Timmm

Yes dear, Maurice seems to pad his existence with scene magic but it was a better scene then him lying to Carly or bullying Jax! Mr. Sutton is every girls dream of a husband, nice, sweet and caring. BUT, he is an actor and can bring an edge. Perhaps another layer of Adam. But you are right he does have that Chris Engen vibe. Who knows? I still dont know why GH doesnt hire Nick Stabile? Its ALL out of our hands darling.

Rose
Rose

ohhhh intriguing….

Celia
Celia

I guess so, my Timmmy…… no violence is always preferable to anything else; even this fairytale of the helpless mobster, who does not my heartstrings stir, nor elicit any compassion.
Point is: nothing new….same caca over and over.
I liked Engen, too bad we did not see his portrayal of Adam develop.

Yes, Engen’s Adam was every girl’s dream as the perfect man….definitely husband material.
But, you know, this girl likes a little spice and a tinge of a bad boy mixed in there. Keeps a relationship interesting and then some……know what I mean?!?! LOL.

Celia
Celia

In my opinion, T ( and I’ve said this ad nauseam), Nick Stabile is perfect as Nik, who is bound to surface sooner, or later. When he does, I’d like to think he will not be the ‘dark’, mercurial Cassadinian prince; but the valiant, worthy-of-his-title, prince.
Also, I thought the attraction between him and Ava reached the stars—-the chemistry, the allure , the interaction—-all of it was there.
And, speaking of Ava; he will bring her back to life. Well, after Valentin promises Ava a flawless face—no more burns, no more scars. For a price!!!!!!…..not monetary.
Valentin will present Ava with the gift of his surgeon, the miracle worker……it’s a thought.

Timmm
Timmm

Great theory on Ava and Valentin. Lets remember this because I have a feeling you are right. Hot and smart, Jude is a lucky man!

dmr
dmr

Oh, I liked Nick Stabile, A LOT, Celia! Right on! He had amazing chemistry with Maura West!

Celia
Celia

Thanks, T. Yeah, Jude is a lucky man…..that’s why he walks the straight line, or else. LOL.

Anyway….if we think about it, what could Valentin possibly offer Ava? Avery? I doubt he has any influence in that department. Other than her baby, what else is most paramount to Ava? Her beauty—-we women are vain. Yes, it’s a vice, a venial sin, but it is, also, human nature. LOL……women pay million upon million for the sake of “beauty” and to recapture youth, which is so fleeting……exorbitant amounts of money. ‘Tis the nature of the beast, Timmmy, albeit, I may be way off base?

dmr
dmr

Timmm, I think Michael Sutton sort of left acting, and I think I read that he is involved in the restaurant business…? Not sure if you watched Stone in the 90’s..? If not, catch a few glimpses of him on YouTube. The 80’s and the 90’s are my favorite decades of General Hospital. The 80’s were full of adventure with Anna, Robert, Frisco, Felicia, etc., and the 90’s were full of heat with Sonny and Brenda, etc. I wasn’t alive in the 70’s to catch Luke and Laura; although, I have watched a few episodes on YouTube.

Alan
Alan

I fast forwarded through everything on yesterday’s show except for two minutes see what Hayden’s ex-husband had on her (and that was a waste of two minutes). Nothing this show does will make me care one iota about Sonny Corinthos.

And maybe it’s just me but I don’t get the whole “I died but I continued to age” thing that shows expect us to ignore when they bring dead characters back for heavenly visits.

Patrick
Patrick

“…It’s all in the eyes, and the heart and soul of the masterful performances by Maurice Benard ”

W – O – A – H

< Back Up

am I reading this, right ?

these words, DO NOT, apply to

Sonny AKA Maurice Benard have come and gone.

Celia
Celia

Got that right, Patrick, my love!!

Patrick
Patrick

“…The brotherly love/mentorship Sonny offer”

I am watching thee momentous anointing show, right now

I need a barf bag.

I actually believe that Maurice Benard truly believes that he’s the reason so many other characters are emmy nominated.

upchuck.

Shay
Shay

I have a whole slew of unused ones left over from the Sabby days, Patrick. I’ll forward some to you free of charge! (I had bought them in massive quantity discount since I feared she’d never leave….)

Patrick
Patrick

“…Benard, who once again proved why he continues to be one of the finest actors this genre has every known. ”

I’ll drink the kool – aid

this is too much

Patrick
Patrick

” this genre has ever known.”

the finest, most masterful, has more heart and soul ….

why go their

it’s all in the ratings

Patrick
Patrick

OH MY GOD – TPTB

at the end of Tuesdays ep’ – we have Carly doing a saintly monologue to go along with Sonny in the pit , finding his way in the dark.

OH MY GOD… this is too much of the same thing… with no depth or care or I CAN NOT STAND Carly and Sonny any more than you can

Naturally, the saving grace… at the start of the show… we have the great and fabulous Ava and Julian… Together… SHARING REEL . it’s just wow on how magnetic these two continue to REEL and save any person mind on just throwing in the towel.

Thank You Maura West and William DeVry.

dmr
dmr

I just came back from lunch, having watched Friday’s episode, of where Carly saved the Dimpled Don from underneath all of the debris and destruction at the warehouse (?)-wherever he was. My first initial thought was, maybe the Don wouldn’t have to fake being paralyzed this time, with all of that heavy paneling, etc., on top of his legs. That would serve him right! Seriously, can’t stand these two. Once again, Carly (not the inept PCPD) saved the day, and the Don!
I love Ava and Julian, too. Ava and Valentin have some chemistry, too, IMO.

su0000
su0000

well. I saw the 40+ year old 19 year old ghost..
if a hallucination how would Sonny know how Stone would look after 2 decades..
ahaaa all amazingly stupid..
funny when Sonny wanted to be taken to Morgan that Stone guy didn’t seem to know he was dead and living in ghostville with him ahaaaa! ..

(( New Writers, Please ))

su0000
su0000

ohh oh !
From the first 2 minutes after Sonny was in the hole I saw his way out..
I can’t believe he didn’t build himself the stairway out with the barrels and boxes, I was out in no time…
really lamebrain stuff..

Rose
Rose

They were great scenes. But on a much lighter note…. Why does Stone only ever seem to show up when someone is stuck in a ditch in the ground. Last time we saw him wasn’t Robin also in a ditch. That cracked me up a bit. Can’t he make hospital visits too?

K/kay
K/kay

Not the proper thread but Happy 20 years for the fabulous Becky Herbert the only reason I still give a hoot about this show!! Love you BH!!!

Steve
Steve

I’m just about at the tipping point to take another extended break from this show. With Wednesday’s episode having Joss extolling Somny’s praises (the writers attempt to speak for the audience) pushing me close to the edge. What’s next? Monica sharing a BLT with Sonny at Kelly’s?

Again, It was nice to see Michael Sutton again. However, the writers want viewers to remember the “good” Sonny from 22 years ago and not the arrogant sanctimonious Sonny who murdered AJ 3 years ago.

The last time I took a break was right after AJ was killed off. I returned for the reveal at Carly & Franco’s wedding and have stayed since. I almost left with the Denise Demuccio debacle, but then RC was let go and I was first intrigued by the character-focused stories Jelly started. Right now, I’m biding time until Steve Burton’s return to see if anything interesting becomes of that.

dmr
dmr

I am laughing over your comment about Monica sharing a BLT with the Dimpled Don at Kelly’s. Funny how Carly, Sonny, and Monica were in attendance at Ned’s wedding, given what Carly and Sonny did to AJ-a decimated Quartermaine. TPTB completely destroyed the return of AJ Quartermaine a few years back. I love Sean Kanan, and his return had such potential. I could not stand Billy Warlock in the role, but, I loved Sean Kanan-always have, always will. I’m not too interested in Steve Burton’s return-more of the same with Monotone Sam and Jason I and II.

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

Hi dmr…

I agree; it’s completely hideous that ANY of the Qs have anything to do with Sonny or Carly after what they did to AJ, let alone have them at the wedding. Sonny murdered him and Carly covered it up!!! But even before that, their treatment of him, every horrific act and threat, taking away Michael…if there’s anything unbelievable on this show it would be the Q family having anything to do with Sonny and Carly other than their Michael connection.

As we AJ fans know, killing off AJ was a completely unnecessary and misguided decision. A slap in the face to fans and a huge loss to the continuity of the Quartermaine family.

Charday
Charday

Gross–more of The Sonny Show. Another episode I can delete off the DVR without watching.

dmr
dmr

I haven’t watched the episode, and I loved Stone from way back when. After reading about the episode and the comments, I doubt I will watch it. More of the same, Sonny not taking any responsibility, and an extended episode of “The Moron Hour” about his beloved son that I couldn’t stand from day one.

rose
rose

This comment is going to sound strange because I am definitely not a Sonny lover going back to the days when he started his “career” running a strip club/Karen/drugs. He was pretty awful before killing AG for which I hope karma gets him eventually.

Not so worried about the aging of Stone…it’s a soap. And was never much into Robin and Stone. Or Brenda and Sonny. But I thought Maurice did a very good acting job in the pit. Except for all of the Morgan stuff. A bit of a departure from his regular mumble or rant. And no Carly to talk to…at least for the moment.

But I do wonder what is this fascination the writers and ABC have with making Sonny (and Carly), what seem, the core characters of GH. Is it just on MF, but many commenters don’t like it?

Nik
Nik

I was not impress with this scene, it could have gone deeper.

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

It is so refreshing to read all these anti-Sonny and anti-Benard posts! I have been in this camp since day 1, when it was apparent the character of Sonny was hijacking the show. Long ago, ABC had a customer comment phone line, and I would call in and leave a voicemail message, expressing my annoyance and disdain at the direction of the show.

When you consider that the tunnelvision focus of GH for close to 25 years has been on Sonny, when you consider that many characters and storylines over the years have been usurped in order to maintain this misguided focus, when you consider that many great actors (including long-term veterans) have been knocked to recurring status (or fired outright), simply so that the powers that be could produce “The Sonny Show,” it’s simply nauseating.

ABC as well as the GH producers and writers MUST know that Sonny is at best a polarizing character and at worst the main target for criticism and the singular rationale for continued lackluster ratings.

It makes absolutely no sense that any TV show, particularly a long-running soap opera, would allow two actors playing despicable characters (Sonny and Carly) to be heralded as the show’s “stars.” Carly is not as bad as Sonny, but these two characters have ruined the franchise. As long as I live, I will NEVER understand the unrelenting focus on the Sonny character.

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

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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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DAYS Eric Martsolf and Stacy Haiduk chat with Michael Fairman at Day of Days 2019; during their conversation the on-screen dup talk about the latest developments of Brady and Kristen within the series time-jump and more. Leave A Comment

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