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Kirsten Storms Back To Work At General Hospital!

Courtesy/ABC

General Hospital fan favorite Kristen Storms (Maxie) is back on the set of the ABC daytime drama series!

The actress, who took some necessary time off, has been confirmed by the series to be taping new episodes.

In a photo on the GH Instagram account alongside her on-screen love interest Ryan Paevey (Nathan) it said, “She’s baaaaaack!! We could not be more thrilled to have @kirstenstorms back in Port Charles.”

Storms also took to social media with a picture of herself inside her GH dressing room!

Look for Maxie to be back on-screen some time next month.

So, excited to hear Kirsten is back taping at GH? Comment below.

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Timmm
Timmm

Yeah, yeah, yeah, what about Tristan Rogers?

Linda
Linda

Hooray! Nurse Amy can leave Nathan alone!

Shay
Shay

I want to see Maxie kick Nurse Amy’s ample butt for going after her husband!

Timmm
Timmm

Amy would snap Maxie in half!

Celia
Celia

Yeah, Shay. All Amy has as arsenal is her wily maneuvers. She’s pretty, but I would not categorize her as “enticing”.
Nathan isn’t gullible, albeit he should be after Claudette. He’s just a nice, honorable, decent guy, ready to help a friend in need and then some.
I suspect Amy was probably envious of Maxie, back in their High School days…..
Maxie was the popular one and Amy the perpetual wall-flower. You know the type? I know her kind well. Unrequieted love, Shay? I hope this story evolves into something tangible……so far, this scenario is very realistic. ….been there.
Being despised because of one’s looks and popularity festers to the point of trying to do said someone harm. It is the classic obsession.
Perhaps there was a boy she really liked . But he only had eyes for Maxie. Is this payback?
Will Amy pull a “Nelle” on Nathan? She couldn’t get him otherwise.
Wouldn’t put it past her, Shay.
Or….it could be all in our collective heads? LOL.
I don’t know if Maxie will be able to “sniff” Amy’s schemes out……not until some paralyzing drama is in order.

Celia
Celia

Shaybelle, I was thinking that Nathan is not all that Amy wants. She’s after “some kind of something” that involves easy money…..she wants money and fame, needing Nathan’s help.
I think she’s embarking on a very dubious voyage …..and not “on the good ship Lollipop”.
She is going to land in hot water, dragging Nathan with her.

Shay
Shay

Well, CeeCeeGirl, maybe our own real-life experiences have colored our shared intuitions about Nurse Amy…(See below.) However, there does seem to be a concerted effort to play up this character as highly-creepy and shifty with malevolent intent and questionable motivations. I’m really not looking forward to seeing where this storyline could be headed….

Shay
Shay

@Timmm…True enough….but with a bit of luck, perhaps Maxie will have a trusty taser on her person when this well-nourished nutcase pounces….or at least some mace! LOL.

Celia
Celia

We shall see where this goes,Shaybelle….especially with Maxie’s return.
Forgive me, one and all, for saying this, but how safe would Nathan have been if Amy were a siren? A drop-dead, voluptuous bombshell? LOL. Hmmmm.
Perhaps, I don’t give men enough credit, as depicted on soaps? Look at Sonny. Look at Griffin…GRIFFIN!!!!!! A priest, no less….who capitulated into a sordid affair with Claudette. The same for Nathan; he fell pray to her as well—immigrant or not, Claudette used him.
So, my point….if Amy had been the “be still mine heart” type, she and Nathan would not be wasting time talking about her possibly ficticious sick brother?
Also, I understand Ms Storm needed to get her life together ( hope she’s conquered whatever issue she was battling),and it was necessary for TPTB to create a credible stortline for her.
But, Maxie could have easily succumbed to a new man while away from PC and her husband.
I loooove Maxie, but, I always perceived her to be very flighty….falling ‘in love’ with one guy after the other at the blink of an eye.
Is it possible Amy dug something up? If Maxie cheated and Amy knows about it; this would be her chance to pounce?
I don’t know, Shay….you know how my brain gallops. I try to see gray areas, but I’d rather concentrate on black and white. Easier to discern. LOL.
I am, at least, fortunate on the GH sites because you always follow my train of thought, and understand moi, perfectly. Yup!!

Celia
Celia

Hey, Shay,
Well, today Ms Bassey will make her first appearance. I am soooo excited about that.
Imagine her as Helena’s sister. Better yet, another one of her husband’s dame du jour…LOL… or, de la nuit. More a’ propos, n’est-ce-pas? Ha!
If she is to be Valentin’s mother, it would beg the question…..why didn’t Helena kill her as she did Alexis’ mother? The point would be so much more poignant and ironic if Jennifer’s character would be both Helena’s sister and her husband’s lover; who bore him another illegitimate child?
I would think full-blast steam would have streamed out of Helena’s ears.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

W-h-a-t?! Did you just post “ample butt”?

Kelly Publicover
Kelly Publicover

So happy she’s back! I missed her but I know the time off was much needed for Kirsten. Hoping the writers don’t have too much turmoil in store for this couple. WELCOME BACK KIRSTEN!!

Magneto
Magneto

Awesome! Can’t wait to see her back on the screen!!

Soaphound
Soaphound

Happy to hear it; we need a jolt of personality on the show. Now, if only she and dull as dishwater Nathan break up, there might be some hope. Hopefully she will jump on the Creepy Amy situation.

Celia
Celia

You know, Soaphound? At first impression, when Amy visited Nathan at his apartment and “took” the picture, I thought the worst…that she was after him ( I’m not saying she isn’t, LOL), but, after her “lavish” story about her disabled brother; the death of her mother; struggling financially etc…..well, I felt pity for her and her situation.
But, when she draped her arms around Nathan’s body with that forced Gioconda-like smile, who looked more like the tabby who just licked all the cream from from her paws, then mischievously, rubbing them together, I am having second thought.
A very nastily ’embroidered’ stratagem, if true.
Perhaps, the folder with her brother’s records are fake; and, she knocked them over purposely for Nathan’s benefit.
Did she plan the whole thing? Even her phone call, intuitively figuring he would follow her outside, when she left in a pretend-huff?
Nather and Maxie better watch their backs!!! Yup!!!!

Shay
Shay

I’m on the same page as you, CeeCeeGirl….Nurse Amy’s elaborately-staged sob story is most probably purely fictitious or, at the very least, highly-embellished, to pack the most emotional punch and elicit sympathy from the all-too-gullible Nathan….I’m sensing a very sick puppy here with a totally “fatal attraction” vengeful vibe type of scenario. Hope the canny Maxie sniffs out this “unmerciful anti-angel’s” evil plot before it goes too far….

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

I actually didnt miss the character but im glad the actress is ok!!!

rose
rose

Jimh…I’m with you on both counts. Also feel the same about Lulu’s character, but hoping she has a happy, healthy baby.

Steve
Steve

She looks happy and healthy in the photos. It’s good to have her back.

Time to ship Amy way to the background. The retcon of legacy characters Maxie and Dillon’s backstory for a newbie doesn’t fly. After SORASing, there’s the large age difference in the characters. Plus, I find it hard to believe that Edward Quartermaine’s grandson would go to public high school.

rebecca1
rebecca1

I like Amy…much more now that they’ve actually given her a story. Not sure where it’ll go but I do believe she’s in trouble…either her story is true regarding her brother or something else is going on causing her distress. It would have been great if they made her the daughter, niece…some relative of Amy Vining. Not sure how they could have done that without changing history… I’m not sure how they wrote the original Amy out “back in the day”…but anything’s possible on soaps as we know.

I hope they keep her a good character…we need some with good intentions and sincerity. And, to be honest, they rarely give an overweight character any real airtime…male or female…another hurdle to be jumped in portraying the vast array of humanity.

Steve
Steve

OG Amy/Shell Kepler (despite being on contract for 20 years) only had a storyline of her own a couple of times. As mentioned on previous posts, she had one short-term boyfriend during that time and was never shown in a romantic light.

Amy Vining didn’t get an exit story. She just stopped appearing and wasn’t mentioned (like what’s happening with Alice these days). Amy’s only family connection was Laura, who was gone from the show at that time.

I agree that having diversity (including plus-size people) is important. OLTL had the great Kathy Brier as Marcie. And Patrika Darbo appears on both B&B and Days. On GH, we have Sonja Eddy (Piph). For new Amy, it’s not the actress that many commenters have issues with, it’s the character. Imagine a storyline if Risa were Serena Baldwin and Lucy coming to terms that beauty occurs in many forms. And I’m sure Risa would play great opposite Roger Howarth as her brother.

rebecca1
rebecca1

That would have been an interesting idea…Risa playing Serena. I would have liked it but I can assure you there’d be a few who’d protest because of her weight.

As for her as Amy, like I said I’m starting to like the character. I couldn’t figure out why they even created the part other than to try to recreate the original Amy vibe…which was disastrous. Might have been cute if many of us hadn’t known the original…and it’s not about the acting…I think Risa’s great (rather Broadway-esque) just that it seemed forced in terms of trying to capture the original. Then it was just annoying. But since they’re giving her more time and developing her backstory I like her enough to see where it goes. I have no doubt if it’s not working it’ll fade out like so many stories do…

On diverstiy…I’m still waiting for Jewish characters. I’ve said this before but it’s a pet peeve of mine. I’m not interested in hearing about the ONE family on a past soap or two… Soaps started diversifying with race. Needed more black characters which they’ve been working on…I think we need much more diversity than that…other ethnicities as well. If religion never came up I’d not think about it. But there’s the annual Christmas event, the Christmas season, the Catholic weddings, priests, hospital chapel, etc. And what GALLED me…LOL…they don’t have ONE Jewish character on GH and suddenly…Raymond Berlin, the big financial swindler…is JEWISH!!! Suddenly, out of the blue Hayden’s talking about Passover and how her “dad” celebrated it. TALK ABOUT STEREOTYPES. What was the purpose. Did it serve any to make a character we’ve never seen and isn’t that important to the canvas Jewish? And if, later on he does come on…why make him Jewish? Completely offensive. There are other ponzi schemeeees :/ who weren’t Jewish. To top it off, there’s nary a Jewish doctor! And yet, another irony, practically half the actors were or are Jewish…Stuart Damon, Jackie Zeman, Matt Cohen, Sean Kanan, James Franco, Rene Sofer, Don Diamant (Bill B&B),Vanessa Marcel, Nancy Grahan (half)…there’s so many and yet…nada! There. Rant done.

Steve
Steve

@rebecca1

The last Jewish character on GH before Rachel/Hayden was Jake Meyer way back in the 80s. Jake & Rose Kelly’s romance was stressed by their different faiths. Too bad we don’t see anything like this today.

GH also needs to do a better job with Latino men. With the exception of the short-lived Joe Rivera, all others (Carlos, all Alcazars, Manny Ruiz) have been mobsters.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Hey Steve…I looked up Jake Myer…seems he married Bobby, too! (Oh, and I forgot another Jewish actor…Brandon Barash 😉 ) But I digress…yes, to the Latino men…basically shows should be more about all people that inhabit the planet…not just white people under the Christian umbrella. “We’ve come a long way”…and then took two steps back.

Robbin
Robbin

I like Amy.

Jimmy
Jimmy

Finally. Hopefully Maxie’s return will put an end to this mind-numbing “Ask Man Landers” nonsense.

Celia
Celia

It’s a ruse to get to Nathan. Never underestimate the machinations of a woman’s mind, Jimmy. LOL.

Shay
Shay

Well, we certainly don’t, eh, CeeCeeGirl???? Meanwhile, the dyspeptic whinging continues here ad nauseam and how has all that worked out? Millions of dollars down the toilet and Georgia has remained a peach! Gotta love it!!!!

su0000
su0000

Nothing against Kirsten , but I didn’t miss Maxie and I hardly know Maxie was gone.
I did like her stand in a few months back she was way more mature and not annoying, I’d like her back.

I would like to have Nathan free and dating..
Near ruined the character by marrying him off and chaining him in a BLAH relationship..

FREE NATHAN !!!

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Yeah, nearly ruined him with that totally unbelievable s/l of being married–blah, blah, blah.

SZima
SZima

So glad to have Kirsten back!
She has been missed!!
A LOT!!!
I just wish TIIC had come up with a better reason for Maxi to be gone for so long. It made Ab.So.Lut.Ly no sense for her to take off, right after her wedding, and out-of-the-blue move to where her daughter was when she’s been living apart from her for years.
Really?
Um, NO!

rocky83
rocky83

So sooo miss my Maxie!

Kevin O.
Kevin O.

Glad Maxie’s back and hope Kirsten is doing well. Now, kill off Nathan and pair her up with Griffin.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

“Kill off Nathan”?

rebecca1
rebecca1

I love Nathan.

Celia
Celia

Welcome home, Maxie.

Daisy Day
Daisy Day

I’m thrilled Maxi is back. Missed her.
I’m tired of having to FF through scenes of Ryan and his stalker.

Jenny
Jenny

I am very happy for this talented lady!! It was obvious during her last go round that she was very sick and something was very wrong! She looked gaunt and frail and skinny!! I sure wish the writers would let the character grow up and stop talking in such a self-referential annoying way. Kirsten is that rare young actress who can make you care, laugh, and break your heart!

Ghlover
Ghlover

Im no longer a fan. Since neither Felicia nor Mac have any more significance on the show (sad but true) i think they should retire the role of Maxie. A big send off for sure (heart failure maybe?) but nonetheless she needs to go. I prefer Nathan with Amy.

dmr
dmr

I’ve never been a fan of the character (Maxie). As much as I think Nathan has potential, I think he’s boring with Maxie. Good God, I wouldn’t wish Amy on anyone, LOL.

heidi
heidi

Thank you Kirsten! Have missed you so much!

Rodd
Rodd

Thank goodness! This bi-coastal-for-work-romance-story was wearing a little thin. Glad Kirsten is back! Hope she is well and now on with the show!

Lucky
Lucky

Yes I am thrilled KS will be back on my screen soon. Maxie is my favorite character, and a large reason why is the exuberance, charm and talent KS brings to the role. I am happy KS is feeling better. She looks absolutely radiant in the pic with RP.

Carol
Carol

Hope she’s able to stay for a while this time around.

rebecca1
rebecca1

I like Maxie…but she hasn’t been the same in ages. I’m talking about the character, not the actress. And, I’ve said this in past posts but maybe there was a correlation…Kristen was going through so much personal angst that perhaps it was difficult to play happy, carefree on a daily basis…Maxi (with Spinelli) was an adorable, quirky couple. Maxi with Nathan is more mature…as she should be since she’s older and grown emotionally. So, I’m anxious to see what they do with the more mature Maxi.

I have to say, though, I like Nathan and Amy! Sometimes the most unlikeliest of couples are the ones that turn into gold. They’re obviously making Amy more front and center and with that creating an emotional backdrop with Nathan her guardian angel it seems. Curious to see where that might go, too. (I also wonder if her brother is really wounded or if that’s just a “cover” for something she and her brother are hiding…)

rose
rose

Rebecca1…I’m not a big Maxie fan, except for her time at Crimson with Connie and Nina. And never thought she appreciated Nathan enough. Plus he would probably end up being too boring for her in the long run. Both she and Lulu have always seem to talk and act impulsively without thinking about consequences.

Like you I do like Nathan and Amy. They are building a friendship, even though Amy started off the wrong (or naive) way by using Nathan to be the face of her advice column. And I do admire her for being creative enough to come up with this column which has turned out to be successful. Hope this doesn’t turn into a payback story towards Maxie based on possible “mean girl” ancient history.

As far as her story about her brother being wounded, for now I will give her the benefit of the doubt since her pre-wounded story is the same as Nathan remembers it. But this is a soap after all, and I’m sure it won’t be that simple, but hope Amy stays in the picture even though Maxie is coming back.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Hi Rose…long time! Our shows are coming back soon…ugh…these long waiting times between seasons are hideous. Half the time I barely remember what happened in the season before. That’s why I’ve found binge-watching so fantastic! I have watched at least ten shows that I missed in previous years and get to watch them back-to-back for day, weeks, months…however long I feel with no interruption between weeks or seasons. The downfall is you get so involved in the characters that by the time you’ve finished all the seasons…if it’s renewed and you’re caught up you’re back to waiting…and if it’s cancelled well, it’d be like watching six years of a soap every day and then it’s just done. Or closing a great book. Oh, well, the price we pay for suspending our disbelief to such perfection!

I don’t suspect Amy is up to no good. What I meant was either the story she told about her brother is true…it seems to be since it’s been posted in papers on the web. Was just saying it’s a soap…so maybe she’s being duped or bribed as well. Who knows. However it turns out, I do believe she’s sincere. Sweet. Someone to root for. As I always say…we shall see….

rose
rose

Rebecca1…I know what you mean about waiting for our shows to come back. For the time being “Handmaids Tale” has been the only thing of note I’ve been watching. and Lucifer and re-runs of Downton Abbey. Looking forward to “Zoo” starting soon. You might laugh at this one…I stumbled on “Good Witch” on the womans network…good actors, soap like, where things are mostly happy and end right. Really need this right now in lieu of what’s happening in the Twilight Zone world we live in right now.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Ugh…it’s disgusting…the world we live in. I am so beyond saddened at the inhumane treatment and death of Otto Warmbier…just gut-wrenching. What a nightmare…what a waste…beyond tragic. Depressing. Truly.

I love “Lucifer.” It’s got everything…crime, romance, supernatural…and I think it’s hilarious. The delivery, the facial expressions…snark, everything. LOL. Love! I also watch “The Flash” as well as “The Originals.” Both excellent, too. Oh, I was just telling jamesj75 that “Homeland” is fantastic! Damian Lewis, Rupert Friend…excellent but brutal. So many good shows; many are as good as film.

Not familiar with “Good Witch.” Did you ever check out “Younger” on TVLand. It’s great, too.

rose
rose

Rebecca1…It’s as if Otto wouldn’t die until, he got home…So the soul of him was aware. What beasts those who did this to him have to be. And now South Korea want to see if they can set up talks with the Kim/North Korea to see if they can get along. Don’t think you can get along with Kim unless you are Dennis Rodman. And then I’m not so sure.

I watched “Arrow” since day one, but never caught on to “The Flash: when it came on as an off shoot of Arrow. Same with “The Originals.” Really liked the lead guy when he was in “Vampire Diaries” but didn’t like Originals so much. Plus I lost interest when Nina/Elena left Vampire Diaries. May binge watch “Homeland” but like you said a little brutal. I’m shying away from this kind of stuff. Another reason for a mood corrector like “Good Witch.” Thanks for reminding me about “Younger.”

Forgot to add other of my favorites…”Better Call Saul.” And “Into The Badlands” which is my contradiction for not liking violent. But the story is interesting.

Haven’t seen Wonder Woman yet. REALLY want to see this. I have a comic book collection from way back and she is part of it.

Recently saw Maurice/Sonny on Castle re-run acting as a mob boss.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Yep; heard it was good. I personally never followed Wonder Woman. I have to tell you…if you have the time and are looking for something to watch “The Flash” is great. So fun. If you do watch it from season 1…and try to separate it from Arrow. I only know a few of the Arrow characters who crossed over to “The Flash” for a few episodes so I know it’s difficult when you have an alliance with either show if you didn’t watch them both from the beginning. I think it’s worth it. As for “Homeland”…sooooo worth it! The acting is stupendous and Damian Lewis, Rupert Friend…just outstanding. But, LOL, I reiterate…some really heavy scenes that you need to WHIP AROUND for…hahahah…what’s a lil whiplash when you can see a fantastic show! And yep, watch “Younger” from the beginning, too, if you haven’t already. Excellent!

I love “The Originals”…although I loved TVD…I just adore the characters and fantastical elements of Orignals, too. Joseph Morgan is quite alluring…

I’m not a Maurice fan per se. Wouldn’t rush to see him on anything…if he was on it I wouldn’t shut it off but I wouldn’t check it out for him.

As for Otto…I feel so much sorrow for his suffering and death. Just heartbreaking…I don’t feel that way about other recent events. He was an innocent soul… As for the other…you would think when one of “your own” needs healthcare and you see how crucial it is to saving lives that some would take a more compassionate view on healthcare for all. Apparently didn’t make a dent. And yet they think its’ “rhetoric” that caused such an action…not that they could care less about the millions of other lives they’ll be putting in jeopardy. Clueless. Naaaaa…Heartless.

JK
JK

WELCOME BACK…YOU WERE MISSED!!!!

Shirley
Shirley

So glad your back GH would not be the same if you and Nathen didn’t get back to your lives together I wonder what will happen now that Maxie’s back.

Shirley
Shirley

I wonder what will happen now that Maxie is back ,Glad to see you back on GH.

Shirley
Shirley

Glad your back on GH ,Iwonder what’s going to happen now that Maxie is back.

Mo
Mo

It’s good she’s able to come back. I hope she is healthy and happy.

dmr
dmr

I’ve never been a fan of Maxie (although, it’s nothing against the actress). The character has always been Tuesday or Wednesday “filler,” in my opinion. I’m certainly not a fan of Amy. Good Gawd, make it stop. TPTB seem determined to make Amy a main character, now slowly introducing her family into her ridiculous storyline. She’s tied to Kristina, has a disabled brother, and has ties to the hospital where she works. All of this was done offline. The cast is bloated as it is and it’s time to clean house!

Breaking News

Brandon Barash Replaces Tyler Christopher At DAYS

According to reports from Soap Opera Digest and Daytime Confidential, former General Hospital favorite Brandon Barash has temporarily replaced Tyler Christopher, in the role of Stefan DiMera at Days of our Lives.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Brandon played mobster Johnny Zacchara on GH from 2007-2016.

Because DAYS tapes well in advance; look for Barash to hit the air sometime in early 2019.

What are your thoughts on Brandon as temp replacement for Tyler as Stefan O? Comment below.

Continue Reading

Breaking News

GH’s Maurice Benard Takes On Role Of John Gotti In Upcoming Lifetime Movie

Who better to use their mobster experience playing the iconic role of Sonny Corinthos on General Hospital, and put it to good use, when taking on the role of a real-life mobster than Daytime Emmy winner, Maurice Benard?

As revealed over the past weekend, Maurice Benard is hard at work filming a Lifetime Movie based on the life of Victoria Gotti called “The Victoria Gotti Story”.

Sharing the news via his social media, Benard expressed: “Thank you lifetime and everyone involved 4 a Beautiful opportunity.”

Recently, John Travolta played the notorious New York mobster in the movie Gotti released earlier this year.

The infamous Gotti, had a wife and a daughter both named Victoria.  So as to which point of view the film is focusing on is yet to be released.

So what do you think of the casting of Maurice as John Gotti? Intrigued to see the Lifetime Movie when it debuts? Comment below

Continue Reading

General Hospital

General Hospital’s Max Gail Opens Up On Portraying Mike’s Battle With Alzheimer’s & Making A Difference In People’s Lives

“What happens the day I wake up, and you guys are the strangers,” says Mike to his son, Sonny and his wife Carly (Laura Wright). “I left you before to my everlasting regret, but it’s going to happen. I’d do anything if I didn’t have to do it again, but it’s going to happen – one way or the other.  At least this way I could leave some good feelings, instead of disappearing before your eyes.”  Those words were said during a gut-wrenching scene on Friday’s episode of General Hospital, as Mike tries to come to terms with his deteriorating mental state in his battle with Alzheimer’s, and the hard realization that he may be better off in a care facility, instead of at his son’s home.  These scenes, as all the scenes in this storyline, have been exquisitely played by Max Gail (Mike) and Maurice Benard (Sonny).

When Max Gail arrived on the GH canvas as the recast Mike Corbin in a role made soap-famous by Ron Hale, viewers did not know what to initially expect.  What they did know was that Max is an accomplished actor with a body of work from primetime dramas and comedies, film, and the stage, and that if he is coming to GH, he must be coming on board for something major.  Before GH, suffice to say, Gail is most remembered for his role as “Wojo” on the ABC sitcom Barney Miller that aired from 1975-1982.

In story on GH, Mike, who abandoned Sonny as a child, once again re-enters his son’s life, but soon we learn that he is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and that the soap is tackling a story that is an important medical, social, and familial issue of our time.

Gail has been a revelation in this role.  A clear frontrunner for an Emmy, playing the facets, the levels, the characteristics, and the heartbreak of a person who is slowly losing everything they know near and dear to them, as in the end they are ultimately stripped of their dignity from this most horrific of diseases.

On a personal note, and as part of this conversation with Max, it was important for him and for me to share, that I lost my mother at the end of April of this year to Alzheimer’s.  So his work hits close to home, this story hits close to home, as it has also resonated for many viewers who have shared their stories on social media and when Max makes personal appearances.

Here now is this very special interview for Michael Fairman TV with an actor whom we can all agree is touching all of our lives.

You’re portraying a person suffering from Alzheimer’s and play the progression of the disease.  Do you feel pressure as an actor to get it right for those who have loved ones, or person’s afflicted with it?

Courtesy/ABC

MAX:  It’s more like an urge, or a calling to find some kind of truth in it that I can connect with.  One of the things I’m inclined towards showing is someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia often just drifts off somewhere else.  “Where am I going?”  This has happened to me many times in life.  For instance, when I was a youngster, I can remember getting in my car, and I’d driven a long way from some party or something like that, and I’d been drinking, and I didn’t remember it.  I knew I’d gotten home somehow.  So, it’s not out of my realm.  I’ve learned that there are no set behaviors really… other than that it usually ends up being really difficult for caretakers, and seemingly really painful for many, if not most people suffering with Alzheimer’s, and losing connection and losing the ability to just function.  We are kind of on the cusp of that in story at GH.  I think it was originally proposed that I would play the part for just a few months, and to give me an out if it wasn’t working.  Maybe, there was a placeholder idea to ship Mike off to a home or something, but the storyline has touched so many people that it has been continuing.

The story has been so effective.  You’ve done such an amazing job, and the fans love Mike and what you’re doing with the character, and they’re on board on this journey.  It’ll be interesting to see how far they will take this with Mike.  Will we actually see him not being able to communicate anymore?  How far will the writers go to show the horrific aspects of Alzheimer’s? 

MAX:  I’m not sure.  You know, I’ve had times where I’ve got the scene, I get the writers, and I get the heart of it.  Other times, I find where that transition is from where Mike is lucid and clear, and other times what that state of mind is and that switch is, and what that is in behaviors and energy level.  I think there’s an ongoing downturn for Mike, and for me as an actor finding something in the moment and finding how it works with things that he does remember.  They’re trying to find a place for Mike within all of the interwoven drama of General Hospital.  I, frankly, had no idea how complex the range of storylines was.  Mike doesn’t really have control over his story.  I don’t want that as an actor.  Mike has some intentions that are really important to him.  I’m trying to find that balance where there are times when he has a pathetic, very sad remorse about what he has missed.  I think that underlies his feelings for his son, who he never could quite reach, because of his own failings as a father.  Sonny’s formative experiences growing up were then with his abusive stepdad.  Finding all of that is really important to do in a way that doesn’t make Mike just this sweet older man with Alzheimer’s.   It’s a wonderful challenge to be presented with.

Courtesy/CBS

You brought up that Mike is seemingly very sweet in his demeanor now.  My mother, who I shared with you died a few months ago from Alzheimer’s was a strong-willed, feisty woman.  As the disease took hold of her, she became very sweet.   She became almost childlike.  The fire had gone out of her eyes.  You knew she didn’t know who you were, and so, all of that, as you know is so tough to witness as her son.  In terms of Mike and his ultimate care, everyone says they love him and want what is best for him, but that he needs to be taken care of because he gets confused, doesn’t know where he is sometimes. etc.  Sonny has been grappling with putting him in a care facility to be looked after, or to keep him with the Corinthos family under their roof.  However, Mike has come to a realization that he may need to be in facility all on his own, and doesn’t want to burden his son by living with him anymore.  That was a poignant moment, and another one of the best scenes has been when Mike couldn’t remember that Sonny was his own son. 

MAX:  Right and he doesn’t know if he’s around friends or around enemies.  This can be true of Alzheimer’s patients.

I had that happen with my mother when she came out to Los Angeles to see me for the last time.  She was out of her element, she was confused, and she broke down and cried in the hotel room.  She asked my father, “Why did you bring me here?” and he told her, “We came to see our son.”  It was heartbreaking.   Later, she had a moment of clarity and realized more of what was going on.  I think it’s those in-and -out moments that you portray so well on-screen.  I feel that they are very realistic to what I, and others, have experienced.

Courtesy/ABC

MAX:  I appreciate that and sharing that with me, because you never know as an actor.  That place of “Where am I?  What is this?” makes me think of that “Summer Wind” moment from the Nurses’ Ball when it wasn’t just, “I’m embarrassed.  I don’t remember the words.”  It was, “I don’t know where the f**k I am.  I thought there was a band there, but there’s not.”  So, in a way, I just had to be there on this big soundstage and just feel this big space around me.  I could barely see that there were people out there.  It’s kind of a terrifying thing to a lot of people, but I think Mike has something in him that makes him want to be okay with all of this.  He doesn’t have to freak out and get accusatory.

Courtesy/ABC

What has it been like working with Maurice Benard as your on-screen son?  Do you watch back your scenes together and ever go, “Oh, that was great!?”

MAX:  Yes, there have been a lot of those!  There are some scenes that are so emotionally focused, and we get a lot of delight in each other.  He has been playing this character in this situation for so long, so it’s just kind of in him.  Maurice has presence.  I think when I went in to read for the part of Mike, I had gone through pilot season and had gone in for some interesting pilots.  I didn’t feel like I was really connecting in the readings, because most things are by tape these days, anyway.  When this part came up, a soap hadn’t really been on my radar.  I knew I’d be going in to read with the actor, so I said, “Okay,” and I looked at the material, and then I checked out Maurice on IMDB.  One of the things that got my interest was that he has been diagnosed and takes medication to deal with bipolar disorder, and that’s become a part of his life, and it’s become part of his character.  I thought, “Wow, that’s really interesting.  This is a survivor, and he’s risen to something that takes a certain kind of balance and courage.”  I watched some clips, and when I went in for the reading of this kind of an amalgamation scene of what the story elements were going to be, I felt like we connected before we’d even started the dialogue.

Well, Maurice certainly loves working with you! He has been very supportive and vocal about that.

MAX:  It’s mutual.  We can take really little simple moments, and we can find something deeper in it, and it doesn’t have to be an, ‘I’m going to start crying now’ moment.  Although, I would love for Mike to have a moment of self-observation where he goes, “Gee.  I cry a lot more than I used to.”  I think there are people who are like that, and it’s okay for certain people to cry, and for other people it is not.

Courtesy/ABC

There was a part of my mom that knew something was wrong.  She’d go, “Why am I crying?  I don’t know why I’m crying.”  She got confused as to why she was feeling that.  She couldn’t connect it all, and at times she kept saying, “I don’t understand.  I don’t understand.”  Those were the things she would try to express.

MAX:  I have a feeling that Mike has those moments too, but he finds a way for it to be okay.  There may be a point where someone with Alzheimer’s can’t pull it off anymore, but how we find those and those specifics, I don’t know.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Working on a classic sitcom such as Barney Miller is vastly different than working on a daytime soap opera.  While now being at GH, have you found any commonality within the experience?

MAX:  If I can take a moment and reflect on Barney Miller, because it was a great experience and one that I found was not so easy to find again over the years.  One of the things that really resonates is that when we started shooting the studio audience laughed too easily.  We would end up retaking the scenes.  Sometimes, we didn’t have the end of the show written, because they tended to let certain things start to show up in the earlier parts of the script.  Danny Arnold who was the writer, creator and producer of Barney Miller would always take over the way Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) does in a way … looking to be respectful of the director, but still seeing things on his own.  Frank has a really wonderful eye.  He’s much more connected into the overall storylines, the motivations that went into the writing, and what he sees in the moment.  I always welcome him on the set because the directors, who have a range of talents and sensibilities, are tasked with coming up with a whole lot of shots to cover, a whole lot of tricky angles, and all of that.

Courtesy/ABC

Vernee Watson has been amazing as Stella, who is also Mike’s social worker.  Does Mike have romantic feelings toward Stella?

MAX:  Vernee is wonderful.  I didn’t know Vernee had been on the show when I came on board.  She won an Emmy, and I’m not surprised.   She is so present and so specific, and she’s very bright and gets what all of these elements are, and so, I think they have a connection.  For whatever ways Mike has lived in his like, there isn’t some strange, exotic draw that she is black, and Mike is white.  I like that because both my first and late wife, and my second wife, with whom I’ve had children (and we’ve been separated for awhile, but have a great relationship) are African-American.  So, in my world that is not a big deal.   I think there’s an affinity there between Mike and Stella.  You know, he’s alive.  He’s old, but he’s not dead.  There’s an ease with women he likes.  I think there are a whole lot of reasons for them to not get involved.  One is just professional, and she’s a social worker.  We just shot something where I say something to somebody else about, “back when I still had all my marbles,” you know, he’s in another stage of life, which many people go into gracefully, while many don’t.

 

What do you think about how Mike knows about who was buried at Charlie’s Pub?  He was trying to keep the truth about Charlie Delaney from coming out, which turned into a gas leak that blew up the bar!  This storyline ties in to Sonny’s mobster dealings as well.

MAX:  Well, this is where they put this effort in the storytelling to connect Mike in some way and be intertwined with Sonny.  Of course, it reveals certain things about Mike that he’s never revealed to anybody before.  So, that’s kind of cool.  I think when he knows what and how much sometimes is not clear.  That’s why I started talking about Barney Miller because the other thing was a lot of times when we go together for the table reads, they didn’t have the end of the story.  They had a first draft, maybe. Dan would talk about it, and they’d say, “Next week, the main story is going to be this man in his fifties who is coming to terms with the fact that he is gay,” or whatever those underlying themes may be with the different characters reactions.  So, we knew elements going into it and that sometimes I  didn’t know what the writers are really intending.  In terms of Mike, he’s kind of back and forth in certain moments.  I have to resist the idea that they trap me by just being careless.  I’ve learned that just trying to fix the script often gets you into a place where you “rehearse yourself out of it,” as they say.

Courtesy/GoodDayLA

You appeared on the morning show Good Day LA  a few months back with Laura Wright (Carly), and Maria Shriver, who has founded the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement.  What was that like meeting Maria, and helping get the word out about the effects of this disease and the work Maria is doing?

MAX:  It was great to do.  Maria had sent out a tweet that is was wonderful what was going on, on General Hospital.  On Good Day LA, she talked about her work, particularly focusing on the fact that more women are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s than men.  So, then Laura and I sat down and did an interview alongside Maria.  We actually had a nice conversation before.  They did a web interview also as a follow-up.  That was very cool, because Maria is very smart, and I’d never met her, but it was great to see what she was doing.  Whatever we are dealing with in the show is sort of my opportunity in the real world to bring awareness and shed light on the subject.  I’d love to see an ongoing conversation online amongst people who can share their stories with each other.  That’s a lot of what they’re doing.  They’re raising money for research, but people need to be able to talk to each other when you’re a caregiver.  Coming out of the early sixties and early seventies when I was playing a cop on TV, I never was a fanatic activist.  I certainly got the behavior of the Chicago police at a certain time in terms of the energy and conflicts of the time.  There was something to think about, but at the same time, I had opportunities to kind of share that all cops aren’t bad, just look at the show, Barney Miller.

Courtesy/ABC

You were my favorite character on Barney Miller as Detective Wojciehowicz!  I think for many who watched the show you were, too!

MAX:  I think “Wojo” ended up being the heart of the show.

Max, you’re helping people through your beautiful performances including me.  Congratulations on that.   I’ll continue have to have a box of Kleenex handy as I watch how it all unfolds for Mike.

Photo: IMDB

MAX:  Well, I really appreciate your questions.  I’m just planting that seed.  That is really what I would like to do after talking to you and so many people.  That’s something I’d like to put out there.   We each have our own domains and responsibilities and all of it overlaps, and you can kind of get in touch with that; if you just go around the circle and share it, and then go around again.  I’m looking to help people out there in the world who are watching and are looking to share in the conversation.

So, what did you think about the heartbreaking scenes on Friday’s episode of GH between Mike and Sonny?  What have you thought of Max Gail’s performance throughout his GH run?  Have you experienced the loss, or are watching someone you love, or care about slip away from Alzheimer’s?  Share your thoughts via the comment below.

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Video du Jour

This weekend we mourn the loss of General Hospital’s beloved Susan Brown who played Gail Baldwin. Here is her final scene from 2004 when Gail and her husband Lee (the late Peter Hansen) showed up at Lila’s funeral and had an exchange with Alan and Monica. Share your thoughts on Susan’s passing via the link below. Leave A Comment

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