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Maura West Debuts as Ava Jerome on General Hospital! What Was Your Reaction?

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

On yesterday’s episode of General Hospital, two-time Daytime Emmy winner, Maura West entered the storyline as Ava Jerome, the mother of Lauren Frank, who had an affair with “Franco”!  Yes, even now James Franco remains a vital part of the Port Charles canvas!

In key scenes introducing the character and back-story of Ava Jerome, Maura worked with another Daytime Emmy winner, seven-time champ, Anthony Geary (Luke Spencer) where Ava learned of the Quartermaine drama and that “Franco” is a bio-Q!  Could Kristen Alderson end up being Lauren Frank when she debuts in her new role next week?

In addition at the end of the scenes, lo and behold the SORAS’d Morgan Corinthos  (Bryan Craig) came down the stairs at Ava’s place! What is going on there?

Watch the first scenes of Maura West on GH after the jump! Then let us know what you thought of Maura and her new character of Ava Jerome! And … what is going on with Morgan?

 

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Barb Coleman
Barb Coleman

Yes, definitely waiting for the arrival of our new replacement characters by ME, KA and RH! LOL! After seeing the previews of their new looks, I cannot wait! As always Michael, thank you for your article!!! 🙂

kara anderson
kara anderson

I ‘am happy for John and Starr and Todd are back to play other characters

mari
mari

ugH . .seriously? how are we supposed to buy offf on new characters for John Starr and Todd? We saw Starr grow up on OLTL and Todd Manning . .its just to wierd . .aint buying it!

Ces
Ces

She looks beautiful! I hope Kristen Alderson plays Lauren Frank and not some other new actress.

kara anderson
kara anderson

she ia perfect pick to play Lauren frank

ethel
ethel

seems like this is going to be an awesome s/l!

Debbie Harris
Debbie Harris

I am not familiar with Maura West or her work. She seems like a good actress from what I saw yesterday.
I really don’t want Kristen Alderson to play Franco’s daughter though because then she and Michael could not be linked romantically since they would be 1st cousins! Love the onscreen chemistry of Chad Duell and Kristen Alderson!! And offscreen too!! Cute Couple!!

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

They still could play love interests. Cousins have entered into relationships, and it wouldn’t be the first time GH did the unthinkable with their pairings. They did it when they put Luke and Laura together, disgusting, but they did it. Fans seem to love disgust.

Theresa
Theresa

I liked her, I hope they keep her around, I read a rumor online that she may not be around that long……I’m kind of hope that Kristen won’t be Lauren Frank because then she would be related to Michael, and they can not pair them up….

jimh
jimh

I read probably the same rumor…Ava is killed but i hope its not true! Shes a good actress and a great addition to GH!

Iakovos
Iakovos

I LOVE MAURA WEST!

What a delight to see her again on screen and may her fate and future be very different than the mishandled Diane Jenkins mess she rose above during her Y&R stint.

Ms. West is a class act. Welcome to GH and Port Charles!

aria
aria

she looked great and numorgan is a hottie, this is going to get interested.

Will
Will

Enjoyed her intro but that damned Breathy Dr Marlena Evans voice she put on has got to go.

Gillian
Gillian

Maura West had a fabulous debut yesterday. Her scenes with Tony Geary were electric and she looked fantastic. Great addition to the cast, even if she may only be on for a short stint.

Jovin
Jovin

I was not impressed with Maura‘s debut at first. She was talking in some sort of weird non-accent that people use when they are either trying to sound sophisticated or like wanna-be Euro trash. She was elongating words, Doing funny things with her lips, and it just didn‘t work at all. And she was NOT helped by the writing at ALL. The writing was DREADFUL!! So…a woman who had a child with a vicious psychopath has spent her lifetime keeping the child away from the psycho father. So…a man who looks like Luke Spencer comes a knockin‘ on your door asking about the daughter. Are you suspicious and call the police? No…you call him a jackass, then invite him in. Then you sit down and start talking in a melancholy, emotionally revealing monologue about how the psychopath was brilliant and wonderful and how beautiful he made you feel. You proceed to reveal many intimate details about your life before this scruffy stranger leaves your home. It was just awkward,, forced, rushed, and didnt really click until the end. Maura laid off the bizarre lip things and the weird accent, and Luke left, and Morgan came out. Then…it hit me…Carly vs. Carly (Maura‘s legendary ATWT ROLE). I will go along for the ride as long as this Ava broad does not turn into a replica of Claudia Zacchara, and does NOT become a love interest for Sonny. Been there, done that, survived the shootout! I hope Ava stirs the pot but is allowed a viable role with future potential! She deserves it.

jimh
jimh

Theres rumor she will be killed off!

Nikki
Nikki

Maura West is flawless. Honestly, she has not lost a single ounce of her talent or beauty. I am SO happy to see her back on my screen and, more importantly, back in the hands of talented writers! While she could read the phonebook and make it look good, when she portrayed Y&R it was HORRENDOUS writing and an absolutely boring character. Although I doubt Ava will be around long, I cannot wait to see more, especially her interaction with her daughter, who I presume will be played by Kristen Alderson. What a TERRIFIC acting pairing. 🙂

Michael
Michael

So far I’ve been very impressed with her and I’m curious how they will pair her with Roger Howarth since they were on As The World Turns together. My guess is that he is the new Robert Frank.

jimh
jimh

That was my guess too when i seen the preview!

Nancy
Nancy

I am impressed also having seen her already in Y&R. I hope the people who think that the writing is bad and so on can be better writers but I don’t think so. I think RH is Robert Frank but I don’t think the other one actually was. I love Frank and Ron they are the best there is.

jimh
jimh

They are the best…

Darly
Darly

meh

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

What a breathe of fresh air it was seeing Maura on my television, again. Her articulation of her work and the sparkle in her eyes, this role was made for her! I am so excited about what’s to come for her!

Jovin
Jovin

Are you Maura‘s husband Scott DeFreitas? Just kidding. LOL.

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

No. I’m not Scott DeFreitas. Just share the same first name is all!

richard
richard

In response to Jovin, maura west has always moved her lips that way while acting, its one of her trademark moves. She’s being seductive, direct, bitchy(all attributes of Carly(ATWT) and Diane(Y&R) and assume Ava will be as well. I love her addition to the cast and she MORE than held her own against Anthony Geary and can’t wait to see this play out. I’m sorry KA will always be Starr Manning, but I have a feeling she’s gonna be playing Lauren, but they hoodwinked us for sure since everyone had her tagged as being the new Serena Baldwin. As far as Morgan, seeing as how Ava is clearly connected to the Jerome mob family, Morgan being at her house is clearly to stir the pot with Sonny and Carly and they will amping up the mob storyline. I just hope she’s not a love interest for Sonny, but CANNOT wait to see her go head-to-head with Carly Corinthos Jacks!!!!!!!!! Bravo GH!!!!!!!!!

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Maura more than held her own against Anthony Geary because he has lapsed into some old man vibe lately. Whatever his alleged health problems are, he either needs to recuperate from them or retire. These days his eyes are all glazy such that he gives the impression of being a severe alcohalic (must be taking intense pain pills); he can’t say a long sentence without taking an ill-timed breath, and he seems to lose track of his lines about every other time he opens his mouth. Its so bad it is distracting to the storyline to watch him at this point. He needs to go away on vacation, badly.

rebecca
rebecca

wow…if Anthony Geary really does have health problems you get an A for compassion. I say that with full…sarcasm.

Tony Geary is part of the tapestry of GH and as long as I keep watching the show I’ll enjoy seeing him in whatever way he can deliver. (we don’t throw people out who aren’t well…just sayin’.)

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

“(we don’t throw people out who aren’t well…just sayin’.)”

Who is we? GH certainly didn’t lose more than moments throwing Genie Francis away – at the height of Luke and Laura’s popularity I might add – when she had her own health issues to contend with, way back in the day. That’s why Miss Starry Eyes was such a stupid story line. Now they’ve brought her back just so Luke (and I mean Tony by this… we all know that he has the contractual wherewithall to write his own lines) can throw her away again, comparing their love to an old sweatshirt nonetheless. Truth is I think that Tony Geary has let his ego explode to the point he only acts for himself. Other than that I hope he makes a full recovery. Just can’t stand to watch him in the meantime.

jimh
jimh

There is rumor Mauras stay will be short and the character killed off but i hope the rumors false!

rebecca
rebecca

@Elizabeth…by “we” I meant people in general. your statement: “Anthony Geary because he has lapsed into some old man vibe lately. Whatever his alleged health problems are, he either needs to recuperate from them or retire” suggests that if someone’s not up to par…or too old…they should just retire. Kinda like put out to pasture?

I don’t think…nor do I know…and I assume you don’t know for sure either, that Tony decided to write or ad lib t the Luke/Laura old sweatshirt comment. I don’t think they’re throwiing the character of Laura away. Scot’s back on the scene, and I think it’d be interesting to see the two of them finally together. Or…maybe Laura won’t be able to let go of Luke. Maybe Luke’s feelings for Laura will reigntie. Luke’s also fun with Tracy. There are may possibilities.

Geary and Francis seem to like each other in real ife…and Jonathan Jackson as well as Julie Berman all say Geary’s great to work with. So…I’m givin’ the “old” man the benefit of the doubt. I like his character…but he’s being given less to do…and his storylines aren’t as great as they were back in the day. It’s the rite of passage…

heidi
heidi

I loved it… I really like Maura and am so happy to have her on GH!!! Loved her with Tony/Luke right out of the gate!!! i can’t wait to see what is happening next! The new Morgan interesting and yet to me does not look like Carly and Sonny’s son… we shall see. Looking forward to KA as Lauren!

rebecca
rebecca

ignite…Scott…throwing…correct all typos. etc…….

kim
kim

No way would i invite a stranger into my home looking for my young daughter, and then talk personally stuff with him!

Mary SF
Mary SF

I got the vibe that this lady already knows all about the folks in Port Charles, and has some kind plan in mind for all them. Maybe out for revenge against those who had a hand in the death of Franco or a vendetta against the Quatermaines. I think she knew Luke was going to show up- and who he was– and was just pretending she didn’t. But that is just my theory-

Jovin
Jovin

That would make the most sense Mary. 🙂 That is a good call! Either this is something intricate that has been in the planning for months, and it will be an all-encompassing umbrella story, and it will soar…or it was planned hastily as a way to get Maura and the OLTL 3 on the show, in which case, it will fail. For months the show was so familiar with all the vets and now suddenly it is just feeling like an ENTIRELY different show. Felicia, Mac, Anna, Duke, and other faves have not been seen for weeks. The pacing of the show is really off these days. It was building such momentum. Now, we see a few characters for a few days, then they disappear for a week or two. And Luke and Laura being given a 5 minute scene comparing their grand 35 year old love story to a ratty old sweatshirt…and deciding they “just don‘t fit“ anymore (and doing it in Milo‘s apartment) has REALLY cheapened what they had. It feels like Guza is creeping back in the building…and I don‘t like it. Ron…you‘re better than this!

kim
kim

Mary your theory is pretty good and probably right…you made me rewatch and now i agree with you!

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

Well, she really didn’t invite him in, he invited himself in. And Ava simply didn’t throw him out once the name “Quatermaine” was used.

Rodd
Rodd

Yeah, the premise of her inviting Luke in right away was weak, but Maura can act the hell out of anything. Just give her a chance. She is a class act who will bring a lot of attention to our show.

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

She didn’t invite him in.

CTwildheart
CTwildheart

I’m with Jovin. It all seemed weird to me. Maybe that lip thing is her trademark, but it sure didn’t work with me. It just kept taking me out of the scene.

I am interested in why Morgan was there though.

Jovin
Jovin

Exactly CT. I LOVE Maura. I want to love her on this show after she was woefully miscast on Y and R. But that intro was badly written, so I don‘t blame Maura for the weird acti ng choices and the different accents. Her character was wildly all over the place….her first line she sounded like a foul mouthed trucker calling Luke a “jack-ass“…then she shifted to some sort of mysterious shifty woman from an old Hollywood mystery…then she lapsed into a sad, melancholy betrayed romantic heroine…but the strange accents did dissipate by the end of the episode. Then the next day, she was a caring maternal figure. I think they are just trying to do too much with her too fast. It truly appears like the weird writing is making it very difficult for Maura to pick an acting style and run with it. This has happened to Sarah Brown…she was so outstanding as the first Carly, but a huge part of that was that her character had vital links to core characters, there was a boffo storyline in place that took years to unfold, and there was dynamite, cohesive writing for the character. All of these things allowed Sarah Brown to soar! Subsequent soaps have snapped her up, plunked her down in ill-defined roles with no connections to core characters, and all of her roles were quicklywritten out…on ATWT, B and B, and DAYS. Same thing happened to Maura on Y and R, and is also currently happening with Steve Burton on Y and R. These are AWESOME actors that viewers love and are great additions to a soap…but they need good writing, good stories, and they need to be integrated with current favourites. Maura earned her core, superstar status on ATWT. Lightning struck for her on that show, but it has been proven that lightning does not always strike twice on soaps. The list of illustrious soap stars who did not make anticipated magic on a new show is LONG…I will list a few off the top of my head…Marcy Walker, Antonio Sabato Jr., Robert S. Woods, Robert Kelker Kelly, Jensen Buchanan, Kale Browne…i hope you get my point. Love Maura…WANT to love her story and her character, but it‘s team effort!

jimh
jimh

I agree with you jovin…however Marcy Walker had a great role on both AMC and Santa Barbara so lightning struck twice for her there. I read a rumor Mauras Ava is supposed to be killed off but i hope they keep her…there is room for improvement…also hoped RH would play Franco but i doubt that…i miss Maura as Carly on ATWT and that soap as well!

Jovin
Jovin

Hey Jim. I think I made my point here…I was referring to Marcy Walker‘s stint on Guiding Light as Tangie. So memorable you couldn‘t even recall it LOL. I miss Marcy. Her Eden was arguably one of the best heroines in the history of the soap genre. I am curious…how could Roger play Franco? Didn‘t Jason shoot him point blank? Not that that mattters on soaps, lol…but why would the show waste Roger Howarth on playing a psycho like Franco?

Patrick
Patrick

Marcy Walker – 3 soap stints…..

Liza – the incomperable…. AMC. Nominated for Emmys.
Eden – Capwell Heroine – Santa Barbara… for which she won an Emmy.
Tangie – Guiding Light… I didn’t watch this gig.

I Love this Lady. she’s in the soap opera hall of fame…..

Tsuds
Tsuds

GH has def been great this week.. enough for me to stay away from OLTL online.. Watched the first week and was not too excited about the writing.. will stick to GH on ABC

Lor7
Lor7

I love Maura as Ava Jerome. GH hit the jackpot casting her. She’s the best.

lou
lou

She was very 1990s in her look & over acting. That and the dialogue was absurd. It was a Soapdish!

rebecca
rebecca

never saw the actress before or even heard of her. I liked her. But I felt like I was watching an old black n’ white film…she was like a grand dame…reminded me of Marilyn Monroe…or Melanie Griffith. I know…two different types but she reminded me of both.

Kelly Monaco Michael Easton
Kelly Monaco Michael Easton

I dont like her!… She’s Taking a lot of time from Sam!!!!

We suppose to get a Sam and Alexis storyline!!!!!

Stop with all the new people!!!!!

I know she was on the show

ATWT……..

But enough with

Newbies…..

Still waiting forMichael Easton character and Kelly Monaco
character to hook up and 1 day have a baby girl!!!!!

Terry
Terry

It seems Morgan is someones Boy Toy. Her comment about really enjoying having him, had a lot of hidden messages.

Patrick
Patrick

She was giving us her best Tennessee Williams adaptation…. thereby, could morph in to cat on a hot tin roof at will. She complimented Jessica Lange with her own sultried understudied sensuality… and…

I like her.

As the World Turns – jeez! she was gangbusters hotting it all up.
Y&R – was so right for Nick…. had the writers delivered her talent.
GH. – whomever… RH is… rises to the occasion.

Maura – did i say she’s married to one of my favs from ATWT… Scott Defrietas… ex-andy dixon. he was hot with Julie.

Kelly Monaco Michael Easton
Kelly Monaco Michael Easton

All the gays like

her thats

all but wheres the writing for the rest???

Brandon
Brandon

Not sure how to take the above comment, “All the gays like her, that’s all, but wheres the writing for the rest???”. Maura West is an accomplished actor in her own right having been nominated for a Soap Opera Digest Award five times (in 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2006), and a Daytime Emmy Award seven times (in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010) and having won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 2007 and 2010. It seems “everyone” likes her. I know I do! If they keep her on GH, all the naysayers will see for themselves. And if paired with RH, get ready for fireworks that daytime is sadly missing!
As for the new character KA is playing, they need to tone it down. KA deserves better and earned her acting chops playing Starr for most of her life so far. My judgement is still out for the new “Morgan”. Wish casting directors would cast for talent rather than for looks. Nice to look at but hard to watch. Can’t tell me in all the casting world, this guy “out-acted” all the competition! Hopefully just new role jitters.
Why not just cut Michael Easton’s hair? His debut was fraught with the unshaved look, (he doesn’t do it well), muted line delivery, (turn up the volume) and easily cast as a brother we never knew about. Woe is me!
I can only hope Roger Howarth has better casting! He struck gold as Todd on OLTL and GH and also as Paul Ryan on ATWT.

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!

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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