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Kimberly McCullough and Finola Hughes Interview – General Hospital

In a heartfelt, emotional, and nostalgic chat with Michael Fairman, and in her final video interview with On-Air On-Soaps as a cast member of General Hospital, Kimberly McCullough says farewell to decades as Dr. Robin Scorpio Drake alongside her on-screen mom, Finola Hughes, who just returned to the series as Anna Devane.

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Doe
Doe

I’m so glad you had this last interview with Kimberly and Finola, Michael. I also have followed Kimberly since she was a child, and what an amazing career she has had.She will be missed as a kind of pioneer of her own. So much has been with Kimberly being the center piece of many, many stories. I wish her good luck with her new endeavors……

Susan M.
Susan M.

I saw Kimberlerly when she first appeared on Gh… With Shawn Doneely, anna Devane, robert Scorpio, etc…..Those were the good old days on GH!!!!!!!! Luke & Laura marrige……..

countrymom56
countrymom56

I agree

Tonia
Tonia

I have loved Kim/Robin since their first day on GH. They grew up onscreen in front of me. I was a young teenager and it was nice to see a child like Robin being written into the show as she was. I understand Kim wanting to leave and wish her the best and will continue to follow her career in whatever path it takes her. However, I will deeply miss Robin she is so much a part of GH. I am sad that we never got to see Robin and Jason reunited. They were so amazing and I always held out hope that the writers would give us that magic again but well such is soaps. Besides who knows maybe one day Kim may decide she wants to return to GH again.

Mary H
Mary H

Good Luck Kimberly!! You will be missed on General Hospital!

Endeliz
Endeliz

VERY Sad to say Goodbye… Good luck can not wait to see the films that you create !

B
B

My favorite interview by far!

Lisa
Lisa

I was totally tearing up watching this interview… I really am going to feel such a loss when Robin leaves the show. I’ll miss you Kimberly.

heidi
heidi

Thank you Michael!!! Love Finola so glad she is back for however long would love to see her more! Love the two of them together and have since the beginning! This is going to be so sad!

Deborah Doucet
Deborah Doucet

Great interview!Love you Kimberly and Finola!Good luck Kimberly,will miss you.Have been watching GH since you started.Was dreading the final episode!Will look for your interviews on you tube.Thank you!

heidi
heidi

Forgot to say how much I have been enjoying Kimberly’s interviews over and over again! My favorites are Steve Burton, Jane Elliot and John York. Thank you Kimberly… and Michael for introducing us to them. Want more! Can’t wait to see one with Finola and Tristan! Wish she could do one with Kirsten Storms! Want one with everyone on GH! Those will be great to watch for years! Thank you!

Diane V
Diane V

Since I have watched GH from the beginning, I have watched Kimberly grow up. I will miss her. I wish her well. Hopefully, I will get to see her in Tampa at the end of March. NGFL was accepted in the Gasparilla Film Festival. As a fan, I will show her support any way that I can.

Kristin
Kristin

I have been waiting for this interview, Michael and it didn’t disappoint. It was a wonderfully sentimental walk down memory lane. I’m going to miss Robin Scorpio-Drake and more importantly Kimberly McCullough on our GH screen. I look forward to watching her become an even more amazing director. Heck yeah Soap Fans Rock!!

cathy
cathy

love Kimberly and Finola and my favorite interviews have to be with Jason Thompson because you can see how close he and Kimberly are. For me this is bittersweet that GH resorted to killing Robin a character I grew up with. There was many ways to write Robin out but death isn’t it. I much prefer Robin, Patrick and Emma leave for Robin’s birthday trips. No couple will even compare to Scrubs and you can blame Kimberly M and Jason T for that. Bringing back all the vets (who Kimberly starred with) won’t make it better.GH died today.GH missed opportunities with Scrubs and Emma sharing more scenes together. Even before Anna, Robin and Emma should have shared more scenes. GH will never be good again

Moviegal
Moviegal

It was actually Kimberly McCullough’s decision that her character should die – and she presented it to the show, not the other way around. She felt that, as a legacy character, it would be best this way and there wouldn’t be a need for a recast.

Christina Mauradian
Christina Mauradian

I am so pissed, sad and confused as well. I just do not understand why, Robin is leaving the soap I wish General Hospital would just let one couple be happy on there for once. Robin will be missed so much by my mother and my myself. I have watched GH sense I was 4 and my mother has watched it sense the beinning.

JC
JC

Kimberly McCullough is choosing to leaving by her own accord to pursue a career in directing.

countrymom56
countrymom56

Good Luck Kimberly… you shall be truly missed a lot

Sandy
Sandy

Michael, as always, when it comes to interviews with our favorite soap stars, you have put together another amazing interview. I love any interview with Kimberly, and with Jason Thompson, but I especially enjoy a Michael Fairman interview!

I am sad because I will miss Kimberly working with Jason Thompson on General Hospital, but I know that she will continue to take the movie world by storm, just as she has with Nice Guys, just as he will continue to shine on GH. I wish Kimberly the best of luck in everything the future holds for her!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this fabulous interview, Michael, Kimberly, & Finola!

Andrea
Andrea

Kimberly, it has been such a pleasure to watch you grow up into a beautiful young woman. I will never forget all the fun we had on the set, and in between. You’re priceless!
Love, Andrea

1loveabcsoaps
1loveabcsoaps

She truly is. Gosh, will I miss her. She got killed off. Robin was such a stoic character, should she ever decide to come back, it would be so fake if its a twin or lookalike. They would have to go the bad dream direction. *Chow

barbara t
barbara t

thats why they cant kill her,shes hiding somewhere afraid to come out because she has no memory of anything ,she gets a hold of a few dollars ,buys a ticket and flies out of port charles,or my original plot ,gets on grey hound bus.I agree with you ,we dont want a twin or a look alike ,a recast maybe,thats hard because she has been our robin since she was 6 .hopefully we get a clue at the end of week cliff hanger,then I spent the weekend figuring out more ways to save robin.star shows up today,next week the mannings ,I cant wait.

Wanda
Wanda

Kimberly you will be missed. I will watch GH just tell I see how Jason takes the news. Hope they show Sonny fining out . Best of luck Kimberly you made my afternoons. Hope some day to meet you. Love you and fallow you always.

kathy culpepper
kathy culpepper

we are so proud of you kim. you will be missed.

S. Butler
S. Butler

I have watched Kim grow up on GH along with my Grandmother…I Can’t imagine GH without Robin!!! I wish you Kim all the luck in the world, and hope that your happy and sucessfull in your new adventures 😉 I just wish and hope that they give you the recognition and respect you deserve, ie..give Robin the funeral she deserves NOT one with over half the show devoted to Sonny, Jason, Sam, Carly, Johnny etc.!!! Like your death show was…I didn’t think that was fair or respectful to the character or to you the actress!!
Again, I wish you all the best!! Take care Kimberly McCullough (Robin Scorpio Drake) and God Bless!!! Thank you for making GH what it is today!!! You are dearly loved and will be missed greatly!!!

Amber
Amber

You will be missed Kimberly!!! You’ve always been one of my favs on the show and it’s so sad to see you go *tear. I wish you the best of luck in your career as a director.

Cindy
Cindy

Will miss you so much Kimberly, enjoyed all the years watching you as Robin, the best of luck to you in everything you do in the future. I love GH, have watched it since I was a little girl back in 1963, since the beginning. So happy to see Finola, miss her too, on the show. I just hope GH can stay on for another fifty years. I will watch ABC as long as GH is on the air. Thanks to you all for the entertainment of GH.

heidi
heidi

Michael can you post the clip of Robin in Anna’s shoes and earrings… please? I have been trying to find it and vaguely remember it from all those years back and would love to see it! If you can’t post it could you find out how it is labelled? Thank you!!!

Lexi
Lexi

Wonderful interview Michael! I’m so greatful to have been lucky enough to have not only worked with Kimberly but also to count her as a awesome friend and mentor. I look forward to working with her in her successful new career as director, as I know her new work will be just as amazing. What a legacy!

Karen
Karen

The interview was wonderful. I was disappointed in Anna’s reaction to finding out her daughter was killed. I expected , Shock, disbelief and hysteria from Anna. She missed out on her daughter for years being away, haven’t spoken to her in a long time and brushes her tears away as quickly as they appeared. “Ok, Patrick go see your daughter.” Does anyone agree with me.?

Shirley Miller
Shirley Miller

I agree, Karen. I really thought Anna would show more hysteria, tears upon learning that Robin had died. Maybe when she and Robert were involved in a lot of thrilling escapades, she has learned to control her feelings better. Also, she could be in shock and once Robert arrives and someone is with her to stay with Emma, she may break down. If not, it does seem very strange to me also!!!

auotb
auotb

I dont think Robin is dead.This is a soap after all.Heres hoping!!!!

barbara t
barbara t

Im with you, in the robin isnt dead,I hope we are right.

1loveabcsoaps
1loveabcsoaps

“did you read my post that says if you watch the soaps on the net your not counted in the ratings, ”

Yes, I got that post and responded to it yes’t. U should have many responses in your inbox.

barbara t
barbara t

yes I got it,I had a shit load of them ,I think I answered them all ,its a slow day,and I have a bad headache.I will be glad when this day is over ,seems everything on the I d channel is a repeat till tonight.I hope that no one is dead in the crash.I heard cole may be dead ,but until I see it I wont believe it.also went to wikpedia and I looked up robin scorpio at one place they said she was7 the other on the same page said 6,I would like to know .really hate to see her leave ,she was always one of my favorites.

barbara t
barbara t

and I woke up with another headache today.I wonder who will survive the crash,Im hearing cole is gone,here he survives a bullet and now he may get killed in a car crash,talk about bad luck,they should have kept him with marty and patrick. will find out today.and I hope there is more news about robin.

Shirley Miller
Shirley Miller

It was wonderful to see Anna (Finola Hughes) back on GH but soooo very sad to see the way the writers handled the demise of Robin (Kimberly). I have watched Robin since she was a little girl on the soap – one of her finest performances as a little girl was in the Asian episode. I can’t believe that Robin would have left the lab to see her Mum & daughter when she was in the midst of seeking a life-saving cure for Jason. She was just too dedicated a Dr for that. It seems that the fire in the lab could have been prevented as real hosps should have fire extinguishers or something to put out fire. I would have preferred it if the writers had had Robin move to a new City where she would be working in a big Research Lab helping to find cures for diseases, etc. Even if Robin is dead, she can return as soap stars are reincarnated all the time – so if Robin wants to return – even for a short time – she can. I just wish the writers had not been so desperate for ratings they decided to kill her off – at least we think that although we have not seen body. Great to have Anna back – Robin returns soon – and I hope they both stay in Port Charles for a long time. Bye for now Robin – I know we will see you again in Port Charles – just wish you had not died on GH – my personal opinion!!!

Jane
Jane

I just don’t know why GH writers and producers felt the need to kill Robin’s character off. Just not right!

barbara t
barbara t

stay tuned, I dont think she is dead,clue,fire was to hot for anything to survive,like melting a human body,I say the explosion made her loose her mind and forget who she is,robin would never leave her baby or patrick,at least thats what I hope.My version ,she hops on a greyhound bus and leaves town.so the robin character can always come back.it doesnt have to be a greyhound bus.

1loveabcsoaps
1loveabcsoaps

Barbara said: “yes I got it,I had a shit load of them ,I think I answered them all ,its a slow day,and I have a bad headache.”

You didn’t have to answer them all, some of them I was replying to you, Barb. LOL Yesterday, I had a headache, today it’s you with one.

Norma
Norma

I love them both!

heidi
heidi

I too have seen GH on and off since the first few years. I have sen Robin grow up before my eyes. It is interesting to have heard Robin say that they changed how she was exiting four or so times. I get the impression with everyone involved that they all do not like this way and you can tell in the acting and how it is being handled on screen beginning with Robin. When she left the lab she was not playing it well and with Patrick too… it just wasn’t right. And… Anna… agreed she has not handled it well and yet yesterday at the end we started to see a bit more of an expected reaction. From the interviews with Jason T we know there will be a scene with Robin supposedly after she dies… at least I think that. Maybe that will bring different reactions that will seem more appropriate. Mac (John York) did have the most realistic and appropriate reaction so far. Here’s hoping she is not really dead and yet also hoping people start acting like she really is gone and we see some real emotion and anger handled and directed in the right way and give Robin the emotion that is deserved in the situation. Let’s hope they do a god job when they tell Emma her Mommie is gone! I wish I could say great job to all but not yet! Wish we were privy to the other choices for he exit… would be interesting to see what we all would have preferred. I know this way would not be my choice! Oh… forgot to say how strange it was to see Monica the Chief of Staff tell Sam she just heard about Robin’s death and that is all the Chief of Staff has to say about a horrific accident in the hospital and the loss of an incredible doctor??? Get real please!

1loveabcsoaps
1loveabcsoaps

” Oh… forgot to say how strange it was to see Monica the Chief of Staff tell Sam she just heard about Robin’s death and that is all the Chief of Staff has to say about a horrific accident in the hospital and the loss of an incredible doctor??? Get real please! ”

Yes Heidi: I noticed that too, BUT there was sooooo many inadequacies that I didn’t just FOCUS on that, because there was so much WRONG going on. But when U don’t know that (at that time) you are just trying to follow along to give them the benefit of the doubt.

barbara t
barbara t

that was strange,if I was one of the characters in port charles and I was a friend of robins I would be pulling my hair out in panic that my friend is gone ,its like no one cares ,well Im not blaming ron hes just getting started ,gh is low in the ratings again this week thats bad.did you read my post that says if you watch the soaps on the net your not counted in the ratings,something else I learned today.

heidi
heidi

Agreed… I loveabcsoaps! Thanks! It is such a shame and a missed opportunity. Ron and others had been tweeting and FB’ing that this was supposed o have been such a great week and tune in… very disappointing in terms of Robin’s death. Might be better with the Cassadine storyline moving forward and the car crash with AZ and Starr & Cole. I would hope RC can rectify the Robin storyline next week with Emma and Robert and a funeral. I am hoping Anna deals more appropriately with Robert or maybe with Emma… In any case I will be watching and I hope everyone sticks with GH… I don’t want to lose it! I do think RC and FV will make it great eventually!!!

Lynda
Lynda

Kimberly, you will truly be missed, I have watched you since you started. Your HIV role in the soap has truly touch lives, 2 very close friend of mine have used how you handeled it to incorp it into there lives.. Good luck with all you do and know we love you.

peggy
peggy

this is really sad

sue
sue

robin will be missed when u little i watched u and then same good luck and prayers r with u

Patty
Patty

Thank you for this interview with Kimberely & Finola!! I REALLY enjoyed it. I like so many other GH followers have watched these 2 characters since they started on GH about 27 years ago. My lovely grandmother & I were avid GH watchers way back when… and now you are sprouting your wings to other avenues which is great. Kimberely seems to be a wonderful person as she has been to me ALL these years on GH. She is so intelligent and I wish her nothing but the very BEST with her career. I hope to hear more interviews about her in the near future. I will always love you Kimberely. You remind me of my beautiful daughter who is amazing in every way possible. Best of luck to you Kimberely and I hope you find every happiness in the world…

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.

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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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