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General Hospital

GH's Jane Elliot Interview: From The Future Of The Soap, Valentini's Efforts, Geary & Hughes, To The Q's!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

She is one of the most respected actresses in the soap genre.  She has made viewers laugh, cry, and at times want to throw something at their TV sets over the antics and schemes of Tracy Quartermaine.  But it’s a mark of a fantastic actress to make us care for this type of soap character, and who exposes to us that underneath all of Tracy Q’s bravado, she is a very vulnerable and complex woman. That actress is Jane Elliot.

Right now on GH, Tracy seems to be the only one not getting sick by the poisonous toxin released in the Port Charles water supply by Jerry Jacks.  What is up with that?  And, what is up with Tracy’s love life?  Are she and Luke (Tony Geary) a couple for all eternity? Or, will Anna (Finola Hughes) come between them for good?

Recently, On-Air On-Soaps caught up with Ms. Elliot for a “quickie” chat to get her thoughts on: the renewed interest from ABC on the now lone ABC soap, the shows latest executive producer Frank Valentini, what she thinks of Anna, or even Heather vying for the love of Luke, and why she and Tony Geary are pure magic on-screen.  Here’s what the incomparable Jane had to say!

GH is moving into its new time slot on September 10th along with a sense of the ABC network firmly behind them.  Did you think a year ago that this iconic soap’s ship may sink?

JANE:  I never believed the ship was going to sink.  I never believed it was going to happen because it would be stupid to wipe out the entire ABC soap opera lineup at the same time. And, NBC still has a show on the air, and CBS still has two shows on the air, and I just never saw it.  I always felt General Hospital would be the last soap standing.

How has executive producer Frank Valentini been to work with? He came into a situation with an edict to save this show, inherited many issues that needed to be tweaked, and is by all accounts doing a phenomenal job!

JANE:  Frank and I have known each other for 18 years.  I observed and shadowed him and two other line producers at One Life to Live, before I went to produce Loving.  I spent a couple of months at One Life to Live; five days a week morning till night shadowing him.  We maintained a friendship all through these years and I adore him.  I adored him then and I adored him the 18 years we communicated.  So for me, it was like coming home.  I know he is incredibly bright and incredibly smart. He has a really broad stroke and he takes in more information in 30 seconds than almost anybody I know.  Frank sees what is going on behind him, next to him, in front of him, as well as having his own inner dialog going on about what is going on, what he wants to fix, and what he wants to change.  I love people like that.  People like that I find energizing. For me, it’s a thrill. I love working with an executive producer who comes in before everybody arrives and leaves after everybody leaves.

Being one of the most beloved veterans of General Hospital, do you feel the show has a good shot at making it past its 50th Anniversary?

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JANE:  It’s good business.   It’s a good show. Everyone in the cast is energized and excited about what’s ahead. What could you possibly get to replace it that has such a loyal audience and incredible talent?

Courtesy/ABC

Your pal and on-screen acting partner Tony Geary gave you quite the compliment and acknowledgement during his acceptance speech for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series at this year’s Daytime Emmys. What was your reaction when you heard what he had said? Did you shed a tear?

JANE:  You know what?  I did not know!  They pulled the date of the Daytime Emmy Awards show at the last minute, and we knew that we had two dark weeks at GH, and I had a plane ticket for a vacation.  I was on the top of a mountain on the Anderson Valley and they didn’t have cable television. But I texted someone, “Did Tony win, yet?” And she texted me back, “Not Yet. The show hasn’t even started yet.” And I said, “Just kidding!” And then five minutes later she texted me back, “He just won!” And I go, “You’re lying!” And the reason I said that was because it was at the top of the show and the timing didn’t make any sense! And she goes, “No. No. He just won!  He just thanked you!”   So later on I got to watch his acceptance speech and it was so sweet!

How do you like that Anna Devane (Finola Hughes) is seriously in the mix for Luke’s affections? And Heather (Robin Mattson) was for awhile too!

Courtesy/E!

JANE: Anytime I get to work with Robin Mattson and Finola Hughes I am thrilled. I love these women. We all have such a long history with each other. Robin and I started on General Hospital together back in the 70’s and Finola in the 80’s.  Finola and I both have personal things we share. We both have biological children and adoptive children. At one point, we talked about writing a book together on the subject and the difference, but there is none.  It’s everything we have lived life off-camera together informs what we do on camera. And you know what? The truth is …  it is a child’s game grown up. It’s called “Let’s Pretend”. And the better you are at pretending, the better the work is. We call it “the work” now, because we are grown-up and getting paid for it.  But it is just “Let’s Pretend”, and they are fabulous at playing that game. And, I would play with them over anybody!

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Why do you think it works so well on-screen with you and Tony Geary?

JANE:  Again, it’s that trust at being best friends. There is no pretense about it. We both know it’s a game, but we are grown-ups and the trust that we have with each other comes from the fact that we have the same sensibility of what the work is.  We never take ourselves too seriously. And we are always grateful and consider ourselves blessed that we are like minded. You know, you get a lot of acting partners and everybody works differently, and everybody has a lot of different sensibilities and attitudes and focus about what they are doing.  Tony and I have the same. We are grateful we get to do this, but we also both live another life. He has another life. I have another life. And this is just part of our life and we give it our all when we are there, and then we leave it behind.

Courtesy/ABC

Do you miss having all the Quartermaines around?

JANE:  I do, I do. But thank God, I have Robin and Finola!

And speaking of the Quartermaines, look for the return of Edward Quartermaine played by John Ingle who has been away from the General Hospital due to illness, next week in a poignant scene which involves Emma and Patrick … and Tracy!  In the latest issue of Soap Opera Digest, Frank Valentini teases, “I’m excited for the audience to see Edward.  I love John and everybody here loves John. He is sort of the godfather of the whole show. He has this really amazing scene with Tracy, Patrick and Emma.  I challenge anybody to not cry during those scenes because we sure did. Wait until you see it. I am not exaggerating.  We we’re crying on set.  I had to catch my breath and yell, ‘Cut’.  It’s huge.”

So soapers, what do you think of Jane’s comments on the future of GH, working with Tony Geary, Finola Hughes, and Robin Mattson? And, what do you think the emotional scene will be about next week involving Tracy and Edward?  Weigh-in!

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toscanti
toscanti

LOVE IT!!!!!!

ILTQ
ILTQ

I love that they have been using Jane so much currently. She has been wasted for far to long. I hope this marks a Tracy Q resurgence!!! Jane Elliot is THE BEST!

Cath
Cath

I cannot wait to see that Patrick, Emma, Tracy & Edward scene. Sounds amazing. These people have Robin in common so I’m guessing it will be about Robin. I remember that John Ingle had to take his leave not long after they started taping the aftermath of Robin’s death so we weren’t able to see Edward at the funeral. I’m guessing he’ll finally get to say his piece directly to Patrick & Robin. Anyway, back on topic, I love Jane Elliot. Her work has been one of GH’s few consistent bright lights over the years. And I love how Tracy’s airtime is intersecting with more characters these days. Finola Hughes, Tony Geary & Robin Mattson are a good start and then this week, she got to meet & snark back at Todd Manning. LOL FV & RC’s GH is amazing for jumping on these storyline opportunities alone.

Cathy
Cathy

I hope it is about Robin since it would be a rich nod to GH history. Always felt Robin should have been talked about to Emma. GH missed so many opportunities. Edward, Lila and Alan connect to Robin.

Love Jane and loved the interview Kimberly McCullough did with her before she left GH. You can see Kimberly loved and admired Jane from the interview.

Tracy deserves better than Luke. Love her and Joe. Anna would never forgive Luke for what he did with Robert/Ethan. Anna belongs with Robert.

Jamie
Jamie

Better than Luke but you’re cool with Joe? Yeah he’s a great guy.

shan
shan

Always love watching Jane Elliot, She is one of the very best and I love every scene she is in.

Patrick
Patrick

Tracy and Anna… are giving us Long-Term Fans…”Romance” – what a Treat!

Vulnerable. OK… as only these two woman can give. Men have to think… LOL.

Tracy and Joe, Jr. – they consummated rather quickly… twice, i might add. I teared up when Joe.. gave Tracy the antidote.

Anna and Luke… Luke fessed up to Anna… just before she finds Duke. I can’t find the right words to describe how entranced I am with Finola Hughes portrayal of Anna. Geez! Mother to Robin… and fully embodying… womanhood with Luke… ala.. still police commissioner’ing… A mother in search of her beloved Robin. How beautiful.

It’s a treat to see two women.. Tracy and Anna.. in their – 40’s – 50’s embracing love and romance…

Men know these women tick… are a treat… are viable beings… ooh la la… ! We’re cheering you on and rooting for you… as always.

dg
dg

I am a 42 yr viewer of GH and while I have no problem with older women having romance I dont support the Tracy/Luke or Luke/Anna pairing. Tracy and Luke are great comic relief but romantically they are as dull as watching paint dry.
As far as Luke and Anna go, I can’t stomach it. TG looks great for a man in his 60s and still fairly youthful but he just looks too old in my opinion for Finola Huges. Finola has aged remarkably well as would be much better suited with a younger man perhaps in his mid to late 40s or early 50s.
And besides that there is no story line romantic history between luke and Anna. Anna was devoted to Robert and Duke. Luke’s only true love will always be Laura. But since Genie Francis is not on the scene I think Luke should play the field and gravitate back to his old fornicating ways.
There are several out of work soap actors in their 50s who would make suitable love interests for Jane Elliot ( Richard Steinmetz, Scull Jr doesnt cut it). The trouble is that they need a good story .
As for Anna I wouldnt mind a Anna McBain fling or a revisitation of the Robert, Anna Duke triangle from the late 80s. I also wouldnt mind an Anna, McBain, Sam triangle. Id like to see Sam stop playing the whiny so called hero and go back to being a down and dirty man eater. That would be much more interesting to watch that to see her drowning Jason in glycerine everyday.

Margie
Margie

Cray cray.

BOnnie
BOnnie

50’s-60’s! They are both fantastic actors, always loved Janes, wit, loving scenes with Daddy, and her evil side. Plus she is so funny!! Where is her Emmy?

ethel
ethel

if emma & patrick is involved then it has to be about robin – edward adored robin!

dg
dg

Kimberly McCollough ( Robin ) has not returned to the show full time. Her appearances will spasmodic and limited because she is pursuing a new career as a director.

ethel
ethel

yes i know that – i am saying that the emotional scene with edward/patrick/emma will probably be about edward talking about robin because he adored her so much…..i was not implying robin would be in the scene

rebecca
rebecca

found her to be a bit impersonal and pragmatic with too much emphasis on the “business.” as a soap fan it’s nice to feel that the actor has a bit of an emotional attachment to the character he/she plays and to the show itself. got the feeling that she loves playing “pretend” and gettng paid for it…but there’s no emotional investment…just a job. found her take on it, though understandable and realistic, disappointing. if she has no emotional attachment to Tracy or her Quartermaine family…how silly is it for we, the fans, to have one?

dg
dg

I think fans loose sight that this is a business for the actors. Jane has been in daytime for decades and she has played many characters besides Tracy. Acting is a job just like any other. If actors took every character home with them they would go crazy.
I dont think the fault lies with the actors but with the fans who immerse themselves in the fictional world but unfortunately seldom take the time to learn much about the actors and the business end of TV.
I loved the Tracy character in the 70s and 80s ( I think she’s been dumbed down today like most of the show). But conversely Ive been reading about soap actors since the age of 7 when I begged my mom to buy my first Rona Barrett’s daytimers’s soap mag back in the 70s. I’ve always made valiant effort to learn about the actor’s real lives, research their careers and learn about the business end of TV since it has always interested me.
So I think its unfair to expect the actors to be so caught up in the characters. This is their job its not just entertainment as it is to viewers. Tony Geary has also been one who comes off as extremely professional and fiercely private. When ever I have seen him interviews or read about him he never comes off like Luke Spencer. Quite the contrary his off screen persona is radically different. And one can tell that he’s not too crazy about over zealous fans that may have difficulty distinguishing him from Luke . He even has warned fans never to bug him if they seem him out eating dinner, lol.

kay/kay
kay/kay

Well dg Tony Geary would not have to worry about me bugging him do not get caught up in that they are a character on the show. When I lived in LasVegas for 14 years I saw Andre Agassi every week at Starbucks and the grocery store we lived in the same area never stopped and said oh my goodness I agree they put their pants on one leg at a time like the rest of us. lol! I like Jane Elliott and Tony Geary’s humor but no she Tracy is not the love of his life that will always be Laura.

rebecca
rebecca

I have not lost sight that it is a business. Actually, I’m in publishing and have friends who have appeared in soaps as well. However, when watching a film, television show, etc…the only way to truly enjoy it is the ability to suspend your disbelief. The same with reading a book…the viewer, reader, etc gets lost in the fictional town/character…and it is that ability to travel in one’s mind to a “make-believe world” that allows us to immerse ourselves.

I do think that when one takes on a role, whether it be on a TV show/soap and/or film…there probably is some attachment to one’s own character, especially after playing it for so long. I don’t need a business course from an actor. When I’m reading about him/her I want some insight into the actor himself…as well as his take on his/her role.

For instance, Michael asked: How do you like that Anna Devane (Finola Hughes) is seriously in the mix for Luke’s affections? And Heather (Robin Mattson) was for awhile too!…Jane’s answer was how she enjoyed working with Finola and Heather….not what she thought of the direction her stoyrline was going.

I don’t need to know she has a “real life.” I would assume/hope so. But during an interview about the soap she’s in…I personallyo would have enjoyed hearing her speak about her character, her eveolution, perhaps that she missed her soap family, the Quartermaines…another question she gloosed over.

So, for me…her almost detachment came across as all business…no play.

giovanni
giovanni

but acting is “pretending”, it is playing. as our voice teacher at drama school used to say, if you genuinely believe you are the character you’re playing, it’s not a stage costume you should be wearing, but a strait jacket

acting is the best job in the world, but let’s not act as if it’s something mystical.

SZima
SZima

What article were you reading? After playing a role for over 30 years, of course she has an emotional attachment to her role.

But it IS a business too, and I’m sure all the actors feel that way. Otherwise why would they quit their jobs if their salary negotiations didn’t go the way they want?

Mitch
Mitch

If you read any of Jane’s interviews since she was first on GH they are always about business. Rarely, does she get “emotional’ in an interview. Jane treats GH just like we treat our jobs. Jane used to not socialize with the cast off set. I was shocked to see a tweet from Robin Mattson saying she was having Jane and Nancy Lee Grahn over for lunch!

aria
aria

I think she spot on, GH is an iconic show and it would be stupid of ABC to let it go. She’s one of the great talent of this industry and i love seeing her interact with everyone, because she always knocks it out of the park..

Jen
Jen

I love Jane, and Tracy is awesome. I hope ABC keeps GH longer than its 50th. 🙂

dg
dg

John Ingle the godfather of GH? Give me a break Jane. The godfather of GH is Maurice Bernard. Like most of the Q family and the other older vets like Leslie Charleson John has been pushed to the geriatric back burner while Bernard, Monaco, Burton and Wright eat the show.
As far as GH’s future, If Jane and the rest are willing to trust Disney I think they need to thing again. Jane is a great actress but her character has seen better days and much better stories.
Rather than disguising her as a romantic lead. Id much rather see her in a strong business story. Id also much rather see her inter acting with Leslie Charleson and John Ingle. The Luke, Tracy, Anna triangle is ridiculous and a total snore.
Tracy Quartermaine was originally written as “the house bitch” as Frank Maxwell ( ex Dan Rooney coined the term way back in the late 70s). She has been excellent as a spoiled, greedy, power mad dysfunctional daughter of a billionaire business man. She also excelled as Monica’s blackmailer and tormentor. But under Guza and Cartini her character has been watered down to comic relief with Tony Geary. I want Tracy’s edge restored and I want her out of that whole Luke/Anna mess.
Jane deserves a strong business, family centered story with a suitable leading man. Im sry but neither Tony Geary or Richard Steinmetz ( Scully Jr) fit the bill.

MK
MK

ITA on the most part, that Tracy needs to go back to being the spoiled Bitch. I think Tony/Luke mellowed her too much and for 9 yrs (the longest she has been with the show at any given time.) Her stories have been not very memorable. She needs to go back being the female Todd Manning.

The Best spark has been with Joe, Jr. (He is like Paul Hornsby and Mitch Williams) I don’t believe he is a Rapist/Murderer. (I think he and Connie (the alter) hooked up and Kate thinks it was rape) For the murder, I think it was an accident or someone else did it. Joey truly has a heart. He isn’t as dangerous as Joe, Sr.

heidi
heidi

Love Jane and Tracy! Great interview! Can’t wait for the scene with Tracy, Edward, Patrick and sweet Emma! Love GH and hope it stays around for many years! They have the best cast!

Ces
Ces

I’ve been a fan of Jane’s forever. Love her!! Hoping to see more of her in the coming months. She has great chemistry with everyone on the show but I just love her scenes with Tony Geary the most! Too bad Stuart Damon wasn’t still on the show though; they always worked great together.

Iakovos
Iakovos

Jane Elliot is awesome and vital to GH and Port Charles. She brings class to every scene and story, and is so watchable. As an actor, she IS Tracy Quartermaine. I am never sure why she is not included as much in discussions of iconic daytime actresses as an Eileen Fulton, Erika Slezak, and Susan Lucci, and the like. She has been a constant presence, a highly regarded player, and created a character so multifaceted and interesting. BRAVA!

Robert in Jersey City
Robert in Jersey City

I fell in love when she withheld Edward’s meds in 1978/79 (ish).

Mitch
Mitch

Not to be nit -picky, but….Jane Elliot did not work with Robin Mattson on GH in the 70’s. The role of Heather was played by Mary O’Brien then. Robin Mattson played Heather from November 1980-November 1983. Tracy (Jane Elliot) left Port Charles prior to November 1980. However, Robin and Jane did work together as Heather and Tracy on GH from June-December 2004…Just saying..:)

Gloria E
Gloria E

You are wonderful Jane, Tony & Finola & Joe Jr.!!! Frank & Ron too!! thank you for not forgetting that older romance exists & is usually more complex than teeny boppers..thank u…& much more interesting too…

PAUL WILLIAMS
PAUL WILLIAMS

It’ll be great to see John Ingle back as Edward, he has so been missed, but I’m glad to see Jane Eliot still hanging in there. Nobody, and I DO mean, nobody can play bitchy ol’ Tracy like she can! Speaking of the Q’s, any possiblity of Leslie Charleson coming back as Monica? She’s just as missed, and we need to have all of the few remaining Quatermaines back again!

Jen
Jen

I love Tracy Quartermaine and love that Jane Elliot is getting screen time with story lines that the previous regime would have never given her! She’s a class act and true talent.

Bethy
Bethy

Jane Elliot always comes across as highly intelligent, warm, personable and a class act. When it comes to the character of Tracy, she brings it each and every day. Love her!

Donna
Donna

I love Jane. What a Pro!! With women like her and Finola Hughs and Robin Matson they can keep this show going for another 50 years. Congrats to Frank Valentini for being able to reunite all of these veterens on one show. And that includes the actors from “OLTL: as well.
And now Ian Bucanhan too?! How much better can it get?!!!

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Like Finola, Jane is a pro–and very down to earth–and frankly spoken. She makes a lot of sense. However, I agree with the poster who says that her character has been dumbed down. The one blind spot seems to be her–as well as Tony–thinking the audience will accept that they love each other.
I’m sure she well remembers the brilliant sparring between the two characters when they would run into each other at the hospital. She called him “something that got stuck to the bottom of her shoe.” She knew him well. He knew her well. They called it like it was–and that the relationship they should have maintained over the years. Her mooning and pining for Luke is painful to watch when I remember who they were to each other over the years. She was wayyyy too savvy to know that she could compete with Laura in any real way for Luke’s affections. Luke has one woman who consumes him–Laura.
Don’t know why Tony Geary has resisted this obvious chemistry–BUT he is warming to Luke and Laura again–and the fans–most especially me are grateful. That’s the real story all these years. Genie Francis shows so much of this in her eyes and voice and touches–and Tony is warming to it again. Hallelujah!

General Hospital

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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General Hospital

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

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

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General Hospital

General Hospital Delivers Super-Sized Promo: The Truth About Wiley To Be Revealed

This week, General Hospital is going full-tilt set to deliver the moment that fans of the show have been waiting for since back in September 2018, when on one fateful night  …

(Cliff Notes version here) Brad and Lucas’s adopted child dies, Nelle gives birth in the woods with an assist from Liesl. Brad and Nelle comes face to face on the road; the two switch babies and keep the long-held secret that Brad and Lucas are actually raising Nelle and Michael’s bio-son. Meanwhile, Willow thinks she is Wiley’s birth mother, having no idea, that her baby died with Brad.

Julian has been in on the secret, and when Brad finally revealed to Lucas the truth about Wiley, it caused their car to crash (Remember: Kendra who in the other car, who was trying to kill Alexis) which has left Lucas with only fragmented memories of that night.

Realizing everything is getting too close for comfort for the truth to come out; Brad accepts a job in Portland and is moving with Lucas and Wiley, while Nelle is selling her shares of ELQ to Valentin to get out of dodge too, so she can follow them, we think.

But in one of the best promo’s we have ever seen for a daytime drama series, as you see below; will Lucas remember and reveal the truth to Michael?

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From the cast credits at the end of the promo, to the setting up of the tale, this is one promo not to be missed.  Check it out below.

Now, let us know, how you think the truth will come to light that Michael will find out he is Wiley (AKA Jonah) biological father and that their was a baby switch? Will it be as teased in the promo, or some other way? Comment below.

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DAYS Eric Martsolf and Stacy Haiduk chat with Michael Fairman at Day of Days 2019; during their conversation the on-screen dup talk about the latest developments of Brady and Kristen within the series time-jump and more. Leave A Comment

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