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GH's Jen Lilley on Taking Over The Role of Maxie Jones from Kirsten Storms & How Awkward It was!

Photo Credit: Janna Giacoppo

Photo Credit: Janna Giacoppo

Jen Lilley has certain been given some very “Maximista” moments lately on General Hospital and Maxie deems herself a “killer” is having her own unique mental breakdown,  and dealing with the guilt she feels over the “death” of Robin.  In a new interview out today from the Burg.com, the actress talks about her Virginia roots, her role in the Oscar winning movie, The Artist, and taking over the key role of Port Charles’ Maxie Jones from fan favorite, Kirsten Storms.  Here are a few excerpts below!

Lilley on how it was for herinitially taking over the role of Maxie from Storms:   “In a word, awkward. It’s really wonderful now. … The analogy I always use [is] if Michael C. Hall wasn’t Dexter — and that’s my favorite show — [but] if Michael C. Hall wasn’t Dexter because he was sick, and let’s say, oh gosh, name one of the best actors ever. Dustin Hoffman. If he was filling in for him, I would be like, ‘Uh uh. No. You’re not Michael C. Hall. Get out of there.  So I completely get how emotional it was for them to have somebody new stepping in. … After the initial shock that it wasn’t her, they’ve been really amazing. And I gotta say, soap fans, out of all fan bases, are definitely the most loyal. They’ll tell you how it is. But once you get them on your side, they’ll fight for you. So I really like the fans.”

Lilley on working with soap legends, Maurice Benard (Sonny) and Anthony Geary (Luke): “What’s so awesome [about] working with them is knowing that they are legends and they know it, but it’s like it doesn’t faze them. They’re so ridiculously nice. This is not me being political, but I literally could not say one bad thing about one cast member. Everybody is so down-to-earth and nice. It’s like they don’t get that they’re on a television show. … They were really my saving grace going in because I was so nervous. They were all so welcoming. They all were like, ‘Look, we know this is awkward. But welcome to soaps. Recasts happen all the time.’”

Lilley on booking the GH gig and what came next:  “Booking it was crazy. I started the day after my audition. My last callback, I think I left the building at like 5:30 at night, and they said, ‘See you on set at 6:45 a.m. tomorrow.’  I remember thinking, ‘How ironic, that I have a comedy background and now I’m doing soaps, which is the complete opposite of the spectrum.’  And I remember thinking, ‘Oh God I hope everybody on set doesn’t take everything very seriously. Because I am a laugher. I laugh when I’m stressed out … that’s my defense mechanism. And I thought, ‘Oh God, I’m going to laugh after every take, and I’m going to look like such a jerk.’ But we all do that, and they’re all really, really cool. Because it’s so much work … it’s like an ongoing acting class that I get paid to do. I really love it.”

So are you enjoying Jen in the role of Maxie?  Has she grown on you since she first took over the role from Kirsten Storms? Do you think Jen has made the role her own?  Let us know your thoughts!

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I love Kirsten, but I think Jen has really made the role her own. Granted, the character can be a bit annoying no matter who plays her (that’s just how Maxie is!), but Jen’s hyper-neurotic energy is pretty entertaining. I love watching her 🙂

And Kristian played Maxie with the SAME hyper-neurotic energy. That’s where Jen gets it from. Jen plays the role with such likeness that one day I thought Kristian had returned just listening to Jen while I was on my computer. I looked up at my TV and it was Jen. That was the day that Jen won me over 100%. There are not many differences in the way Maxie is being played. The only difference is the face.

I think she’s doing a terrific job. She’s a different person, but I think she does the role certainly as well as Kirsten. Just a little different. I am very worried as Kirsten must be really sick. I’ve read different rumors about what is wrong. I hope she will be okay.

Great job, Jen Lilley. There, I know I didn’t say it that way before.

I’m gonna go out and admit and say I didn’t like wen Kristen Storms was replaced because I’m used 2 seeing her for so long. But since Robins Death Jen has grown on me. Jen u are a wonderful actress Keep Up the Good Work

Nothing at all against Jen because I love her as an actress but somehow, I cannot get used to her in Kirsten’s role as Maxie. For me, there will never be another Maxie. Kirsten has that role designed to be her own and her unique talents cannot be matched!

By the way, is Kirsten ever coming back to her role as Maxie? No one can seem to get a response to that question. Top secret? Surprise? Don’t want to disappoint? What’s the reason fans cannot seem to get an answer to this question?????

There is only one Kirsten Storms. I have tweeted Jen Lilley just to express my opinion. I believe she is a treasure chest of talent and she is BELIEVABLE. She has taken the role of Maxie Jones and made it her own. Jen delivers her lines with such emotion and passion. I understand she has a comedic background that GH has yet to really feast on. Jen has earned her fan base and in my opinion has contributed to GH being picked up for another year. I thank her for taking on this casting “need” and fighting her way through the negative comments and grabbing the recognition she well deserves for a job well done. Jen, from a GH fan of 32 years I say, “THANK YOU”.

WELL SAID.

Jen is doing a good job of filling in, but Kirstin IS Maxie and she will hopefully come back!

Jen Lilley has become one of my favorite actresses, she has done an outstanding job taking over the role as a temporary recast at first, while putting up with many hateful & negative comments. I did enjoy Kirsten’s version, but Jen really has become her own Maxie, plus she also reminds me more of Robyn Richards’s Maxie, as I’m really looking forward to Jen’s scenes with her mom Felicia. Jen is such a first class lady and a good role model, as she does charity work for children and she also interacts with her fans, commenting often on her Facebook page.

She has done fantastically with the series. She is Maxie Jones and I will forever back Jen in whatever she chooses to do. I love her as Maxie and need more of her! I’m happy she’s settling into the series. We’ll always have your back JEN! Love you!!

I think Jen_Lilley (I type it that way cause I follow her on twitter 🙂 is amazing. She is so talented and I’m a big big fan of hers! She’s terrific!!

She is systematically ruining the character of Maxie for me… She is just another Tamara Braun… a quick fix that doesn’t measure up to the original, but that gains a following because they try really hard… I know that sounds like I hate them or whatever, but I don’t… I think Tamara and Jen have talent, but they were both thrown into my FAVORITE characters on GH and they were NOT equal to the task of living up to the shoes they are being asked to fill… I’m SURE JL will “make Maxie her own” the same way TB did with Carly, but unfortunately, in doing that, she’s making the character someone I completely LOATHE and have no ability to like or root for… I wish her well, but I won’t be watching scenes where she stars prominently in because it only frustrates me more because Kirsten Storms will ALWAYS be the ghost hanging over her shoulder in every scene and that ruins the enjoyment enjoyment for me… As a matter of fact, after TB started I quit watching altogether for a long time… I’m hoping there’s enough left in the show to keep me from repeating that because GH needs every viewer it can get… In the meantime, I’m gonna go re-watch B&B, Team Pretty(Steffy/Thomas) are highly entertaining as usual! Love me some Stephanie, Taylor, or Taylor’s offsprong!

i love jenn liley. she has really grown on me. what a suprise to me. i love her acting on general hospital. kirsten storms i love you and i miss you. kirsten once you get better please come back to general hospital or days of our lives as belle.

Jen is doing a great job and seems to be making this part her own. Having said that I still miss Kirsten Storms who really toook axie to whole ‘nother level. Kirsten could make this self involved character seem lovable even at her most selfish and insensitive times. What I really want to know is what really happened to re-cast this part. Isn’t it illegal to fire someone when they are ill?

No offense to Jen who is a wonderful actress

No, Kristian wasn’t fired. The replacement was temporarily, and it was annouced on screen when Jen took over the role. However, due to the sickness of Kristian, something that involves her joints, she CAN’T work. In fact, Kristian tweeted she would be returning back in March, but she had a set-back with her illness, which is a serious desease. Obviously her health comes first. But no, Kristian wasn’t fired. Until Jen is offered a contract, Kristian can still return in the role, but then won’t be able to return until Jen’s contract expires.

Actually if Jen is offered a contract she can’t break it, but the ppl in charge can as they were the ones that offered it. The contract is just so the actor can’t suddenly decide of their own accord to leave the show they either have to get booted or continue until their contract is up.

I think she has done an amazing job… If Storms can’t be there for what ever reason, Lilley is the best replacement she is similar in looks and has many of Storm’s qualities. I enjoy her and if Storms doesn’t return would hope that Jen Lilley gets to keep the role. Would not want to see a 3rd actress attempt to re-fill these shoes.

Agreed.

Does this mean Kirsten isn’t coming back? I haven’t seen any news at all about her return since Jan.

KS will return for sure. But I think they’re gonna keep it quiet until she’s actually shooting scenes, so as not to get the fans all thrilled like last time, just in case theres another setback. So likely there will be an official announcement right before her scenes she’s shot start to actually air ….JMO

I love jen lilly ,I go to her facebook a lot and she has answered a few of my posts,She is so sweet ,I feel so bad the way people have put her down for taking over the maxi role but I let her know she is doing a very good job and I would like for her to stay.There are alot of nasty people out there saying things that arent very nice.She was in the movie that won an oscar this year , I am loving her meltdown even though I want to shake her and tell her to be quiet ,She is maxi now,and She is doing a good job and the fans should get over it,she is here to stay and this fan likes her.

Jen is doing a phenomenal job; she is a breath of fresh air and I hope she stays in the role. Jen is fabulous, beautiful and talented. I adore her.

Me to.

She’s getting better but Kirsten just has the “bitch” do.wn so much better. Jen does the emotional pretty good but she doesn’t have the “edge” meanness like Kirsten.

Please don’t change GH anymore. It seems to be changing slowly until recently … slow down the changes.

This actress has made the character of Maxie even more irritating than the last actress. I didn’t even know that was possible. Jen Lilley makes me miss Kirsten Storms – again, didn’t think that would ever happen. I wish they would just kill off the character. I skip through any scenes with her in them. Her voice and her whining just grate on my nerves. It’s harsh, but true.

I adore KS and I wish her the very best. She is fab and truly made Maxie a unique character on GH. She’s a fantastic actress whom I can say I miss seeing on my screen. That being said-Jen has really done a phenom job of filling her role. She has great chemistry with the other actors. I want more Liz/Maxie scenes!! lol They are a hoot and such beautiful ladies. I have watched JL’s YT clip of her singing and she brought me to tears. She seems like a very geniune spirit and I adore her as Maxie. She delivered her scenes during Robin’s funeral and had me in buckets of tears. I would like to think that KS would be so happy to have someone taking such good care of Maxie.

Exactly. Jen is phenomenal…

Exactly. Jen is phenomenal, a breath of fresh air.

People need to accept recasts. I think the pattern in the last 20 years of writing off character when an actor goes instead of giving priority to the story has gone too far. There have been some stupid misfires because actors commit to short-term stints or leave before their storylines are complete. We know recasts can work (Trevor St. John, Julie Pinson, Noelle Beck) so give Jen Lilley her due, people! She’s done a fine job.

That’s your opinion and while I can respect it, I CANNOT agree… People watch a show because of what the CHARACTERS bring to the story… if you have a recast that is unequal to the story… then it’s better to kill the story than waste our time.. I feel as a different character JL would be great, but in my opinion, she hasn’t shown the depth and complexity to pull off Maxie and it is killing the show for me as Maxie USED to be one of my favorite characters… It’s sad because there are other character that have been recast, but so BRILLIANTLY that I’ve been able to accept it… I wasn’t HAPPY about Trevor St. John taking on the role of OLTL’s Todd, but he did such a stellar job that he won me over in the end… I’ll ALWAYS prefer Roger Howarth in the role, but it didn’t KILL the role of Todd for me… Another example… I HATED Carly’s first two recasts… in my opinion Tamara Braun & Jennifer Bransford were unequal to the the task of being the ever compelling Carly… Did I respect their work ethic and their talents? YES!! But they just didn’t FIT… however Laura Wright is far and away the best possible recast for Carly since it’s clear I’m never getting my SJB back in the role! THAT is how I feel…

JL is not edgy or COMPLEX enough in her delivery to be “Maxie” so I refuse to waste my time not being entertained by her watered-down version of one of my formerly beloved characters… After all, the whole point of me watching is for ME to be entertained…

I’m not full time GH viewer but whenever I do tune in and Jen Lilley is on, I find her to be very good.

Some roles are just so hard to recast once certain actors becomes so identified with those roles. Examples are Ashley and Mac on Y&R; Bo on DAYS; Lily on ATWT; Greenlee on AMC. In each of these cases, the recasts just never caught on; and except for Mac on Y&R and Lily on ATWT, the original actors returned to their roles. Sometimes, recasts are magic. Examples are Jill on Y&R; Todd on ONE LIFE TO LIVE; Carly (twice) on GH; and Kendall on AMC. Maxie just happens to be one of those very defined characters.

But U didn’t state if Maxie was one of the character recast that is magic or don’t work. U gave all these other actors as either hard to recast or magic, but didn’t say which Jen is…..

That is correct. I did not say.

Jen is the bomb. l love Jen and she is marvelous playing ths character. She brings the exact kind of energy that Kristian brought to the role, so we are missing nothing but Kristians face, there is no real big difference in the way Maxie is being played. If anyone doesn’t like her it’s because they miss Kristians face, that’s the ONLY thing it could . be. Jen is fabulous, beautiful, and talented, and I hope she stays in the role.

When Jen first appeared on GH I hated her. It was as though the writers had changed the character of Maxie somehow. Maxie was always a little bit selfish, but when Jen started playing the character it went a little overboard and that was annoying to me. When Robin died Jen stepped up to the plate and I have to say that I think she is doing a really wonderful job.

My goodness people think outside the box, she took over a role that Ms. Storms could not continue playing, lots of offstage drama going on! I can’t tell much difference the character is the same spoiled brat she has always been. Too bad they killed off Georgie now she was a great character lovely actress. Ms. Lilley seems to be portraying her as she has always been a self-centered brat.

Kirsten is and will always be the only Maxie in my eyes. I haven’t watched the show since she left and I won’t be watching again unless she returns.

Dag! I don’t believe it? I’m 49… have been watching Soaps, for what seems like my whole life. Soaps are always on…. Longevity…. so familiar with the actors. Remember when we had 13? plus shows to choose from? Now WE have 4. ? I don’t believe it… of all the mediums… Soaps have been there for me… ie: how to explain soap fans… Loyal… yes… even more so.. as they’re dissappearing… ! I don’t even bother trying to explain the Nielson ratings… I’m watching my whole life. Period! LOL. why watch night time TV? whats “Prime time”… they come and go so fast… why get interested? so i’m back to soaps. Heck, even, movies, and music, arent’ what they used to be… anymore, now… whether i like the stories, or not… it’s the actors, i like… enjoy watching. we had 13 plus shows filled with good… excellent actors… I miss them. ATWT, was my all time favorite… Miss the snyder farm and Emma’s brood. next up is DAYS… sorry to hear that carrie and austin are gone again… austin made me laugh.. and carrie is part of a strong family… she clicked with rafe, sammi, and marlena. anyway, started watching GH because of Robin and Patrick…. ie: the New Maxie… is working for me… took awhile… she’s made the role hers, with the excellent Robin storyline… i commented a while back that she needed to soften her look… too severe, the eye liner and bright red lipstick… she looks more calm. as for adding OLTL actors… roger howarth was excellent foible for sonny… watching him and carly together.. was like Too much information…. sexy. Jen – if you read this… haven’t seen this much uproar in a long time… it speaks volumes that you’ve made it.

I should say… Kirsten Storms succeeding in two very likeable roles…. Days – “Belle”… and GH’s – “Maxie”. Now thats good…. ie: recasts are hard and difficult for any actor… and a favorite actor creating a new role is even better.

After all this months as Maxie, still can’t stand her and hope she leaves to do movies And get off Gh. Until then FF button.

General Hospital

GH’s Mark Teschner Tells Casting Stories of Johnny Wactor, Giovanni Mazza, Rebecca Herbst & Nicholas Chavez

This week during a very informative and insightful conversation, General Hospital’s 11-time Emmy-winning casting director and now a Daytime Emmy Silver Circle honoree, Mark Teschner spoke on finding the talent for specific roles on the ABC daytime drama series throughout his near three and half decades with the show.

During a livestream chat on the Michael Fairman Channel, Teschner recalled some of the behind the scenes casting stories that brought many beloved favorites to the GH family including the late Johnny Wactor (ex-Brando), the newly-arrived, Giovanni Mazza (Gio), longtime fan favorite, Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth), and rising star, Nicholas Chavez (ex-Spencer) to name but a few.

When speaking with sadness over the loss of Wactor, who was shot and killed back on May 25th, and what he brought to the character of Brando, Teschner recalled, “With Johnny, what you see is what you get. You see the most kind decent, standup guy, and that’s innately who he is. So, that quality comes through in his work and with the character.”

Photo: HutchinsPhoto

Mark explained, “Brando was a raw kind of hothead, troubled kind of character, and Johnny was able to go there. He had a real intensity that he was able to bring to the role, but at the same time, the character of Brando had to have this depth and this giant heart that he doesn’t necessarily reveal when you first see him. Well, Johnny had the biggest heart of anyone you’ll ever meet. So that essence was already there, and then his acting and his skill played the character. Johnny brought so much of who he was to the character, and there was something so authentic about him.”

Photo: ABC

Giovanni Mazza recently debuted on GH as “Gio”, so what was his road to landing in Port Charles? Teschner shared, “I was casting a recurring role for a 15-year-old on the show, but when I’m doing the audition, sometimes I’ll open it up because we try to cast true to age, really within a year or so.  If you think about it, all the kids in our show are the exact age of the characters that they’re playing. Because if you have somebody that’s older playing younger, it sticks out because they’re not going to blend age-wise. But I did read a number of actors that were older just because they looked interesting. Gio’s audition came in. I was viewing this through self tapes, and there was just something about him. It wasn’t just that he was a great-looking kid, it was just there’s something very soulful about him and something very compelling, and he draws you in. ”

Photo: ABC

Mark continued, “So with the group of the 15-year-olds that I sent to Frank Valeintini (EP, GH), I said, ‘Hey, I’m including this kid, Giovanni Mazza. I’m well aware he’s too old, but I just want you to see him.’

After having him come into audition, two weeks later, Frank called Mark and told him they were putting Gio under contract. Teschner added, “So, that was an example where it was his first week in LA, it was his first and ever audition. So we got  before anybody else.  I think he’s really gonna develop into, you know, quite a young actor.”

Becky Herbst has been beloved as Elizabeth for decades, and Teschner recounted her audition process and how she came to the role of Elizabeth. “She (originally) auditioned for the role of Sarah Webber. But the role of Elizabeth was created for Becky. While the character of Sarah did not last long, here we are with Becky 30 years later.”

Teschner cited Becky’s casting as a great example. “I always tell actors when they come into audition, you lay it out, you put it all out there, you bring everything you have to that role. You may not get the role, but if you do good work, you get remembered. And it’s so true.”

Photo: ABC

Nicholas Chavez popped in the role of Spencer Cassadine before exiting the series. Teschner tells how Chavez came onto the GH casting radar. “Nicholas sent his self tape in from Florida and the rest is history. He had a meteoric impact on the show.” Mark added, “You always have an expectation and the hope that they’re (the actor) going to nail it and run with it. But sure, there are actors, you think, ‘They’re gonna be awesome,’ and then all of a sudden it goes to another level. With Nicholas Chavez, we knew he’d be amazing, but you know, who knew? Well, we did.”

Watch the full conversation with Mark Teschner below where he talks about even more of the casting stories behind some of your GH favorites, then and now.

What you think of the Teschner’s eye for talent casting the characters of General Hospital? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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General Hospital

(WATCH) 51st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards Winners Interviews

Last Friday night at the 51st annual Daytime Emmy Awards, many of the daytime drama series and performer winners took to the ‘Winners Walk’ to share their reactions on taking home the gold in their respective categories.

Speaking with Michael Fairman TV were: Outstanding Lead Actress winner, Michelle Stafford (Phyllis, The Young and the Restless), Outstanding Lead Actor, Thorsten Kaye (Ridge, The Bold and the Beautiful) along with friend and former B&B co-star, Alley Mills (ex-Pam, now Heather, GH), and his daughter McKenna, who attended the ceremonies with her dad.

In addition, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Daytime Drama Series, Robert Gossett (Marshall, General Hospital) stopped by to celebrate his win, as did Outstanding Supporting Actress, Courtney Hope (Sally, The Young and the Restless).

Photo: NATAS

General Hospital won both Outstanding Directing Team in a Daytime Drama Series and Outstanding Writing for a Daytime Drama Series, and both former co-head writers, Dan O’Connor and Chris Van Etten, spoke to us following their victories, as did the Directing team led by Robert Markham, Tina Keller and Allison Reames.

The Young and the Restless icon star, Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki Newman) along with her husband, The Bold and the Beautiful’s producer Edward J. Scott were the recipients of the Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award honors, and spoke on what it was like to take the stage and deliver their acceptance speeches after the moving tribute from many of their colleagues.

Photo: NATAS

Make sure to check out our red carpet interviews from soap’s biggest night and all the winners conversations via You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel.

Now, watch our 2024 Daytime Emmy winners interviews below.  Then, let us know who you were most happy to see taking home an Emmy for their work via the comment section.

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General Hospital

Bryan Craig Teases ‘Who Could It Be’ in Response to General Hospital’s Returning Mystery Man

Since General Hospital’s executive producer, Frank Valentini dropped a major bombshell of what’s to come on the long-running daytime drama at the 51st annual Daytime Emmy Awards, the guessing games have begun of just what former GH actor is returning to the cast this summer.

Speaking with ABC’s On The Red Carpet, as previously reported, Valentini shared, “A former cast member is coming back. And I think that the audience will go crazy for HIM.”

That has led to major online speculation that it could be anyone from: Jonathan Jackson (ex-Lucky), Greg Vaughn (ex-Lucky), Ted King (ex-Lorenzo Alcazar), Nicholas Chavez (ex-Spencer), and Bryan Craig (ex-Morgan) among others, that might be the gentlemen being referenced.

Photo: JPI

On Wednesday, responding to a post on the subject from Soap Opera Digest, Bryan Craig commented, “Who could it be ….”  Now, clearly he can just be having some fun with the situation to throw fans off-track, or he might be giving us a tease of what’s to come.

Before exiting GH, the actor won two Daytime Emmys for his performances as Morgan Corinthos in 2016 and 2017.  Craig appeared on GH from 2013-2016 and made a return in 2018. Since departing GH, Bryan has appeared most recently in Freeform’s Good Trouble and ABC’s Grand Hotel, plus several independent films.

The character of Morgan was killed-off the show when Olivia Jerome set a bomb that exploded in the car that Morgan got into, but was meant to kill Olivia’s brother Julian Jerome. Morgan’s death caused a huge split in the relationship of Carly and Sonny.

So, do you think Bryan Craig is just having fun with the audience, or do you think it’s possible he is the big return Frank Valentini is talking about? Comment below.

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