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Jen Lilley Interview: Her Final Days As Maxie Jones & Heartfelt Goodbye to GH & The Fans!

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

It is true that the old adage “All good things must come to an end” can apply to many of us in our daily lives.  For Jen Lilley, she found out last week that her time as Maxie Jones on General Hospital has come to an end.   The loveable and talented actress stepped into an almost untenable position, replacing fan favorite and the actress who first put her stamp on the part of Maxie, Kirsten Storms.  Now with Storms finally due back to the set after many months battling an illness, Jen must step down from the role.

During Saturday’s GH Fan Club Weekend Main Event, Jen received a standing ovation from the crowd in attendance during the Q&A session.  Earlier that morning, Jen and On-Air On-Soaps sat down, shared some hugs and tears, as Jen shared her thoughts on her final tape day, her takeaway from her GH experience, and what she would like to say to the fans.  In addition to our interview as many know, Jen released her own video heartfelt “thank you” to the fans on a You Tube video, which you can also see at the conclusion of this post.   Here’s our farewell conversation with Jen!

So Jen, you just taped your last episode as Maxie Jones.   It must have been very emotional for you.  What went down on the set?

JEN:  I filmed my last episode on Friday.  It was definitely emotional, but my last two days and two episodes on GH were comedic and very “Maxie”.   And it’s the first time we have seen Maxie with all her “Maxiness” in awhile, with her spunk back.   I was really happy to leave on that note.  We would say as Lilleys in the Lilley family, “The best way to cope with stress with laughing.” (Laughs)   So I thought, “I am just going to laugh my way through this.”   But it was nice.   It was so funny how everything panned out because the crew did not know till Friday.  I don’t know even know if Bradford Anderson (Spinelli) knew till Friday, either.  I did not get to talk to him at all, till here at the GH Fan Club event.  I told Bradford, “I am going to miss working with you!”  But, I can’t complain, and it’s been bittersweet.  I had such a wonderful time and they had a cake for me on set the other day, which was nice, because everyone loves cake!

Did you make a speech in front of the cast and crew?

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

JEN:  Well, first Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) made a speech and then he asked if I wanted to say anything.   He said they loved having me there.  Everyone on the crew always says, “When you come to work there is a different energy, because you are always early, but you are always ready to have fun. And you always have fun, even if you are crying, you are happy to be here.”   So they said don’t be a stranger and they would miss me and all of that.  Then Frank asked if I wanted to say anything, and I am trying to hold it together.   I am totally crying at this point, but I just said, “I want to thank everybody for never making me feel awkward, but so welcomed in such an awkward circumstance.”

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When exactly did you find out that your time on GH had truly now officially come to an end, after so many stops and starts?  

JEN:  They told me last Monday that they were giving me a heads up of what was going on , and then I found out last Friday July 20th was my last day, but I did not say anything, I respect Frank Valentini so much.  He is the executive producer and he is a good captain, and I don’t think he is going to sink the ship.  So I thought if you say something, then I will say something.

So I hear there may be a small gap where Maxie will not be on-air following your departure, and Kirsten Storms return?

JEN:  That is my understanding.  She is not in the next couple weeks of storyline taping wise. However, I will be on the air through August 10th.  But honestly Michael, I am just so grateful.  This was only going to be two weeks and it’s been eleven months which has been amazing!  And, I got to go to the Daytime Emmys!  And honestly, I am from Roanoke, Virginia and in my wildest dreams I never thought that was going to happen.

I think it was great that you got to work under Frank Valentini and he was there with you.  He will never forget you, and the two of you have that New York connection you spoke of previously.  Something is going to come out of all of this.  You’ll see!

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

JEN:  Look, its great timing.  Here is why:  I have had the Robin storyline and all the other parts of storylines that I have gotten to do.  I am stoked that Kirsten Storms is feeling better, that is wonderful.  I think regardless of how people feel about the situation, we should be happy about that.  It’s good, thank God.  You never want anyone to not be feeling well. But Monday, the 23rd of July is the start of episodic season, meaning Modern Family, Dexter, and The Middle are back in productions and these are the shows I would love to be on. All the primetime shows that we also love come back, and they need their guest stars.  HBO, Showtime, and AMC, the channels we would all give our left nut to be on, that is pilot season for them; July August, September and so it’s good timing.

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What would you like to see the fans who have stood by you through one of the most difficult situations an actress, certainly in my years covering daytime, has been through?

JEN:  All I can say to the fans is “thank you”.   There are no words to express how deeply gracious they have been.   Michael, I don’t think I could not have survived if it wasn’t for them.  I am a strong person and an optimist to a fault, but I don’t think I could have weathered the storm, if it wasn’t’ for them saying, “We know you are a reed swinging in the wind. We got you.”   So thank you for being my fan, and stay being my fan, and keep tweeting with me.  And try not to be sad.  It’s not the end; it’s just a springboard into a new beginning.

So soapers, what do you think of Jen’s exit? What would you like to say to Jen for keeping Maxie Jones alive during Kirsten Storms absence? Let us know!

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Christine
Christine

I saw this on another site. So touching.

Why they didn’t recast her as a NEWnuKristina is beyond me. She could definitely pull it off.

Oh well. Good luck to her. She won’t be jobless for long that’s for sure.

Chaz
Chaz

First, I believe that Robyn Richards was the originator of Maxie Jones as a teen/young woman before she left in 2003. Kirsten Storms came on in 2005.

I watched GH only sporadically since THE MOB became the show’s focus and have to say that Ms. Storms was okay in the role in the amount of time I saw her. Once OLTL went off the air I tuned in regularly to GH…in part to see the OLTL characters….and became familiar with Jen Lilley as Maxie. Honestly, I prefer her in the role. I certainly am glad that KS is feeling well enough to return to work but wish they could find a way to keep both actresses. Ms. Lilley was able to portray Maxie’s flightiness and selfishness while still bringing a maturity to the role I think was lacking before.

I wish her great success…and am sure she will be hired by some eagle-eyed casting director.

Mackenzie
Mackenzie

Chaz, you’re partly right. Maxie actually had 3 sets of twins portray the character and then Robyn assumed the role in 1993-2002, then Danica Stewart took over for a short period of time in 2002, then Robyn returned some time after Danica left the role, and Robyn continued in the role until July 16, 2004. Kirsten took over the role in 2005. In September 2011, that’s when Jen stepped in to fill the role.

I took watch the show off and on for years and I too wish Jen Lilley great success in her career.

Elaine Bradley
Elaine Bradley

Jen, I’m really going to miss you as Maxie. You have brought so very much to the character. As you said, I’m glad KS is feeling better, but I will miss your pretty face and acting ability. Good luck — you won’t have any trouble getting another bigger and better acting gig. God bless!!

kay/kay
kay/kay

Ms. Lilley you did a fine job and you sure took some unfair punches at first which you took with class. Good Luck to you!

Leiha
Leiha

I’m not going to lie, I’m very happy Kirsten Storms is coming back but I hate what Jen Lilly has had to go through with some fans. I hope that she is off to bigger and brighter things.

FYI, KS did not originate the role of Maxie. I don’t know if Robyn Richards originated the role but she was the actress who portrayed her for many years.

Lia
Lia

I liked Jen as Maxie so much more than Kristen. She brought growth, maturity and warmth to the role like KS never could.

SZima
SZima

If Kirsten had been playing these stories, I’m sure she would have shown the same growth and maturity that Jen did. It’s all in the WRITING.

shan
shan

I would love for gh to bring Nick or Ethan back with Jen as a wife or something

pink
pink

While i am happy that KS is better,i prefer JL as Maxi because she is a better actress and makes Maxie more interesting and mature.It is GH’s loss and ours.But i have no dout JL will make it big outside of GH and probably win a Oscar one day.

sheryl
sheryl

We are really going to miss you , you are a very talented actress and we know someone will cast you very soon. Lot’s of luck in whatever you do.

Sara
Sara

Jen did a fantastic job as Maxie – a complex character who went thru the ringer during her time playing her. I wish her nothing but the best.

Richard Acker
Richard Acker

As far as I am concerned, Jen will be missed as she brought a substance to the character of Maxie Jones. Something in this fan’s opinion Ms. Storms was unable to do.

TS
TS

I would like to see Jennifer come to Days and Belle. She is welcomed there… I was not very impressed with Kristen when she was on the reality show…. She seemed very spoiled and immature..

Patrick
Patrick

@TS.

I agree, about how KS was acting on that reality show… course, “reality” shows are just as staged…. because, i knew, both KS, and Farah Fath,Gigi, OLTL… she was also on DAYS…. their characters belle and Mims’ were best friends on the show… and off.

I could see, how two young starlets.. could be envious… of each other… that being said…. I still didn’t like how KS… was “acting”. course, it was later revealed that KS was ill…. could this be the reason she was acting this way towards Farah Fath? KS and FF both found fame… and success on two different soaps… that’s dynamic…. Kudos to these two talents. I loved Mims on days… and her ooh la la hot to trot story on OLTL.. with Gigi and Cutter. he was better then Rex, IMO.

i personally, thought… KS… needed to grow up.. and show some maturity.

Linda
Linda

That selfish little reality bitch IS the real Storms. The Fath/Storms friendship fell apart years ago. Equal blame on both sides. I’m glad she is well enough to work again, but I wish it were elsewhere. I have never cared for her Maxie and FF thru all her scenes. Jen made the character her own and deserved to keep the role.

Debbie Harris
Debbie Harris

Jen Lilley did an admirable job in the role of Maxie Jones following Kirsten Storm’s illness. Some fans treated her very rudely, as if it were her fault KS was sick. Jen Lilley responded to these fans with class and poise. And she was well liked by her peers at GH. Kudos to JenLilley and I would like to see her in another role on GH sometime soon!
To me, Kirsten Storms IS Maxie and I am Ecstatic to have her feeling well again and coming back to GH as Maxie Jones! Now, if only she and Spinelli will get back together, that would be Awesome! 🙂

Greta
Greta

Wish Jen luck in the future! Sure she’ll do great!

But I am so excited Kirsten Storms is coming back. I’ve missed her so much, and she’ll always be the definitive Maxie to me.

susan M.
susan M.

Why can’t they put her in a whole different role,new character for GH…

barbara t. Loves one life to live
barbara t. Loves one life to live

I agree, Let her take over the role of the new Kristina, Now that would be nice.

Linda
Linda

Yeah, any Kristina but the current one. God, what WERE the casting people and producers, etc. drinking/smoking to cast this new one?

Patrick
Patrick

Hello Ms. Lilley –

Thank you, for aptly stepping in to, rising to the occasion… the formidable task of a recast. what was supposed to be a two-week gig… turned in to 11 months.

You had such huge story to feature. and it’s still resonating….on screen. Take care.

for what it’s worth… you were Maxie.

Jules
Jules

I really enjoyed her portrayal of Maxie. Jen is a sweet, classy and good-natured person and I think now, a huge forever supporter of GH and daytime….which is a great bonus. She had a HUGE task of replacing KS, but within days, I thought she fit right in. She worked her tushy off to infuse Maxie with her moxie we have all grown to love her with, and you could tell she appreciated all things about her including how her past it affects her present. I thank her for all her hard work and hope she realizes what an impact she made. And I also hope she gets to guest star on The Middle…love that show too!

Having said all this, I am glad KS is returning. About 2 weeks ago, I was watching the Lulu/Maxie/Patrick scenes and I realized that the “weak” (for lack of a better word) link was JL’s Maxie. I just wasn’t feeling her in those scenes and felt she lacked the familial pull Maxie should have brought. I realized then that not only could KS have brought that grounding, but that JL really just was a temporary replacement for the actress.

All the best to her!

Patrick
Patrick

I agree with you on that peticular day…. for that “familial” feel.

two things that i give JS kudos for…. her courtroom/jail time scenes… were above board, and par.

especially, when, she was released, and came back with Matt MARRIED…. that floored me.

and, JS.. scenes with Spinelli breaking lup…. he was done doorMATTing.

JS… showed her vulnerable, WOMANHOOD, on the horizon… heck… for lack of better words…

I grew to really liking JS’ take on Maxie… cause she was heavily involved with my all time reason for watching GH… and that’s Patrick and Robin.

not since, Liz… RH… drama with firing, rehiring… letting go… has their been so much drama… with an actress…. dag! acting chops both professionally, and personally… She stepped up. she cared to share with GH fans… a lotta personal emotion.

lisa
lisa

I only watched a little bit of Kirsten Storms in the role of Maxie….but love(d) Jen Lilley in role.
I think she is a fantastic performer and will find a new role worthy of her chops.

Teresa
Teresa

Jen has done a tremendous job as Maxie. I have really enjoyed what she brought to the character. All the best to her and I’m sure we’ll see her again very soon.

Barb Harnedy
Barb Harnedy

It just broke my heart that all this came out during the Fan Club Weekend for GH. I only wish I had known at the time I was actually seeing Jen so I could have given her a big hug!! She’s adorable and will be missed!!

Troy Turner
Troy Turner

I’ve been on this story since Saturday night when the news broke, and I am still heartbroken over this. Yes, this was a temporary gig, and GH is doing the right thing by Kirsten, but there is an unfairness here. Not that Jen has been treated unfairly, because she knew the deal when she signed on, but thanks to all the CRAP she had to put with from other soap fans-she couldn’t REALLY enjoy the gig. Words cannot express how I feel about Jen, and the way she has handled herself all through this situation. #WeLoveJenLilley

Kendra
Kendra

Thank god KS is back!!!! I missed her so much.

Alex
Alex

JL has done a wonderful job, and I wish her all the best. I’m so glad KS is returning.

Susan
Susan

Jen Lilley’s portrayal of Maxie was the first time I actually saw the vulnerability that all of Maxie’s fans claim is buried under her hard outer shell. It was through her nuanced portrayal that I could envision a future version of Maxie wherein she would be more grounded, more able to love and certainly more mature. That vision won’t now be realized but I know that Jen’s own future will be extremely successful. Still, I’m so glad she was the one who temporarily took on the role because I was allowed not to just discover a new Maxie but to also discover Jen’s own inner loveliness and talent. She’s right, it’s not goodbye but just hello to a new chapter in her life. As a fan, I shall be looking forward to all the good experiences Jen’s future will bring us all.

Debbie
Debbie

Jen was lovely subbing for Kirsten Storms. I am looking forward to KS coming back…she IS Maxie for me. But I wish TPTB would decide that they made a mistake…Kate had a daughter instead of a son. Goodby Trey and Joe, JR….and bring Jen back as Kate’s daughter. Their resemblance has always been remarkable. in fact at the beginning I struggled telling them apart!

CTwildheart
CTwildheart

Oh my goodness! What a GREAT idea! FRANK…RON…are you listening? lol

Jen
Jen

I agree, this would be a fantastic way to keep JL on the show! When she first got on I thought she was a bit weak, but quickly came to love her as Maxie. KS was fantastic as mean selfish the world revolves around me Maxie, and she did a good job on bringing out the better side of Maxie, but JL really brought out her softer side while still maintaining a touch of the selfish Maxie. Soaps do all sorts of weird things, maybe they can bring out later that Kate/Connie actually had TWINS, (obviously not identical) and that the owner of the home decided to give the girl twin to a relative or something so the only one that Joe Jr ever knew about was the boy!! That could work!!! JL has so much to give…. shame on the people who made all those rude comments about her too, next time someone is recast for whatever reason, think of your own son or daughter being the recaster, how would you like them being bashed. Sheesh, grow up people and have heart!

Fair winds and following seas JL, you will be very missed.

Lea
Lea

I couldn’t be more happy that KS is back. I missed Maxie’s relationships with Sam, Lulu and Spinelli. KS, you have been truly missed. And as for JL, I wish her luck for her future.

Allie
Allie

JL is a wonderful person. That said, KS is Maxie Jones and I’m ecstatic to see her return.

Lea
Lea

JL is a wonderful person and I want to wish her luck for her future. That said, I am ecstatic that Kirsten is back. She is Maxie Jones, as far as I’m concerned.

Francene
Francene

What an amazing person and actress Jen Lilley is. I have been keeping in touch with her on twitter and fb and always answers me back. I am going to have an opportunity to meet her also in September which I will give her a big hug from all her fans. Good things happen to good people and I wish her all the best to her in the future. She is one class act and a SHINING STAR!! Lots of Love Jen from your fan from Woodbridge, NJ….

Amy
Amy

I was one of those who was hesitant when JL first took on the role. It took a while for me to get used to her, but after a few months, she grew more comfortable in the role. She did a great job. I’m absolutely delighted that KS will resume her role and that she’s feeling better. I adore KS’s version of Maxie.

mrfantasticcash
mrfantasticcash

Hey Jen ,

Sweet sweet friend,,,, You are an amazing talent and you are so humble and gracious to all your fans! We loved your portrayal as Maxie, you totally hit it out of the park with your daily performances on GH ! I have enjoyed tweeting with you on twitter and am super blessed to be twitter friends with such a sweet and wonderful person ! Lots of love to ya friend…. you make us all smile…. Thomas (Mrfantasticcash)

Shirlee
Shirlee

I’m very happy that Kirsten Storms is returning to her role as Maxie. Kirsten was always one of my favorite actresses and her chemistry with Bradford Anderson(Spinilli) is awesome. I want to thank Jen Lilley for here hard work and keeping Maxie’s character alive,good luck to you in the future.

Liz
Liz

nice

Shirlee
Shirlee

I’m very happy that Kirsten Storms is returning to her role as Maxie. Kirsten was always one of my favorite actresses and her chemistry with Bradford Anderson(Spinilli) is awesome. I want to thank Jen Lilley for here hard work and keeping Maxie’s character alive,good luck to you in the future.

Traci
Traci

To me, Jen Lilley IS Maxie! She stepped into a difficult position and created a new and improved Maxie. She has brought so much more to the role that Kirsten Storms never could. She has also been on the show long enough that I no longer consider her a temporary replacement, and I think to continue to call her “temporary” is unfair. While the show did do right by Kirsten Storms, I feel that it’s unfair to Jen Lilley and the fans she has gained since she started playing Maxie. I hope and pray that the show will be able to bring her back as another character so that her fans can continue to enjoy her amazing talent.

Amy
Amy

I disagree. She is called a temp because she was always meant to be a temp. KS was always coming back when she was healthy. JL was supposed to be on GH for three months; she got 11 instead. She was lucky. That said, I do hope that JL finds success in her future.

Traci
Traci

Yes, I agree she was always meant to be a temp. And yes, Jen was supposed to be on for 3 months and was on for 11. What I said was *I* no longer consider her a temp because to me, a temp is a few months, not almost a year, so *I* think that it’s unfair to continue to call her temporary. Clearly, what I consider “temporary” is different than what TPTB call temporary.

B.J.
B.J.

I was really surprised that they were able to find someone as talented as Jen for this temporary role. “Maxie” is one of the most demanding roles on that show, and Jen was able to portray every aspect of her personality, and personally I thought as well, or possibly better than KS. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like KS, it’s just that I was surprised someone could replace her so easily… at least for me.

Good luck Jen! I’m sure some casting directors are going to see your potential in some great video from your GH days. Hope to see you again soon.

Ron
Ron

I didn’t think I’d grow to like JL’s version of Maxie because I loved KS so much. But she grew on me after a while. I’m so happy KS is back, but JL should be proud of what she’s accomplished.

Grace
Grace

I would like to say THANK YOU to Jen Lilley for doing such a great job as “Maxie”. She absolutely came into a very difficult situation and at the start, many fans were not so nice. I want Jen to know I am now a fan of hers!! I will continue to follow her on Twitter and can’t wait to see what she ends up in next!!! Remember one thing Jen, how many people can say they had a part in BOTH the Best DAytime Emmy Winning Drama AND the movie that won the Academy Award for best film in a one year period!! Keep us posted on Twitter as to what you’ll be doing next! Good Luck, God Speed and Thank You,

Grace F.
Long Island, NY

Karen
Karen

I met Jen at the GH Fan Club Weekend this past weekend and she’s an amazing young women. It’s incredible how she held herself together in front of the crowds who i think at leeas half had no idea what was going on “behind the scenes” (at least my daughter and I were shocked to read all of this yesterday morning). I wish her well and know she’s going to do great things. It’s always hard for the viewers to get used to someone new playing a favorite character, but once you do, it doesn’t seem like anyone can replace them. While KS did a wonderful job, and I’m looking forward to seeing her back, I think Jen did an amazing job of filling in for Kirsten in this very complex role.

I’m thinking that maybe they should bring in Serena Baldwin (Scottie and Lucy’s daughter), and Jen would be a great fit for that role! Frank, I hope you’re reading these posts!

Traci
Traci

OOH! Serena! I LOVE THIS IDEA! Wish I had thought of it. Thanks, Karen.

Patrick
Patrick

@ Karen.

You, fans, amaze me. Scottie Baldwin and Lucy Coe? had a baby? talk about…. hall of fame…. wishing… these two were back on GH. course, i remember… Lucy being married to Alan as well…. now this would be a riot return…. with this trio.

CTwildheart
CTwildheart

Patrick…Serena is Dominique and Scotty’s biological daughter. Lucy was the surrogate and after Dominique died, Lucy adopted her.
I agree Karen…Jen would make a great Serena!

Lew
Lew

She will be missed. Great job!!

Robert Coplin
Robert Coplin

I am happy that Kirsten is healthy enough again to play Maxie but i enjoyed Jen Lilly as playing Maxie.I hope Jen gets a role in the movies if she wants to do movies or if she wants to still do tv she gets a good role on whatever show picks her up.

Tanya
Tanya

Thanks for the outstanding performances! You did a fantastic job. Hopefully you land a new job quickly.

1loveabcsoaps
1loveabcsoaps

Jen was SUPERB playing Maxie from the START….! Jen channeled Kristen’s voice, and as I said once in Jen’s defense, I was typing on my bed with my labtop LISTENING to GH, and I heard Jen’s voice (this was early Feb). I looked up from my labtop saying, ” Kristens back?”, BUT it was Jen. Thats when Jen caught my attention and KEPT it. Jen CHANNELED Kristen’s voice as Maxie, and captured her energy in the way Kristen protrayed the role.

A fine young woman, beautiful, interesting to watch, and I wish I could continue to see her in the role as Maxie.

* Perhaps, Maxie should have a long lost twin sister that Felicia gave up for adoption, and she would be the very simular in acting: Jen Lilley.

barbara t. Loves one life to live
barbara t. Loves one life to live

Or she could take the place of the new kristina, I don’t like her, maybe if she wasn’t a spoiled brat with camera following her around every second I wouldn’t dislike her like I do.

Liz
Liz

Lke that thought! Agree on Jen grabbing that role out of the gate and running with it. She did a emmy winning performance in Robin storyline. She will end up in an even better role! She has chops! I kove Kristen and missed her, Jen kept the role on front burner so Kristen needs to be ready to keep it there. Both will be fine!

ghfan4evr
ghfan4evr

Jen, I will miss seeing you on my screen everyday but I know that you are going to do amazing things. You my dear, are a class act and I can’t think of anyone who could have taken as good of care of Maxie as you did, in Kirsten’s absence.

Liz
Liz

AMEN!

1loveabcsoaps
1loveabcsoaps

” I’m trying to tell you”.

Rob
Rob

Since she is the only Maxie Ive known Ill miss her, I am familiar with Kirsten Storms from Dirty Soap and all I will say is I hope she is a better actress than reality star.

mae
mae

SOOO HAPPY KIRSTEN STORMS IS BACK . I’VE MISSED HER SO MUCH! HAVEN’T REALLY WATCHED GH MUCH SINCE SHE LEFT. I GUESS I ONLY KEPT WATCHING BECAUSE OF JASON COOK. I LOVE JC! SO AFTER HE LEFT, I COMPLETELY STOPPED WATCHING. SAD THOUGH THAT KS & JC MISSED OUT ON SO MANY GOOD SCENES TOGETHER. LOVE THEM! HOPEFULLY THEY CAN REUNITE ON SCREEN AGAIN SOMEDAY.

BEST WISHES TO JL & ALL HER FUTURE PROJECTS…

Phil
Phil

Count me in on the Jen team….I have never seen Storms as Maxie, but saw Storms on DAYS… Jen is a much better actor…..Come on Frank, create a new role for her on GH!

Emily
Emily

There is no other Kirsten Storms, but at this point either actress could take Maxie into the future. Jen is the real deal and will be an asset wherever she ends up. Can’t say enough on how well Jen has and IS handling all of this. I honestly think Jen deserves an emmy nom for the work she has done as Maxie!!

Liz
Liz

Agree Emily!

dave
dave

Yay!!

Marisa
Marisa

I want to wish you the best of luck. You did a great job filling in for Kirsten.

CTwildheart
CTwildheart

I think Jen did an absolutely fantastic job with her portrayal of Maxie – especially after she was so viciously attacked when she first took over. Sad to see her go (we will see this talented lady again), but happy to know Kirsten is well enough to return.
We all have the challenge of accepting a new actor in a role, whether due to illness, SORAS or general recast. Each actor will bring their own spin and we fans need to respect that. I still prefer Robyn Richards Maxie, but never held it against KS.

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

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

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General Hospital

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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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