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Lipstick-Gate Continues! Andy Towle Posts Response To GH Head Scribe Ron Carlivati's Comments To Gay Blog's "Felix" Backlash!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

Perhaps Andy Towle of the uber-popular gay blog, Towleroad realized he spoke to soon after General Hospital’s head writer, Ron Carlivati gave Towle and his readers a lashing for their negative and often offensive comments on the creation and execution of the brand new character of student nurse Felix Dubois on GH.

Felix has thus far only aired on one episode, and somehow this controversy had spun out of control.  However as we reported yesterday, Ron took to the Towleroad site and expressed his outrage and disappointment at the comments which was instigated by Towle’s original post which stated, “General Hospital debuted a new character this week, a gay nurse played by actor Marc Anthony Samuel. To establish his character as gay, his first scenes involved him pulling out a tube of lipstick and offering to touch up a heterosexual woman. Oy.”

Today, there has been an update to the situation, where Andy Towle pulled back from his original stance and in many ways offered an apology to Carlivati! Towle posted, “There’s no question in my mind that Mr. Carlivati should be allowed the chance to develop his character more fully before judgment is passed and I regret if my commentary suggested that it should. My expression of “oy” over what I perceived to be a stereotype may have been hasty, but was also informed by having written this site for 9 years and seeing more than a few damaging caricatures in television and movies along the way.  I’ve also reported very positively on other soap characters written by Mr. Carlivati. I’m looking forward to seeing how his Felix Dubois character develops and thank him for his remarks and reaction.”

So what do you think of Towle’s remarks now? Classy?  The right thing to do, especially after it seems Felix and head writer, Carlivati got quite the verbal bashing?  Let us know your thoughts!

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Tsuds
Tsuds

Very classy… We all make mistakes… Great Job to everyone for the maturity level you all have shown on a blog….. Let’s hope that LeAnn and Brandy can find some of that same class over on radar-online. Very classless for both LeAnn, Eddie & Brandy. Those poor kids ….. Very Sad… those kids should be taken away from all three of their parents for what they are doing! Deal with it in private!

Sarah White Sees
Sarah White Sees

Yes, that was definitely the right thing to do, and I’m glad Mr. Towle is willing to not be so hasty. Given Mr. Carlivati’s track record as a headwriter and as one who has developed gay characters before, I thought the bashing was totally out of place. Especially since we had only seen Felix once!!

Cady McClain
Cady McClain

One of the major problems with the internet is that we can “react” so quickly, letting others know of our offense to some comment or situation, the instant we have it. I think the rule that says “If something offends you, sleep on it a day before you react, especially in writing,” is a good one to remember. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t enjoy free speech, it just is a suggestion to consider the damage ones words can do.

aria
aria

Very good point Cady, and by the way, when will you grace us on tv again? would love to see you on GH.

Cady McClain
Cady McClain

I would play a lesbian character without a second thought. I embrace all sexual identities and I think that when they are portrayed as compelling characters, especially in daytime TV, they help the broader culture have more compassion for all people and how we are all different in our specifics, and yet the same in our humanity.

aria
aria

will somebody contact Ron and Frank, i’m game. I’m loving the idea!

bc
bc

To Cady McClain: You were very impressive as rosanna cabot on ATWT! one of the best chars. I’d like to know what is your opinion on the utter lack of representation of Asian americans from hollywood? hollywood seems to portray majority of Asian american males as 1. dorky and asexualized char who’s an accented foreigner 2. asexualized martial arts expert. While the better Asian american roles get whitewashed and given to actors like tom cruise and relatively unknown actors like david henrie and jim sturgess. It’s worse for Asian american women bec majority of their roles are racist and sexist: 1. “dragon lady” 2. submissive 3. hypersexualized when paired w/ a white male. Hollywood’s lgbt chars are portrayed w/ humanity and yet hollywood seems to be openly racist towards Asian americans.

it seems like people erupt at the slightest “flaw” of an lgbt char and yet it’s completely acceptable how hollywood marginalizes and is openly racist towards Asian americans thru their portrayals. There was a film called “the goods” starring jeremy piven where an Asian american char was physically bashed by his white colleagues bec of pearl harbor bombing. The bashing of the Asian american char was done comedically w/c made it all the more disturbing and it furthered the stereotype that all Asian americans are monolithic bec the char was not Japanese. Would hollywood ever gay bash an lgbt char and portray that comedically? Highly doubtful. I think that this whole gh “controversy” is quite odd considering how there are a ton of unique lgbt representations on soaps and primetime soaps and primetime shows and films.

Cady McClain
Cady McClain

I’m glad you mentioned that daytime could use more Asian-American characters, because I handily agree. Our country is one full of diversity and uniqueness. Soaps seem to have been dominated by Caucasian characters up to this point, perhaps part of the idea that it was the “norm” in the main stream mindset, while anyone who was from a different culture was not “as American.” That fallacy and those days are behind us, I think, and it’s wonderful to see shows like “Grays Anatomy” reflect our diverse culture without focusing so much on our differences in appearance. Sandra Oh’s character, to me, seems to be portrayed as an everywoman, full of flaws, humor, and desires just like any woman.
I think any group has a right to complain when they feel they are being represented unfairly, or in a way they think is slandering to them. There is no statute of limitations on prejudice, racism or sexism, sadly. Those of us that have been at the effect of such hurt have to both speak out, like you are, and take action. But we also have to speak fairly and with dignity, or the cause of our complaint is lost in drama and distraction.
Finally, I agree that entertainment has to be careful in its depictions of those who have been already slandered, although not every filmmaker or storyteller can be as sensitive as Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick stated that the world of a film is a dream, that allows our subconscious to act out in ways we would not in real life. When done well, film and TV and theater can convey powerful human fears and needs and explore them, but the mediums cannot be beholden to
politics, or the story is not a journey but a message.
In my opinion the best way to de-politicize racial and sexual tension is for characters to not be stuck into a box, defined solely by their race and/or gender, but as the complex character the writer intends.

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

Beautifully spoken Ms. McClain!!!! Beautifully spoken, so eloquent and very true. We always jump to the immediately reaction, which at times is not always a bad thing, but can sometimes lead us to say things in a way that isn’t so respectful of all. I agree with your posting all the way!

bc
bc

To Cady McClain: Not only are you a talented actress but you’re very eloquent and one of the truly open minded among hollywood! My central gripe abt hollywood is people there tend to proclaim to be very “liberal” and “progressive” yet majority of films and tv tend to marginalize racial minorities and women while somehow preserving the white male establishment. NBC universal recently cooked up this new cooking show broadcast around Asian countries. The premise of the cooking show is that it features a rotating panel of male models around Asia who are deemed as the handsomest and strangely a large number of them are part white and have lighter skin and more Anglo physical features and names. Their part white racial backgrounds don’t make them “less Asian” but the larger issue is the brainwashing of what is considered as attractive and thus “idealized” w/c then becomes a modern way of colonization. But the problem really originates from hollywood. The film “cloud atlas” is abt rebirth. The artistic expression of the film makers was to use the same actors wearing prosthetics to portray the same souls. That has its merits. They cast white actors who used yellowface to portray the Asian chars. But they didn’t cast any white actors to portray the black slave char bec blackface would definitely be considered offensive. Yet the film is protected from criticism regarding yellowface and discrimination bec one of its directors is transgendered. That seems to be a running sentiment among hollywood types. showrunner patrick king who is openly gay was part of this panel discussing his 2 broke girls sitcom. Critics were asking him abt the stereotypical representations of the African american char Earl and Han the diner owner who is Korean. The strange response from king was that he can write these kind of portrayals bec of his orientation minority status being gay. It seems like glee isn’t critiqued for its racism and whitewashing and weightism and ageism and misogyny precisely bec its showrunner murphy is openly gay. the problematic portrayals of hollywood originate from the writers and showrunner w/c then affects the broader pop culture. It would be great if you could be a part of a writing team bec you obviously get it. You’d be an asset. Here’s hoping more actresses are like you! Good luck w/ your career as an actress!

bc
bc

To Cady McClain: congratulations on your engagement to john lindstrom. BTW regarding your opinion on the idea on whiteness as the “norm” among the mainstream mindset: hollywood really promotes this ideal even on the casting level. It’s assumed that a char is white whenever a char’s race is not specified on a casting call. the mainstream entertainment media from hollywood and manhattan are problematic bec they marginalize racial minorities. Descriptions like “girl next door” and even “classically beautiful” and especially “all american” are often racial code words for white actresses and chars. it seems like the mainstream entertainment media are less vocal when they critique hollywood’s racial issues and portrayals but they are more vocal when they demand more lgbt chars and storylines.

Tammy Kreiss
Tammy Kreiss

Jealousy is ugly on everyone. If you’re not familiar with someone’s work, you can’t judge it, which actually reminds me nobody is in a position to judge anyone, unless it’s a game show! #GoteamCarltini

Krista
Krista

lol beleive me, I know how rotten Jealousy can be. I’m a Christian and shouldn’t be that way, but I’d be lying if I said I was jealous of some friends of mine who are doing things in the church, like dance, public speaking and all I’m doing is cleaning, which is good, I love cleaning the church. My point is that they are doing something out in the open which is something I really wanna do as well. I’m not jealous of THEM. I’m jealous because they’re doing something and I’m not. and I know that’s a bad thing, but I just can’t seem to get over it. It’s rotten!

Tammy Kreiss
Tammy Kreiss

That’s different, you do not criticize, or insult them because they can do something you can’t. That should be motivation for you, as well!

k/kay
k/kay

Maybe this was all a publicity stunt? Because I sure do not know how you can comment on a character in just one episode of course I have not been watching been busy with work etc so this was all news to me are you sure that wasn’t the intention after all.

Nancy
Nancy

Ron and Frank are the best in the business and the whole issue is way behind the times. This is the 21st century and Ron should be allowed to handle it anyway that he wants. LEAVE HIM ALONE

Troy Turner
Troy Turner

I read the apology this morning-and it was classy of Andy to step back. Unfortunately, many regulars on Towelroad don’t seem to agree. Very sad, really

dg
dg

First of all as much as I am not a fan of Carlavati as a writer I have to say that the Kish story on OLTL was one of the most non stereotypical, realistic portrayals of gay men Ive seen on TV period.
Much like his detractor I also grow very weary of all the effeminate stereotypes that dominate TV today. I havent read the comments by the blogger. But I can appreciate the perceived sentiments against stereotypical depictions of gay men. I think they do the gay cause zero good. But in this particular instance I think he did jump the gun and should wait to see how the character pans out.
That being said I have zero interest in the character because he is not tied to any of the core families that I care about on GH. And the actor is a complete unknown to me so again no interest here.
I think its a big mistake to tackle important issues using newbies. Also has Carlavati forgotten that our beloved Bobbie Spencer as a gay adopted son still out there. Why not bring him back and hire a daytime vet to play him? And rehire Jaclyn Zeman also!! I appreciate the fact that the character is black and gay ( lord knows that’s rarely seen on TV). But again he’s a young newbie and Im not interested.

Jeff
Jeff

So, the only way a guy can be introduced is if he’s a core character? However, it’s fine to introduce straight characters who aren’t related to any core family? -__-

dg
dg

Jeff you have completely misunderstood my comment. The orientation of the character is of no consequence to me. My point is that homosexuality is a very emotional and controversial issue to explore even in today’s liberal social climate. So in my opinion viewers will have much more at stake with the character if he is tied to a core family.
Viewers watch soaps to follow the lives and loves of the characters that they know. We follow them through various generations and they become like our real family. So consequently I believe that as a writer its much easier to get an audience emotionally invested in a character from a family that we know and love, rather than trying to get us to care about someone we dont know. That’s all. I would say the same thing about a straight character facing alcoholism or drug abuse ect. These are issues that inspire emotion and empathy. And its easier for an audience to become engaged and care more about characters they know and love rather than new strangers. Its called emotional investment and its key to a successful story.

CTwildheart
CTwildheart

No Jeff, that is not the only way. But I happen to agree with the hope that this character (if he’s staying around) will have some sort of ties to a character other than Sabrina.

Angela
Angela

He realized he may have spoken too quickly and he apologized. Everyone makes mistakes. He saw he had and made it right, Good for both of them.

Rodd
Rodd

That’s terribly decent of Mr. Towel, but I still wonder about his comment about “damaging caricatures”; referring to the character of Felix. Why shouldn’t someone be able to show a lip-stick wielding gay character or a hostile lesbian on TV? They’re out there. I think what’s damaging is saying that all gay people are just like straight people. I sure hope not! People are people, goy or straight. I think it only gets demeaning when you fail to show the human side of a character and write them only as a “caricature”. I sure Ron will not write a one-demensional character. Just you wait and see.

su0000
su0000

None of us have a clue as the personality Felix will have..
We know nothing about him .. We saw him for about a minute.
I am excited about the new character and looking forward to ”getting to know” Felix..
I am now wondering what type of personality he will actually have..

boes
boes

Good for him, pulling back the way he did. There’s not enough class out there to begin with, and unfortunately the internet doesn’t foster good behavior.

Ron C. spoke out, and Andy Towle heard him. I respect him for that, a lot.

It will be a great day when a character’s sexuality isn’t seen as THE core characteristic. Not there yet, but we sure have come a long way. In my youth there were NO gay characters on soaps at all. Now we actually get to debate how they are portrayed. Never thought these days would come.

My hat is off to Ron C. and to Andy Towle. Adult behavior is so refreshing.

Patrick
Patrick

Days – has Will and Sonny…

B&B – has Danielle and Karen…

GH – has Felix…

C’mon! Y&R!!!! ???? join the rest of the world.

Robert in Jersey City
Robert in Jersey City

YES! http://groopii.blogspot.com/2012/07/marco-dapper-shirtless-in-young-and.html
Marco Dapper. “Abby was all a mistake, I really love Billy”

k/kay
k/kay

So I can not get Laura back on the show but I can get a new character and that is going to help keep the show on the air! First we have to deal with Mad Frankestein and making a woman police commisioner look stupid then I read that everyone is being held at the clinic in Switzerland. Really makes you want to watch it. Not!

BTripp
BTripp

Sorry you are not enjoying the fan faves from the 90’s like most of us. Maybe you prefer the mob storylines that most of the fans complained about for years. Faison, Anna, Robert, and Duke are huge characters from GH’s past and if you didn’t watch the show back then you missed out. You may have since you know who Laura is. I would love Laura to come back also and she may but if she does they will keep it a surprise which I think is great because too many things get spoiled and it ruins it.

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

There is no room for Laura on the show right now.

k/kay
k/kay

I did not say anthing about not enjoying the faves from the 90’s I just stated I would have preferred a storyline with Laura rather then this guy but their running the show not i so they can do want they want.

susan M.
susan M.

I enjoy Gh a lot… I think Anna’s character is great. The whole thing with Faison & the clinic is intersting to me.Anna & Robert will be paying that clinic a visit and get Robin back to home with Patrick & Emma….I enjoyed it years ago when Anna & Robert were in the WSB..It was the intrigue & suspense & we have that again now….Faison is a real
piece of work…

Rob
Rob

I work in a hospital, its a true melting pot and I have bumped into many a “Felix”, I actually think its refreshing they have someone they dont feel the need to butch-up.

LeRoy Davidson
LeRoy Davidson

I found the Felix character wonderful. I know so many like him, and not only are they fun, but have a giant heart. It will be so exciting to see his character developed further.
I loved what Frank V. and Ron C. did for “One Life” and they are providing that very same magic to “GH” by adding fresh approaches to much-loved characters from the past, as well as the current ones. They can do no wrong, in my opinion.

TylaMac
TylaMac

I think that blogger definitely over reacted.I can understand why gay men wouldn’t want to see only stereotypical,effeminate gay characters on TV. But most gay male characters on the soaps have been very masculine even when portrayed by gay actors.We’re all adults here and we all know that some gay men are more “flamboyant” and have careers that are traditionally held by women,so why shouldn’t they be represented on a soap? So far,I’m loving Felix. I don’t see anything offensive about him. Many,many straight women have a BFF like Felix.

Krista
Krista

I am a Born again Christian, and I won’t get into what’s right or wrong, but I really don’t care if Felix is gay or not. However, if you put him in a relationship, then I’m done watching! as I’m sure others will to. I love GH (probably more than I should). I don’t care if he’s gay, but I WILL stop watching if you put him in a gay relationship. I loved OLTL, but when the gay relationshipsstarted, I stopped watching

Krista
Krista

I’m just curious. Is he gay in real life?

General Hospital

GH Preview – Week of July 16, 2018

This week on General Hospital the fallout from Michael (Chad Duell) and Nelle’s (Chloe Lanier) nuptials will change the course of several lives including Carly’s (Laura Wright), who has come to bust up of the wedding, by busting out of Ferncliff!

Meanwhile, after those close to Drew (Billy Miller) encourage him to try to date again after his divorce from Sam (Kelly Monaco), he ends up in a surprise encounter with Marqaux (Elizabeth Hendrickson).  Will sparks fly?

Check out these other teasers for this week’s GH below, and you can watch the tease for Monday’s episode here.

Let us know in the comment section below what storyline has you most intrigued.

MONDAY JULY 16

Michael is torn.

TUESDAY JULY 17

Valentin puts two and two together.

WEDNESDAY JULY 18, 2018  

Curtis offers Liz an explanation.  

THURSDAY JULY 19, 2018 

Carly faces the consequences of her actions.

 FRIDAY JULY 20, 2018

Obrecht encounters an obstacle.

Continue Reading

Breaking News

GH’s Vinessa Antoine Lands Primetime Series Will Make Canadian TV History!

Fantastic news for General Hospital favorite, Vinessa Antoine (Jordan)! The talented actress had landed the leading role in the primetime Canadian series, Diggstown!

The legal drama is scheduled to air this fall.  In Diggstown, Antoine will play Marcie Diggs, a top corporate lawyer who decides to dedicate herself to a legal aid office in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

This casting news will make Vinessa a part of Canadian TV history as the first Black Canadian actress to star in a prime-time drama on legacy network television, CBC.

Antoine spoke to the Toronto Star about her starring role, “When I first read the script I was really attracted to the notion that she was a corporate lawyer and she believed in the system. And when that crashed for her, life nudged her to do something extraordinary. And because I’m a woman of color, so many things connected. She’s complex, not stereotypical, and that’s refreshing.”

However as suspected, and according to the Toronto Star: “General Hospital fans will not be happy to learn that Antoine, who has been with the show since 2014, will no longer be a series regular when she starts shooting Diggstown in August.”

So, excited to hear Vinessa has been cast in a leading primetime series?  Comment below!

Continue Reading

General Hospital

Dominic Zamprogna Speaks Out On His Decision To Leave GH, His Final Scenes With Emme Rylan & How Dante Exited The Canvas

A few weeks ago, General Hospital fans watched as one of the series beloved stars, Dominic Zamprogna (Dante) exited the show in scenes opposite his longtime on-screen love interest, Emme Rylan (Lulu).  For nine years, Zamprogna brought authenticity, emotion, and heart to the son of Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) and Olivia Falconeri (Lisa LoCicero) to life.  While Dante’s journey started out with a bang, literally (thanks, Sonny!), over the years it appeared he was taking a backseat in meatier storylines.  All the while, Dante and Lulu remained one of the more popular duos with the viewers.

After much reflection, Zamprogna decided it was time for him to walk away from a place that became his second home.  His desire now shifted to play different characters in different projects, but it was not without taking many things into account with his life-changing decision.

Michael Fairman TV talked with Dominic to glean more insight into: if there was anything GH could have done to make him sign on the dotted line again, what went down to make those final scenes seem so rushed, how it was to say goodbye to his co-workers in front of the camera and behind the scenes, if he would consider a return at some point, and how would he feel if GH now planned on recasting Dante, and much more.

For us; we recall meeting Dominic for the first times just six months into his time at General Hospital for our first interview together.  We were instantly struck by his sincerity, humor, and his eagerness to learn from some of the best in the business.  Now exiting as a “soap vet“, per se, it is a full-circle moment that we had the time to conclude his GH journey with this conversation.  Here’s what Dom had to say about it all.

What were the factors that contributed to your decision to exit GH?  Was there a pivotal moment where you were feeling, and recognizing, that you were underutilized that you felt you needed to make a change? 

DOMINIC:  When you named me the “Most Underutilized Actor of 2017!” (Laughs) Well, my plan was never to stay forever.  But half-way through my second contract,  Emme Rylan (Lulu) and I were approached by our producer on set, who said words to the effect of: you guys have been on the sideline, time to get you into the game.  That led to the Dante cheating storyline, which gave us story for about a year … which was great!  But as that ended, so did any subsequent storylines, it seemed.  In the year that followed, I started entertaining thoughts of leaving.  By the next year, I started talking about it with my wife, Linda, who had started to notice that maybe I wasn’t happy anymore, and I wasn’t.  That’s not a good feeling, especially if you’re bringing that energy home with you.  Then, I made the mistake of going on social media, which is a terrible place to go sometimes.  But fans were saying the same sort of things I was feeling.  Was it all due to story or lack-thereof?  No.  I was starting to crave playing other roles, and that’s hard to do when you’re under contract.

Were discussions even had with Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) and the powers-that-be about your feelings of dissatisfaction over not being utilized more in storylines?

DOMINIC:  The discussions happened late.  Not until the negotiation process, actually.  I’m no squeaky wheel I guess, but I also don’t feel it’s in my job description to be one.  I did put out a few ideas here and there, but they didn’t happen.  I know other actors have tried the same and it didn’t lead to anything for them, either.  I was a creation of Bob Guza (former head writer, GH), and maybe I was spoiled by the amount of great writing I received while he was there.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

There had to be some sadness in walking away from GH.

DOMINIC:  Oh yeah… it was sad.  I built that character, and now here I was walking away from it, and essentially my second family.  That’s been the hardest part.  Lifelong friendships were made, and memories.  However, it’s been over a month and a half since I’ve been at GH and I feel happy.  I’ve been up in Canada shooting Tin Star, which has been a great experience.  I’ve stayed in touch with everybody and I miss everybody, in fact, I just spoke to Mo (Maurice Benard) yesterday, and I’m in class with Emme (she won’t leave me alone).  But, I feel like I made the right choice for me at this moment.

To clarify; were you actually trying to work out a deal to stay put, but both sides just could not hammer things out to a satisfactory conclusion?

DOMINIC:  We did try to work out a deal.  After more talks and conversations, I felt maybe we were going to get things done.  I was being told things would change and maybe shift things in the direction we wanted to go.  But at the end of the day, it’s gotta be in writing.  I feel like I’d been told similar things in the past which hadn’t come to fruition.  I was also reminded that it was me who needed to sign my name on that dotted line and live with that decision, and I chose not to do so.

If someone would have said to you: “We have an “A” story for you, and you are going to be driving it,” would you have been more apt to stay?   

DOMINIC:  There was talk about us sitting down and talking about storylines, but that didn’t end up happening, not sure why.  And even if it did, I don’t know that it would’ve changed my mind about leaving, anyway.   But just to be clear: I have no anger towards anybody.  It’s all a business at the end of the day.  Both sides did what they felt was right.  For me, I just felt this chapter had come to an end.

Photo: ABC

When, and how did you tell on-screen scene partner, Emme Rylan that you were leaving?  Was she happy for you and your decision?

DOMINIC:  Emme knew really early on.  Once January rolled around I was like: “I have been thinking for the last six to nine months that I am going to go.”   I wanted her to know, because we have been a couple for five years on the show.  Emme was very happy for me.  I went, “Wait a minute!  Don’t be this happy.  I’m leaving.” (Laughing)  

What happened when you told your on-screen mom, Lisa LoCicero ?

DOMINIC:  She was sad, but she is also said, “You’re in your prime, go see what’s out there!”   I wouldn’t have done this move if I did not get support at home.  My wife is the rock and the one that makes this household go.  Some things outside the show were starting to happen; I had a nice screen-test for a pilot, and then I booked these four episodes of Tin Star.  When you have choices in life; you have power and control over your future.  I think Emme and Lisa as actors realized that.  That’s what made them happy for me … for the future.  The last nine years were exciting.  However, when you can have a little bit more say in what you are doing on a day to day basis, that is empowering.  So, in saying, “no” to something, and saying, “Thank you, but that’s not what I am looking for right now,” that can feel good.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

It was a shame that through all the regimes that they rarely wrote any scenes between Dante and his father, Sonny.  What was Maurice Benard’s reaction when you told him you were leaving?

DOMINIC:  It has been pretty publicized that he and I were dissatisfied at the lack of  storyline, or scenes together.  Maurice asked the powers-that-be, “Why aren’t we working together more?”  We never had a clear answer as to why.  He didn’t know from one day to the next what was happening with my contract talks.  Mo saw me smiling one day and asked, “So does that smile mean you’re staying?”  And I said, “No, that smile is because I’m leaving.” (Laughs)  I said that more to mess with him, and make him sad.  He said, “As long as you are good financially, then I am all for anybody getting out of here and seeing what else is out there.” Really, Mo talks people into leaving so he can get more screen-time. (Laughs)

Let’s talk about the final airshow, and the story that came out of left field to facilitate your exit.  Was that written quickly to accommodate a shooting schedule or contract completion?  It felt rushed to the viewing audience.

DOMINIC:  Left field is right!  I still had a week and a half left of work when they found out I wasn’t going to re-sign, and within twelve hours I had six exit scenes written.  So, it wasn’t done to facilitate anything but a set (Lante’s house), I think.  My final tape date was May 18th, and Emme and I had scenes on the Wednesday or Thursday before that.  I guess they wanted my last scenes that aired to be with Emme, and that might have been the only scheduling day that worked for the set and the actors, and maybe that’s also why it felt so rushed.  All I could assume is that they didn’t think I was really going to leave so they didn’t plan for it, or they chose to protect themselves in this way, by not making a big deal about it.  I had another week of scenes in the PCPD with Chase (Josh Swickard) and Michael (Chad Duell) that was shot afterward.  But they had nothing to do with Dante’s “secret mission!”

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

I thought, “Wait!  Is that it?  Is this Dominic’s final show?  Dante doesn’t say goodbye to his mother… his father … or his son, Rocco?

DOMINIC:  Yeah, that was tough for me.  After 9 years you think you’re going to get a little bit better of a send off.   You also, hope they’re going to honor the character.  Dante wouldn’t leave to go to the 7-eleven without saying goodbye to his mother and kids.   Maurice and I talked about that.  He said, “I guess, they don’t want people to feel really sad.  You and me doing some goodbye scenes, people are going to be devastated.”   I agree with that.  However, I also think it’s a soap and that’s what fans want … good, ole drama.  I would have loved to have had scenes with Sonny, Olivia, and Dante’s kids, but when you make a decision like this, how you leave on-air is not up to you.  Both parties are going to handle it how it’s best for them.   I was very grateful they gave Emme and I something to seek our teeth into. 

They were very sad scenes.  You are one of those actors that can take the material and connect with it while delivering it in a very subtle and heartfelt way.  How was Emme after your final scenes?

DOMINIC:  She was kind of crying the whole time, going “Damn you! Damn you.”   I was having fun with it, because I love making Emme cry.  It’s not a very difficult thing to do.  (Laughs).  We were both pretty teary-eyed, actually.  Then, when we finished the scenes and I looked over and I saw how upset the crew was, that’s what really got me.  Barbara, one of the camera operators actually jokingly apologized; suggesting that if my last shot was blurry it was my fault!  As an actor, when you make the crew feel something it kind of gives you some extra good feels. That was always the best feeling, talking to Craig (our stage manager), or Donna (head of makeup department) after a scene to get the honest truth on how you did.  I’ll miss them.

Courtesy/ABC

Viewers, watching Dante have this flashback about the guy who was responsible for Lulu going overboard the Haunted Star a few years ago, probably needed a moment to connect the dots.  Some viewers were going, “What?  Dante is going after the guy that tried to drown Lulu from two years ago?”

DOMINIC:  When I read that in the script even I went, “What?” Who’s that?”  I had no idea, either. (Laughs)

Then there was this:  Dante was so hard on Lulu for her pursuing her dream as a journalist and how it inadvertently got Nathan killed.  Then all of a sudden in your final scenes, Dante has a line to Lulu in which he says something to the effect of: I understand now – you got to do, what you got to do.  In story, prior to these scenes it was leaning more towards Dante and Lulu were going to break-up over what had recently transpired.

DOMINIC:  Which, who knows?  If Dante had stayed in Port Charles it could have been the direction they were going in.  It certainly looked like they were building toward conflict, conflict, conflict, but with me leaving it was much sweeter to leave on the note that we left on, instead of Dante leaving, because he can’t deal with being around Lulu. This all leads me to believe that they didn’t want to do anything too permanent to give them time to make the proper decisions.

Courtesy/ABC

What was the last day of shooting like for you?  Was it hard to get through?

DOMINIC:  It felt like a regular day, and my final scenes were up towards the end of the tape day. They had a cake afterwards.  Frank briefly spoke and introduced Maurice; who said a bunch of sweet words.  That meant a lot to me.  I said “goodbye” to everybody and took some photos, and that was it.  I already had my room packed up.  Once you’re ready to go, you’re ready to go.  Afterwards, I went out with Ryan Paevey (Ex-Nathan) and Jeffrey Vincent Parise (Ex-Carlos) for some beers and wings at the bar down the street.  It wasn’t until everybody came back after a two-week break that it felt real, because then I was receiving text messages from people saying, “We’re back.  Why the hell aren’t you here?”

The door has been left open for Dante to return.  Would you ever come back?

DOMINIC:  Of course, at some point.  But it might not be my choice, they might recast.  They told me they won’t, but who knows what’ll be done.  Do I think you can just recast a role?  No, I think it’s always a tough sell, but they’ve done it with bigger names/characters than mine.  I would be a little surprised, only because there hasn’t been much story for Dante in the last three years.  For me, as of now, I’ve moved on, and I’m very happy with my decision and my life.  It’s sad in other respects, don’t get me wrong.  I’ve read things that people have said on Twitter, and I want everyone to know I’ve seen it all and it means a lot to me.  People have been beautiful to me.  I’m truly overwhelmed by the love.  I thought there would be more of, “Who cares?” when fans found out I left.   I must have done something right during the years I was at GH.

Did you think when you made the decision to leave they would kill-off Dante? 

DOMINIC:  No, not at all.  I don’t think killing off Dante would be a good idea, especially after they killed Nathan, and also because of the climate we live in with police involved shootings and violence, in general.  In a perfect world as an actor, you crave the opportunity to have one last moment with the other characters that have been important to your character over the years.  That’s all I would have wanted for myself, and Dante.  I’ll take what I got though.  It was extremely meaningful because of what Emme and I had and built.  I feel we got to the heart and soul of those two characters in a pretty short amount of time in our scenes.

Courtesy/ABC

Speaking of Nathan, I think thus far those funeral scenes, which you were wonderful in, and the story arc revolving around his death, are GH’s best bet for an Emmy in the Drama Series category next year. 

DOMINIC:  I agree.  It was so well-done.  We’d all would like to go out like that!  Tragic, but it made for great TV and great soap.  It was phenomenally well-acted across the board.  Lots of Emmy reel stuff for Michelle Stafford (Nina) and Kirsten Storms (Maxie), and Kathleen Gati (Liesl), and hopefully for our directors and crew, also.  They did an amazing job bringing that to life.

This now leaves Josh Swickard as the lone cop now by default on GH.   he PCPD is notorious for being the worst cop shop in the history of soaps! (Laughs) They can’t ever solve a crime.

DOMINIC: (Laughs) I know!  What is Josh is going to do?   Maybe between Chase and Jordan (Vienssa Antoine) they will solve crimes.  Maybe, they’ll bring on a new cop.  Josh is a great guy and I enjoyed working with him.  At the beginning, we had that contentious relationship between the two guys.  That would’ve been fun if it lasted longer, where they had this continual real dislike for one another.  Who knows?  With Dante gone, maybe they will start solving some crimes! (Laughs) Maybe now the PCPD will be the greatest police unit in the USA.

Courtesy/ABC

Over your nine years at GH, would you still consider that your best storyline was coming on to the show and then having Sonny shoot Dante, only for it to turn out that he just shot his own son?

DOMINIC:  Yes, I think you have to.  That was my intro.  They had this story planned eight months before they even cast the role.  To get to that moment, was a classic soap cliffhanger.  I grew up watching soap operas with my grandparents, and if they had been alive for that scene they would have lost it, because it was something that ‘old school’ soap fans would really dig.  For me, doing that story felt so special.  ABC also pumped it with the promotion, and the promos, and the TV spots, and amped it up.  I didn’t feel it disappointed.  It was actually the audition scene that I had to perform to get the part!  Then six months later you get to say these lines that got you the part, and you hope you don’t whiff on the softball.

While putting together and producing the GH 55th anniversary tribute package for this year’s Daytime Emmys, I included that moment between Sonny and Dante.  I remember watching the complete scene before editing it and the dialog was so good.  It still holds up to this day.

DOMINIC:  My manager was at the Emmys that night, and said what a great moment that was.  I meant to thank you for that, because I really appreciated it being in there.

Courtesy/ABC

Are there any other scenes that come to mind that you are most proud of?

DOMINIC:  I also really loved the scenes with Max Gail (Mike). He is a special guy.  There was so much in our scenes; where Dante finds him with Avery in the stables.  Those moments are going to stick with me for a long time.

On June 28th, the airdate of your last episode, you posted a tweet to the fans that read: “The love you guys have given me over the years and continue to give is overwhelming.  It is I that must thank YOU!”  I thought that was extremely touching and very appreciated by the fans.

DOMINIC:  I was thinking, “Man, I have to thank you, because I would not legitimately be here if you hadn’t liked this guy, Dante.”  It was bringing tears to my eyes reading what people were saying, and seeing how much love I was receiving.

Tell me about your role in the British-Canadian production of Tin Star?

DOMINIC:  It’s a recurring role,  I’ve been working on it since March.  It’s something very different from what I’ve been doing the last 9 years.  Can’t give much away, but I play a hired gun type of guy.  There are some great scenes and moments, and I was lucky enough to work with Christina Hendricks, John Lynch, and the legend, Tim Roth.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Do you feel now that you have had some time away now from GH, and have been playing another role, that the thought of playing Dante for you at this point is like: “Been there. Done that?”

DOMINIC:  I would never say Dante is done forever.  Right now for me, he is.  They left it open, hopefully they left it open for me, but every actor hopes that.  We want our cake and to eat it too!  I want to leave right now, but I want you to want me to come back some day.  No one wants their role to be recast.  But it’s an important character, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see.  Who knows what the future holds.  I left on good terms.  Just so everyone knows; I didn’t spring something on GH on the last day of my contract.  It’s important that I let people know that I didn’t just wake up one day and say, “See ya”.  This also wasn’t about money.  Sure, we want to be paid what we believe we’re worth.  But this in no way was about me asking for the moon, or I was going to leave.  It was a very, very difficult decision.

So, what do you think about how GH wrapped up Dante’s story for Dominic’s exit? Would you like him to return to GH sooner than later?  Do you think the role of Dante was problematic to write for?  What were your favorite scenes of Dom’s during his time at GH? Let us know via the comment section below.

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