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Maura West Confirmed In New Role on General Hospital!

Photo Credit: Hutchins Photo

Photo Credit: Hutchins Photo

Fan favorite and two-time Daytime Emmy Winner Maura West has joined the cast of General Hospital in the new role of Ava Jerome! Soap Opera Digest confirmed the news today exclusively!

“I’m thrilled! Happy actress!” West responded on Twitter after the news was revealed. Maura West is already on set taping and will debut in May.

The big question is that last name of “Jerome”.   That is certainly a name from Duke and Anna’s past! Remember Olivia Jerome played by Tonja Walker? There was also Julian Jerome and Victor Jerome too!  Just sayin!  So is Ava Jerome a member of this mob family? Weigh-in!

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BTripp
BTripp

Please tell me Olivia is alive & this is her daughter! Duke and Anna need a storyline.

ricardo
ricardo

Welcome back maura. i loved you as carly on as the world turns. maura is a classy wonderful actress. i hope they put maura on contract. give her a great storyline. I’m so happy that maura is back on daytime. elizabeth hubbard who played lucinda walsh on as the world turns can be the new helena cassadine. recast the role now please. elizabeth hubbard i miss her so much.

ricardo
ricardo

Michael park who played jack snyder on as the world turns can play a new role on general hospital. he can reunite with maura west. they had great chemistry together. they are great friends in real life. michael park is a great actor. by the way i love the new lulu. emme rylan is doing a wonderful job as lulu. i loved her as lizzie on guiding light. she is so pretty.

Michael S
Michael S

Totally agree! I so hope they are revisiting the mob family made famous before Corinthos. I could totally see Catherine Hickland coming on as a recast Olivia St. John Jerome who turns out to be alive (she is older than Tonja Walker and could totally pass as Maura’s mother). Also they could easily say that Julian survived too. Excited to see where this goes!

matthew
matthew

I didn’t like this news at first because I couldn’t help but hold a grudge against Maura West after she beat my girl Sarah Brown at the Emmys (who in my opinion was beyond epic as Claudia Zacharra) but I know that’s unfair, so I’ll do my best to give Maura a chance and she better not disappoint in proving to me why she deserved that award lol!

aria
aria

omg wouldn”t it be great if sarah brown came back too? i loved her as Claudia Zachara, hope she comes back . for crying out loud, they brought back every other dead person why not bring back her? just saying!

Kevin
Kevin

Sarah Brown could play Carly’s sister from her adopted family, and ala “All About Eve” fashion try to take Carly’s life for her own – again! LOL…

matthew
matthew

Could not agree more Aria! Sarah belongs on GH even if it’s to play a 3rd role. As long as the character is a bitch I’ll be happy because NO ONE can chew up scenery like Sarah Brown! We should start a campaign to bring her back!

Aria
Aria

I’m down for anything that would bring Sarah brown Back heck she could come back as Claudia’s twin whatever it takes just bring her on period .

matthew
matthew

You guys think she could be one of the future comebacks that we’ve been teased about?! RC would have so much fun writing for her and we need a new fire cracker with Connie and Kate being integrated.

richard
richard

I am SO excited Maura West has signed with GH!! She’s one of the most talented, mesmerizing, exciting actresses on daytime TV!!! RC and FV will definitely utilize her talents!!!!!!

ethel
ethel

i just hope maura west is treated better than she was on y&r……….

jimh
jimh

Maybe a new love interest for Sonny?

mama3
mama3

YES!!! Exactly what I was thinking. That would be awesome and would give MB some much needed talent to work off of.

Gillian
Gillian

That is the first thing I though of when I heard the news. Awesome casting news. Y&R’s loss is definitely GH’s gain. Just like Emme Rylan and Genie Francis.

heidi
heidi

Great… love her!!! Ava Jerome… interesting… have to think of all the possibilities! Can’t wait to see her!

Lawrence
Lawrence

Im sorry im not thrilled. it seems that canceled soap stars does not work well on other soaps. Look at what maria bell did to y and r with geniecfrancis debbie morgan darnell maura steven nichols

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

The issue with her run on Y&R was Maria’s close-minded antics and her inability to write for the talents of Ms. West and other actors/actresses she took from other cancelled series.

Michael (not Fairman)
Michael (not Fairman)

The problem there was Maria Bell, not the stars themselves. When you have that many uber-talented people and NONE of the characters works, the problem clearly isn’t the actors (and you forgot a few: Eden Riegel and Jennifer Landon).

In this case, if the writing is there and the character is well integrated into the storylines and existing characters, it should work fine; Maura is extremely talented. If not, then it will fail–for exactly the same reasons it did on Y&R, and not because of anything to do with Maura.

It’s not as though taking popular stars from one show and giving them roles on other shows has never, ever worked–but it does fail sometimes too, and when it does, it’s usually because TPTB assume that star power is enough and that they don’t have to support it with good writing and a viable character, which is exactly the mistake that Maria Bell made (over and over and over and over again).

Barbara
Barbara

West as Diane didn’t work from the start. West was entirely too young to play Diane and the whole thing was doomed. I like West and she is very talented. I also like Diane Jenkins very much (particularly when Alex Donnelly played her). However, I LOATHED West as Diane.

I am NOT a viewer who thinks you can simply recast an established part with any talented actor. It has to be the right “match.” West as Diane definitely was NOT that.

Marie Bell (and the casting personnel) deserve their share of blame for deciding to put West into the part of an established, 50-something female part. (Why the heck West wasn’t cast as Phyllis’ sister, Avery, is beyond me. Michelle Stafford and West would have been great as sisters and very age appropriate).

All of that being said, if West KNEW she was going to be cast as Diane when she was offered the job, I also put some blame on her for taking it. A very quick research of that character’s history would have informed even Helen Keller that West was at least 10 years too young to play Diane. It was ghastly to watch West’s Diane as the love interest of Victor.

West as Diane was a complete waste of the actress’ talents due to poor choices by Bell and West both. Also, it was a complete waste of Diane as the writers solved the issue by killing this great character.

Frankly, after watching Y&R for its entire 40 year run, I’d rank this entire situation as one of the worst decisions every made by the show. There have been some other lousy ones over the years but this one had permanent damage — Diane and her rich history are gone for good.

Tommy Burke
Tommy Burke

OMG OMG OMG !!!!!!!
The BEST news since Maura was let go from Y&R !!!!! Totally awesome to have one of my fellow High School classmates on my absolute favorite soap!!! I’m doing cartwheels !!!! VERY excited to see her on TV again. Please, please, please put her on contract so we won’t need to worry if she’ll only be on for a few episodes.

Maura West is one of the most talented actresses to come along in quite a looong time.
CONGRATS Maura !!!! You still look so beautiful !!!! I honestly can’t say enough on how awesome this news is!!! Wishing you all the best in your new (and hopefully VERY looooooooooooong) adventure !!! Wow!!

gloria
gloria

Wouldn’t she look great with Nicholas? This is very exciting.

Jeffery
Jeffery

I’m so glad Maura West is on the best series on daytime. Before Ron and Frank took over GH, I’d hoped she would go to ONE LIFE TO LIVE, but Y&R had her move all the way to LA just to waste her amazing talent. Some of the great writers from AS THE WORLD TURNS now work for GH, so they know her strengths! I adore this actress and I’m glad she’ll be well taken care of.

Gerry
Gerry

If Ava is from that Jerome family — and the show has been incorporating its own history too well to think otherwise — she could pave the way for a decent storyline for Bobbie’s son Lucas, who was written out after coming out. Lucas is biologically a Jerome, the son of Julian Jerome and Tiffany’s sister Cheryl. Lucas might have a right to some of the Jerome family business. This would also bring Carly (Lucas’ sister) back into the mob storyline.

mikedespo
mikedespo

Exactly what I was thinking … Bobbie’s son Lucas is a Jerome by blood. The son of one of Duke and Anna’s greatest villians … with Olivia Jerome (his aunt) being probably their biggest adversary. Lucas would be entitled to whatever fortunes or shares of the Jerome family that may still exist and be of great interest to any surviving Jerome members. It would tie Luke, Laura, Carly, and Bobbie into the stryline as well. And the show needs Bobbie as this last month as proven. Bobbie is a great sounding board for Carly (who has no friends), a good friend for Scott (who has no friends except for Lucy), and is Luke’s friend/partner in crime as well (he’s got relationships with Laura and Tracy and a quasi friendship with Sonny, but it’s been Bobbie all these years who has been his trusted companion and best friend). Also remember … Lucy Coe was involved with Victor Jerome and her invovlement led indirectly to his death which caused her to marry Alan Quartermaine all those years ago. So she’s roped into the Jerome family as well.

Elizabeth K. Mahon
Elizabeth K. Mahon

I’m totally excited about this. I was just saying to a friend that Duke needs a storyline that doesn’t involve around Anna. I love that RC has involved Duke a bit with AJ & Michael at ELQ, but I would love to see him work with Spinelli on finding the missing Quartermaine heir. And the show has yet to explore how Duke ended up in that Turkish prison for 20 odd years. Did the Jerome family have something to do with it? Is Ava a sister of Olivia and Julian that we didn’t know about? And don’t forget Lucas, Bobbie and Tony’s adopted son is the biological son of Julian and Cheryl Stansbury. I have a feeling that they will test Maura with Maurice now that they are moving Connie away from him into other storylines.

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

THIS IS BRILLIANT!!!

Maura West (ex-Carly, ATWT; ex-Diane, Y&R) is a fantastic actress, and I know that the character of Ava Jerome is really going to be a fantastic addition to the cast! She’s really going to be great acting against some of the show’s already amazing ensemble cast!! I’m dying for Maura to really excel in a role!

andrea
andrea

is she going to threaten Morgan? I assume shes Sonnys new love interest

Ryan
Ryan

Hoping it is a fresh mob tie-in, will be nice to bring a little of that back. I trust Frank and Ron to do it right and not go the Guza route. Although when I read this, my first thought was how amazing a return this could facilitate for Johnny Z down the road. Tie the Jarome and Zacharra families together and really give Sonny a strong antagonist.

Gia
Gia

Very exciting!!!. What a phenomenal actress she is!!! I have Watched her on ATWT and Y&R (Note to Y&R): You let her get away.. major mistake!!! I will be tuning in to GH more often now. Welcome back Maura!!!

Chloe
Chloe

Y&R eat ur heart out!!! Awesome news for GH!!!

Joshua
Joshua

Maura West’s early portrayal of Carly on As the World Turns (1995-96) was sheer acting brilliance. One of the best bitches the soap world has ever seen.

Then they turned her into a goody two shoes and I lost interest in watching her for the next 14 years.

I just hope they start her off as an evil vixen … and don’t change that for crying out loud. We need more bad girls on this show. Britt isn’t enough.

kinni
kinni

I wish I could get back into GH especially since Maura West has been cast, but there’s not enough diversity for me. They keep hiring the same look.

David Evan Smith
David Evan Smith

Okay! This is going to be brilliant for about a million different reasons. 1 – Maura West – West truly is a brilliant actress and can do soap bad girl with the best of them. 2 – Ava Jerome – There are no accidents. Especially in Carlivati’s world. I have no doubt that Ava is the beginning of a story returning focus to the Jerome crime family of the 80s. I don’t think this will mean Olivia or Julian or Victor will rise from the dead, I think this will be a new generation, a new era, harkening back to history, but with a fresh take. 3 – Refocus on the mob – I’m actually curious to see Carlivati’s take on the mob, just because I know it’ll probably be more balanced, and possibly darker and more psychological and strategic than anything Guza ever gave us. I always like the concept of Sonny going up against a female adversary, because he claims to have such an honor code and doesn’t condone violence against women. I think that gave the Faith Rosco story much longer legs than it could have if her husband Rosco was the main adversary. 4 – West as a mafia princess – Does it get better than that? West just brings such life and personality to her work that I am itching to see what she does on GH. She’s also in a unique age bracket where she could skew older toward Duke, or she could relate to Sonny, or she could relate to AJ or Nikolas. There are a lot of eligible men who could create chemistry with West. 5 – Duke/Anna – Given Duke’s history with the Jeromes and particularly Anna’s history with Olivia, however Ava is connected should give them a good jolt of storyline. And with Ava being newly created, Duke’s history with the Jerome family could help inform the audience on who she is, if the writers want to catch the audience up quickly. 6 – Lucas Jones… Jerome? – With Bobbie’s recent return and update on Lucas dating around and not finding the right guy… and then the scene cuts to Felix bemoaning how he always goes for unattainable men and will never find the right one, that screamed of a setup for future story and the return of Lucas. So with a Jerome resurfacing, how long until Lucas is cast and returns to explore his biological Jerome ties? The Gay Mafia in Port Charles?! Exciting! As mentioned earlier in the replies, it could also rope Carly back into the mob storyline via her brother, and could give a concerned Bobbie more of a reason to stick around Port Charles and protect her son. Carly’s mob-related brother placed in opposition to Carly’s ex Sonny? Uh oh. 7 – West’s ATWT ties – West proved to have good chemistry with Jon Lindstrom when he played Craig Montgomery on ATWT. And I wouldn’t mind seeing her in scenes with Lynn Herring. Didn’t Lucy… Read more »

jimh
jimh

Very interesting…i enjoyed reading this!

mikedespo
mikedespo

This is a great summary and probably close to what they have planned … though after killing Helena and bringing back Stavros from the dead (not to mention having brought AJ and Duke back from the dead)… I wouldn’t pass it by the powers that be to bring back either Olivia or Julian … and I hope one or both do come back. It adds to the drama and history.

As for Lucas, I kind of think it would be funny to have him come back and not necessarily be paired up with Felix, but instead … bring back Tracy’s on Dillon who has been in Hollywood (a famous director, now?) and have Dillon reveal he’s gay and invovle himself with Lucas and see Tracy’s head explode and how her relationship with Luke would be affected (not to mention how Bobbie and Carly would deal with a raging Tracy).

jeremy regan
jeremy regan

I would have agreed with you before the Y&R mishap. They did everything you state they will not do with Maura. Tie into the Abbot’s. Jack (a huge character) First she was there then she was gone.

bc
bc

maura gets cast bec she has tons of day soap opera acting experience. This is the problem for Asian american actors. There are no Asian american chars who are supporting and leading chars that are created by the writers and showrunners. Asian american actors don’t get a lot of acting experience on night and day soaps bec writers and showrunners refuse to write for Asian american chars. The lack of acting experience becomes a disadvantage for Asian american actors. How can Asian american actors get hired? They don’t have a lot of acting experience on day and night soaps bec writers and showrunners don’t cast Asian american chars. gh has failed as a soap w/ its utter lack of Asian american chars. Fictional town of gh is ny based and around a hospital. There should be Asian american chars that are part of the hospital storylines.

Tristan
Tristan

Am very excited. Am NOT automatically assuming that she is here just to give Sonny a jolt. Don’t need to bring her on as a Jerome, with that rich pedigree, simply to do that. Clearly bringing Morgan back is designed to enrich Sonny’s storyline, particularly with Carly. I expect Ava Jerome to be involved heavily with Anna and Duke, which I will love. And bringing Lucas back to tie into this would be one amazing, far-reaching effect of putting the Jeromes back on the canvas. Sonny may be involved, sure, since he is no longer seeking Johnny Z’s “territory,” perhaps Jerome “territory” is what he will attempt to secure. That will be great, but I do not for one minute think Maura West is here solely FOR him. Being a Jerome makes the stakes higher for so many more of the characters than just Sonny!

Tristan
Tristan

Could Ava Jerome be Duke’s daughter with Olivia? Or is West too old to play a child of that union?

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

I don’t believe she’s too old for that storyline, but do I see it happening, I don’t.

jeremy regan
jeremy regan

This is not a comment regarding Maura. (she is great.love her.)I sincerely hope she has abetter experience than on Y&R. Speaking of Y&R does anyone have any news to share about the Lulu switch on GH. In the morning the actress was Abby on Y&R. Three hours later she is Lulu on GH. She was fired on Y&R , rehired and fired again? THANKS

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.

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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!

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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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