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GH’s James Patrick Stuart Talks On: Valentin Cassadine, Michelle Stafford, Finola Hughes, His Return To Soaps & That Nurses’ Ball Performance!

Photo Credit: Bjoern Kommerell

This week on General Hospital, Valentin Cassadine (James Patrick Stuart) is back in Port Charles much to the surprise of Nina (Michelle Stafford), Anna (Finola Hughes), Dante and Lulu Falconeri (Dominic Zamprona and Emme Rylan) and Laura (Genie Francis).

According to Valentine’s explanation of the turn of events from thinking he was toast, thanks to the WSB and his involvement with the chimera debacle, he was now able to return home to the woman and daughter he loves, because the charges against him were dropped. Why, you may ask?  Well, in the twist in the story the agency wanted to avoid unwanted attention, and to top it off Alex Devane, twin sis of Anna’s, provided no testimony so everything against him was deemed “circumstantial.” Now a free man, Valentin wants to win back everything he has may have lost including with Nina, whom when he returned revealed that they are divorced.  In the months to come, how will Valentin out maneuver those he wants in his life, and those he wants shut out of it?

On-Air On-Soaps chatted with James Patrick Stuart who has been delivering top-notch performances as the complex Cassadine that have made the audience, who once may have viewed the character as another possible one note soapy villain, to a fascinating man full of love, insecurity, and revenge.  Only in the hands of a major talent like James, could a part like this be fully realized. Let’s face it, daytime fans knew Mr. Stuart had the chops way back when on All My Children, whereas Will Cortlandt he terrorized the town of Pine Valley. That role has left its indelible mark in daytime drama history, as we feel certain that so too will his portrayal of Valentin Cassadine.

From that emotional and electrifying musical performance at the Nurses’ Ball, to those heartbreaking goodbye scenes with his on-screen daughter Charlotte (Scarlett Fernandez), to taking the stage with some of the greatest women in soaps of all-time, Stafford, Hughes and Francis and more, James Patrick Stuart fills us on what went down behind the scenes during some of his most memorable work on GH thus far, as he celebrates his one-year anniversary with the ABC daytime drama series, and more.  Candid, funny-as- all-get-out, charming and intelligent are just some of the words we would use to describe JPS from our interview, and we think you will feel the same.  Here’s what he shared.

Let’s go back to that unforgettable performance of yours at the Nurses’ Ball.  How did this all go down?  How did you end up singing Billy Joel’s “And So It Goes”?  It was the perfect song for the moment between Valentin and Nina.  Did you even know what the Nurses’ Ball was at the point?  (Laughs) 

Courtesy/ABC

JAMES:  I did.  I heard there was some ass shaking at the Nurses’ Ball, and much more than that.  (Laughs)  I got that call that usually means you’re fired and it said, “James can you come to Frank’s (Valentini) office?”  So, I walk in there and there’s Frank with our musical director, Paul Glass, and he says, “You’re going to do the Nurses Ball, OK?”  He goes, “Well, you’re going to sing a song.  Will you sing one of your dad’s songs (Chad Stuart of Chad and Jeremy fame)?”  I said, “My dad’s songs are pretty expensive, but, I will do it, and you caught me at an interesting time where I am trying to say ‘yes’ to the universe.”  And he goes, “Jesus!  Don’t go all Oprah on me!” (Laughs)   I said, “Let me think.”  Then he goes, “What about something Eric Clapton? You Look Wonderful Tonight … that would be good, because you are trying to win Nina back!”  Then, I remember I was driving home on the freeway, and I remember I had learned a Billy Joel tune years ago.  I thought, “Well, that’s perfect!”  It has to be a piano song.  It has to be a song that is absolutely saying “being vulnerable in front of you is the hardest thing in the world, because you mean more to me than anything ever has.” I thought that’s man, that’s woman, and certainly Valentin and Nina.  So, I went to Frank and said, “I’m really scared, because I really think this will be unbelievably expensive to clear, and to get the rights to do it.”   He goes, “You’re worth it.”  I figured at that point he was letting me know he’s got my back, and so I took a big step and said let’s see what happens.  I thought the payoff of it was great.  Larry Carpenter, our director, did such a great job at setting the scene up so beautifully, visually.

Did everyone in the cast realize that you sang?

Photo Credit: Bjoern Kommerell

JAMES:  I think Frank had a suspicion I could sing, and with auto tune these days anyone can sing, but that’s not my world.  I come from a musical background.  Frank said, “Wow!  You can really do his!”  So, my performance was not auto-tuned, in fact it was live.  I had recorded a version that I was fully prepared to lip-sync to.  But Paul Glass was really insistent and he said, “Great, but I am going to record you, anyway.”  So, the recording that actually made air was our live performance of the song.  That was a nice little reward, and I certainly was not expecting that.

Michelle Stafford wrote on a post that I put up on social media praising your performance, that she would have run up on stage because you were that good, if she could have been her in the scene and not Nina.  That is how much respect she had for your work, and that emotional performance.   And, she was so terrific too in those scenes!

Courtesy/ABC

JAMES:  She is so dear.  I remember watching tennis growing up and wishing I would have a doubles partner, which I still don’t, but I do have Michelle Stafford.  That is what it’s like to have someone in the foxhole with you that totally has your back.  We have very similar sensibilities; both comedically and dramatically. We anticipate each other a lot.  When I showed up and sang and played, I did not know what she was going to do, but I should have known right away that she was going to match it.  It was going to be still … and it was going to be heart-wrenching.  And of course, when I saw it back I was going, “Michelle matched me note for note.”   Maybe nobody will have picked up on it, but on some level they did, and I just loved Michelle for it.

When were you in the loop as James that it wasn’t Anna, but her twin Alex, who he had been involved with and been duped by?

Courtesy/ABC

JAMES:  I did not know as early as Finola did.  The way things work behind the scenes; there are meetings that one can have with the top, and where you are sworn to secrecy.  I remember there was a day when Finola comes into Wyndemere.  I am just not bright enough to realize that she is wearing a color Anna would never wear, and I am not bright enough to go beyond “Whoa!  Finola! You look really hot!” (Laughs)  Weeks later she said to me, “Well, I was being Alex and I just was not allowed to tell you.”  So, I was sort of in the dark too at that moment, which is fine, because Valentin did not need to know that.  I remember the day when we all found out in the episode, and it all came crashing down at one time.  Valentin had to learn it, and buy it, in all of one or two scenes, instead of assuming Anna is just lying to get out of some trouble.  He had to absolutely believe it.  I remember Finola helped me out here, because she said, “There’s times when you really have to break the glass and just go full soap.  You just have to commit to it, and get into it, and stop questioning it and just go, ‘OK, this may be the soapiest thing yet, but let’s just buy it, let’s just go 100 percent with it, and don’t question it, and don’t undermine it.’   Frankly, I thought those scenes were great … the scenes where Finola is explaining that the Alex character had pulled the wool over Valentin’s eyes the whole time.

I thought those scenes were great, too!

Courtesy/ABC

JAMES:  I am so grateful that Finola was there, because otherwise I could see myself going, “Frank! Can we change this?  Is there a way we can do this or this?” (Laughs) Instead, she just told me that it’s time to break the glass and go ‘full soap’! (Laughs)

You kind of, in this wonderful way, lucked out when you landed at GH.  You got put into story with Finola Hughes and Michelle Stafford  … you couldn’t ask for better scene partners. 

JAMES:  I mean ‘lucked out” is right, but I won the lottery!  I mean one of them alone would be amazing, but the two of them together is just crazy and wonderful.

How does Valentin feel now about Anna? 

JAMES:  That’s a valid question.  There is a line in the song called “The Book of Life” where it says, “There’s a chapter on love where the inks never dry.”  So, I think whatever he has with Anna is sort of in limbo, and in check, because his survival, his freedom, and his relationship with Nina is the greatest he has ever known, but again if he were to look at Anna too much, or for too long, then those feelings come rushing back again.  He can’t un-feel that.  She’s there, she was the first, and those wires are always going to have a current running through them.  So, at the moment he is just trying to avoid her so he can put a good life together with Nina, who is the woman he truly loves, and that he knows he can make something work with, and that he can make a family with. 

Courtesy/ABC

What does Valentin think of Alexandra Devane now that all is said and done … or is it really said and done?  (Laughs)

JAMES:  That is the thing, isn’t it?   The last time we saw them together he despises her.  Valentin absolutely hates the fact that that she manipulated and trashed his life, and then the last thing she says is, “Don’t forget.  It was never Anna, it was always me.”  Then she leaves, and I think that was a great bit of dialogue, and a nice tidbit to leave one thinking about.  He is satisfied that she is the enemy in the story, but Alex knows she is the one that can sort of push the button.

We saw Valentin make a heartfelt call to Nina when he was thinking it was the end of the line for him.  What was going on at that point in his mind? 

JAMES:  I think he was genuinely convinced that the WSB wanted to make this all go away so they don’t have to have a trial, or the publicity that can come out of it, and the fact that the chimera existed can actually be swept under the rug, but the only way is if he is out of the United States and to make him disappear.  He was also frightened enough to believe that they were going to take him out for a meeting somewhere, and he was never going to come back.  He probably shouldn’t have made that phone call, but he wanted to hear Nina’s voice one more time, and then he’s convinced he had made peace with his maker and he was going to be killed.  

He was in actuality just trying to say his goodbyes to Nina.

JAMES:  It probably would have been more human to not make the phone call at all, but he was sort of at one of the most vulnerable times in his adult life.  He didn’t expect to care that much about Nina.  He really just wanted to hear her voice one more time.

Courtesy/ABC

This character of Valentin is so brilliant: he is tragic, and mean, and has numerous shades and characteristics to him.  I was struck by that at the beginning of his time on the show that in the flashbacks he was disfigured, or as I like to call it, had the “Elephant Man syndrome.”   Was that difficult for you as an actor to try and figure out how you were going to make that work on-screen? 

JAMES:  I think that it all kind of evolved to a point where everybody was trying to explain as to why he had created this persona for himself.  He can wow a room, he can play music, and he can quote Shakespeare, and do all of this stuff.  The truth of the matter is that it is all built on the foundation of a broken child, and what I love about it is that he can’t ever truly shake that deep inside him.  He is still envious of people who have a stronger foundation, and who have had the real childhood, and who know what it’s like to have a first love of a mom and a dad.  Valentin didn’t have any of that stuff, and he has never really made peace with that.  He still has a chip on his shoulder.  He is still ticked-off.  That is one of the reasons he wanted to take everything as revenge of what Nikolas had.  He wanted it all.  He wanted to make him pay.  I think what is great about the character is that even little Spencer Cassadine (Nicolas Bechtel) can trip over a wire, and activate something that isn’t finished in Valentin, and viewers are going to be like, “Oh, my God!  But, he’s a kid!” Valentin has some issues that he really hasn’t put to bed yet! (Laughs)  I think what’s so great is that the writers get that.

Courtesy/ABC

When Valentin looks at himself in the mirror, and when he sees the reflection back, does he still see this mangled man … or does he see this good-looking dude?  Many of us when we look in the mirror see our old selves instead of what is currently in front of us, and carry that emotional baggage with us throughout our lives.

JAMES:  I think that’s a savvy question.  I think he does appreciate how he has been able to make himself over, as well as the people who helped him do it.  He calls them “geniuses”.  I think in the wrong moment when things don’t go right, he is no stranger to falling back to “I am not the person you see before you”, which in turn makes him insecure, which is why he is the bastard in the first place.  I think that is the motivation of the bastard, in that he doesn’t feel like it went right for him, and so everything is tenuous at best.

What mother do you think should actually raise Charlotte from this point out?

Courtesy/ABC

JAMES:  There is no question that Nina would be the right mother, and she and Valentin and Charlotte would make this family. Lulu (Emme Rylan) is a nice enough person, and everything, but she doesn’t make life easy! (Laughs)  Isn’t Emme great!  I am so happy she just had her baby, but isn’t it funny how they tried to hide her belly for so long, and then out of nowhere they just stopped!  (Laughs)  When we were in the cabin scenes, and she comes running in and sees Charlotte.  She could barely move, and she is wearing four-inch heels, and it was all I could do to stop from rolling on the floor! (Laughs) 

It must have been awful for Valentin to leave Charlotte behind when he had to go on the run.

JAMES:  Those scenes were wonderful for me to play as a performer, but devastating for Valentin.  Charlotte was the whole motivation, and whole reason he came to town, and then to have to say goodbye and sort of face the idea that she would never be seen again by him, and that she would be raised by people without his influence, it was devastating.  What was awesome, because he loves her so much, is that he wasn’t going to show that to her. That was what was so tragic about it, in that he loves her so much that he is not going to show how much this hurts him. 

Courtesy/ABC

Valentin shot Nikolas!  Let’s not forget!   How can he ever come back from that?  I loved the scene when you first came on to the canvas, after Valentin killed Nikolas on Cassadine Island, and Genie Francis as Laura rails at Valentin for murdering her son!  She was so phenomenal spewing venom … and Valentin just had to stand there and take it. What was that like on the other side of it as Genie was delivering that masterful performance? 

JAMES:  First of all, I am stoked that you remembered that.  I remember that vividly.   I will never forget that scene.  I have known Genie along time and I definitely consider her a friend.  Genie lent total authenticity to it, and sold it 100%, and I told her that afterwards.  I mean, I let her calm down first (laughs), but I said, “I get it, because what you have done is taken a situation that doesn’t exist, but if it did, this is what it would look like.”  So yes, when I am standing there and she is doing her part, I was no longer Valentin.  I was an audience.  I was with you watching Laura, and I was just floored by it.

You get to play a character that is a catalyst for things to happen, and they needed that on GH.   Did you think this run on GH would have lasted as long as it has? 

Courtesy/ABC

JAMES:  No, I didn’t.  I must say, the longer I am here the more respect I have for Frank.  I know it sounds like you are kissing your boss’ ass, but the fact is he thought of me for this, because I would have never thought of me for this.  But then in the back of my brain, I always wanted to go back and patch up the way I left it.  What I mean by that is; when I left All My Children it was sort of this big send-off, and Felicia Behr (Ex-EP, AMC) and Agnes Nixon (Creator, AMC) didn’t just can me, they gave me a great storyline, which was actually very, very flattering to me.  As I left, Agnes said to me, “Thank you very much.  You gave us one of the greatest storylines we have had this year, and we are very, very grateful to you.”  So, it was nice.  But I hadn’t really put certain issues to bed for me.  I had been so selfish.  I had been caught up in thinking, “I’m better than this.  I need a primetime show, and I need a movie career.”  I love that I have been able to come back, and now say “I’m really satisfied being part of a team trying to make something work for this team,” and that is where I am getting my satisfaction.  Right now, this is where I am in this chapter of my life.  Frank told me, “I remember when they wrote you off of All My Children.  I was floored and I was working over at One Life to Live.”  He goes, “You had built this incredible character, and they just kicked him to the curb.”   So then years later, Frank is thinking along the lines of, “I know! Let’s see if James is available and if he will come over to GH and see if he is willing to play Valentin!”  I thought when I came on to GH it was just going to be a summer fling, but I just celebrated my one-year anniversary with the show.  I think you’re right, Valentin is a catalyst.  I think Frank realizes that at this point of my life I want to be here.  I try to bring donuts in to work in the morning.  I’m at a point in my life where I think he likes having me around.  I know it’s not forever.  One day, my ticket will be up.  We all don’t get to be Luke (Anthony Geary) and Laura, but for right now I am where I want to be, and everybody seems to be happy having me there, which is so nice. 

Courtesy/ABC

What can you tease for Valentin in the future?

JAMES:  He is luckier than he deserves.  He makes his own luck.  He is also very tenacious; I truly believe Nina will get to the point where it might be tough for her, where she can’t run away, because he is not going to stop chasing her.  She is firmly in his sights, and that is what he wants.  I think that they are good together. I think that Michelle and James are good together, and I think that comes across on-stage, and I think they will write for that.

If Nikolas would come back, and be revealed to be alive, what would Valentin do then?

JAMES:  Oh, my God!  Such a great question!  I really do look forward to answering that question.  I really hope it happens!  Wouldn’t it be great?  I think it would be so great.

What have you thought of James in the role of Valentin Cassadine? What has been your favorite scenes featuring him?  Do you hope Nina and Valentin, and Charlotte become one big happy family?  Do you think Anna and Valentin might still become a romantic duo? Share your thoughts on the interview in the comment section below.

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su0000
su0000

James/Valentine is more than awesome..
Most everybody loved him from day one ( but to inform you, he is Mine!)
really, James/Valentin was a (rare) instant hit ..

I see the Valentine character as the best part of GH ..

And – Nina, Valentine and Charlotte are a family I can care for; magic..

However!!!
I feel, when things are finally going good that Claudette will return, and then BOOM!

Patrick
Patrick

“…really, James/Valentin was a (rare) instant hit .. ”

@su : “he’s all yours”

gavel : ” I’m waiting in the wings”

anyway : I think it was @Timmm who posted… that James Patrick Stuart and William DeVry… were instant hits on AMC… they both played devious men you loved to hate… for lack of a better write. they made a huge impact on what time they had on All My Children. I definitely remember both of them on that show.

these two men have so much charisma appeal and appetite for all the senses.

WOW

su0000
su0000

hey Patrick..
you need to step back from my man Valentine! He’s mine!
((hmm fisticufs, perhaps lol)

and– that interviewed rocked, Michael is the best! his interviews are always awesome!
perhaps some day Michael F will interview me! It would be interesting, for sure LOL

And– I want to experience the dark side of Valentine!
I love a Good Bad guy, exciting…
As bad as Valentine could be I’m right there with him! (mine!)

Patrick
Patrick

You, make me laugh

“…hmmmm fisticuffs ”

If you mean slam on the table tussle fisticuffs. We reach the same length

I’m in

Patrick
Patrick

for some reason I thought fisticuffs… were when you are shackled at the table… ie: the interrogating room like @GH. can’t reach that far

Denise
Denise

I love JPS and Valentin, BUT if Nikolas is not alive I can not see how GH can justify Valentin”s longevity on the show. Gh HAS to cast TC back or recast it for a short period of time. And they need to do it NOW!!!

Suzie rm
Suzie rm

I so totally agree! The bad/ evil never pay on GH. The audience seems to forget Val killed Nick, shot Kevin, held everyone hostage,tried to kidnap Spencer, got rid of Claudette, hid Charlotte, yet he is the romantic lead? And Lulu and Laura are the “bad” characters?

su0000
su0000

hi Denise ..
It’s no big deal..
Most everyone has killed or shot someone……… LOL
And– the good part is, most all are very ”longevity” ..

‘spose we do a body count LOL ..

((that will teach Nicholas to attack someone holding a gun to get yourself shoot lol ))

Terri Skarzynski
Terri Skarzynski

I agree I love Valentin and Nina, but it is hard to get around the fact he killed Nik. They need to bring back the character of Nikolas. I would rather have Nikolas come back as TC or his recent recast than to have SB come back as Jason. Sorry I think it would bring so many great storylines with the return of his character.

Celia
Celia

I completely agree, Denise. Let’s hope the recast is Nick Stabile. And, if Ava is to stay put, the chemistry between them will be limitless….that is, if Ava gets well and Morgan is alive.
Furthermore, Valentin is essential ….Nina needs his ‘shoulder’ when Felicia discovers that Nelle is Nina’s and Kiki her twin.
I know, I know…you can stop laughing, LOL. too far fetched?

Patrick
Patrick

MF: “…You kind of, in this wonderful way, lucked out when you landed at GH. ”

JPS: ie: Finola and Michelle – “I won the lottery! … the two of them together is just crazy and wonderful. ”

I LOVE LOVE LOVE that picture above… with Finola and Michelle each holding mics and facing JPS. Man ! the chemistry, dance, and zingers each of these three REEL. back and forth the savor of talent.

YES, indeed… it’s JPS whos the lucky one.

JAMES:  ( the Nurses’ Ball )  “I heard there was some ass shaking… ” CLASSIC

Finola helped me; she said, “There’s times when you really have to break the glass and just go full soap …let’s just buy it, let’s just go 100 percent with it, and don’t question it, and don’t undermine it.’  ”

of Michelle Stafford, Finola Hughes, James Patrick Stuart – three consummate professionals… who are top of the line ACTOR

the camaraderie the anticipating and spot on reading characterization is DREAM

I will say it again… JPS and his leading ladies… OWN GH. – GOLD –

JPS : on Anna and Nina . his relationship with Nina is the greatest he has ever known

(Anna ) She’s there, she was the first, and those wires are always going to have a current running through them.

this is Just GOOD stuff… Nice read… my heart is with Nina.. and I’m just happy for Finola Hughes who deserves to work her talent and craft her character with two other equals. WOW

BAM wallah all the slam dunk is here.

============

“…he was disfigured, or as I like to call it, had the “Elephant Man syndrome.” ”

this is where the writing lacked and .. much to the chagrin of the actors who portrait their characters

this was a waste and was “justified” in the minds of the writers to REDEEM Valentin… WELL it still hasn’t taken. argh! much to my dismay….

THIS IS WHY – GH simply has got to bite the bullet and bring back TYLER CHRISTOPHER. – another – BRILLIANT actor to the fold… Cassadine reign.

THIS is the only way for these three characters to MOVE …. – ON –

wow! their are, other ways, to continue their reign… this time justly include Nikolas

sparks whet simmer pant tantalize… every superlative for heat and combust. OK?

Valentin to leave Charlotte : “devastating” for me… just tears

I LOVE this “Man”

congratulations on the one year … @GH. times moves that fast when you real with imagination and the audience can dream.

Steve
Steve

Varni has said on numerous occasions that both Nikolas and Morgan are dead for the foreseeable future.

Ric
Ric

James is one of the main reasons I watch GH! Valentine is the best character !

Karen R
Karen R

Me too!!!

Scoma60
Scoma60

I think James is very talented but his entire story is a friggin’ mess on every level.

Valentin was billed for years as someone who Helena feared. In fact he was the only person she ever feared. That’s laughable now that we actually have Valentin. He’s a blubbering crier .
Another issue is his pairing with Nina. What a train wreck mainly because the character of Nina has been an epic fail since day 1. Absolutely nothing has worked with this character. She’s like spaghetti & GH keeps throwing her at the wall hoping something will stick. Nina is an unneeded character that should’ve exited long ago. She acts like an immature tween What man wants that? On a show with a bloated cast Nina should have been cut long ago.
GH keeps having characters do heinous things yet never pay for it. (Valentin, Sonny,Julian,etc) Valentin murdered a beloved 20 yr vet & shot Kevin. yet his dialogue yesterday had him saying it was no big deal. The custody hearing was insulting. Lulu wasn’t allowed to bring that up or that Nina ‘s loon who kidnapped a woman & stole her baby from her womb. Now I read that James says Lulu shouldn’t have HER DAUGHTER because she’s difficult? Gee, I wonder why?
James and Finola have the real chemistry. Their characters are adult, erudite and sexy as opposed to Val/Nina. If GH plans on keeping him the they need to course correct this story,.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Agree with you that “his entire story is a . . . mess on every level”!
And I agree also that “absolutely nothing has worked with this character (Nina)”!

rebecca1
rebecca1

That’s funny because I think Nina’s great! I really adore the character.

Morgan
Morgan

I agree with rebecca1. Nina has really grown on me; beauty, real, vulnerable. Love the Nina/Valentin pairing!

Shay
Shay

Oh, thank you, Scoma60 (and Nancy Dillingham, too….) We are all definitely on the same page where the subject of Nina is concerned and you both exactly echo my own sentiments regarding this annoying, underwhelming character and her place on the GH canvas…essentially there is none! As for James, I really like the actor, but to call his Valentin a real disappointment in the flesh after being built up with years of preconceived hype surrounding this so-called “most evil of all Cassadines” player is a real understatement! The only time I find him valuable and palatable is when he is in Anna’s orbit….they sizzle, whilst he and Nina are nothing but one huge fizzle. In other words, Valentin can stay in Port Charles, but only if he is eventually paired with the “Divine Devane!” Adult, erudite and sexy is putting it oh so mildly when referring to the unlimited potential for this engaging future coupling.

Alan
Alan

JPS is a great actor but Valentin is a mess of a character (and not in the good way). Referred to as “the most feared Cassadine” for years we now learn that he’s really a former hunchback linguist with the heart of a romantic who received a Total Makeover – Soap Hunk Edition.

Jean and Shelly have delivered yet another epic fail.

Celia
Celia

There are so many possibilities to explore if Nikolas would return, ALIVE. I feel pretty confident he will.
I won’t go into all the scenarios swirling in my head, but one idea could be that the shooting on the island was all a mise en scene, with the two main protagonists, Valentin and Nikolas, staging it….laborious process, yes, but plausible.
The only glitch would be , WHY?……or, Nikolas could be held somewhere by Helena’s henchmen.
Better yet, as I mentioned before, Valentin could have been “possessed”, as in, hypnotized.
Perhaps, with Nik’s return, they could all live happily everafter, at Wyndemere Castle? LOL.

Regardness of the outcome, I am happy to see James ensconced in PC….I was a kid; but, I remember James, as Dixie’s, bad boy brother, Will, on AMC…..and, have seen the movie “Pretty Woman” a million and one times.
So, happy sojourn (hopefully, a very, very long one), James/Valentin…please, win your love, Nina, back.

Mika
Mika

I’ve loved James since way back when he took over as Will on AMC. He really plays the layered “villain” so well. Hope he stays. I still don’t believe he actually killed Nic.

Grant Putnam
Grant Putnam

The time is right for a Nicolas return with Jason coming back and Hayden out. Alas, it may have been a missed opportunity since we know Spencer has already filmed his last scenes of this year.

Janeway
Janeway

Thank you Michael for the very enlightening interview with the talented, charming James Patrick Stuart. I appreciate the excitement he has in joining GH, working with a great cast and having a intriguing story.

However, as a fan of Lulu (Emma Rylan) & Dante (Dominic Zamprogna), I see another side to that story that he did not address. Some of us are not happy that they made the villain Valentin into some kind of sympathetic hero. This is a character that came on screen holding hostages, killing Nikolas and shooting Kevin. This character had a child with Lulu’s embryo and lied to that child and kept her from her real mother for years. Some of us are disappointed that he is no longer the scariest Cassidine. We are not happy that the writing has made Valentin and Nina look like her proper family and Lulu the bad guy for wanting her own child to live with her, her husband and her child’s brother. Lulu is more than a “nice enough person” she is that child’s mother . As a mother, I find it hard to watch anyone justifying keeping that loving mother from her child.

Many of us were thinking that this would be a another part of the Spencer vs. Cassidine story. I would like to see more of a balanced conflict between Valentin and Lante for Charlotte’s heart. I know all the very talented actors involved would do a great job in this story.

Alan
Alan

I am disappointed that during the custody hearing for Charlotte it was not brought up that Lulu killed Scotty’s son Logan Hayes, Lulu’s mother Laura killed David Hamilton, Lulu’s father Luke killed his parents, and Lulu’s father-in-law killed AJ Quartermaine.

Lulu may be Charlotte’s mother (something I still question since her embryos were stolen from Crichton-Clark in 2014 and Charlotte is at least 8 years old) but based on her family’s criminal history I don’t see where she is any better suited to be a parent than Valentin.

rebecca1
rebecca1

They also didnt’ bring up that Nina was in a coma, a mental institution and ripped Ava’s baby from her womb. In fact, she was not even allowed to adopt a child. So, it was a total contradiction when they used Nina to form a family unit in front of the judge. I thought for sure she’d be a problem for Valentin’s custody suit.

With that said, I love Nina and I think she’d be a great mother…and is wonderful with Charlotte. I just think that whole thing was overlooked big time.

Great post, Janeway!

Celia
Celia

Wow, Alan! I did not know all this….is there anyone in PC who hasn’t killed someone?
And, your embryo theory tickles the brain….interesting.

Steve
Steve

Charlotte may be the first case of in-vitro SORASing in soap history.

Janeway
Janeway

Valentin murdered Nik who stepped in front of the gun to protect Ava, he held the group hostage and threatened them and then shot Kevin who was protecting Laura. He did these things personally. Nina drugged Ava and stole baby Avery from her womb and took her to Canada, herself. All this should have been brought up at the custody hearing (especially since Dante was the arresting officer in Nina’s case)

Lulu killed Logan Hayes in self-defense. She thought her life was in danger. That is not the same as murder. What Lulu’s relatives did is not at issue here, why should she be held responsible for their actions?

Lulu had her eggs stolen by Helena (whether you believe it or not that is the writers timeline) and when the embryo was created with Valentin, he stole it, had it implanted and kept that child from Lulu her whole life. He lied to that child he claims to love about her mother, and told her it was Claudette. That is essentially kidnapping.

Everyone may love JPS and want Valentin to be a good guy but he just isn’t. I really preferred him as the sexy villain. It is more believable to me that he could be so charming and offer Nina the family she always wanted that she was willing to overlook or dismiss others claims of his wrongdoing. I could also believe that Alex could fall for him, but not Anna. As close as Anna is to Dante and Lulu, and being part of the WSB, I find it very hard to believe that she would defend him, that is also a disappointing part of the story for me.

For me, GH spoils a lot of characters by having them do these heinous things, get away with them, and then expect viewers to forget what we saw happen onscreen and embrace them.

Alan
Alan

But Lulu’s relatives ARE an issue because the court will look at the people who will be an active part of the child’s life and Lulu’s family is a hot mess. I would think a mobster grandfather who was convicted of murder and who has shot his own wife in the head while giving birth in addition to all the other murders committed by the Spencer clan — self-defense or otherwise — might give a judge pause in granting Lulu full custody of a child.

And since Claudette was the surrogate she did actually give birth to Charlotte so it wasn’t a total lie that she was the child’s mother.

Alan
Alan

Celia: here’s a list of current GH characters who have killed someone (at least this is all I can remember)…

Laura killed David Hamilton
Scotty killed RIck Webber
Alexis killed Luis Alcazar and Keifer Bauer
Jason killed Lorenzo Alcazar
Sam killed Bill Monroe
Sonny killed AJ Quartermaine
Julian killed Jonathan Paget
Lulu killed Logan Hayes
Maxie killed Peter Harrell
Ava killed Kate Howard/Connie Falconari

Steve
Steve

Great list Alan.

Add:
Carlos Rivera to Julian’s list
Dante was last person to kill Stavros Cassadine
Liesl killed Victor Cassadine
Michael killed Claudia Zachara

And Sonny killed chances for this show to ultimately succeed

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

There’s two points to that , Alan. First, some of those killings were in self-defense…Lulu and Logan were fighting and she thought she was in harm…Alexis pushed Alcazar away from her when he was lunging at her and he went flying out the window…and she accidentally ran over Logan after he battered and bruised her daughter Kristina who had to be hospitalized. Sam also killed Diego Alcazar…a shootout with Jason? Don’t remember..

That’s why I think it’s absurd to talk about the lack of moral center on GH…they’ve all killed, lied, betrayed…purposely or accidentally…for years…

If Sonny is an issue for Lulu getting custody…then he shouldn’t have gotten custody of Avery. But he did. Twisted, yes. But…he did.

Celia
Celia

Thanks, Alan.
So, back to the hyprocrisy, yes? ” He who is without sin, cast the first stone”. Everyone has embraced some level of wrongdoing ( to put it mildly) in this town, LOL.
Sonny and Carly are the biggest hypocrites for me. They are misfits. They are more alike than meets the eye….Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee….as dysfunctional as Julian and Alexis.
And, the one thing which turns my viscera, about Sonny and Carly, is their gaslighting. So adept at it.
I am sure we both know or have known people who purport their fake sanctity by turning the tables. I do not see the seductive ‘weight’ this couple has on TPTB or the viewer. I try to see the allure, the attraction, the good…..I simply cannot.
Bonnie and Clyde Syndrome. Sonny and Carly personified.

Timmm
Timmm

Here is the problem with Valentin that is slowly dissolving. Helena said he was the worst Cassadine EVER and he is NOT! Secondly, he “Killed” Nicholas. Well, that will turn out to be NOT true! So what we have is a triangle with Valentin, Nina and Anna. I hope Anna wins BUT Nina is better with the sweet sweet Charlotte! SHE will be a mega star someday. She just lights up the screen. I would like to see her and Spencer form a friendship that later in their teens becomes a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. They are both so talented. But back to JPS, GH is lucky to have him and I hope he stays and becomes one of those legacy characters.

Celia
Celia

Hi, Timmmy….
Long time no see, LOL.
I love your sweet thoughts of Charlotte—she does cut an impressive acting picture. This child is as luminous as Nicolas/Spencer.
I don’t know about a romantic relationship between them in the future, though……aren’t they cousins, of sorts?

Shay
Shay

Yeah, kinda, sorta, we think, CeeCeeGirl! Then again, they are of noble blood, right??? Such “close” relationships are not so verboten in those lofty circles….perhaps we need a return to that way of romance seeing how too many real-life royals are mating and relating with the common-as-muck types these days!!! LOL…As for Spencer, even though I have often found his over-exuberant antics insufferable in the past, under Laura’s soothing and wise guidance, he has once again become that little charmer of a gent he initially was when he arrived in Port Charles with his father. His scenes with both Laura and Ava were exceptional for their maturity and precocity!!!! Keep this kiddo mixing with the adult class…he fits right in!

Celia
Celia

@Shay.
Hey, Shaybelle,
Hmmmm….I don’t know about these ‘aristo-cats’ ( a’ la Uncle Scar, “The Lion King”), LOL, having such pure, noble blood.
But, if we are to get technical, I can’t be sure that marriages between close family members is practiced any longer?
Yes, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were first cousins, I think….and so many more……every European country, did this.
Let’s go even further……Cleopatra’s parents were siblings….not to gain land, as was usually the case in Europe; but, to keep tainted, alien blood from running in one’s progeny’s veins.
As far as Spencer; I cannot stop singing his praises. He has grown so much, both physically and in the honing of his acting skills, and maturity. A true thespian.
Yes, Nicolas does his best work opposite both Maura and Genie. One cannot ignore the fluidity of emotions between him and Maura….it is not something one acquires….it is innate.
Thus, One can easily see how the affinity between actor and actress trickles nto the characters and their performance….it transcends reality.
What can I say about Genie? I respect her more and more as her scenes develop and delve into her essence.
Laura is a Mama Bear. Loving but stern. Protective but malleable. She takes the rearing of her grandson, seriously and responsibly.
And, TPTB could not have paired her with a better ‘suitor’, LOL. I love Kevin…good for both Laura and Spencer. I sooo appreciate his understated personality. His presence is strong; but, not overwhelming….just the right touch…pardon the pun. LOL.

Shay
Shay

Yes, CeeCee, those most recent scenes with Spencer were highly reminiscent of his earlier days before he was mixing with the other “little monsters” of Port Charles…Ugh!…That was what brought out the beastly brat that I could not abide. I’m so glad this obviously brilliant child has regained his emotional equilibrium and mannerly ways under Laura’s motherly TLC. She has such a calming and reassuring presence about her…like this was the role she was born to play. I love the fact that even though this character went through h@!! and back with her mental issues, she has come out of the darkness not only stronger and more serene, but with a true lack of bitterness and anger…instead, she treats each day as a beautiful blessing and gift, which is what she is to others in her orbit. This is the Laura that many of us have waited for years to see become Port Charles’ moral center and maternal figure…at last, she–and Genie Francis—are home where they belong! As for Ava and her scenes with Spencer, yes, they were also very touching and well-played…those two definitely had a special connection via Nik, but I am at the place where I wonder how much more can be done with this particular Jerome…her burn injuries are awful and it would beggar belief if after all her dirty deeds— and this latest medical trauma— she were to emerge from them both physically and legally unscathed….As I watched this latest episode, I couldn’t help but think that maybe it was time for this character to go, just slip away, from the mortal coil of Port Charles…through death (real or faked) to save her from a life of disfigurement and facing the music for all of her crimes. I know Maura West fans don’t want to entertain that possibility, but I’m speaking of her Ava, and not the actress herself….it would make for a very dramatic exit! Lastly, perhaps I was a bit jesting when I suggested that intermarriages with cousins were once again considered the “thing to do” amongst the aristocratic ranks…I still do occasionally read of certain marital alliances between some of Great Britain’s “oldest family” members that are maybe second or third removed relations, but nothing like those 19th century European royal house unions that were largely arranged by Queen Victoria for her offspring during her lengthy reign. However, sometimes when I see what pairings materialize amongst the regal upper crust these days, it does tend to astonish. I’ve still not hopped aboard the “Kate Train”…I find her extremely banal and commonplace…none of the dazzle or demeanor of Di there, that’s for sure… and her social-climbing clan is simply ghastly!!! Don’t even get me started on hapless Prince Harry’s less-than-illustrious corral of checkered chicks…he has already outdone both his Uncle Andrew and Great x2 Uncle Edward on that account….(Although I did so like his former flame, Cressida…she was very ethereal, naturally beautiful and quintessentially English in background, right down to her name! I… Read more »

Celia
Celia

@Shay.
Hi, Shay,
I don’t really follow “the royals” ( just the Grimaldis, on occasion, LOL—in-laws’ family name; on mother-in-law-side, LOL).
No one is truly a blueblood, Shay—-the Brits, less than most European royal families.
I do not read such, until it becomes history for the ages. Therefore, we do know, through history, how the Brits came to the “throne”—
It was the standard of the times. Dog eat dog. The spoils to the victor go….and so forth…
If truth be known, the ‘royals’ are much more tamed than their ancestor who were beheaded or locked up in the Tower. LOL.
Oh, but, wait…..Princess Di? Hmmmmm.
….which brings be back to a similar conversation we had: Ted Kennedy and Chappy’s Dyke Bridge.
But he was no royal; just a privileged “Hyannis-an”.
Now, this is why I admire Maura West. A true, old New England lady. I consider her a ‘royal’ without the frills, Shay.
She has five or six kids—-akin to my mother, LOL.
I sooo agree with you….what to do with Ava. TPTB have destroyed her—-how to bring her back? Why Kelly Monaco and not Ava? Because she is not a vet? Wasn’t Sam redeemed? Woefully inexplicable.
Maura’s portrayal of the ‘fallen angel’, the beautiful murderess, the Mafiosa with a fierce heart; a heart which can love passionately and hate just as well.
For my two-cents’ worth—-bring Nick Stabile back…..each other’s saving grace.
Perhaps, it was Nik who abducted Spencer? The assumption is obvious; Valentin. Well, too obviously easy, I say.

Shay
Shay

Hey, CeeCeeGirl! Been meaning to get back here to you for an age! Just wanted to add that I don’t necessarily follow the Brit Royals, per se, it’s just that I read the daily UK news and one cannot help but encounter story after story about them, especially over the past month with the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death approaching…the press has been in overdrive with stories about her (and the boys!) Hence it’s unavoidable. However, I do recall with great fondness the beginnings of the late Princess of Wales…her fairytale wedding, her freshness and natural charm…she had immense appeal! What she later became was an epic tragedy long before she met her untimely end…it was not pretty. So when I speak of her with nostalgic admiration, it’s for her early days, when the entire world was initially smitten by her. Same goes for my unfavorable comparison of the “Queen of Hearts” with her daughter-in-law…Kate simply lacks the effortless style, charisma and warmth that was the trademark persona of the princess…I am not the only one to observe this, as I just noticed an interview with Di’s butler, Paul Burrell, who said exactly the same thing! But that’s neither here nor there….As for the Grimaldis? Again, I don’t follow them, but occasionally see their presence in similar circumstances….my last glimpse was of the Prince and Princess of Monaco with their twins! Their little princeling, Jacques, is an absolute darling, what with his cherubic blond curls…he looks like the personification of a related dauphin who stepped out of a painting from centuries past…it’s uncanny! And I do like Charlene….she is understated, coolly elegant and always extremely chic. She also seems very caring and maternal….and has certainly grown into her royal role quite well!!!! The rest of the family is a soap opera unto itself, albeit a glitzy and fascinating one.. Charlotte is stunningly gorgeous, even surpassing her own mother’s youthful beauty, to which she bears a strong resemblance. Having said that, I agree with you that the subject of royalty is far more interesting from an historical perspective rather than in noting what’s happening today with the much-diminished European houses.

Patrick
Patrick

“…Nina is better with the sweet sweet Charlotte! SHE will be a mega star someday. She just lights up the screen. ”

what can I say ?

that child… makes me cry.

Valentin and Nina are so lucky ! and it’s magic

I’d like to ask you and @Alan… would making Nicholas alive… bring to rest all the questions about Valentin Character ? argh! GH LISTEN

Patrick
Patrick

THIS , is 1/2 the battle PLUS… re-posting @Ces

“…Tyler Christopher can just look at some one and there would be passion. ”

WOW.. I Just don’t get the decision and behind the scenery .. w/ shelley and Frank. this would answer so many

get this show on the road.. get this show ON

altho, Valentin hasn’t surfaced as the hellfire and brimstone… if Nicholas is brought back… that would enliven and FIRE UP the Cassadine MEN.

let Valentin buy Crimson .. and let Valentin get his talons in the denizen of Port Charles….

buy it… Sonny / Jason / Michael / Finn / Franco pail.. and have no zest .. lack.. and do not REEL

’nuff said.

Tyler Christopher along with Robin Christopher NEED to return

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Someone earlier said she was a little “creepy”–and she is.

Timmm
Timmm

ALL kids have a creepy stage in their lives!

Kristie
Kristie

I love him so much. He is now one of my favorites. In fact I think he spices up the place so much even Lulu and Dante’s scenes are so much more interesting. I was terribly afraid he was not returning. And am so glad he’s back. And it’s so surprising because I didn’t like him at all at first. But James Patrick Stewart is so amazing that he quickly changed that. And I am full team Valentin and Nina and Charlotte. ☺️

Patrick
Patrick

Thank you, I agree wholeheartedly, Dante and lulu are breathing life of their OWN. Admittedly, I get a little worn out with Lulu.

Albeit, Charlotte makes her work.

It was a good idea that Valentin was imprisoned. It gave Lulu time . as I read in SOD, that family nucleus is now somewhat etched.

That being said = that bond with her father is unflappable.

All said. Lulu and Dante are making this story work, which helps Nina And Valentin mix. Heck I think it even works with the other grandma Olivia.

Isn’t it a big treat and the best distraction, to forget about Carly, Sonny, and zsteve Burton.

brian
brian

I would like to see Nicolas back…but then again, I does make me wonder does anyone really ever “die” on a show unless they pass away in real life ?

Bravo ahead of time to GH on the memory of Peter Hanson

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

ONE (flashback) scene today–and what an awkward “intro”; wouldn’t SCOTTY have been called FIRST–and called by Gail??? Strange–and unbelievable.

Jacqueline
Jacqueline

Love this talented actor! He has brought so much to General Hospital and I hope he has a very long stay. Would love to see a Nicholas character. I think the two of them would be terrific. And he needs to be with Nina!

Soaphound
Soaphound

Wow, I can’t believe some of these posts. I hated Valentin from Day One and don’t feel Mr. Stuart has done anything to soften my opinion. And to compare him with Will DeVry makes me think I need glasses. But then, I don’t see how people fall all over George Clooney and Johnny Depp when Jeremy Renner has more sex appeal than both put together. I guess differing opinions are part of what makes life interesting.

Celia
Celia

I hear you, Soaphound. I do think it’s an individual ‘thing’….we like who we like, as it were, albeit, I never saw the attraction for Clooney either.
I just like James’ aura, always have.

mike
mike

They put a very good actor in an interesting role and it worked well. So why do they bring back a bad and expensive actor(Steve Burton) in what will surely be a dud of a role. One step forward two steps back.

Timmm
Timmm

WRONG! Steve is playing a role, “Stone Cold!” You want bad acting, I can name names but won’t be cruel!

Karen McEachern
Karen McEachern

James Patrick Stuart is a phenomenal actor. When he is on stage , he’s the only one I focus on at the time. He is the new Anthony Geary. I hope he is on for a long time. Michelle Stafford and he really compliment each other. He’s also fantastic with Finola . Cheers to Valentin.

JK
JK

AGREE 100%…..HE IS THEE REASON TO WATCH GH!!!

dmr
dmr

I remember JPS way back when, on All My Children, as Will Cortland. WOW. He is incredible as Valentin Cassadine. I love how is he able to bring such vulnerability to such a complex and complicated character. There is a sensitivity to Valentin, underneath all of the hurt and pain. Charlotte and Nina have been able to bring out the best in him. & THAT performance at the Nurse’s Ball, WOW! I downloaded that song off of I-Tunes soon afterwards. What a brilliant and beautiful performance! So talented.

Willya
Willya

I think James is perfect as Val. A seasoned actor with so much talent, what a gift for GH. Too many fave scenes to mention. He and Nina most certainly should reconcile as it was too easy to write in a quickly divorce which was not true to her character. Love that JPS mentions the character will not forget Ana however he is smart enough to keep his distance. It’s smart of to leave this open ended perhaps they can become true friends one day. Why does everyone hate Val and seem to be on a Mora high horse when in fact you have characters like Dante playing the hypocrite after all isn’t his dad a monster? Ok good one. Where is your moral compass? It is a novella after all. All I know is the acting on GH was awful and I only came back to watch Finola and now that I witnessed the Nina/Val storyline I’m hooked. Thank God Frank V. sees the potential in these great actors and possibilities of storylines. Please kill off the bad talent or write them off as you have a way to go with some boring folks. For please sake hire some Latino actors and do not type cast. I’m free.

Celia
Celia

I agree with your every sound word, and theory, Willya. We have a like vision. Loooove Val, looove Nina….together, they blow my mind. And, superlative actors, to boot.

General Hospital

Ingo Rademacher Returns As GH’s Jax Beginning In May

Things will get more interesting in the lives of Josslyn (Eden McCoy), Carly (Laura Wright), Sonny (Maurice Benard) and many others on the GH canvas with the arrival back in Port Charles of Jasper Jacks.  That’s because as previously announced, Ingo Rademacher is headed back to the ABC daytime drama series to reprise his signature role.

Circle May 7th for when you will see Jax back in action.  According to EW.com. “He’s back to see his daughter Josslyn and ex-wife Carly”   Jax will also share scenes with Steve Burton (Jason) and of course Maurice Benard (Sonny).

Looks like Jax may be back to help out Josslyn in her time of need as her boyfriend Oscar’s (Garren Stitt) final days seem to be drawing near, or does something else also bring his attention back to Port Charles?

It’s been a bit since Ingo played Jax on GH having last appeared on the soap in April of 2017.  Ingo eventually landed the role as the recast Thorne Forrester on CBS’s The Bold and the Beautiful, a part he played till December of 2018.

Back in March, the actor originally from down under shared on his Instagram account: “Won’t be long now.  Just had my fitting. All new look for Jax. Start shooting next week. No air date yet. Stay tuned. Can’t wait!”

So, excited for some Jax on GH? What do you think will bring him back? What do you think will keep him in town? Comment below.

 

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General Hospital

GH’s Coby Ryan McLaughlin Talks: Shiloh’s ‘Dawn Of Day’ Followers, Playing A Cult Leader, And His Co-Stars

Ever since the arrival in Port Charles of the mysterious “David Henry Archer” (Hank) now better known now as “Shiloh” (Coby Ryan McLaughlin), the minds of several members of the community have been revealed to, or have fallen under his spell.

For Shiloh is the cult leader of the group “Dawn of Day”.  He wields his manipulative skills to entrap unsuspecting people in his quest for power and control.   And make no mistake about it … he certainly has a target for Sam (Kelly Monaco), and an ax to grind with her.   For in her past, “the con-artist” Sam apparently swindled Shiloh’s father leaving him with next to nothing.  In addition to that, it has been noted, that Shiloh shared combat time in Afghanistan with Drew Cain (Billy Miller), before changing his name and coming to the town, where says he owes Drew for saving his life.

In story, one of his most loyal followers, Kristina (Lexi Ainsworth) was to be initiated in the inner-circle of the cult, and after drinking from the cup as part of the ritual which drugged her, she was saved by Jason (Steve Burton ) who got her out of the “Dawn of Day” house and to a secret location, leaving Shiloh infuriated and needing to cover his tracks.  As the story has played out, we learn that Brad (Parry Shen) has also been bitten by the “Dawn of Day” bug and believes in Shiloh’s musing.  So much so that he wiped the evidence from the cup Krisina drank out of that Jason provided to Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst) for testing in the hospital.  The GH audience has also learned that Willow (Katelyn MacMullen) was one of Shiloh’s favorite former members of the cult.  She has revealed she had a child with the guy (the baby she thinks is being raised by Brad) and needs to make sure he never finds out.  But, does Shiloh secretly know?

When we last saw Shiloh on Thursday’s episode of GH, he went into the files of the “Dawn of Day” followers and found Kristina’s.  He opened it, and we finally learn her “pledge” – a deep rooted secret from her past that one must share as part of the journey with the cult.  It revealed, that Shiloh knows that Kristina was abused by her former boyfriend Kiefer and that her mother, Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) ran him down and killed him with her car.  Kristina knows about it first-hand, because she saw it happen as she was in the car with Alexis.  What will Shiloh eventually do with this Intel?

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Coby Ryan McLaughlin, who has been the catalyst for much of the latest trouble brewing on-screen on GH about: the complexities of playing such a dynamic, and yet terrifying character, what has it been like mixing it up with the stellar cast of the ABC daytime drama series, and what he thinks Shiloh’s next move might be.  Here’s what Coby had to say about all and more!

What do you think about the reaction of the GH audience to Shiloh?  Is it what you expected?

COBY:  I’ve never really played a bad guy like this.  It’s interesting playing a villain because they love to hate you.  I’ll go on Instagram every now and then and throw elbows at the fans.  It’s really a trip.  The thing I like about this guy is that he’s not completely diabolical.  There are other things going on with this guy; he has other agendas as well.  It’s interesting seeing people react to what it is that I am doing while I have a storyline that is playing out.

Courtesy/ABC

It’s is a bit of a trip as you say; because you have to, in many ways, be subtle in the manipulation as a cult leader would do.  Did you do any research on cult leaders before stepping into Shiloh’s shoes?

COBY:  I didn’t do much when I initially got the part, because I actually know some people like this.  I think as actors, one of the most interesting parts of our jobs is that we just get to sit back and observe things about people’s behaviors.  There are certain people who I have come across where my “Spidey senses” start tingling, and you think, “Well, I’m not going to get involved with this person, but what a fascinating individual.  This behavior is so fascinating.”  However, once I started this gig, yes, I did do research.   I’ll tell you, the one thing that a lot of these guys have in common is that they are extraordinarily exuberant.  They have just this energy about them, and they are seemingly humble.  They have these grandiose visions and these delusions of grandeur, but they do it in a way where you’re like, “Huh.  That almost seems kind of normal.”  In order to get a large number of people to follow you, you’ve got to be charismatic, you’ve got to be saying something that people really tap into and want to hear.  The behavior and psychology behind it are really interesting.  I watched this one documentary and these people literally had no idea … until they did.  They literally had no idea that they were in a cult until they woke up, and they were like, “Holy s**t.  This isn’t right.  This doesn’t feel right.”   Shiloh is an interesting role to play, and it’s written so straight down the line that I really don’t have to push anything, because the guy is written as what he is.   It’s really cool to be able to find all of the little things in that character, so I try to make him a whole bunch of different things to different people.

Did you know from the beginning that Shiloh would turn out to be this cult leader in the “Dawn of Day” storyline?  Who did you screen-test with that landed you the part?

COBY:  No, I didn’t know what he was going to be in the beginning.  I knew that he had an agenda, and when Mark Teschner (casting director, GH) told me that he was going to be a cult leader, I was like, “Oh, okay.  I know what I want to do.”   I have always had the opinion that cult leaders don’t come off bad… they’ve got to be likable.  You have to be able to relate to them in a way.  You have to be able to look at them and be like, “Ah well, maybe in certain circumstances what this guy is doing is okay.”  You have to be able to almost justify some of the behavior until you can’t anymore.  I screen tested with Laura Wright (Carly), and she is really fantastic.  We sit in the makeup chair and shoot the breeze all the time.

Courtesy/ABC

So, is Shiloh infatuated with Sam?   What does he ultimately want from her?

COBY:  Yes, but he wants a lot. (Laughs) There’s a lot of backstory to him and what really brought him to Port Charles.  Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) and I have conversations all of the time about what this guy really is, and what his ultimate goals are, and that may change.  I think that Shiloh is a guy who has come to find his power, and the more powerful he gets, the more he wants.   You know, I’ve become a fan of General Hospital now.  I never watched the show before I got this gig.  I was a Days of our Lives guy years ago.  Don’t tell anybody. (Laughs).

Okay… we will not tell. (Laughs) Ah, sorry!  That’s got to be in the interview! (Laughs)

COBY:  All of  sudden, I will get a message from HR saying, “You’ve been great, but…” (Laughs)   But as to what Shiloh wants with Sam, you know I will read the scripts in advance, and I’ll start creating certain these things for myself in my own mind, such as: “What if he wanted to screw over Sam because of what she did to his father?”  What if it started like that, but all of the sudden he’s coming into some prominence and he wants to go after Sonny’s empire, and what if he wants to run the whole town and screw everybody…?”  I go through this whole thing.  It could literally go anywhere at any time, which is so cool about the soap world.

Without revealing what it is, do you have an idea of what the endgame is for Shiloh, or do you not?

COBY:  No, I don’t.  I think that it changes.  This is a really malleable medium, I’m coming to discover.  I think that nothing is set in stone.  I ultimately know what I want… just because I ultimately think that the foundation of the whole thing is rooted deep within this individual’s character: his emotional makeup, and how he was treated.  There is a lot of revenge going on with this guy, but there is a lot more than that.  He’s not just motivated by revenge.

Courtesy/ABC

Something had to have happened to him, of course, because you know how it works in soap operas!?  If you’re completely evil or bad, and even if you do horrendous things, and they want to keep you on the show, they have to find a way to humanize the character.  Otherwise, you’re there to cause trouble for a time, and you’re killed-off.  Shiloh’s tentacles seem more far-reaching then viewers first suspected.  He has this thing for Willow, who used to be in the cult, and now he’s got Brad under this thumb. What did you think about how much Shiloh is intertwined with and affecting the Port Charles canvas right now?

COBY:  I think that he is an apex predator.  I think that he sees certain people, and he knows how to utilize them for what he wants.  It’s kind of like a chess game.  He knows where Brad is.  He’s always wanted Willow, because it’s the one that got away, so there are certain things he uses as a means to an end, and there are certain things that I think he wants just for himself.  I think the relationships that he creates with this “higher-ups” in the town are because he knows he can utilize them, and there are some personal relationships that he keeps personal.  Shiloh has his own reasons for doing what he does, especially with Willow.  I think he was grooming her to be something.  Just the fact that she left him … really bothers him.

Photo: ABC

He doesn’t know that Willow had his child, or does he … hmmm? 

COBY:  No, not as far as we know.

If he was to know, what do you think he would do?

COBY:  Well …  you’re just going to have to watch and find out.

So, when you found out that there was this major initiation going on which included: the drugging of Kristina, the huge payment she made to be in Shiloh’s inner-circle, and how he was preying on her vulnerability, were you like, “Oh my, God! They’re really going all the way with this cult thing?”

COBY:  No.  We kind of alluded to it, and it has to go all the way.   I wasn’t surprised when I read that in the script.  This is this guy’s MO.  He gets what he wants.

Courtesy/ABC

Shiloh’s s really upset that Kristina is missing and has figured that Jason kidnapped her.  He wants her back in the fold, correct?

COBY:  He does want her back, but he wants her back for a variety of reasons … and not just the fact that she reminds him of Willow.  That’s part of it, but I personally believe that he wants her back, because as I mentioned earlier it’s all about chess pieces for him.  He sets up the prominent people in his organization, so he can set them up to expand his means and to expand his agenda … to motivate his agenda, because there is a bigger picture to all of this.  Kristina is a Corinthos and she is part of the most powerful family in Port Charles, so there is that as well.  He wants to be able to have that power hold over that towns that he is in.

Many in the audience are wondering if Shiloh having sex with Kristina was a key part of his plan.  Is that part of his ritual?  Having sex with women upon initiation into his “inner circle”… or is that a grey area?

COBY:  Here is the thing, everything is consensual with him … that’s where his charm comes into play, that’s where sense of power comes into play.  So, with these women, nothing is forced.  There is not coercion …  at all!   So, yes, its alluded that he sleeps with them, but we don’t necessarily know if that is true for all of them … or…. if it is just for the ones that he takes a liking to.   The other thing we know; is that this guy is also a megalomaniac, so it’s also an exertion of power as well.  What I tried to do with it was not make it so completely overt.   He is a bit of a jerk, but I don’t want it to overstep that boundary of being tasteless.  I think you can go too far with it, so that is one of the reasons that we alluded to the fact that it was always consensual, and people what to be with him for one reason, or another.

Courtesy/ABC

That’s why there was an important conversation written into the script with Jason, Sam, and Michael (Chad Duell) about how there is no way to nail Shiloh for a crime because he is so cagey with every move he makes.

COBY:  Yeah, you could say cagey, I say smart.

Now, Jason is his target.  Would you say there are even more underlying reasons that the obvious of why he dislikes Jason so much? Does he really have an axe to grind with him?

COBY:  I think he likes messing with people, and I think if he is unable to exert his power, or his will, or his control, over somebody, it really annoys him.  The stuff with Steve Burton is rather fun!  Shiloh can’t manipulate Jason like he can manipulate these girls, or the way he manipulates Brad, because Jason just operates on a whole different level.  I think that Shiloh finds it fascinating that he can’t get to him.   Shiloh also wants to get him out of the way, because he can’t out-muscle him.  Even if I could, the writers wouldn’t allow it. (Laughs) So, that’s never going to happen.  As Shiloh, I have to out-think him, because I want him out of the picture.   Shiloh sees Jason as an obstacle and he wants him out of the way, and he will do it by any means necessary, via him or with his kids… anyway that he can, because he can’t get at him on his level, because the playing field isn’t equal.

Courtesy/ABC

What about Shiloh’s relationship with Drew (Billy Miller)?  What does he truly feel about him? 

COBY:  I have this conversation with Frank Valentini all the time.  I think the relationship I have with Drew might be the only true relationship I have with anybody.  I think that Drew really did what Shiloh said that he did.  I think Drew really saved his life, and he does really want to pay that debt back.  I think therein really lies the contradiction with this guy.  It makes it difficult for him to operate.  I think he is conflicted on some levels because he is one guy to Drew, and he is a different guy to everybody else.  I think the way Shiloh is with Drew is real.  In his past, I think that Shiloh was completely fatalistic and reckless and didn’t care if he lived or died, and Drew did save his life, and he gave him a purpose.  However, I also think that he is such a damaged individual.  He needs that feeling of safety by exuding his power and control over others.  The writers have alluded to the fact that he has this other life, and that he was a broken individual, and turned his life around and came back from the brink of dying, of killing myself, of not caring.  So, with Drew, I don’t want to manipulate him.  I don’t want to use him.  I am truly just grateful for the fact that he allowed me another chance at life.  I love working with Billy, because that’s when I get to be human.  I’m not trying to gaslight him.  I’m not trying to get something from him – well, I’ll take that back, because I am trying to get something from him.  I’m just not trying to do it in a way that I go about it with the other characters.  There is a huge amount of respect between the two of us.

Unfortunately, Drew doesn’t remember anything about their past, which puts “pause” in believing Shiloh’s war stories.

COBY:  Yet.  (Laughs). Well, we’ve been alluding to the fact of, “What if he did this? What if he went back into his memories?  What if he were able to remember?  There are a lot of “What if’s …”  So, they keep a lot of balls in the air with this relationship.

Photo: ABC

What has it been like working with Lexi Ainsworth in this story, because she has been the main character so far drawn into the cult? 

COBY:  She’s great.  I love Lexi.  She is so easy, fun, and safe, and just a really nice person.  We sit and chat all of the time and talk about what it is that we want from each other in the scene and how it’s going to work.   Everyone is great.   Kaetlyn MacMullan is so much fun as well as Willow.  As an actor, it’s really fun when you get people who really want to play and want to go.

And, what are your thoughts on working with GH favorite, Kelly Monaco, who is key in your storyline?

COBY:  Kelly is rad.  We talk about being able to “play jazz” all of the time, which means being able to go into a scene and just riff and have a good time, because there is so much dialog that you have to learn.  I mean, that dialogue is nuts, and sometimes you forget halfway through a page-long monologue when you are at 27 pages in.  That’s when it’s wonderful to have a really good dance partner who can pick you up.  There are times where I get so off script, and I’m like, “Holy s**t!  Where am I going with this?” (Laughs) I have got really good people like Lexi, Katelyn, or Kelly who have my back and that just makes it fun.

Courtesy/ABC

Some actors like to watch back their work, while others don’t.  Do you check out your performances on GH?

COBY:  Yeah.  Somebody on Instagram, this wonderful fan, will take all of the Shiloh’s scenes and post them!  Shockingly, I don’t own a television, so I don’t watch the show that way.

Do you make changes or adjustments once you see your work?

COBY:  Not really.  I made a decision to keep it real low-key with this, and just try to play everything real.   The other thing is I had never done anything like this before in my career.  I was so intimated by this whole thing, that it was like, “Alright man.  Just get in and listen.  Listen to what your scene partners are saying to you.”  In my approach, I am trying to be as still as I can possibly be and let whatever that person is saying motivate my responses and my actions.  If I watch my work, I’m like, “Yeah, that makes sense to me; I like that.  That’s something that this individual would do.”  Shiloh controls every situation that he is in, and even when he is introduced to new characters, he doesn’t wait to be introduced, he’ll just walk up and say, “Hi, I’m Shiloh!  What’s new with you?  How’s it going?” (Laughs) He kind of disarms them in every scene he is in.

Photo: IMDB

Soap fans first saw you on The Young and the Restless in your stint as Andrew working alongside Eileen Davidson (Ashley).  How was that experience for you?

COBY:  Eileen was unreal.  She was really cool, because none of this phased her.  She had been doing daytime so long that it was just a thing to her.  I’d sit there and read my scripts over and over and over again, but she just knew how to do it.  It was so easy for her, that it made it easy for me.

In a broad stroke, what would you tells the fans to look forward to with Shiloh?

COBY:  Well, Shiloh is going to continue his agenda.  He is going to have to go about it in a different way.  There are things going down right now (and I won’t spoil it) that are going to change the way he operates, and he is going to have to get what he wants in a different way.  Some of the people who you would have thought that he trusted, have turned against him.  It just all makes it more fun for him because this is a huge game.  Even the stuff with Sam, you may think that you know where it is going, but it may not be.  So, as much as he is enamored by Sam, he has an agenda with her.

So, what do you think will be Shiloh’s next move?  Will he blackmail Alexis to get Kristina back at “Dawn of Day”? What is his plan for Sam? Is Shiloh connected to a key family in Port Charles, but it has yet to be revealed? Who else do you think might wind up in the cult? Finally, are you enjoying Coby’s performance on GH? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below!

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Breaking News

Cynthia Watros Replaces Michelle Stafford As GH’s Nina Reeves

Another big name is headed to the cast of General Hospital on the heels of the upcoming departure of Michelle Stafford.  Daytime Emmy winner, Cynthia Watros had been cast as the the new Nina Reeves.  Fans of Guiding Light remember her star turn as Annie Dutton, and she was last see on on daytime in the role of Kelly Andrews on The Young and the Restless (2013-2014).

As previously reported, Daytime Emmy winner, Michelle Stafford is headed back to her old stomping grounds of The Young and the Restless to play her signature soap role of Phyllis Summer.  She will replace her own recast, Daytime Emmy winner, Gina Tognoni.  Both actresses are said to be finishing taping their current runs on their respective shows in May. Watros will begin her GH run in Port Charles in June,

GH’s EP Frank Valentini tweeted on today’s casting news: “It’s a bittersweet day. I love @TheRealStafford and wish her all the best. I’m also really excited about @watroswatros joining the #GH family and continuing Nina’s legacy.”

PEOPLE.com broke the casting change.  Stafford has been with GH since 2014.  As for Watros, she opted to leave her role on Y&R to join the cast of MTV’s Finding Carter.  She is also known for her run on the hit ABC drama, Lost and other notable primetime series and films.

Michelle Stafford’s on-screen GH love interest, James Patrick Stuart, tweeted on the news: “Cynthia Watros … Big fan.”

So, what do you think of the casting of Cynthia Watros as the new Nina Reeves? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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