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GH's Tonja Walker Shares How She Is Playing Olivia's Back-Story!

Photo: TonjaWalker/Getty Images

Photo: TonjaWalker/Getty Images

As viewers of ABC’s General Hospital know, Olivia (Tonja Walker) is out for revenge for everyone that she deemed wronged her. In fact, in key scenes with her brother Julian (William deVry) on Thursday’s episode (GH was pre-empted for the presidential inauguration on Friday) Olivia says she feels cheated out of everything that her dear brother head while she was in hiding, and in exile, on the other side of the world.  It was also revealed that Olivia is still carrying a disturbing grudge for Anna Devane (Finola Hughes) over both women’s love for the late Duke Lavery.

But while plenty has yet to be explained on-air as to how Olivia ended up alive and well when she was presumed dead in the first place, Tonja Walker took to social media to share the back-story she has created for herself as an actress:  “I know. I’m playing a back story where Olivia had to create a fantasy/reality life in order to survive. Not written, but for me it works. I’m playing in my mind that Olivia was “saved” by her father’s “Friends” which they promised do for him on his deathbed. (Her casket? maybe wax figure in casket? This I’m not concerned with) These Friends disposed of Colton, whom she loved, and proceeded do all they could to break her. Torture, isolation ,mind control, were used to make her do the bidding of the Chinese and  Russian mob. Instead of taking care of her she was tortured and isolated, imprisoned and blackmailed. It order to stay alive she escaped into a world that was based on reality that could give her a glimmer of hope. She used regressive or deep seated memories or fantasies to find strength and then found allies and made strong connections .. she discovered how strong she was… Liv discovered What was happening in PC, remembering bits and pieces. Some real some not. Now we will see what she has in mind… Again….none of this is written so I’m not divulging any secrets. As a matter of fact, the writers may have something better to explain the change she’s had and Liv’s regression!! But for those who have asked me what happened, this is what I made up… The story on GH is held very close to the vest… More will be revealed !!!!  Hope you enjoy. Thank you for your decades amazing loyalty and love.  Tonja”

So, what do you think happened to Olivia Jerome?  What do you think of the back-story Tonja shared for how she is filling in the blanks right now for Liv’s back-story? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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jeanine girard
jeanine girard

I didn’t watch GH back then but always read spoilers and recaps in the magazines, so kind of know how she fits. Anywho, as long as this leads to redeeming Julian, I am all for it! Stranger storylines have been out there, so why not. Nice to see they didn’t recast and used the original actress.

Jenny
Jenny

Since Duke died….he has gotten more storyline, more mentions, more family, and more people caring about him than he had when he was alive. As someone who never particularly cared for the character during any of his incarnations (except the Gregory Beecroft version) this kind of storytelling is just bizarre and unnecessary. He is dead! Now he has one woman mourning him, a sudden son, and a psycho whack job who was obsessed with him 30 years ago….but was long over it before she “died”. She had found love and redemption with Colton Shore, Felicia’s cousin. I just hate when soaps present characters who never grow, never change, and in fact, regress. 30 years is an awfully long time to be obsessed with someone…especially when he is DEAD. Griffin should have been Robert and Anna’s son from when they were presumed dead. It would have linked him to the fabric of the show…given Robin a sibling, and Anna another child. Duke was never a legacy character. He was on for 3 years in the 80’s…and had no ties to any family on the canvas. And his 2012 return was a bust! He spent most of his time playing dress up and having tea parties with Emma. They should let sleeping Dukes lie. Unless they are leading up to yet another return from the dead….this is all pointless drivel. To put some frame of reference time wise on this….if it was 1990 right now…..and the show was reaching back for storyline ideas…they would be going back to 1961 and dredging up old obsessions. Its not relevant now, especially for a character no longer on the canvas! If the show is going full steam ahead with Olivia…then they darn well better tie in veterans who were in her storyline orbit at the time like Lucy, Felicia, Anna etc. I like the actress…I think its an okay story twist….but there has to be some follow through on what caused her to suddenly be obsessed with a dead man again. Seems to me…she should be targeting Julian. After all…he supposedly killed her in 1990 and also killed Duke.

Patrick
Patrick

i’m disgusted…. with the weak links these writers bring

it’s all written in stone… or is it? I swear GH and DAYS share the same storylines.

it’s a crying shame…. literally… BOTH SHOWS; bring back BIG NAMES… for both shows.. only to be dumbed down…ie: the audience crying foul… and then some

expletive expletive

both characters @GH, Olivia Jerome played by the wildly present with so much gusto… that it’s a serious let down… not to see how truly Tonja Walker is capable.

of course she’s loopy and harboring so much fault that she’s gone and nutted up.

@DAYS Anna DiMera as played by the uber sexy fantastic missed so much… that this is serious hurt. unless Andre is able to pull out a biggie and – LOL.. oh wait… just bring Anna back… and get her back involved with Roman. she is the pendulum of all that is DiMera… with what we currently have on the canvas. She is the spirit and driving force with all of Salem’ites. she’s that able.

pissed off

of course she’s loopy and harboring so much fault that she’s gone and nutted up.

I already posted… this is all being done to give the Hope and Rafe show a get out of jail free card. RIGHT? god i’m sick of Hope.

we all know… that Julian and Ava must be cleared… HEY how much you wanna bet… that Ava is going to blame sis Olivia for changing Morgans meds. just as she told Julian about giving Olivia Falconeri son sugar pills.

you know… i’m disgusted… because both shows sole focus lacks so much vitality energy and imagination.

@GH. sole focus … love bringing up the dullards… Carly / Sonny / Jason / Sam

@DAYS. sole focus… Hope and Rafe seriously ? Hope baggage has been given so much reprieve. Rafe NEEDS TO man up and partay. he’s certainly not going to be getting anything from Hope… she’s too old for him.

what a waste of two dynamic actress with character aplomb… wasted

@GH head writers Jean and Shelley are truly looped out and LOST

Grant Putnam
Grant Putnam

Pretty sure Felicia and Colton were an item before Ariel returned so I sure hope they weren’t cousins!!!

Timmm
Timmm

Really good post! I bet Duke resurfaces!

Jenny
Jenny

Sorry!! Colton was Lucy’s cousin! My bad! Lol.

Jimh(leave it to beaver)
Jimh(leave it to beaver)

i believe Olivia was brainwashed by the mob and made to believe she was a woman named Alex Olanov and sent her to Llanview to frame her for the murder of Carlo Hess so they could take over Carlos mob connections and also had her involved with and marry Asa Buchanan in a plot to get their hands on his loot!

su0000
su0000

hi Jimh
Seems she came from a time when the soaps were still intriguing & exciting ..

Jimh(leave it to beaver)
Jimh(leave it to beaver)

su…i wish you were around to see the soaps like i had…they were really great, especially the murder/crime drama The Edge Of Night…it was the most suspenseful soap and fun to watch…most of the soaps were so good back then…i wouldn’t hang with friends until i was done with my soaps!…

Sdiva66
Sdiva66

I love your theory!!

Maciek
Maciek

Yep, that sound’s great !

Queenie
Queenie

Those were great shows. I was raised on Ryan’s Hope , AMC, OLTL, GH and then the Edge of Night. Lol- A time when writers actually could write a story to keep you anticipating and wanting more.

Alan
Alan

It seems like Tonja has put more thought into Olivia’s story than the writers probably will…

Kevin O.
Kevin O.

Exactly! That’s what is wrong with the current regime at GH. (And good for Tonja for doing it!)

su0000
su0000

So far from what I’ve seen the story is weak,,
It hasn’t had suspense.
It has given wonder as to who (and even that was obvious) but that has been about it for the intrigue. There was no surprise.

And good lord! Duke, again!! (insert your fav swear word) that was the kill-point.

It should have been the mama Wu..
Give Brad and Lucus a drama adventure upfront story..
All the ingredients were there= Brad mama Wu’s son Lucus Julian’s son deep in trouble saving each other and throw in Sonny, Ava and Jason..
That is the heavy side of GH talent wasted once again on the same players.

J&S are pitifully empty of imagination. Lazy and Weak writing.

Rose
Rose

Looking forward to Tonya on GH. Used to also like her bad-girl ro.le on OLTL as Alex Olanvo with Carlos Hessser.

Olivia jerome
Olivia jerome

You need to leave your brother and annealing matter of fact leave town

James R. Poissant
James R. Poissant

I keep wanting to say she has Duke alive and hidden somehow which is the only thing that would get Julian off the hook for Duke’s murder. I know I could be way off-base but right now, that’s the gut feeling I’m going with.

Karen
Karen

I like your theory.

Tomas Torquemada
Tomas Torquemada

We can only hope for that.

Why bring him back to kill him? (I had the same gripe about AJ…. grrrr)

James
James

Don’t even go there about AJ. I am still pissed they killed him off again. That was one character I wanted to see happy and we never got the chance.

Timmm
Timmm

Duke will be alive. She doesnt have him since she is so obsessed with those pictures. Duke will return and it gives Anna and Griffin something big to act in.

robbie
robbie

I think I missed an episode. How many pre-emptions/ reruns last week?

Patrick
Patrick

ditto

all these preempts and “classic” ep

JMER
JMER

That was the greatest episode of GH in months, in much part due to Tonja’s performance as a dangerous woman, and I hope that this continues to build. I love how Anna, Griffin and Duke are in the middle of it all. Well, Duke’s pictures and name anyway (Hint to TPTB!) Many would say all of this is too much to ask for but I will anyway for those who are not brave enough to due to previous writing gone wrong. I loved the details paid to the Naxie wedding as well. See even if we don’t have the budget for a big wedding, or whatever, the writing can be our savior in daytime serials.

Jay Trotter
Jay Trotter

“I am the queen of the Jerome family, and I am calling the shots”

Hell yeah! Olivia is back and crazier than ever! She will teach baby sister, Ava, what a real villainess looks like. The creepy little shrine to Duke in her office, with pictures of her face pasted over Anna’s, just proves her cray cray hasn’t been dialed back an inch. Julian is a fool to think they came to some compromise (Olivia said she blames him also for not getting her happy ending with Duke) and they will find some poor sap to blame for the car bombing. Rudge is probably planting explosive materials in the Jerome penthouse as we speak that will make it look like Julian tried to fake his death to frame Sonny by blowing up his own car. He is such an idiot to think she is really gonna lay off him after that soft moment they shared. Ha! Love seeing Tonja Walker back on GH and that flashback with Finola Hughes was gold! Olivia: Anna will suffer, and suffer, and suffer. Woah! She is coming for her, isn’t she? I wouldn’t be surprised if Olivia takes aim at Griffin (when she finds out he is Duke’s son to get one over on Anna) and it looks like he is ripe for the picking right now.

Andrew
Andrew

I had the pleasure of interviewing Ms. Walker in late 2012 – around the time that GH was dabbling with criss-crossing the GH and OLTL storylines (like putting the storyline in motion that Alcazar and Tomas were one and the same person since they were played by the same actor).. which I rather liked and wished they’d been able to move forward with. Anyway, Tonya pitched the Olivia/Alex story at the time and I thought it had merit and hoped that powers that be would have made it happen.. but alas.. the collapse of all that dashed those hopes.

But, well, maybe that’ll happen now. Congrats to Tonya on reviving one of her iconic roles.

Andrew
Andrew

My apologies – it’s “Tonja” not “Tonya”.

Joel
Joel

I love Tonja Walker, and I loved her character, Olivia Jerome. However, it seems ridiculous that she would still be obsessed over Anna and Duke. For longtime viewers, you’ll remember that Olivia redeemed herself over time and that was through finding genuine love with Colton Shore, who was Lucy’s cousin and Felicia’s ex-husband. She gave up on her vengeful ways and was even trying to warn Anna of something in that courtroom when Julian had gunned her down. If she wants revenge on him, that’s plausible, but the Anna and Duke thing had been buried. Colton grieved over Olivia and left town. The writers need to do their homework or explain the regression in a way that makes sense.

General Hospital

Ingo Rademacher Returns As GH’s Jax Beginning In May

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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General Hospital

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

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

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

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

Photo: ABC

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

COBY:  No, not as far as we know.

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

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

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

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

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

Photo: ABC

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

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

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

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

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

Photo: IMDB

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

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

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

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

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

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Breaking News

Cynthia Watros Replaces Michelle Stafford As GH’s Nina Reeves

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

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

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

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

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

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

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GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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