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GH EP Frank Valentini On Genie Francis' Return: "It's not a guest appearance. We've hired her, we've absolutely hired her!"

Courtesy/AccessHollywood

Courtesy/AccessHollywood

For those who have been wondering just what the return of General Hospital soap icon, Genie Francis (Laura) means for the Daytime Award winning actress, and the lone ABC soap that is about to celebrate its big 5-0, look no further than a new teaser of an interview from Access Hollywood with GH executive producer, Frank Valentini.

During the chitchat, conducted at the recent TCA’s (Television Critics Association) Winter Session, Valentini revealed a few interesting tidbits.  First, that part of the reason for Laura’s return is her daughter Lulu’s fertility issues ( and whose surrogate Maxie just lost Lante’s baby).  Valentini commented, “It will involve that and other things. And a big secret that she’s going to return with.”

The executive also revealed how Genie’s return came about stating:  “She’s really awesome, she looks fantastic and she’s a lot of fun and we sat down and said, ‘This is what we’re thinking,’ and she liked the idea and we’re gonna make it work!”

The big question on many GH fans minds has also been, just how long Genie would be sticking around? Would it just be for a just short story arc for the 50th Anniversary in April? Valentini admitted, “No, it’s not a guest appearance. We’ve hired her, we’ve absolutely hired her.”

So soapers are you excited by the fact that Genie will be sticking around for awhile? What secret do you think Laura will have when she returns to Port Charles? Let us know!

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Christine
Christine

I’m excited for Genie Francis, I’m excited for the Laura fans.

I like Genie Francis and I’m sorry she got the short end of the stick on Y&R. That is all I will say about that – I am just so sick and tired of all this infighting.

I really hope THIS time that Laura is more what she should be – a strong woman, mother, grandmother, and friend.

JOEY
JOEY

THE REASON GENIE EVER LEFT WAS , THEY ALWAYS MAKE HER A VICRIM ….SHE IS SO MUCH MORE THEN THAT ! ….SHE IS THE REASON I STARTED WATCHING GH IN 19 79 …GLAD TO SEE HER COME HOME ….DONT DO HER WRONG !!!

Patrick
Patrick

Ditto… Fans….. Genie Francis, knocked it out of the park at Y&R… she more than proved she’s just known as a GH ingenue…

This time around… let’s see her kick ass…..

Cassie
Cassie

Agreed!

bonnie
bonnie

agree she can be great if they dont make her all about Luke and poor poor me. She was tough when she was a teen would love to see a strong independent woman. Still concern about her abadonment of her children.

Patrick
Patrick

SIDEBAR: STAT! WHAT IS GH DOING TO lucy coe coe goes CUCKOO?

alright, her comedic talents meshed with Heather Webber… may be all that…

but, would this be like writing her in to a corner? yeah, i understand the “Port Charles Vampire” Lame????? I never watched that show… (ie: she’s only on for a short period of time)

I SO WANTED LUCY TO INTERACT WITH LAURA, SCOTTY, LUKE, KEVIN… AND W/THE QUARTERMAINES – normally…!?!? gives’ her longevity.

Michael
Michael

Frank Valentini is a true mensch!

janice
janice

all I can say is a huge WOOOOOO HOOOOOO!!

Marcello Aurelio Lanfranchi
Marcello Aurelio Lanfranchi

Yay!!! This warms my heart. Lucky ’13 is off to a great start! Ha, a rhyme.

As for “Lante,” is that official? I’d prefer Lulante, but would accept Dantulu.

Love ya, Michael.

Christine
Christine

Ciao, Marcello! 🙂

I don’t know about you, but I could do without these “smoosh” names or whatever they call them. I would like to see 2013 be the end of this. People need to start SPELLING things again. Everything is an acronym or abbreviation these days. I fear for our future generation.

Marcello Aurelio Lanfranchi
Marcello Aurelio Lanfranchi

And it all started with SoHo in Manhattan. The newest I know of is SpaHa (Spanish Harlem). Puhlease!

But the couple’s thing is so codependent. It’s as if two independent people cease to exist and one new entity takes over. Brad and Angelina are two different people, folks!

Jamie
Jamie

Haha, Christine….I’m with ya, girl… I’m not into the smoosh names either. I work with college students and let me tell you…the future, isn’t so bright.

su0000
su0000

It is like kindergarten speak ..
Grownups talking like uneducated children who never got beyond a coochiekoo or goo goo .. Or aged and living their second childhood lol
I always seen the smooch speak as coming from people who just never made it 🙂 LOL..
But to each their own 🙂

Mary SF
Mary SF

Oh Christine- don’t get me started on smooshing of names. Perhaps it is my age but it is hard enough remember real names, let only these smoosh ones. Since reading these posts I am getting better at figuring out who they are talking about, but I’m with you girl- it is one trend I would like to see end sooner rather than later. Also glad Genie got a new gig- she was wasted on y&r- though Cane has gotten really boring without his mama and daddy in town.

Patrick
Patrick

i for one, was never in to this ie: Lumi… stuff…. Lucas and Sammi!

guess i’m too slow… i have to stop and think what’s typed.

melanieofoz
melanieofoz

Yes, I’m thrilled she’s back. My guess is that she remarried Scotty. I always loved them together. Wouldn’t Luke just love that. Can’t you just hear their jabs at each other now. LOL Thank you, FV and RC for bringing back the GH I knew and loved growing up. It’s fun to watch again.

Marcello Aurelio Lanfranchi
Marcello Aurelio Lanfranchi

Yes, bring back Kin Shriner!

BonnieJ
BonnieJ

He is coming back also!

Marcello Aurelio Lanfranchi
Marcello Aurelio Lanfranchi

Yay! All the good ones are returning. Now, why can’t we see Jackie Zeman, considering she’s still recurring (right?)? Jill Farren Phelps is gone. She’s the one who got rid of Bobbie in the first place (without ever showing us why she’s only been seen once or twice in the last several years–rude!). I guess Zeman and Valentini are talking about it, so maybe. Cross your fingers.

BonnieJ
BonnieJ

The article I read said that Bobbie would be back for the Nurses Ball, also Audrey might make an appearance there. Now they need to bring back Holly, and Robin!

Marcello Aurelio Lanfranchi
Marcello Aurelio Lanfranchi

Finally, we’ll get to see Gran. I’ve grown tired of hearing about how she’s watching Liz’s kids. And, apparently, Holly is visiting Robert in that Swiss hospital, but they’ve only talked about her; we haven’t seen her–yet.

Justin
Justin

Ah, THANK YOU Frank Valentini!!!! So glad this is not just a guest appearance.

B.J.
B.J.

Have no idea about any secrets, but I’ll be delighted to see Genie back. Anything to get us away from “vampire history” will be welcome.

She will be an asset regardless. She did a great job on Y&R, but she needs to be where she is really appreciated. 🙂

Rod
Rod

Depends on how Laura returns!! (I agree with Christine above) But I’m so bored & over the Luke & Laura love story & their comings and goings. Either come or go LOL. Genie was actually an amazing character on Y&R!! Better than the Laura character by far & much more interesting. . Sad they cut her from Y&R!!

CTwildheart
CTwildheart

Thank you Rod! I agree with you and Christine. I said something like that about Luke & Laura and got reamed by other posters! “How dare I say that and everyone wants them back together” If Laura is a strong character this time, she won’t want Luke back!

Christine
Christine

In the words of Ricky Ricardo, aye yai yai yai yai!

Why do soap fans have to be so nasty to each other? It is like my beloved Yankees versus Red Sox!!

I wish people could just accept others have different opinions and be respectful of that and argue in a mature way instead of attacking.

CTwildheart, we don’t always agree on everything, 🙂 but I can always see your point of view. Not only do you always have something interesting to say, but you know how to spell and put sentences together and your posts do not contain foul language (as I am seeing increasingly more and more on this board – a SHAME).

Jewell
Jewell

Glad they hired her, and it’s a story Genie is excited about, because she said she got tired of her character playing the victim.

James McDonald
James McDonald

I don’t watch General Hospital, but have seen it in the past. I did catch an episode just before Quartermaine died. The show has really changed. Looks more realistic and up-to-date. I would be interested in seeing the return of Gene Francis and Ken Shriner. Just give me the date and I will watch.

BonnieJ
BonnieJ

Genei will be back in mid Feb. Kin also but not date on his has been announced.

Troy Turner
Troy Turner

I believe Genie starts SHOOTING in mid-February, I could be wrong though…

diane c
diane c

Yes i am excited for a laura return,I have watched since 1963 and am a fan of the old characters.

Marcello Aurelio Lanfranchi
Marcello Aurelio Lanfranchi

Diane, I’d love to spend an afternoon chatting with you some day.

dg
dg

It will be great to see Genie back but really frustrating to fast forward through most of what Carlavati writes to get to just her scenes as Laura, lol.
And like I said before unless we get a Luke and Laura reunion whats the point. I dont want to see Genie wasted on lame, sluttly Lulu’s paternity issues. She’s a daytime Icon and one of the best actresses in the show’s history. She deserves so much better than that.

Lawrence
Lawrence

I agree Laura should be used more than some fertility issues. this secret better have Laura with her own storyline.

BonnieJ
BonnieJ

Let’s hope she does not come home with a little sibling for Lulu!

MK
MK

If Genie is back, then they must be going back to Pre-Luke Laura but stronger. Look at Tracy, she is back and better without Luke. I hope Laura is Married and happy with Scotty (Maybe a child too). 😉

KateK
KateK

Hope she brings a boyfriend with her, over her & Luke. Hope she is a strong woman, not a zombie.

aria
aria

how bout you commit to putting her on as a contract player, and not use the line that she will be sticking around, isn’t the same line that was use for Kristina Wagner, as felicia, and We hardly see her now.

Marcello Aurelio Lanfranchi
Marcello Aurelio Lanfranchi

Excellent point. Yeah, what’s up with missing-in-action Felicia. Maybe they’re waiting for Jack Wagner’s return to give her some scenes?

Christine
Christine

I think Felicia is more recurring like Mac. I don’t think those two characters are ever going to be front burner unless Frisco comes back and tries to throw a wrench into their new-found love and then I think that will only be for a short while until it dies down again.

I hear a lot about how the cast is so huge … “bloated” comes up a lot. I think you can run a show with a huge cast, but people have to realize that their favorites are not going to be on every day. Take the Robin story for example. It is kind of like the movie PULP FICTION to me in that there are other stories going on right now, but eventually we will get back to that story and everything will tie in together. The trick is to not let too much time go before returning to said stories so that the audience does not lose interest and/or hope that these stories will ever have a resolution.

heidi
heidi

Woo Hoo!!! So glad to see her back on GH!!! Let’s get Luke back too! They are the best couple ever on GH!!! So glad she is not there for a short time! So glad we will have her back and out of that stupid comatose state she used to be in. I hope she is strong and maybe ready to take back some or all of what she lost! Would love to see her go head to head with Helena and win!

Annick
Annick

Love GF/Laura and congrats GH but I am over GH as a whole. It is better but not even my love for Laura will make me not FF douchebag Luke and tacky and loser Lulu. The Luke and Laura ship has sailed for me due to Luke. Laura should never be with the man who killed her grandchild.

CTwildheart
CTwildheart

I seriously doubt they plan on putting her back with Luke. With Luke she is always the damsel-in-distress and that is not at all what she wants to play. I hope you read the message boards and if you find out they aren’t together and she is strong that you might give GH another try…

Phil
Phil

That’s great, but can someone please ask him how long this crazy vampire thing is going to go on?

su0000
su0000

I love the flash back to Port Charles, it is fun and I like a bit fun mixed in with all the heavy drama..
I’m sure it will be short lived, but it is fun and I laughed and I like to laugh and I laugh way too seldom during the day/soaps ..

Christine
Christine

su000,

I liked the actual flashback Lucy had today of Caleb. Too bad he didn’t show off his fangs for those who did not watch PC back then it might have added something to what Lucy is dealing with, but they are probably going in another direction.

Christine
Christine

I’m curious myself. If they were to do it right, and have it more like an inside joke for those of us that watched PORT CHARLES, then they would have it as nothing more than Lucy mistaking John for Caleb, stabbing him, and then having someone get some sense into her thick head. 🙂

However, I fear that they will take this in another direction and truly make this more of an arc than just a few episodes … as it should be. We have already had the funny quips from Luke referring to John as “Lestat” and John not getting it. I think they should just look into some record books and see that John and Sam resembled Caleb and Livvie and leave it at that. Then again, this is how messed up ABC was all that time ago to allow two shows that took place in the same town were allowed to have two completely different things going on like this one did. I still applaud PC for taking the risk and trying to save itself, but looking back and now trying to put THAT story into the present day is quite a task to do so tastefully to the GH history and not making a complete mockery of the PC show and its fans.

PGP
PGP

I don’t find it to be that unbelievable for different things to be happening to different people in a small town let alone a city like Port Charles. That doesn’t bother me at all. Perhaps they will explain the whole vampire storyline as something that happened in Lucy’s head??? Just a thought

susan M.
susan M.

I don’t like the vampire stories on GH now. It was okay years ago.. But this day & time I don’t really want to see an on going story of this. I prefer Michael Easton as John McBain . I remember watching him as Caleb all those years ago and I liked at that time as the vampire. But I still like him as John McBain the best!

Annie
Annie

I bet she will end up being Starr’s mom, so she isn’t a Manning.

susan M.
susan M.

No. I like Blair being Starr’s mom….

brian
brian

With so many GHer’s returning… why hold the OLTLer’s hostage? Let OLTL have their characters back.

CTwildheart
CTwildheart

Prospect Park owns the rights to the characters of John, Todd and Starr. They will be back on OLTL. But the actors currently have contracts with ABC, so there are some things that need to be worked out…

brian
brian

Yes, I understand that. My point is that GH has a rich history of characters coming back, that they could easily write the OLTL characters out and back into OLTL.

CTwildheart
CTwildheart

I completely agree.

Jeff
Jeff

I agree Marcello! Speak should start learning to speak ENGLISH again. Enough of the damn short forms!!!

GHFF1
GHFF1

I love that Genie Francis is back on GH, and I so very much hope that Laura’s secret is that she is Mrs. Scott Baldwin ….. SOLAR!!!!!

(P.S. I like th squish names ….)

Michael
Michael

Genie is one the absolute best actresses on TV- can hardly wait to see her work.

Ron Klopfanstein
Ron Klopfanstein

Laura is coming home to “General Hospital.” What a wonderful feeling it is just to say that. Welcome back, Genie Francis, your fans can’t wait to see you back in Port Charles.

Jeffrey Anderson
Jeffrey Anderson

Finally Laura Spencer has come back to General Hospital!!!! 😀 I feel happy to see her back. YAY!!! Luke and Laura will be reunited once again!!! I can not wait next month and what’s plan for Scotty ? I hope there’s no more mobster in PC since 1986 Duke Lavery was clean and good decent man,not being mobster(was used to be). I will be watch give big bang on that day.. Long Live GH!!!! I apologized that I’m very so exciting all these great memories. Hurry back,robert Scorpio, We still need you back!!

Tina Gray
Tina Gray

Love Genie Francis! Will Tony Geary be staying on the show?

CTwildheart
CTwildheart

Tony has no plans to leave. But his schedule is always come and go…

tim
tim

I hope she comes back with some guy around 10-15 years younger than she is.

DC
DC

YEA!!! Being a LL fan from back in the day… I DO believe that the current show runners for GH – will do HER character justice. He has a passion for this, and it shows. Yea there are things I don’t care for …. but I watch WAY more than used FF thru.. I enjoy how the storylines are weaved in and out with each other…. I did not watch Port Charles…. BUT the throwback to the history and paying homage if you will…. even with Diane (trueblood) and pop culture ….. GREAT JOB…. I mean his pace and timing are FAST even for soapland (how fast did they get to Switzerland)… BUT take the good with the little bad…… At least we have GH.

Teresa
Teresa

Over the Moon with the news that she’s been hired, not just appearing. I’m hoping they don’t pair her back with Luke. I absolutely loved them together but feel like they got to a point of being trapped. I’d like to just see them co-exist with their children. Give Laura some good, fun, juicy scripts.

CTwildheart
CTwildheart

🙂

Sal Piscioneri
Sal Piscioneri

perfect……….GH is on its way to the #1 spot………I hope she is not wimpy Laura………..I want her strong for her kids and herself………Love Genie always have. I have watch GH since it started 1963 and fell in love with Genie when she replaced the original and became teen Laura, Loved her Momma too andrremember Denise Alexander on DOOL and Another World…..welcome back………..:>)

Andrew
Andrew

Incredible news!!

anne
anne

Cannot wait I just hope they write her a good story this time!

mary
mary

well we lost jason(steve burton) and now get laurie (genie francis) return.. what a great gift you could give to us GH fans… thank you.. she is a great actress and this should be a great pick me up to us as GH fans in sorrow of jason leaving.. were back…

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

I will take Genie Francis any way TPTB bring her back, but I am really trusting their words they they will honor the Laura history with Luke and her family. No better chemistry anywhere between any other actors–she and Tony are the tops. I know Genie cares about the show and will be shining and glorious. Welcome home, Genie. I can’t wait. We have waited so long–so I am so very excited to see you back. Great vindication for you. And your dignity and honesty I so much admire. You deserve the very best.

Denise Rogers
Denise Rogers

Exactly what she said

Denise Rogers
Denise Rogers

She is pregnant with Scotty’s baby and it will be a boy and will replace the son that Lulu killed , Logan or she will be Lulu’s surrogate. One of the two.

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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