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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.’”

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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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alan
alan

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 🙂

1loveabcsoaps
1loveabcsoaps

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.

kashi
kashi

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.

kashi
kashi

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

tasneem
tasneem

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

Pam
Pam

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?????

LV_Gatorade
LV_Gatorade

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”.

Christian
Christian

WELL SAID.

Eileen Hargis
Eileen Hargis

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

Jim Barnes
Jim Barnes

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.

Scott
Scott

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!!

Ray
Ray

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!!

Toni
Toni

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!

ricardo
ricardo

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.

tricia
tricia

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

1loveabcsoaps
1loveabcsoaps

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.

Fan
Fan

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.

toscanti
toscanti

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.

Christi
Christi

Agreed.

Teresa
Teresa

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

Fan
Fan

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

barbara t
barbara t

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.

1loveabcsoaps
1loveabcsoaps

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.

barbara t
barbara t

Me to.

Dee
Dee

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.

Rusty
Rusty

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.

Christi
Christi

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.

1loveabcsoaps
1loveabcsoaps

Exactly. Jen is phenomenal…

1loveabcsoaps
1loveabcsoaps

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

Iakovos
Iakovos

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.

Toni
Toni

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…

David Larsson
David Larsson

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.

Jared
Jared

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.

1loveabcsoaps
1loveabcsoaps

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…..

Jared
Jared

That is correct. I did not say.

1loveabcsoaps
1loveabcsoaps

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.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

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.

kay killgore
kay killgore

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.

Cindy
Cindy

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.

Patrick
Patrick

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.

Patrick
Patrick

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.

Jessica
Jessica

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 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.

READ MORE
GH's James Patrick Stuart Talks on Valentin's Downfall and Potential Rise to Power

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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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Valentin’s World Crumbles; Anna & Finn Put On The Brakes

Yesterday’s episode of ABC’s General Hospital featured emotional performances by James Patrick Stuart (Valentin), Finola Hughes (Anna) and Michael Easton (Finn) as it looks like a significant shift may be coming for their characters on the Port Charles canvas, or is it?

Valentin has overheard Nina (Cynthia Watros) telling Ava (Maura West) that she kissed Jax (Ingo Rademacher), which further sends him into a tailspin.  He is still reeling from the fact that the DNA results, that he had run, proved that he is not a Cassadine, as Nikolas (Marcus Coloma) had claimed and revealed.

When Valentin enters Ava’s art gallery, he gets a moment alone with Nina where he tells her he doesn’t know who he is anymore.  Nina tells him he is free now to start over and concentrate on his daughter, Scarlett, but that she will no longer be a part of his life.

You can tell Nina still has feelings for Valentin and cares about him, but is it more? Or, is she now going to move on with Jax? Well, after a pep talk, of sorts, from Ava, looks like she may just go after Jax and see where things may lead with him.

Later, Valentin is drinking and gets his gun and is ready to kill Jax, or so it seems.  He heads out to go confront Jax in his office.  Next, we see Valentin shoot Jax with Josslyn (Eden McCoy) and Dustin (Mark Lawson) looking on.  However, we soon learn that this scenario was all in Valentin’s mind, as we come back to present time and Jax, Dustin, and Josslyn are all talking and wondering what Valentin wants.  He covers and tells Jax he just came to tell him he wasn’t a Cassadine.  Still later, Lulu is filled in about Valentin.

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Meanwhile, Brad (Parry Shen) meets up with Nelle (Chloe Lanier) and tells her that he and Lucas (Ryan Carnes) are moving away from Port Charles.  He admits to her that he told Lucas before the accident, about baby Wiley being Michael and Nelle’s bio-son.  She is pissed.  Nelle realizes he wants to move Lucas and Wiley away to keep from triggering Lucas’ memory of the car crash.  Later, that prompts Nelle to leave Valentin a message that she is ready to sell her ELQ shares to him as she needs to leave town ASAP.

However, when Nelle places her call, Vakentin does not pick up; instead he is on the floor drunk, and opens a box with the Cassadine ring in it, and lo and behold, we see a woman appear, who by all accounts will be Helena (Constance Towers) since we know Towers is making a visit during February sweeps.  Will Valentin be talking to a dead Helena about the lies perpetrated on him … or is something else going on? Stay tuned for today’s episode.

Courtesy/ABC

Elsewhere, Anna is angry that Finn betrayed her with confirming information to Jason (Steve Burton) and his stance on her son Peter’s dirty deeds.. Finn says she’s just so blind to the truth about Peter and he is a dangerous man; after all, Peter kept Jason locked up for years.  Anna says Jason will now retaliate and try to kill Peter.  She is overcome with terror and upset that no one will give Peter the benefit of a doubt.

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It’s clear she wants a second chance at being Peter’s mother and can’t see past that. With that, the duo is at a crossroads. Finn goes to get his daughter, Violet and packs a bag and moves of their place and heads to the Metro Court for the night.  He tells Anna he has to protect his daughter.  Of course, when they get to the Metro Court, they run into Peter (Wes Ramsey) and Maxie (Kirsten Storms).  Finn is not happy.   Will Anna and Finn reconcile? Will Peter finally, finally get his comeuppance?

Share your thoughts on what you would like to see happen for Valentin, Nina, Jax, Anna, Finn, and Peter via the comment section below. But first, check out these scenes between Finn and Anna.

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Video du Jour

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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