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General Hospital's Lisa LoCicero Interview: From Olivia & Sonny's Future To Kelly Sullivan's Exit!

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

After many years, it looks as if former teenage lovebirds (although for a short time) from Bensonhurst, Olivia Falconeri (Lisa LoCicero) and Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) may be moving closer and closer to finally having a tangible romantic relationship on General Hospital.  That, in the process, could also make them a family, since they also share a son, Dante Falconeri, (Dominic Zamprogna) even though Olivia covered that up for many years to Sonny!  But with all of that water under the bridge, and the upcoming exit of Olivia’s cousin and Sonny’s once beloved Connie (Kelly Sullivan), is the path clear for these two to have a real shot at happiness?

On-Air On-Soaps caught up with Lisa LoCicero, who at times has played the very hallucinogenic Olivia to get her thoughts on if she thinks Olivia and Sonny are truly going to be the end game for one another?  And, the talented actress weighs-in on, if the decision by GH to let go of Kelly Sullivan was made in order to allow this on-screen romance to blossom?  Plus, Lisa emotionally shares with us how she handled Kelly’s final day on set.  Then, she discusses if the fact that she recently signed a new contract with the series means big story ahead for Liv, after sort of languishing on the back burner for the last few years. Here is our candid conversation with Lisa below!

What did you think about the fact that they seem to be pairing Olivia and Sonny after all these years?  And, you got the new contract with GH, too!

Courtesy/ABC

LISA: Of course, as I have said from day one, working with Maurice is a rare treat for any actor.  As long as I have been watching him, or working with him, he never ceases to surprise me with what he does.  That is a really fun place to work from as an actor.  I could not be more thrilled.  I think there is a lot of interesting stuff that they could explore with Olivia and Sonny.  Certainly, she knows him longer, and understands him probably better in a certain sense, and she forgave him for the most unforgivable thing that you could ever do.  I think he trusts her, and I think she has shown that he can trust her.  God knows, he needs to have someone comfort him at this point.

Were you afraid, since you had been on the show for several years, that when it came back around to Olivia/Sonny it wouldn’t play OK?  Was there any trepidation?

LISA:  I don’t know that we know that it will work out yet.  I have no idea what they are going to write at this point.  Fans asked me at my fan event recently, “So do you think this is going to be a stop gap measure?  Or, are Sonny and Olivia going to be together for ever?”  I think the record has shown that no one stays with Sonny forever, and that’s not a spoiler.  There is no version of Sonny that is going to settle down with a lady and be happy for the rest of his life.  That ain’t going to happen.  So it just winds up being: In what manner of horrible suffering is this particular pairing going to endure?

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What about Olivia’s hallucinations?  Will that stop?  Do you want them to stop?

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

LISA:  I don’t know.  For awhile that was the crux of my existence on GH, and it is a really great storytelling device!  Some of them I like more than others.  Some are more difficult to play, and I go back and forth on this.  Sometimes on my Twitter feed it’s mixed reviews on the hallucinations, but whatever they write for me, I have a good time playing.  With things like that, that veer from the normal every day experience, I really feel strongly that you just go for it.  You really look like a fool if you don’t go for it.  You really have to play the “Oh, my God! She is stabbing her” … or, you just really look like a goof!

We are losing Kelly Sullivan shortly on-air on General Hospital.  Do you think there were missed opportunities to really have more of the Kate/Connie and Olivia dynamic?  Remember when the characters were first on-screen together?  There seemed to be this love/hate thing going on between the women.

LISA:  It’s been a weird thing.  We always tried to make it a sort of realistic family relationship, like a sister relationship, where you love each other so much, but you do fight, and you will say anything in the fight.  And that was to me the saddest part of Kelly’s last day.  It was the hardest day I have ever had on General Hospital, and it was saying goodbye to her!

How is Kelly about it all?

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

LISA:  She is OK.  I know for her this is great.  I have no doubt she is going to go off and do amazing things.  Selfishly for me, I am devastated because it’s not every day you get a co-worker and a cast mate that brings out things in me so effortlessly.  It’s not work for me with her.

Are you getting pushback from fans that Kelly Sullivan is a casualty of the show in order to make way for Sonny and Olivia to be paired together?

LISA: It was rather unfortunate that the day Kelly said she was leaving was the day that news of my signing a new contract with GH came out, and I had signed that contract months ago.  But for some reason, it all came out at the same time.  So it was like: “She’s staying! She’s going!”  It wasn’t planned.  I certainly did not plan it, and no one said anything directly to me.  I am sure if I had gone and looked at the message boards that day, I am sure it would have said, “She should go f**k herself.”   It was completely out of my control.

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Why do you think GH decided to write the character of Connie off the canvas instead of keeping the super-talented Kelly Sullivan around?

LISA: I think it was a written-into-the-corner kind of feeling.  The character of Connie had gotten so crazy that maybe, short of spending six months in an ashram, she could have come back as a cleaned up version of both Kate and Connie, but then you have to re-integrate that into the storyline.  All I know is shooting her final scenes almost killed me.  I remember I had to go in the morning and shoot Olivia’s visions and things, then go to my fan event, and then go back to GH to shoot her final scenes all afternoon.  I was ready to jump off the cliff by the end of the day!  It’s different when you are shooting a movie, or even a TV show where you have your one scene, and your close-up.  Here, on General Hospital, you have eleven or twelve scenes where you have to play a sense of loss.

I was always hoping you would be given your due in a story.  And that is the ebb and flow of daytime, and I understand that, but now it would seem GH  has an opportunity to move you more front and center.  It’s about now, if they will go that direction, and commit to that, or not.

Courtesy/Tumblr

LISA: There is no question, for a long period of time I was supporting for the last five years.  Scott Reeves (Ex-Steven) and I were joking about being the maid and the butler and we would walk in and go, “Hey, did you hear what happened to that guy?”  And then the curtain would go up and the play would start. (Laughs) We laughed about that a little bit.  But you are right; it is the ebb and flow of daytime.  I have been watching long enough to know that for most characters, you are not front burner all the time.  For some characters, you will always be front and center.  But for most people, it’s a rollercoaster ride, and you need that quite frankly.  I couldn’t have done what Maurice Benard has done for the past two decades … that every six months you have to play the worst thing that ever happened to you?  I couldn’t do it!

So, are you hoping that Olivia and Sonny find long term happiness with each other?  Do you want GH to continue to push them together in story?  How do you feel about the impending on-screen exit of Kelly Sullivan, and Lisa’s thoughts on the matter and why it went down?  Share your thoughts in the comment section!

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Arden
Arden

I get Lisa isn’t too happy bout all this hallucination stuff either… LOL!

moshane 58
moshane 58

I hate Gh is getting rid of Kelly Sullivan.Her role was great and don’t see the reason for it….

Jared
Jared

Both actresses are talented lovelies. I will miss Kelly as much I miss Megan Ward, which is a lot. I really like Olivia being the sensible “tell it like it is” conscience of the show. It’s too bad Connie had to be written off the show, though.

Cynthia
Cynthia

I hope Sonny and Olivia do get together. I like Olivia and Sonny together. I mostly want Lisa to have more of a storyline. I love Olivia and Dante together too. I hate the visions though. Most of them are stupid. I think they could be written better if they are going to have them, but I think Lisa has done a very good job with them and with everything. I hate that Kelly Sullivan was let go. The character is already integrated. They could have written her a different story. A huge opportunity was missed with the whole Trey story. Erik was a good actor and they could have done a lot with Trey and Connie. It’s a shame to lose such a wonderful actress! I wish her all the best. I think the writers could have come up with something. They didn’t have to write her off. They are not that limited.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

I agree with a lot you said…i also feel they shouldve kept Connie…maybe Sonny and Olivia could feel Connie was loosing her mind when Connie claims she seen Trey alive, and they try to have her committed. Connie would accuse them of trying to put her away so they can be together. It is later revealed the reason why Connie thought she had seen Trey is because he has an identical twin brother she was unaware of. Maybe my idea isnt a great one but its proof there could be more story for the Connie character…plus i noticed great chemistry between her and Julian…missed possibilities!!!

Cynthia
Cynthia

I totally agree!

Sherry
Sherry

I agree with jimh! Maybe YOU should be writing for GH! That would have been a fantastic story! Kelly is uber talented and will be missed.

Kelly
Kelly

I hope Sonny and Olivia get together. I have always wanted this relationship! I did like sonny with kate but the whole connie/kate i did not like that at all. I will miss Kelly Sullivan she was great and will go on to do bigger things! I look forward to what is to come for Sonny and Olivia 🙂

Robert Paul
Robert Paul

I watch everyday and the show is taking so many directions, I don’t know what to think. Kelly is a great actress who I feel sure will come out on top. I doubt seriously Sonny be with anyone continuously. It’s hard to keep up. Olivia has been with several different people too.

Beth CP
Beth CP

Having been at Lisa’s event at FCW I can fully attest that this lovely, tender hearted woman was a ball of emotion when she arrived. That she pulled herself together and gave us a wonderful presentation is testmant to her professionalism and humanity. My biggest regret is that she and the wonderful Kelly Sullivan will not have the chance to further explore the cousins’ relationship with the sister vibe that they so effortlessly portrayed. One of my favorite scenes between them was where Olivia was re-enacting teaching Connie how to cha-cha when she wasn’t completely integrated. It was a scene that was as touching as it was funny and the warmth between these two actresses was a sweet respite from the turmoil of the surrounding story. Beyond the romantic rivalry, there was still plenty of story that could have been mined, but it’s RC’s shortsightedness in developing and maintaining both character and family dynamics that will always be responsible for the abrupt dropping of talented performers. We the viewers end up being cheated as a result.

Thank you for this interview, Mr. Fairman. It was my distinct pleasure that I got to meet you also during FCW.

Tea
Tea

I’m hoping Sonny & Olivia will be together. It’s ridiculous they will never let him be happy for any real period of time.

aria
aria

its clear that even you michael fairman is baffled by GH decision to let Kelly Sullivan go, i think its a big mistake, and for a show that (even though i love) has made it a joke about bringing so many people back from the dead, i just wish they would stop with doing that and killing people off.. Bad decision Ron and Frank.

kathy
kathy

I wish they would have kept Kelly OK she could not keep her with sonny so they should have hooked her up with someone else bring johnny back I thought they were good together

Shirley A Miller
Shirley A Miller

I really like Olivia and Sonny together….. they have chemistry between them and I think they make a very “sexy” couple. I am sorry that Kelly Sullivan was let go because she is a very good actress but since she is now out of the picture, I would like to see Olivia and Sonny get back together. They also are united by their son, Dante. So come on, GH writers …. do the right thing …. and put Olivia and Sonny back together again!!!!!!

su0000
su0000

Olivia is the only character that I have a hard time tolerating..
That Bronx accent makes her appear to be a dim bulb ..
That accent makes her seem unintelligent and a dropout street corner babe,,
I wish they would make the Olivia character more intelligent/sophisticated..

LOL,, watching Olivia and her jittery/hyper manner (they need to calm down Olivia, to be more in control, cosmopolitan) she comes off as a Bronx Hillbilly ..

rebecca1
rebecca1

@su000. The entire POINT of Olivia’s character is that she’s a tough chick with a heart of gold from Bensonhurst BROOKLY, not the Bronx. And she doesn’t come off as dim, dumb or deficient in any manner. Actually, she’s the heart and soul, she’s maternal, protective, loving but with a street smart edge and a firecrecker sarcasm. She’s innately intelligent…perceptive…she’s also a businesswoman since Jax hired her right on the spot when he met her; she is quite good at her job at the hotel.

Not everyone has to have a pompous, effected accent to come off as intelligent. She’s wise, sassy and authentic. She’s also a real tie to Sonny’s old neighborhood days; he too, as well as Dante (and Connie) have all been given that Brooklyn “flavor,”…which separates them from the Diane’s and the Tracy’s and the Q’s…which in actuallity have more flaws than Olivia.

Don’t judge a book by its cover…or in this case…accent.

donna
donna

very well put rebecca. i agree with everything you wrote.nothing like hitting the nail on the head

su0000
su0000

.
Sonny, Kate/Connie are also from Bensonhurst .
They do not have an accent that sounds like a dropout street corner Hillbilly Bronx dim bulb, they both have evolved into great characters. The Bronx”s accent will never allow the Olivia character to be taken seriously in the great category.. No major company would hire her with her kooky accent lol
Olivia is a stereotyped character, and always will be.
Both Sonny n Kate/Connie speak very well , but Olivia was held back as a bad neighborhood Bensonhurst gal, a wannabe gangsta babe with an annoying accent lol..
Olivia’s accent is extremely annoying as is her jittery hyper personality.

ohhh well , different strokes for different folks .. she total FF..
She would be very good less that accent..

Patrick
Patrick

LOL.

that’s too good.

Olivia was held back as a bad neighborhood Bensonhurst gal, a wannabe gangsta babe

funny

Shay
Shay

I think Olivia missed her calling as a hitwoman….Ava has nothing on her as a gunslinging gal. Not to mention Ms. Bensonhurst would never leave a job incomplete…..

Carole
Carole

I love her! I have always wanted to see what Olivia and Sonny would be like together.

Phil
Phil

At first I was against the pairing, but Lisa has done a great job making me feel bad for Olivia. I cannot help but want to see how this plays out. I am angry that Connie is leaving, but if one of the Falconari girls had to go I am glad it was Connie!

Patrick
Patrick

just saying “… the Falconari Girls” had a go…

I love them

Patrick
Patrick

I haven’t seen two cousins’. two ladies. two friends. two allies/confidants. two sworn connections in. like forever in these two.

Kelly Sullivan is amiss…. and that’s GH’ foregone.

Olivia became one of mine…. LOL…. when Steve left… and her hallucinogenics became…. hey… it’s Heather that’s batty…. Olivia is comedic… along with alluring. She has her beat.

I still don’t see her and Sonny… yet. it’s because of Connie. and, i’m mad at the writing of Sonny… like I said… bemoan the fact that it’s his way… or the highway… ie: think Victor and Jack. I do like, that fans.. think of her as the forthright altruistic… sets others first, and Olivia deserves romance and passion.

I so liked her dance with Connie… and her love for her son, Dante. my, oh my… WOW.

so… knowing the paper work…. in the advent of beyond our control…. TPTB… decided.

I do believe… there is a trust built…. not a comfort level (w/Sonny)… and we’ll get the chance for Olivia to show so much of what Lisa LoCicero is capable.

I wish her the best…. I’ll always put the Connie connection with Olivia and Sonny… and for me… I don’t know… if I’ll accept these two crossing paths where Connie left off.

Jessica
Jessica

I don’t want sonny and Olivia together. I want Olivia to go with Connie. I’ve been waiting for the day Connie leave so I çould watch sonny again but now thy planning to put him with my second hated character Olivia. Maybe heather will come back and throw her off gh roof

heidi
heidi

I would like to see Liv and Sonny together for awhile. Let them develop as a family. With the Jerome story it would be nice to see Sonny have a family. I would like to think this might be the relationship at this time in his life that he sticks with for awhile. Love Lisa!!!

Kelly will be ok… she will do other things… it was time for Connie go get well and not be so close to Sonny.

SZima
SZima

Love Lisa…Olivia, not so much. Her accent drives me crazy and she (Olivia) needs to go to a voice coach and get rid of it. Sonny doesn’t have an accent and neither does Connie, so why the hell does Olivia talk like that?
Also, the hallucinations have got to stop. They are beyond stupid and just a gimmick, so I hate when she has one that drives a whole storyline.
As for her getting with Sonny, NO! Just NO! I need to see less of Sonny on my screen and do NOT want to watch him in romantic settings with anyone, much less Olivia.

Tea
Tea

Sometimes Sonny is on once or twice a week. Don’t worry he’s on less this week so you’ll get your wish. I just find it comical when people act like Sonny is on all the freaking time…lol He’s not! As a fan wanting more of him I can tell you he’s on a LOT LESS THAN HE’S BEEN.

su0000
su0000

It is almost becoming rare to see Sonny ..
Really, Sonny is not seen very often nor has there been a ‘Sonny story’ for a long time.. I hope a Sonny story come soon, once again.

However I totally agree with SZima.
Olivia’s terrible annoying accent drives me crazy too and she does need to get rid of it and evolve …

k/kay
k/kay

I am back after being gone for a while my sister has made a few comments on my email now that will stop. The character of Olivia is doing a great job that is their accent she is probably one of the few actresses on daytime who has done her research and probably got a voice coach I applaud her for researching the part and going with it. Kuddos to the actress!

lulu1
lulu1

I do agree with one of the above postings that Olivia’s accent drives me NUTS. It’s so backward. She DOES need a voice coach. At least they’ve stopped putting her in the slutty, low breasted dresses daily….

Pamela_2273
Pamela_2273

I already know once Kelly Sullivan leaves my heart will be broken and I will have to take a long break before I would even consider turning in to the show again. I’ve watched this show for over 30 years and this storyline and my love for SoCo have downright killed me, and I don’t see myself recovering anytime soon. So I think it best for me to take a break, hopefully my memory is short…because I will miss watching Maurice/Sonny on screen. I have nothing against Lisa, she’s a good actress, but I don’t see her with the talent or range of Kelly Sullivan…this is why this firing makes little sense to me. My well wishes and prayers go out to Kelly in all of her furture plans…she is my favortie GH actress and I will miss her more then I can say.

As far Sonny and Olivia, I have never seen them as anything but brother and sister vibe…but carry on, since I’m not writting the show

jon
jon

I just don’t see the chemistry between these two actors as a romantic pair. And this “written into a corner” excuse is bull. You’re a writer, for craps sake, get imaginative and write the character out if the corner! In my opinion they got rid if her to budgetarily make way for all these new characters.

CTwildheart
CTwildheart

I just hate when they kill off a character unnecessarily! There have been SO many and now Connie. There are so many other ways a character can leave…

boes
boes

I don’t care about Olivia’s accent. Or anything else about the character. She’s always come off as more of a talking prop than as a real character. If she’s not whipping up some ziti, she’s running off to church, or hullucinating, putting her nose where it doesn’t belong, or wanting to bang the moron who shot her son in the chest.

A can of Chef Boyardee has more depth to it than Olivia does. BUT, this makes her a PERFECT match for Sonny, the walking ad for spray on tan.

Charday
Charday

My favorite thing about Olivia is her hallucinations. I also hope they bring back Stephen Lars (played by a new and better actor than the last one) for her to play off of, rather than Sonny (soooo tired of Sonny).

Shay
Shay

Bet nobody wants “Steven Larrrrrrs…..” to return more than Heather!!!!!! LOL….

Li
Li

I like Olivia- she is good with Sonny and Connie. Isn’t she engaged to Steven Lars??
i am not sure why Connie has to go- it is ridiculous. She is one of the BEST actresses on the show. She could date someone else and leave Sonny. Sonny needs a love connection that is realistic and meaningful. Back in the day he and Carly were sincere, crazy but in love. I’ve missed the old writers of the show. These newbies are doing strange things- letting Steve Burton leave (he would have stayed if they would have let him commute as he does with Y & R), bringing back oldies but goodies for barely a storyline. What is the point of just standing around ? (Felicia, Lucy, Doc, Duke, even Laura). I do think the Jeromes will bring some fun with Sonny!!

lulu1
lulu1

Hating to see Connie go, she is a great talent, and know it is hard on Olivia. Scenes with Sonny must be neat to play, though. He’s a great actor. Lots going on right now….thinking maybe it’s Laura in the basement today, altho not sure. Thinking Brit’s baby is Lulu & Dante’s baby? Luke is ALWAYS great, and so is Laura. They became the backbone of GH several yrs. ago, along with the Q’ family.

Debbie
Debbie

What a loss for GH, Connie was probably the best actress they’ve had on in years. Nobody cried like Connie, you believe her when she cried and her emotions won our hearts. In other scenes, the room lit up when she entered the room. I had watched GH in many years, stopped for a while, but got back into it a few years ago, Connie was one of the reasons I looked forward to each episode.

I am so disappointed they went this way. What is behind this, when a terrific actress is let go?. I’m sure she will not be lacking for work. There are many loyal fans that feel as I do, GH you made a big mistake 🙁

General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Lucas Gives Wiley To Michael; While Willow Learns the Devastating Truth

Friday’s episode of General Hospital, brought the highly-emotional moments viewers had been waiting for all-week long; following the year and a half reveal that Nelle (Chloe Lanier) and Brad (Parry Shen) engineered a baby switch with Willow’s (Katelyn MacMullen) dead baby, Wiley being passed off as Michael (Chad Duell) and Nelle’s newborn, Jonah, and Jonah being raised by Brad and Lucas (Ryan Carnes) as Wiley.  Now with the truth out, it was time for two of the heaviest beats of the story to be played out.

When Willow comes to at the hospital with Chase (Josh Swickard) by her side, needless to say she is dazed and freaking out that Nelle took Wiley.  Chase tells her he has some things to tell her and it’s not going to be easy to hear. Willow braces herself and then Chase tells her the story of the baby switch and how her baby died a SIDS death while at Brad and Lucas’ and then how the babies were switched.

Photo: ABC

In a heartbreaking and powerful performance from Katelyn MacMullen (yes, she is our pick for “Power Performance of the Week”), Willow struggles to come to grips with the truth and starts to realize all of Brad’s machinations, as she thinks back to herself how could she do that to her son … to trust him with Brad, only to have the little infant die.  The devastation played by MacMullen, whose Willow, now must realize her baby never lived the full and happy young life she thought, was gut-wrenching.

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Meanwhile, in yet another top-notch performance, William deVry (Julian) showed the pain and the need to unburden himself as Julian talks to his sister. Ava (Maura West) and spills what happened.   He goes so far to admit to Ava that he knew what Brad had done. Ava cannot believe he did not go to Sonny (Maurice Benard) right away with this Intel, but Julian just could not do this to his son, Lucas and rip the baby from his arms.  Julian says he will face-off with Sonny and not leave town, if it comes to that.   Ava says they have to come up with a way to silence Brad … before Brad gives up Julian’s part in the whole baby cover-up.

Photo: JPI

And in yet another masterful performance, we have to give it up to Chloe Lanier.  Who can play Nelle and spin stories and the tears so well, that if you did not know this pathological liar you would think she is telling the truth. When in opposing holding cells at the PCPD, Nelle lays it on about Brad so that the guard can hear them. She blames Brad for being the instigator in the baby switch and taking advantage of her – a distraught new mother, confused and dazed on the route where the baby switch happened.  It works! Brad is moved to a different cell and thinks look very grim for him.  Nelle smiles through her crocodile tears!

Photo: JPI

Then, in what we all knew had to happen, and even so, was still as heartbreaking as ever; Lucas spends his final moments with Wiley as his father in the kitchen at the Corinthos’ along with Bobbie (Jackie Zeman) and Carly (Laura Wright).  Lucas starts to tell his mother and sister, all the things Wiley needs and likes, such as having a story read to him.  All of this brings the tears as they know Lucas has to give the child back to Michael; who has been robbed of a year and half as the baby’s rightful father.

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Michael tells Lucas they will work this out, so Lucas remains a constant in Wiley’s life. He also tells Sonny and Sasha (Sofia Matteson) he feels so badly for Lucas, but they tell him to be happy for this chance to have the son he grieved for.   In the end, a tear-filled Lucas hands Wiley to Michael as everyone watches on in sadness for one father … and joy for the other.  Ryan Carnes was poignant in the scenes; as was Chad Duell.

Courtesy/ABC

So, what did you think of the performances from Friday’s GH featuring Katelyn, Ryan, Chad, William, Chloe and Parry? Comment below.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Michael Blasts Brad As The Truth About Wiley Comes Out

FINALLY! On Wednesday’s episode of General Hospital, Lucas (Ryan Carnes) memory is jogged just enough that he clearly remembers Brad’s (Parry Shen) shocking words before their car crash; where Brad confessed that Wiley was Nelle (Chloe Lanier) and Michael’s (Chad Duell) biological son.

At the Corinthos home, Lucas stands up and announces to Michael that Wiley is actually his believed to be dead son, Jonah. Carly’s (Laura Wright) mouth drops and then she takes over getting to the root of the truth of the baby switch.

Brad is cornered and left with no choice but to fess up. He explains how Wiley died when he was no longer breathing, and how he was driving with him, when he ended up on the route where Nelle left Michael to die in the car he was driving (Michael recalls this bit of Intel in a flashback).

Then, Brad explains how Nelle appeared with her newborn baby and claimed the whole thing was engineered by Nelle …  and how he was so upset and panicked, that he went along with her plan.

Michael lets Brad have it for all of his lies and machinations, and the pain it has inflicted on so many people for over a year and half.  How on earth could he do that? Carly also lays into him.

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Meanwhile, Sasha (Sofia Matteson) has urgently called Chase (Josh Swickard), who leaves “Wiley” and Willow (Katelyn MacMullen) behind, and heads to the Corinthos’ where he hears the whole sad truth about the baby switch.

With Chase gone, Nelle goes looking for “Wiley” who is with Willow, and the two get into a major throwdown catfight.  Nelle comes out the victor and goes to get her baby ready to leave town with her son.

So, what did you think of how the truth finally came out?  What did you think of Michael’s tirade on Brad? What do you think will happen next? Comment below.

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General Hospital

GH’s James Patrick Stuart Talks on Valentin’s Downfall and Potential Rise to Power

After all his bravado, machinations and lies to keep the woman he loves, and believing he was the rightful heir to the Cassadine fortune, suddenly it all came crashing down for Valentin Cassadine (James Patrick Stuart) on recent episodes of General Hospital.

Payback can be a bitch, but for Valentin; who’s past has been fraught with numerous physical and emotional tribulations since his childhood, he now finds himself at the lowest point in his life; losing Nina (Cynthia Watros) who’s now taken up with Jax (Ingo Rademacher), realizing he is the biological son of the evil Helena Cassadine (Constance Towers), and not Mikkos, and having all his best laid plans and misdeeds backfire.  (Remember, he shot and “killed” Nikolas, and set up the ruse that led Sasha to pretend she was Nina’s bio-daughter.)  Now, enter Nelle Benson (Chloe Lanier), who could very well hold the ticket, to Valentin’s rise to wealth and power all over again.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with James Patrick Stuart to get the lowdown on: those heavy and emotional scenes opposite Constance Towers, working with Cynthia Watros as his newest Nina, if Valentin might really kill Jax the next time he thinks about it, and what about a potential relationship between Anna (Finola Hughes) and Valentin?

Not many can play bad as good as James in this industry.  He does it so effortlessly and still brings out the humanity in the guy that has t-r-o-u-b-l-e written all over him.  Here’s what James had to share about all of Valentin’s recent dramatic moments, a tease of what’s to come, and much more.

Photo: JPI

Valentin’s world has imploded at the moment.  When did you initially find out that he was going to turn out to not be a true Cassadine heir?

JAMES:  Well, there were some clues dropped by Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) back when we did the gallery auction where Helena’s portrait went up in flames.  Frank looked at me and goes, “Hey, Jack Nicholson it up.  Have some fun!  You’re not going to be feeling pretty good for a while.”  (Laughs)  I’m like, “Oh … what are the plans?”  He pulled me aside and goes, “Yeah, you’re going to lose Nina, but you’re going to try to take over ELQ.  That’s when I started to go, “Wait a minute!  That sounds to me like Valentin’s losing his money.”  (Laughs)  With the character of Nikolas (Marcus Coloma) coming back; it’s pretty great.  I think the writing was on the wall there.  I put it out on twitter the other day.  I said, “Look what they’ve done to my boy.”  Somebody chimed in, “They gave him a storyline!” (Laughs)

Who doesn’t love to see you, James Patrick Stuart, play tortured soul?  They audience loves to see you get the opportunity to go to those depths in your performances.

JAMES:  It’s been really interesting for me.  I’ve had a lifetime of playing bad guys because the line was always shorter. (Laughs)  Everybody wants to be Tom Cruise, but the Alan Rickman’s of it all, to me, were what was so interesting.  Early on, you play one dimensional kind of twisting of the mustache, tying a woman to the train tracks.  After a while, you start to watch the truly great actors.  They start to take you on a ride.  If you’re paying attention, you start to feel what it would be like to be that damaged, and that’s why you do it.  Then you start to see the vulnerability. To me, I thought, “This is a great time in my life because I’m ready to do that.” A lot of people say, “I don’t understand.  I feel like that makes no sense. because why would I root for a person who behaves like this?” and that to me, I feel is the greatest compliment of all.

So much happened recently to Valentin in one fell swoop; he overhears Nina telling Ava (Maura West) she kissed Jax, then he envisions shooting Jax and then he is drinking himself into oblivion and he gets a “visit” from Helena!  But … the scenes between Valentin and Helena really summed up the bitter truth for him, wouldn’t you say?

JAMES:  Yes.  In the “Helena” scenes, it all basically is revealed.  It all comes down in a moment where he “sees” her.  I think he realizes with the DNA test; he’s not the person he thought he was, but he certainly had no idea that he had her blood in his veins.  The truly tragic moment of the evening is when it dawns on him that he has a daughter with Helena’s blood in her veins.  Now, he would kill her a thousand times over in that moment.  He can’t do it.  He’s fighting phantoms.  That’s the bottom below the bottom, and things got worse than he ever thought they would get.

Courtesy/ABC

Does Valentin have any idea then, who his biological father could be?

JAMES:  I don’t think so.  I don’t believe so.  I know I don’t.  I think once he realizes that Helena is in fact the mother, I think he’d rather just go into oblivion.  I think at that point, he’s out of answers.  Enter Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) …which is wonderful because I think the world of Nancy, and she saves the day.   Alexis basically talks him out of hurting himself, telling him to count his blessings that he is not a Cassadine, etc, which was a really sweet moment.

I assume, when you have this kind of material to play, it must be exhausting, but exhilarating at the same time?

JAMES:  I think that’s exactly right.  As an actor, I think you want to do this stuff.  Maura West and I compare notes all the time.  I think it can be kind of emotionally draining.  You do feel it, and I felt it when I had spent a lot of time with Nina and Valentin, and when the actresses changed, and we brought Cynthia Watros in.  I worked twice as hard to make sure that Cynthia’s landing was as easy as possible, and I really grew attached to the Nina and Valentin connection.  So, when Jax steps in, Cynthia’s love life means nothing to me, I don’t care about that, but Nina’s love life means a lot to me!  And it bums me out, and I don’t know that I’ll actually be watching any future love scenes between them as much as I love them both!  I have a deep attachment to the Valentin connection to Nina.  So, the lines get burred because we just play these characters so long.

Photo: JPI

What was it like sharing those tough scenes with Constance? No one can play icy, evil villainess like her … and yet in real life, she is such a gracious and kind-hearted woman.

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JAMES:  In real life, Constance is such a sweetheart, and she’s so grateful to be there.  She was so ready to work, and rehearse, and play, and find the stuff, and she was great.  I’d been in scenes with her before.  Last time, we didn’t really talk to each other.  I was with the hump.  I was being Valentin pre-surgery.  It was some sort of moment in a graveyard, but this time we actually got to interact with each other.

You look at Valentin, and he’s not had the greatest life.  Do you bring his entire back-story into your performance; such as when he was deformed with the hump and how he had to literally reconstruct his life both in the physical and in emotional ways for many years?

JAMES:  Absolutely.  It’s the brokenness that he’s making choices from.  He was never truly and authentic person to begin with which is why his love fell apart.  He’s always been faking.  He’s always been putting on a show.  That’s not sustainable in matters of the heart.  It was unbelievably easy for Jax to swoop in, because it was inevitable that things were going to fall apart.  Of course, that anger and that brokenness were what lead him to want to kill Jax.  There’s no question.  He was prepared to do that.  If you look in the eyes in the fantasy sequence in the shooting, he just wanted to watch him die.  He wanted to watch the light go out in Jax’s eyes.  He was so furious … and even more tragic is … that was all he could think of, and somehow, he realized in that moment that wouldn’t work, because he’d lose his daughter.

Photo: JPI

Anna and Finn (Michael Easton) just kind of busted up.  Do you think Anna and Valentin will hookup? There is a connection and a history between the two of them whenever they seem to be in proximity of one another.

JAMES:  Personally, I’m waiting for that.  I hope so!  There is a finesse and elegance to that woman, and not only that, there is an effortless to the connection between Valentin and Anna, if one can say that about one’s own coupling.  I love to look at it!  I think we go together like a wink and a smile.  I just find that chemistry really great.  I think that’s mostly Finola, though.  She can probably have chemistry with most anything.

Valentin was going to leave Port Charles with Charlotte (Scarlett Fernandez), after Nikolas revealed all and the fallout began.  Interestingly enough, it was Anna who came to Valentin’s side and tried to talk him down from fleeing with his daughter and showed such compassion for him!

JAMES:  Wasn’t that great?  She was the one who got him.  She was the one who was able to calm the beast.  There was no one else he would have listened to.  In the moment in the police station, after Charlotte had been kidnapped, and there is that moment where Anna has that bruise, I thought it was such a tender moment.  I just said, “If I kiss my finger and touch your wound?” and she’s like, “Do it.”  It was just this moment where we had been bitter rivals and enemies for so long, but he just adores her so much it’s undeniable that he sees her wounded and wants to make it better.  It’s floating out there waiting to be done.  I know that everybody knows it.  It’s just a matter of what the right away to go about in the writing would be.

Photo: JPI

So, you’ve worked opposite two acting dynamos in the role of Nina – Michelle Stafford and now, Cynthia Watros.  Was the transition difficult for you when Cynthia came to GH?

JAMES:  It wasn’t.  It was scary because Michelle Stafford wasn’t just one in a million, I mean, she is one of a kind.  The last thing in the world that I would ever want to consider doing myself was recast that actress.  So, my deal was (and I’ve said this to Cynthia) I said, “I have no control over this.  All I can do is make the landing as easy as possible for Cynthia.”  We did a lot of photoshoots together, and I had flowers waiting for her, and I did everything possible to make sure that she knew that she had a friend and that she had somebody that was going to make it as easy as possible.  It was rough because a lot of the trolls on social media were just awful to her… just brutal, and she goes, “I have thick skin.  I can take it,” and then a week later, she goes, “I’ve closed all my social media accounts!”  (Laughs)  It’s been fun to watch those guys turn around and go, “You have a really special person.”  That wedding stuff was just incredible!  She came so prepared and she knocked it out of the park.  Cynthia has been wonderful.  I love them both.  I love her the reddest, and I love Michelle the bluest, and together I love them the purplest.  (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

It’s interesting that all the women in his life such as Anna and Nina, all have a soft-spot for Valentin; even though they don’t necessarily want to be with him.  These ladies are just drawn to this dysfunctional guy.

JAMES:  Don’t you think?  Is it that you want to help him, you want to fix him, you see the potential, you want to help him despite himself?  I think that’s what it is.

Courtesy/ABC

Do you think Valentin’s still going to try to win Nina back, or is that done? 

JAMES:  I don’t know.  I do know that the Valentin I know will never shake Nina, and when he loves, he loves forever.  He can be simultaneously in love with Anna whenever she’s near.  I don’t believe he ever truly got over Nina hearing his story and his brokenness and still loving him twice as hard.  Years ago, there was a moment where he said to her the stuff that he’s never said, and Michelle beautifully kissed my tears away and said, “You’re beautiful” to me.   I think in that moment his fate was sealed.  I think he knew that this was his woman forever.  So, I just don’t think that that goes away.  I think he will always carry a torch for Nina, for sure.

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Do you see Valentin becoming darker and darker now that he had found out he is Helena’s offspring?

JAMES:  Well, yes and no.  I remember watching these scenes and we’ve done a lot of this stuff, and you know how easy it is to sort of go, “Let’s go dark, let’s go dark, let’s go more dark,” and after a while, I go, “You know, maybe he does learn something.  Maybe there’s hope for this guy after all.”  Of course, more bad stuff will happen to him, and he will do more bad stuff, because that’s just who he is.  A leopard can’t change his spots, and those are his survival instincts, but there are some new colors, and it’s all a direct result of all of just these horrible things that have happened to him… mostly learning that he is part Helena and he can’t undo that.

Photo: JPI

We saw that Nelle (Chloe Lanier) called and then goes to see Valentin, because she wants to sell her shares of ELQ.  So, obviously he has the potential to become really rich here which is what would give him his power back.  How do you think that will go over with the rest of the Quartermaines? (Laughs)

JAMES:  (Laughs) A lot of the Quartermaine actors have been asking me that in the hallways of General Hospital!  Isn’t that interesting how he’ll just sort of switch families? (Laughs)

Of all the people, just as Valentin’s life is in the gutter and he is at his lowest, who should show up with a sort of lifeline, Nelle! How will he go about attempting to gain control of ELQ?

JAMES:  Valentin knows he has to get the majority shares to gain a control of the company, and he has to do it fast before people see that he’s doing it.  So, that’s where Michael E. Knight (Martin Gray) has been.  He’s gallivanting the states rapidly accumulating shares.  (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

It’s been so fun seeing you and Michael Knight on-screen and on a daytime soap together again, as so many remember you as Tad Martin and Will Cortlandt on All My Children.  How has it been getting the chance to work with Michael?

JAMES:  My God, are you kidding me?  He taught me!  He’s the guy who taught me.  I didn’t know how to do this.  Nobody instinctively knows… this is a very unique art form.  It’s more Jazz than anything else, and he showed me how to do it!  Walt Willey (Ex-Jack, AMC) showed me how to do my hair, and Michael Knight taught me how to break down a script!  And, what’s so funny is he is still doing it.  In a scene on GH, when he threw in that line, “From now on, you pay in advance,” I just about fell on the floor!  I thought, “There he is!  That’s the Michael I’ve always known and loved.”

Photo: JPI

Who would have thought that you guys would get to share scenes like that again on soaps?  You just never know in this life who may be wind up back in your orbit.

JAMES:  It’s incredible.  That’s what we say all of the time… “Who would have thought?”  You could never plan something like this and that we’d still be doing it at this point.

Now with Lulu (Emme Rylan) learning that Valentin is not a Cassadine, and Nina apparently moving on to a relationship with Jax, what do you think it will mean for their relationship in raising their daughter, Charlotte?

JAMES:  I think in the short-term, Valentin’s shelved any ideas of getting her out of Charlotte’s life.  He’s sort of putting out the fires in his own personal life.  Charlotte needs a mother in her life, and he’s quite willing to share custody as they always have been.  She seems to be looking at this as an opportunity to paint him as an unfit father, and she wants full-time custody.  So, we’re back to that again.  It looks to me like Lulu is kicking Valentin while he’s down.

Photo: JPI

It was so nice to see you, and some of your GH co-stars such as: Steve Burton (Jason) and Maurice Benard (Sonny) show up for Y&R’s Eric Braeden’s (Victor Newman) 40th anniversary on set celebration at CBS.  It was quite the event; speakers galore, and so many from our industry and beyond in attendance.

JAMES:  It was pretty profound.  Eric has always been kind to me.  I only worked with him on one movie, a western, called The Man Who Came Back, and that was probably 12 years ago.  He has been so complimentary of me in interviews and in his book.  So, if he does that with me, I can only imagine how many dear, dear friendships he has.  So, the fact that everybody showed up like that from the president of CBS Entertainment to local councilmen, and that they were willing to do be there for 2 hours was really proof of how much they love him.  Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R), who I don’t even think was working that day, came in for it and spoke at the event. There was so much respect shown for Eric and what he has meant to this medium.

Photo: JPI

Your album The Apple Tree was so well-received, and everyone always loves seeing you get the opportunity to sing on General Hospital as well.  Will you continue to put out more music in 2020?

JAMES:  Yeah, that’s the plan.  I have another one that I’m working on.  I have a bunch of songs.  I’m in no rush to get it out.  Unfortunately, I lost Glen Roven, who wrote the cello part for Book of Love, passed away right after the Nurses’ Ball where I played Book of Love, which is really heartbreaking, and then, Michael Sherwood, who helped me with a number of songs on the record passed away right after The Apple Tree came out.  So, I’m a little gun-shy.  But, I’m planning on having something out by December for Christmas.

In closing, what would you say the fans should look forward to in the weeks ahead from Valentin?

JAMES: Look forward to that moment where Valentin is so low that there’s nowhere to go but up!  The comeback is going to be one for the books.

So, what do you think of how Valentin’s life hit rock bottom?  Do you think he will ever win Nina back? Do you think he will takeover ELQ? Share your thoughts on James’ recent performances and his thoughts contained in this interview via the comment section below.

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