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GH’s Josh Swickard Talks Chase’s Takedown Of Nelle, The Rift With Finn & The Port Charles Cop Shop

Courtesy/ABC

On General Hospital, The PCPD is looking a lot different these days on the heels of the department losing two of their top cops (one in death, and one on a secret mission), but enter Harrison Chase (Josh Swickard), better known to all as just “Chase”.  Following the untimely death of Nathan West (Ryan Paevey), his replacement turned out to be this newcomer to Port Charles … but who knew he had a few surprising connections!

First, viewers learned Chase is the half-brother of Dr. Hamilton Finn (Michael Easton), and that relationship certainly has shown that there are chink’s in that armor.  Then, there is his secret past with “Janelle” aka Nelle Benson (Chloe Lanier) that has unraveled over the last few months.

Through it all, actor Josh Swickard has proven that he is a keeper on GH, mixing it up with some of the longtime all-stars of the series while holding his own, showing us he is more than adept at a song and dance, and as a potential great new love interest for any lucky lady in Port Charles … for instance, what about Maxie (Kirsten Storms)?

Michael Fairman TV dished with Josh on: how his first foray into soaps has gone thus far, how Chase will deal with the fallout from the events that finally put Nelle behind bars, the guilt the cop feels for his part in the “death” of Nelle’s baby, and just what on earth is going on between Finn and Chase that is not allowing for more ‘brotherly love”.  Here’s what he had to say about all of that, and more.

When you first came on to GH, did you know Chase was going to be revealed as Finn’s brother (Michael Easton), and also had a past with Nelle?

Photo Credit: GHInstagram

JOSH:  I knew about Michael Easton about the first week I was on the show.  I had met with the writers and the producers and that was my intro: “You are going to be related on-screen to Michael, and you will be playing his brother.”  I thought that was wonderful, and then that Chase had a past with Nelle which I learned a bit later.  They told Chloe and me that we were going to work together, and we had not spent a lot of time with each other up to that point.  So, the next day on set after we found out the back-story we were like, “Alright! Let’s do this!”

That must have been a bit of a challenge, with no on-camera back-story previously, to all of a sudden jump to, “Remember, when we were lovers?” (Laughs)

JOSH:  Exactly! And I have to say; Chloe Lanier has been an absolute star though this whole process.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

When you first came on the show, Chase was presented as this by-the-book cop opposite Dante played by the exited Dominic Zamprogna.  At first, it appeared that these new police partners were going to have an ongoing feud.   Did you like how that was beginning to play out?

JOSH:  I loved everything with Dante.  We didn’t have a feud in real life, but Dominic would give me a hard time, like playing a joke on me, etc.  I really enjoyed that, and it created a fun friendship.  Dominic is one of the most talented actors I have ever worked with on any show, let alone GH.  It was an honor working scenes with him.

So many people including myself, loved your performance at the Nurses’ Ball.  It must have been somewhat nerve-wracking for you being a rookie on the show, and then having to perform in front of the cast like that.  Was it?

JOSH:  I was absolutely terrified   It was quick rehearsals, and then as we were about to start filming, I realized this was the first time we were doing the number with costumes and lights.  I had a moment where I said to myself, “I don’t know if I am prepared!”  Then when we filmed it, they shot it from different camera angles, so we ran the number a few times and then they moved on.  I don’t fully remember it to be honest.  I think I blacked-out a little bit, because I was pretty new, and you are sitting there on-stage and literally: Maurice Benard (Sonny), Finola Hughes (Anna), and Michael Easton, all of these people are staring at you, and these are “Soap Gods!”  I said to myself, “What am I doing here?” (Laughs) Once I got rid of all that in my head, it ended up being a lot of fun.  The production does a pass where there are just cameras in the audience, but for my number, my first take was with the audience sitting there watching!  It got the jitters out of the way and brought back those old feelings of when I used to do theater, and the excitement in the pit of your stomach of performing live.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Did you know the song “Feel It Still” by Portugal. the man before they had you perform it?

JOSH:  I had heard it on the radio, but I had to memorize it and learn the lyrics.  In the original version, he sings the song up an octave from me as I have a deeper voice.  I went to my vocal coach for assistance, and the recording guys over at ABC who were wonderful.  We worked out my version of it, so it ended up being fun.

You have obviously sung and danced before in other shows?

JOSH:  Not on other shows.  I did theatre when I was younger and I took ballet when I was young, because I have three sisters and I just kind of followed what they did.  So, I ended up doing the singing and dancing, instead of the football stuff.  It was good to kind of flex that muscle again.

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Did Chase scare every one of his co-workers away from the PCPD?  First, Dante leaves when Dominic decides to leave the show, and now Vinessa Antoine is leaving her role as Jordan!

JOSH:  I know!  The second I showed up everyone disappeared … so funny. (Laughs).

Courtesy/ABC

When Chase came up with the plan with Michael (Chad Duell) to nab Nelle … did he think for a second it would go awry and the car could crash?

JOSH:  Well, Chase devised this whole plan of rigging the car and getting the confession.  He feels entirely responsible, and goes to Sonny and says to Jordan that he had this situation under control.  Chase put everything on his shoulders.  When Sonny and Chase were standing there looking at the computer and monitoring Nelle and Michael in the car, and then all hell breaks loose, Chase is at a loss.  He’s by the book, but at the same time he cares for the Corinthos family and he has an odd sort of care for Nelle.  Chase needs everything to be OK.  I think in the scenes where he is looking for Obrecht (Kathlen Gati) and everyone else, Chase is going by the seat of his pants in that moment.  He wanted to make sure people are alive and safe.  He is being a cop in clean up duty right now, and then he will deal with the repercussions.

Courtesy/ABC

When Nelle comes in to the hospital and lies that she lost her baby, thanks to the car accident, what is going on in Chase’s head at that moment?

JOSH:  Chase is beside himself going, “I don’t know how this happened.”  

As Nelle leaves the canvas, how do you feel it was left between her and Chase?

JOSH:  There is not, at this point, a huge resolution scene of our relationship and how everything went down.  As I mentioned, Chase has been in a cleanup duty, and it’s kind of a gnarly situation for him all-around.

But if Chase had his druthers, would he want Nelle locked up, or does he still have feelings for her that are coloring his thinking?

JOSH:  I believe he wanted to arrest her.  However, there were moments where he thought: “Do I really want to do this?  I do still like you in a way, but I know you are this evil person!”  There is just something about Chase and Nelle that is there.  At the end of the day, Chase’s job is way more important to him than any of that, and so the goal is to take her down.  I think there is justice in that for him.  That is exactly what he set out to do, and he got it done.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

With Michael’s help, Chase got Nelle’s confession on tape; that she killed her ex-fiancé Zach, and wanted to kill Michael, and almost got her to confess that Carly did not push her down the stairs.  Does Chase feel relieved that he outsmarted Nelle, which has been kind of impossible for anyone else to do in Port Charles?

JOSH:  Yes. There was that moment on the pier between them when she kind of goes into what she did, and he says to himself, “Oh my gosh!  This is finally happening.”  Then, when Chase is standing next to Sonny on the computer, he had that final, “This is it!  We got her.  It’s over.  It’s in the bag.”  Chase then has his victory lap in his head, and then all hell breaks loose with something that he did not plan, which was the car crash.  I think Chase was so hell-bent on taking Nelle down that his judgment got cloudy.  Chase was just so ready to take her down, because of what she did.

Chase is devastated feeling he is to blame for the death of Nelle’s baby.  How will he live with that?  He ended up getting some friendly help from Lulu (Emme Rylan) who looked after him after he drank too much following the aftermath of the crash.

JOSH:  I think Chase is trying to navigate that now.  Where I’m at in the story, Chase hasn’t learned how to cope with it yet.  I think he’s got a surprising support system that will help him come out the other side of it.

Courtesy/ABC

Finally, all of machinations came to light and Nelle was carted off to prison as Chase stood there and watched it all go down!

JOSH:  Yes, Nelle was carted away.  She attempts to kick Chase.  In rehearsal, Chloe got me with one of her kicks! (Laughs) In addition, Chase has a nice conversation with Sonny on how he was so committed to the plan, but the plan failed.  Sonny actually showed some mercy for Chase.  Sonny says: “It’s a burden you are going to have to bear, but it happens to the best of us, no matter what side of the law you are on.”  Even though Sonny is sometimes on the other side of the law, Chase does have a great deal of respect for him, and so this, coming from the grandfather of the baby that “died”, lightens the load just a little bit for Chase. Sonny is not playing the guilt trip card, and telling Chase what he could, or should have done.

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Now that there has been this baby switch, do you think that Chase will be the one to discover what actually happened?

JOSH: Oh, I hope so!  I sure hope so!  I would love for Chase to be able to go to Michael and have that information.  I truly know nothing about how it will play out, but I would love for that to be the case.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

In regard to Finn, it seems that Chase really wants to get to know his brother.  You could tell Finn was proud of Chase after his performance at the Nurses’ Ball.  Do you know the issue that has caused the rift in their relationship?

JOSH:  I think it’s slowly evolving, and for so long the audience has not known why Finn does not like Chase.  However, we are slowly on-camera coming around to having more of rapport with one another. Coming up, their dad is coming back and so in the near future, the audience is going to find out the whole back-story with them.  Chase came to Port Charles because Nelle was there, but he also knew Finn was there, and he wanted to have a relationship with him.

Maxie and Chase are being teased a bit as potential couple after some recent scenes between you and Kirsten Storms (Maxie) aired.   The only problem with that is that Maxie could appear like she dates every cop in town. (Laughs) After all, Chase was Nathan’s replacement at the PCPD, following his death.

JOSH: (Laughs) Personally, I love Kirsten Storms and she is such a powerhouse on General Hospital.  We worked really well together when we shot our scenes.  As the new guy, I was super comfortable working with her.  Kirsten was really kind with me.  I think the pairing would be great.

The Nelle story gave us a glimpse into the darker side of Chase than just the “Dudley-Do-Right viewers were getting used to seeing.  Do you think we might see more of that?

JOSH:  Not so prim and proper?  I would like that, personally as Josh.  It would add some fun layers to the character … he’s a bad guy, but is he really?  I appreciate it the scenes where the writers gave me a chance to play with that.  Chase has had enough moments being by-the-book, and he is by-the-book, but there are also some ulterior motives with him, and I think that will continue.  But, that is just my guess.

Thus far on your GH journey, what has been your favorite scenes?

JOSH:  I can think of a few different ones:  the flashbacks with Chase and Nelle were great and made for good TV.  Both Chloe and I thought they were good. I t’s tough in daytime, because we work so fast, and you will get out of a scene and go, “I don’t know if I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish.”

Photo/ABC

What are you hearing from the fans on social media?

JOSH:  I think people liked the Chase and Nelle scenes and that relationship.  To be honest; I really try hard not to read social media and what people are saying about me.  Sometimes, there are fans where I would like to reply, but sometimes I could find myself going down a rabbit hole and you don’t want to do that.  The fans have been super kind to me thus far in accepting my character, and telling me they are looking forward to seeing Chase develop.  It was great for this character to have a storyline for the last couple of months.  I think people enjoyed it … at least, I hope they did. 

Courtesy/ABC

Has the grind of working on a soap been what you thought it is was going to be?

JOSH:  It was better!  When I first came on they kind of dabbled me in to the story.  I really appreciated that, because people would tell me about working on the soaps: “You’re not going to remember your name …  it’s going to be the most stressful part of your life.”   I said, “No.  I got this.”  Then, when the Nelle storyline rolled around, I was working long hours five days a week.  I finally had that moment where your brain hit the breaking point and you are truly feeling that you cannot digest any more information.  You call your loved ones going, “I don’t know if I can do this!”  But you power through, and it is a grind, but you learn so much about yourself, and your craft in a different way than you haven’t thought of.   Now, I am just insanely grateful for the opportunity to be in daytime, because I am learning so much about work ethic. Once you are in the scene you just play and live, because it really is like live theatre televised.  We get one take, and if you mess up, we get two.  It’s a cool art form that I haven’t been exposed to before.  I am just so thankful and feel a little bit blessed to be a part of it.  The GH family is unreal and I mean that in the best possible way!

So, what have you thought of Josh’s performance thus far?  Do you think Chase is still harboring feelings for sociopath Nelle?  What do you think is the issue between Chase and Finn?  Did you enjoy Josh’s performance in the Nurses’ Ball, and the big question … who would you like to see Chase paired with romantically on the GH canvas?  Share your thoughts via the comment section below!

 

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TimmmJMERJennifer G. BoltonSoaphoundrebecca1 Recent comment authors
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Soaphound
Soaphound

This young actor is a breath of fresh air. He’s upbeat, self-deprecating, funny, a little goofy, and has a smile that could melt an iceberg. I like that Chase is a good guy; I’m so tired of this “anti-hero” kick we’ve been on for DECADES. Josh has proven he takes the job seriously and has already added some nice touches to his scenes. I think he has a great future. Oh, did I mention he also has gorgeous hair and dreamy eyes? He and Billy Miller are my main reasons for watching these days…waaayyyy too many Sonny/Carly/Jason shenanigans.

Jimh
Jimh

Chase is the only cop in town….Jordan is at every crime scene…you can easily sneak in the jail and confront a suspect like Carly done with Nelle…Micheal carries a bag in the station without being stopped and question…What 16 year old like Josslyn would be that brave to confront a suspected killer like Nelle…then there is the hospital where you can simply walk into the shrinks office and see him or her without an appointment…all patients and er patients are all treated on the same floor in the same rooms by the same doctors who are so brilliant they can treat any case even those who specialize in only one area-doctors in er are on the ground floor and only determine what might be wrong, get tests done then get a specialist to treat your problem if needed or surgeons in the operating room when its determined whats wrong with you if not a simple case!…its a soap…i get that…and they dont have to be totally realistic but come on they still need some reality…no wonder soaps get laughed at!!!

jaybird369
jaybird369

Jim…I (personally) WOULD NOT WANT to be treated as a patient at that hospital!!!!! That so-called hospital is such a joke…lol. I mean…it seems to me that ANYONE can somehow wander in and out of every area. Beyond ridiculous and unprofessional…lol. No Thank You.

Later.

mike
mike

A very good addition to the show, like the character and actor.

Gigi
Gigi

Not maxi she’s had 2 cops die on her

Satan
Satan

Three, actually. First one was named Jesse. Then Cooper Barrett. And of course James Nathan Westbourne Olbrecht Faison (or whatever the Hell his name actually was)

su000
su000

Another Great interview, Michael- thanks..
I like Chase (Josh Swickard)he is getting his footing/developing.

I want Curtis to take over Dante’s place, he would be a great detective. He is totally empty with Jordan and Sam doing nothing, he is being wasted.

So- what is next for Chase and Curtis?
((probably nothing much, sigh)

Satan
Satan

Chase & Maxie?

Not unless he has a death wish. Maxie had two previous cop boyfriends & one cop husband. All three left town in body bags. I’m actually surprised she isn’t banned from the PCPD headquarters for life.

Everybody loves Maxie….. but for a cop, it’s suicidal to do so.

Rodd
Rodd

LOVE John as Chase! He’s the best new male character on GH in a long time! Can’t wait to see where his story goes.

Timmm
Timmm

This is a good guy. A guy you want to root for. Personally, I would have just cast him as Nathan’s replacement. Putting him with Nelle worked but with Finn? UGG! One thing that might have worked is if Finn would have been in police work like his brother and those two could have butted heads in the same profession but the way this is going, dont like it. Nothing against Chase, I think Finn is ruining Anna To!

Soaphound
Soaphound

So glad you said it, Timmm. Believe me I’ve tried but I DON’T GET Finn. Is he supposed to have a dry sense of humor? I’m never sure. Don’t like him with Anna and, to me, Josh/Chase steals every scene they share. So I’d be happy if wonderful Josh is paired with other characters instead. He’s so likeable and clearly loves and appreciates this great opportunity.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Hi Soaphound; I agree regarding Josh. Seems like a sweet guy and I’m loving him on the show. But I do love Michael Easton; have since OLTL and was beyond thrilled when they brought him over to GH. But I have to admit, I thought Finn was ridiculous when they first created the character (not any fault of Easton’s, I actually think he played the quirky but brilliant part well) but the character was too “goofy” to relate to (for me). Same with Franco. I love him best when he’s mature. Not that either character, Finn or Franco, should lose their humor, but in my opinion they’re both at their best when the “quirk” isn’t the predominant personality trait.

I think the writers have toned down the more “off-beat” part of Finn but they’ve kept his quick wit which first came out when they paired him with Anna and continued on with Alexis. He was completely dull with Hayden; I couldn’t have disliked her or them more. As for Finn and Anna? Don’t like them. I really did at first; thought it was a great match. Then I didn’t. I do like him with Alexis. Something about them worked for me. The doctor/the lawyer; quick wit, an understanding, great rapport. Deeper connection than what I’ve seen with Anna.

I’m so loving Scorpio’s return. Wish they’d keep him on and have Anna and him fall in love all over again.

As for the subject of this thread? Josh? Again; love him. Great interview. He’s a keeper!

Timmm
Timmm

Soaphouond, have you noticed since Finn and Anna are on this adventure, Finn is dropping quips like he is Bruce Willis in “Die Hard!” UGG!

Soaphound
Soaphound

Yes! Maybe that’s the template they’re using for this absurd storyline. Oh, Timmm, the things we endure for our beloved show!

JMER
JMER

Timmm, Agree on Finn and his character not working with Anna or Chase. I watch the show very, very little at this point but have seen various Chase scenes (and of course remember the Nurse’s Ball) so will have to check out some more. It’s rare that I hear about anything on the show actually working well. Thanks.

Timmm
Timmm

Its stunt casting, too many new characters and the stories are not written with a good beginning, middle and end!

Charday
Charday

Oh, what a QT! He looks so different in the posed photos in this article, compared to on GH. I like him on the show.

Violet Lemm
Violet Lemm

I think this young man is adorable, and I loved his Nurse’s Ball performance, and how proud Finn looked. I have read rumors that he is very possibly his father, not his brother. Why the resentment of a sibling born after his dad remarried? I didn’t care for his interaction with Nelle too much, but I think he and Kiki would be better than Maxi or Lulu. I liked Maxi with Peter, and I read they will be recasting Dante, who is very good looking. So time will tell.

Jennifer
Jennifer

I like Chase. Now can we get more Chase & Maxie scenes first as friends & then let it turn into romance down the road. Maxie & Chase are a lot better then Peter & Maxie. I do hope to have Naxie back in the future though.

Jennifer G. Bolton
Jennifer G. Bolton

I am so amazed by his overall abilities. He has captured my attention, for various reasons. He will go far in his career, I believe. I have been a GH fan for almost 50 years, and this is the first time I’VE felt compelled enough to honestly hope he knows what I think. He is so talented, with a special kind of way about him.

General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Lucas Gives Wiley To Michael; While Willow Learns the Devastating Truth

Friday’s episode of General Hospital, brought the highly-emotional moments viewers had been waiting for all-week long; following the year and a half reveal that Nelle (Chloe Lanier) and Brad (Parry Shen) engineered a baby switch with Willow’s (Katelyn MacMullen) dead baby, Wiley being passed off as Michael (Chad Duell) and Nelle’s newborn, Jonah, and Jonah being raised by Brad and Lucas (Ryan Carnes) as Wiley.  Now with the truth out, it was time for two of the heaviest beats of the story to be played out.

When Willow comes to at the hospital with Chase (Josh Swickard) by her side, needless to say she is dazed and freaking out that Nelle took Wiley.  Chase tells her he has some things to tell her and it’s not going to be easy to hear. Willow braces herself and then Chase tells her the story of the baby switch and how her baby died a SIDS death while at Brad and Lucas’ and then how the babies were switched.

Photo: ABC

In a heartbreaking and powerful performance from Katelyn MacMullen (yes, she is our pick for “Power Performance of the Week”), Willow struggles to come to grips with the truth and starts to realize all of Brad’s machinations, as she thinks back to herself how could she do that to her son … to trust him with Brad, only to have the little infant die.  The devastation played by MacMullen, whose Willow, now must realize her baby never lived the full and happy young life she thought, was gut-wrenching.

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Meanwhile, in yet another top-notch performance, William deVry (Julian) showed the pain and the need to unburden himself as Julian talks to his sister. Ava (Maura West) and spills what happened.   He goes so far to admit to Ava that he knew what Brad had done. Ava cannot believe he did not go to Sonny (Maurice Benard) right away with this Intel, but Julian just could not do this to his son, Lucas and rip the baby from his arms.  Julian says he will face-off with Sonny and not leave town, if it comes to that.   Ava says they have to come up with a way to silence Brad … before Brad gives up Julian’s part in the whole baby cover-up.

Photo: JPI

And in yet another masterful performance, we have to give it up to Chloe Lanier.  Who can play Nelle and spin stories and the tears so well, that if you did not know this pathological liar you would think she is telling the truth. When in opposing holding cells at the PCPD, Nelle lays it on about Brad so that the guard can hear them. She blames Brad for being the instigator in the baby switch and taking advantage of her – a distraught new mother, confused and dazed on the route where the baby switch happened.  It works! Brad is moved to a different cell and thinks look very grim for him.  Nelle smiles through her crocodile tears!

Photo: JPI

Then, in what we all knew had to happen, and even so, was still as heartbreaking as ever; Lucas spends his final moments with Wiley as his father in the kitchen at the Corinthos’ along with Bobbie (Jackie Zeman) and Carly (Laura Wright).  Lucas starts to tell his mother and sister, all the things Wiley needs and likes, such as having a story read to him.  All of this brings the tears as they know Lucas has to give the child back to Michael; who has been robbed of a year and half as the baby’s rightful father.

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Michael tells Lucas they will work this out, so Lucas remains a constant in Wiley’s life. He also tells Sonny and Sasha (Sofia Matteson) he feels so badly for Lucas, but they tell him to be happy for this chance to have the son he grieved for.   In the end, a tear-filled Lucas hands Wiley to Michael as everyone watches on in sadness for one father … and joy for the other.  Ryan Carnes was poignant in the scenes; as was Chad Duell.

Courtesy/ABC

So, what did you think of the performances from Friday’s GH featuring Katelyn, Ryan, Chad, William, Chloe and Parry? Comment below.

Continue Reading

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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