Today on June 3rd, Daytime Emmy winner, Cynthia Watros is set to begin taping all-new episodes of General Hospital as she steps into the role of Nina Cassadine, last played by Michelle Stafford, who has left the ABC daytime drama series and headed back to The Young and the Restless to reprise her signature role of Phyllis Summers.
Watros, best-known for her delicious portrayal of Annie Dutton on Guiding Light, and who was last seen on daytime on Y&R, is back to the grind of the soaps taking on the complex Nina. Add to that, it is clear that GH is setting up a potential love triangle, or new love interest for her, now that Jasper Jacks is back in Port Charles with GH fan favorite Ingo Rademacher returning to the show.
Last month on the recent GH Nurses’ Ball episodes, we saw Nina (then Stafford) lock eyes with Jax, and the two demonstrated an instant attraction to each other. Add to that in story; Jax was revealed to be the new 50 percent owner of Aurora Media, which Nina’s Crimson Magazine falls under, putting them in each other’s path in more ways than one.
Michael Fairman TV chatted with Cynthia and Ingo along with other members of the media at last week’s ABC Summer Press Roundtable junket, and here were some intriguing and insightful moments from the conversations below.
When we asked if Cynthia had a conversation with Michelle Stafford on taking over the role of Nina, Watros responded: “I did. We had lunch together, and I have to say, Michelle is an amazing, lovely, giving woman. Just to be able to sit across from her and talk about Nina and to talk about the show, I was just in awe of her generosity. I will always be a fan of Michelle’s. She actually reached out to me and said, ‘If you ever want to call or text…’ and I said, ‘Let’s have lunch!’ So, we found and afternoon and spent like three hours just talking about it.”
Photo Credit: ABC
Since Watros has brought the cray-cray to her best known role of Annie on GL and is so adept as an actress to go from that to playing grave reality, Cynthia weighed in on how she sees Nina and the challenges of being a recast in a soap role: “Nina has all of this stuff that I can’t wait to play. She’s got stuff that she hasn’t explored for a long time because her life is going pretty well right now. What happens though when your life doesn’t go really well? You start exploring those things that you thought were sleeping a little bit, you know, that weren’t necessarily bubbling up to the surface. So, I like it all: when a character’s life is going well and when a character’s life is not going well. Because I’m playing Nina now, it’s going to be different. It’s going to be challenging. It’s the first time I’ve ever taken over a role that someone else has played. I don’t want to totally go off, so people go, “Wow. Nina’s totally different,” but of course, I want to make it my own. Again, I’m an actor who likes to use all of the tools. I like it all … the funny, the not so funny, the playful, and the crazy.”
As to the timing of Watros returning to the soaps at this time in her life … and how it went down that she landed her new gig at GH, she revealed: “It sounds not very dramatic, but I got a phone call. Just a phone call asking, ‘Would you be interested?’ Guiding Light will always be in my heart because I had such a good time doing Annie, and I was on Young and the Restless and Another World for half of a second. So, daytime has always been in my life and in my world. My last show was in Atlanta, and my daughters were in high school in LA, and it’s hard to go back and forth for them, for me, and for my life as a mom. So, I kind of took my acting and said, ‘Well, I’m going to slow it all down until they graduate high school.’ They graduate high school June 2nd and I start GH June 3rd. So, it just seemed like it just made sense.”
As to what the future holds for Nina as she takes over the role, Watros shared: “I can tease that I get to play with this guy (Ingo) a lot, and Nina is trying to find a stronger role in the magazine where she is really going to step up in making that a success and her love for the magazine , and trying to navigate her relationship with Jax.”
Cynthia will also get to work with Nina’s present love interest, James Patrick Stuart (Valentin), which the actress is also excited about:“I have to say, I have not met him, but I have been watching the show, and he is just phenomenal. I love his character. I love how he is this sort of like bad guy, but it seems like the women really dig him.”
Watros says she is excited to work with Maura West (Ava), Laura Wright (Carly), and Billy Miller (Drew) from the cast. She has previously worked with Laura and Billy in her soap career. As to her nerves for her first week at the ABC studios where GH is taped, Cynthia shared that she is: “Less nervous, more excited. I feel like a 20-year-old back in soaps. I remember Kim Zimmer (Ex-Reva, Guiding Light) back in the rehearsal room, and I was off script, and she was on the show for a long time before me, and I was new. I was yelling my lines, and she goes, ‘Excuse me! Can you tell this actress not to act so early in the morning?’ (Laughs) I feel like I’m going to do that again. So, I’ve got to tone it all down.” (Laughs)
For Ingo, he certainly has a view as to how Jax fits into the canvas of Port Charles: “Jax is to me, and I’ve only just been able to put it into words now that Captain America came out, but he’s ‘Captain America’. He’s all about fairness. If he sees a bully, he will stand up for the person who is being bullied. So, that’s who he is. He’s the white knight. He’s the person who will always do the right thing.”
Now that Jax has big time ownership in Aurora Media and thus Crimson, does he see the sparks flying with Nina? Ingo reveals: “Yeah, basically he walks in, and she goes, ‘What are you doing in my office?’ and he goes, ‘Actually, it’s my office.’ When I heard about him doing that magazine, I was a little surprised because that’s usually much too small for Jax. He’s more of a Richard Gere in Pretty Woman character, corporate leader, takes corporations apart, sells pieces … this is, I think really for his daughter, Josslyn (Eden McCoy). He’s thinking about the future. Also, to keep him busy in an actual job that he might be good at. I think it’s a big change in lifestyle for him where before it was about businesses which were much more global.”
As to what is behind Jax’s attraction to Nina, Ingo summed it up by sharing:“I think Jax is attracted to Nina the first time he sees her. I have a feeling he already knew who she was the first time he sees her at the Nurses’ Ball, because he’s been studying Aurora Media before purchasing it. He’s done his background work, and to piss off a Cassadine is just a bonus. Also, I think what is interesting for Nina’s character is the two different guys. She’s engaged to this more mysterious character, and then, you’ve got this jolly, upfront one going, ‘Hey! How’s it going? Everybody having a good day?’ (Laughs) He’s very confident as well, but in a different way. I think it’s nice for the story for Nina to be tugged between two completely different men.”
So, excited to see the debut of Cynthia in the role of Nina? Are you up for a triangle between Jax/Nina/Valentin? Share your thoughts via the comment section below. But first, watch Cynthia’s Emmy-winning moment as Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her work on Guiding Light.
Kate Mansi Makes Her General Hospital Debut as Kristina; What Were Your First Impressions?
May 25, 2023
Daytime Emmy winner, Kate Mansi made her first appearance on yesterday’s May 24th episode of General Hospital as the recast Kristina Corinthos-Davis. The former Days of our Lives star takes over the role from Lexi Ainsworth.
As to Kristina’s story, it is revealed that Kristina is building an LGBTQ+ youth shelter with the help of her father, Sonny Corinthos. Kristina’s sister, Sam (Kelly Monaco) is concerned that she is not thinking through all the issues that come with creating and building such a space and shares her concerns with their mother, Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn).
Enter Mansi as nuKristina with the renovation plans for the youth shelter. She shares her excitement with Sam and Alexis. An enthusiastic Kristina discusses the cosmetic changes she wants to make to the place and even shows her family, the Corinthos-Davis House logo.
Sam voices her concerns that in the past Kristina has great ideas and visions and how they don’t work out, because she never follows through. Kristina gets angered and leaves the discussion to take a call from her contractor.
Remember, when Kristina lost her way, and then, seemingly everyone got looped in and involved with Dawn of the Dead cult?
Meanwhile, Molly (Haley Pullos in these scenes) is struggling with her inability to have a baby and tension is mounting between her and TJ (Tajh Bellow).
Mansi comes to GH with an impressive resume having been front and center as Abigail Deveraux on Days from 2011–2016, and then again in 2018–2020. She took home the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series award in 2017 at the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards. In addition, Kate has continued to appear in primetime, streaming and motion picture roles.
So, what were your first impressions of Kate as Kristina Corinthos-Davis? How did you like her interactions on-screen with Kelly Monaco and Nancy Lee Grahn? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith Visits ‘Tamron Hall’ and Talks On His Recurring Role of GH’s Brick
May 24, 2023
On yesterday’s, May 23rd episode of Tamron Hall, ESPN sports personality, Stephen A. Smith was a guest for a special interview, while Smith was at his second home away from home, General Hospital.
Smith, plays the recurring role of Sonny’s tech expert/’henchmen’, Brick, on the ABC daytime drama series. Stephen A., who is a longtime fan of GH, shared with Hall just how lucky he is to be given a chance to have a Port Charles alter-ego. Since 2016, the powers-that-be have found ways to keep Smith’s character returning to the GH canvas to help out his pal, Sonny, when the mobster is in dire straits.
Stephen expressed: “I’ve been blessed and fortunate because I do scenes primarily with the star of the show. And we’ve developed an incredible friendship, Maurice Benard (Sonny) and myself. I can’t tell you the amount of times that he’s pulled me to the side and he sat down with me and he’s embraced it and he’s like, ‘Here’s where I want you to go.’”
In caring moment, Benard was sensitive to a real-life event that happened in Smith’s life … the passing of his mother. Smith shared, “I remember there was a scene where he (Sonny) had lost a relative and literally he said to me, ‘I don’t want to offend you here,’ and he brought up losing my mother in 2017.”
Maurice, then gave Smith some acting advice, “I need you to go back to that moment. I need you to embrace how you were feeling at that moment in time.’ He said, ‘I’m only coming to you because I know you can. I need you to do it.’ And that was exactly what I did.”
The longtime ESPN host and journalist, also released his autobiography, Straight Shooter earlier this year. When Hall questioned him on how he has persevered through the years, Smith admitted that it’s about, “Longevity … thinking about smelling the roses. I’m not one to sit around and smell it, but I want to do things and associate myself with things that allows me to know that I’m reaping the fruits of my labor.”
As to his crazy schedule, Stephen admitted, “I’m still going to outwork 99% of the people out there. I don’t stop. I’m a machine and I know it and I’m proud of it. ”
Check out Stephen A. in part of his chat with Tamron Hall below.
Now let us know, if you are a fan of all of Stephen A. Smith’s work and if you continue to enjoy seeing him pop up on GH, via the comment section below.
GENERAL HOSPITAL: Will Nina’s Guilty Conscience Ruin a Marriage Proposal From Sonny?
May 22, 2023
This week on General Hospital, Sonny (Maurice Benard) has a marriage proposal for Nina (Cynthia Watros). However, she’s feeling the walls may be closing in on her when she regrets her actions against Drew (Cameron Mathison) and Carly (Laura Wright). As GH viewers know, she had turned them into the SEC for insider trading as a revenge-tactic against Carly.
In the latest issue of Soap Opera Digest on newsstands now, Sonny (Maurice Benard) is set to take a big step and ask Nina to marry him. This, comes on the heels of Nina bowing out of attending Michael (Chad Duell) and Willow’s (Katelyn MacMullen) wedding, to keep the peace in the family, and letting him attend alone.
On the latest developments, Maurice Benard shared with SOD on the marriage proposal: “It’s not an immediate yes from Nina. I think because she’s already done the bad deed (of calling the SEC). She’s trying to get out of it, so she doesn’t dig herself deeper.”
Previewing Sonny’s profession of love to Nina, the three-time Daytime Emmy winner said of the upcoming scenes: “That was my job as an actor, to convince her in this monologue that, ‘I don’t care about what you’ve done.’ He doesn’t care about anything but her, ‘and I love you, and let’s do this.'”
As to how he thinks Sonny’s proposal to Nina stacks up with others in his GH career, “I’m not saying this is the best, but I am saying it’s up there with the best that I’ve had.”
Of course, what will happen if Sonny finds out what Nina did to Carly with the SEC insider trading deception? Stay tuned.
Check out the promo for this week’s GH below, then let us know. Are you hoping Sonny and Nina get engaged? Share your thoughts in the comment section.