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GH"S Daniel Benzali speaks on being revealed as The Balkan!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

So, as we all now know and has been confirmed, the hypochondriac patient that wheeled into GH and sought help from Robin, Patrick and Steven is really the international crime lord, The Balkan.  And famed character actor, Daniel Benzali is playing Theo Hoffman aka The Balkan for all he is worth.

In his first interview since assuming the pivotal role, Benzali spoke with TV Guide on his first foray into soaps and more!  Here are a few excerpts below!

Benzali on The Balkan’s theatrical style and if the crime lord is a frustrated stage star:  “[Laughs] We actually created a bit of a back story for the character and decided he probably did have some stage experience in the past in some limited way. He’s very good with accents. As Theo, he’s British. As the Balkan, he has sort of a New York street accent. And then there’s even a third accent coming up. I loved Theo’s introduction to the show as a hospital patient — it was way out there.”

Benzali on what layers of The Balkan might be revealed in his emotional life: “What I liked about playing all that subterfuge in the hospital with Robin is that it provided such a contrast to the real character and his goals and feelings. We just shot some scenes where we will see some very strong emotions come to the surface with him — really relatable emotions concerning his family.”

Make sure to listen to the new holiday episode of the On-Air On-Soaps Podcast where we name Benzali as the Power Performance of the Week.

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This man is PHENOMENAL! I was amazed when it was revealed that he was The Balkan & his ability to get you frustrated as a hypochondriac, engaging as a brilliant attorney, hate him in that street sounding voice he takes on as the Balkan and even gaining my sympathy as he hears how Alexander died ( his son ) is indicative of the brilliance of this actor! I hope that he can keep his “Balkan” identity a secret for a very long time to come so we can all enjoy this mans performances on GH. An excellent choice!

General Hospital

General Hospital’s Jophielle Love Talks On Violet’s Emotional Scenes with Finn, the Loss of Gregory, and Taylor Swift

During General Hospital’s recent episodes surrounding the death of Gregory Chase (Gregory Harrison), who succumbed to complications from ALS, many in the cast delivered touching performances; including Jophielle Love (Violet).

In story, Violet learns of her grandfather’s passing when she comes home from school and her father, Finn (Michael Easton) sits her down to explain that Gregory passed away in the middle of the night. Violet’s reaction was one of devastation and tears.

Michael Fairman TV caught with Jophielle on the red carpet at the recent 51st annual Daytime Creative Arts and Lifestyle Emmy Award ceremonies, where she was a nominee for Best Original Song for the song she co-wrote, “Shine.” The track was first heard back on a December 2023 episode of the ABC daytime drama series and is currently available on Spotify and other music streaming platforms.

Photo: ABC

When talking about the departure of Gregory Harrison, and Violet’s reaction to her grandpa’s passing, Love shared, “Well, I was very tired from the taping of the three-day wedding, so I already had the tears in me. I knew that I was always going to see him (Gregory Harrison) in real life, but I was also very, very sad he was leaving the show. He was such a delight to work with.”

When Violet saw how difficult it was for her on-screen dad, Finn, to cope with with the death of Gregory, Love shared, “It’s hard for Violet, but Michael and I, we still see each other and he’s always happy (in real life). But, those scenes were hard. I was comforting him.”

Photo: ABC

Receiving her first Daytime Emmy nomination as songwriter was a thrill for Jophielle: “Well first of all, I was jumping up and down and Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) came and told me while I was on set. I was just so excited.”

Photo: JPI

Since pop superstar, Taylor Swift, started at a very young age as a singer and a songwriter, does Love see herself as a mini-Taylor? Jophielle emphatically stated, “I’m a mini Me“.  As to what she thinks of the record-setting Swift’s music, and if she likes her work. Love shared, “Yeah, yeah … so, so…”

What did you think of Jophielle’s performance during the passing of Gregory? And her comments here on Gregory Harrison, Michael Easton and Taylor Swift? Comment below.

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General Hospital

General Hospital Issues Statement Condemning Racist Attacks Directed at Tabyana Ali

After continued online racist comments directed at General Hospital cast member, Tabyana Ali (Trina), the series has issued its own statement on the situation across all of its social media platforms on Tuesday.

Ali, who back on June 9th took to X to stand up to the racist remarks sent her way, has been facing the same situation since joining the soap opera back in 2022 as a recast in the role of Trina Robinson.

Throughout her time on the ABC soap opera, Tabyana had been one-half of the popular young love story of “Sprina” along with Nicholas Chavez (ex-Spencer).

Photo: ABC

Now General Hospital is standing up and alongside Ali, with its statement which read: “General Hospital does not tolerate hatred or bigotry of any kind. Racism has no place in Port Charles. GH is for everyone.”  Since its posting, the ability to comment has been turned off on the GH Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts.

While the statement does not specifically name Ali, according to Soap Opera Digest, ABC has been communicating with Ali and her representatives about how best to navigate the situation. Once the statement was issued, Ali took to X and said, “I appreciate you so much ABC/GH.”

Photo: ABC

Back on June 9th, Ali opened up about the “hate” directed at her and then added, “To anyone that hates me, that’s absolutely fine. I don’t know you and you don’t me, but regardless I’m sending you peace, safety and prosperity.”

Several of Ali’s GH co-stars have posted the statement on their Instagram accounts including: Kirsten Storms (Maxie), Jacqueline Grace Lopez (Blaze) and Kate Mansi (Kristina).

What do you think of General Hospital’s statement that racism has no place in Port Charles? Are you glad they stood up for Tabyana, and moving forward for any form of racism related to the show and its cast? Comment below.

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General Hospital

John J. York Shares His Emotional Journey from Cancer Back to ‘General Hospital’ with ‘Good Morning America’

General Hospital fans are counting the hours till tomorrow, and the June 19th episode of the ABC daytime drama series, where they will see the highly-anticipated return of longtime veteran, John J. York (Mac Scorpio).

York has been through a physical and emotional rollercoaster fighting two blood cancers, myelodysplastic syndromes and multiple smoldering myeloma, and receiving a lifesaving blood stem cell transplant after months of trying to locate a match donor.

Now, on the other side of it, York sat down with Good Morning America this week ahead of his first episode back on GH, where not only do we see the moment he steps through the door at Maxie’s (Kirsten Storms) and is welcomed by her, Georgie, Spinelli (Bradford Anderson) and he will also meet the new young children playing the role of Bailey James, twins Riley and Miley Polonki.

Courtesy/GMA

Speaking with tears in his eye on coming back to work at the set of GH, York expressed, “Everybody has been very welcoming. Very welcoming, and here I go right off the bat (begins to tear up). I can’t tell you how nice it’s been to get the support that I have gotten.”

When asked by GMA’s Zohreen Shah, what he missed the most about being away from GH, while undergoing treatment, York shared, “I just felt so attached that I didn’t feel I missed anything. I just took a little break and a little vacation, I guess, and had to go through something, and now we’re here kind of on the other side of it.”

Photo: Disney/ABC

The story for Mac heats up on today’s June 18th episode of GH, when in a preview for the show, Cody (Josh Kelly) talks to Sasha (Sofia Mattsson) and finally admits he is having regrets about the time he wasted with Mac, after seeing how Chase (Josh Swickard) has been grieving the loss of his father, Gregory.  Will he fess up when Mac steps back into action and tell him that he is his biological son? Stay tuned.

Check out John’s emotional appearance on Good Morning America below. Are you looking forward to seeing Mac back in action on GH starting tomorrow? Comment below.

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Peter Reckell returns for a second visit with Michael Fairman following the wrap-up of his recent run as Bo Brady on Days of our Lives.Leave A Comment

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Michael Easton as Finn

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