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Michael Easton and Trevor St. John Talk About Mutual Admiration, Collaboration & Hopes For Their Short Film, ULTRAVIOLENT!

Photo Credit: MF Soaps, Inc.

Photo Credit: Sarah Anderson courtesy LA Shorts Fest

This past Wednesday night, former General Hospital and One Life to Live star Michael Easton’s short film Ultraviolent starring his best friend and OLTL castmate Trevor St. John was screened during the LA Short Fest.

The international festival showcased some of the most talented filmmaker’s works from around the globe, and some of whose short films will be eligible for Academy Award competition. Easton who wrote, directed, and produced Ultraviolent, chose none other than St. John to play the lead in the short film based upon the life of avant-garde film director Donald Cammell.  In the film as in his real life, Cammell shoots himself in the head putting an end to a lifelong obsession with art, insanity, and death.  All the more impressive is that Ultraviolent was shot over a two night period, and yet Easton was able to come out with this true piece of cinematic art.

Ultraviolent is all St. John commanding the screen in an incredible performance that left audience members breathless.  His acting talents were on display against the visual imaginary, editing, and creative storytelling under the direction of Easton.  On-Air On-Soaps caught up with Michael and Trevor immediately following the L.A. screening to get their thoughts on: collaborating on the project, how they chose to portray the life of the eccentric and troubled Cammell in their short film, shooting on such tight time constraints to get the desired effect, and their hopes for the future life of Ultraviolent.

Courtesy/BlackwatchFilms

When discussing working together, St. John said of his best bud:  “Oh, it was wonderful. Michael is the guy you want to work with.  He knows the good stuff when he sees it.  He lets you play.   He is open to change, but he also knows what he wants.  Michael has that perfect combination.  He has vision, but he is also free enough to let things transpire in ways he didn’t predict.  I will say, Michael is a brilliant man.  He is a brilliant director and writer, and he has a big career ahead of him.  This is his wheelhouse, and he should be doing this. “  

Easton said of St. John’s performance:  “Trevor is mind-blowingly good.  I picked the right actor!  I don’t think Trevor really knows how good he is.  That is one of the nice qualities about Trevor.  I like that.  You never want to hire an actor who knows how good they are. (Laughs)  He was magic in this movie, and there was a bit of magic while we were shooting it.  We were up there in this isolated house in the Hollywood Hills with the sights and sounds and the city below us, and using that.  The character is constantly looking out at this city that has rejected you, and having to face this every night, and yet still you face it.  One of the most amazing things for me when I watch Trevor’s performance is at one point; you think there are two people in the room, or at least I did.   A lot of credit for that goes to Don Hamilton our cinematographer.  I tried to edit it to look as if it were two people talking, instead of one person.”

Courtesy/Blackwatch Films

As for how Ultraviolent came to the screen, Trevor related it didn’t happen overnight:  “Michael was working on a script for awhile.  I would look at the script to tell him what I thought, but this film is something the two of us have been thinking about for a long time.  Michael created this structure, because it could be a much bigger story.”  Michael added Trevor’s involvement was very important to the project: “Trevor and I had talked about the script.  I had the advantage of being able to craft the script for him.  We talked about it for months before we started shooting.  But on the night we shot, it was basically Trevor’s stage.  He was free to do whatever he wanted.  There was no right take.  There were just takes.  I would say to him, ‘That’s great.  Let’s do it again.   Now, do it as if it’s the funniest story you ever told.’  Then, Trevor would go there.  Then I would say, ‘Now, it’s the saddest story you ever told.  Now it’s the most inspiring story you have ever told. Now you are talking to your father, and now you are talking to your son, and now you are talking to yourself.’  Trevor would then deliver all of that.”

Courtesy/Warner Brothers

In Ultraviolent, Trevor sounds a bit like Rolling Stones lead singer and pop icon Mick Jagger, who is actually very important to the back-story of Cammell.  St. John even emulates some of Jagger’s moves in a key scene.  Easton agreed: “Yeah, Trevor kind of did the Mick Jagger strut!  It’s interesting.  If you haven’t’ seen the film Performance that Donald Cammell directed, Mick Jagger is the star of it, and he’s amazing in it.  That is why in Ultraviolent we had the posters in the background of Mick, and stuff like that as a reference.”  Trevor concurred on his accent in the film:  “It was kind of Mick Jagger-ish, because Donald was a bit on the upper-to middle class side.  So that is what I chose.   I wasn’t doing cockney.”

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As to if this is just a stepping-stone in order to do a full-length feature on the life of Donald Cammell, Easton said: “We have a larger story about Donald Cammell, and getting to tell that would be the goal.  And it’s not this story, per se. This film is just a little appetizer of what his life was like.   I think it’s very relatable to anybody who has strived to do something, and is more talented and able to do it better than others, and doesn’t get recognized for it, and lives a very frustrating life.”  Trevor added that he would jump at the chance to play the eccentric filmmaker again exclaiming:  “Oh, yeah!  I would love to play Donald!  It would be amazing.  I had a blast doing this role.”

Courtesy/Blackwatch Films

In one of the most horrific and heartbreaking scenes during the film shortly after recalling his young son, Cammell shoots himself in the head.  Trevor said his wife had an emotional reaction to the scene: “She had a hard time watching Donald killing himself.  She also had a hard time watching our son.  That was actually my son Aidan in the film, as well.” Easton added about the film’s very dark turn and how Cammell took his own life:  “No one is quite clear on exactly what happened.  He did shoot himself in his home and these are the stories that came out of it.  He wrote that he studied at CIT with a neurologist about different ways you can live after shooting yourself, and the heightened consciousness of it, and all those variations of it, and heavy detailed subjects.  Trevor and I talked about it.  We thought no matter where you were, or how detached you were, that one of the thoughts you would have is about your son – even if you were, as he was, very disassociated from his son having never seen him in 20 or 30 years at this point.  But that may be the moment it all comes back to you in the last moments of your life.  No matter what the value you placed on being successful as a writer, director, or in Hollywood, in general.  The film strikes people in difference ways, and loneliness is a very dangerous thing for most people.  It was a heavy subject.  But, it was a something we thought we would try to bring something to, and shed light on.”

Photo Credit: Rex Features

Having played Victor Lord Jr. on One Life and countless motion picture and television roles, Trevor said he certainly does gravitate to a certain kind of role: “They don’t need to be  dark, but screwed up.  It could also be a light-hearted character who doesn’t understand what he is doing.  I kind of like playing anyone who is kind of messed up. ”  And speaking of roles, St. John is about to be seen in the brand new series Containment for the CW come mid television season, “I don’t know the premiere date, but shooting in Atlanta had been a ball.  We have a great cast, great directors, and a great executive producer in Julie Plec.  I do play an investigative reporter/blogger, and it is such an intriguing story.”

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As to the opportunity to display their talents at the festival and this film that they are most proud of, Trevor related: “I think it is a great avenue for filmmakers and actors who feel they need to do something and get their stuff out there.  That is kind of where Michael and I were.  We were saying, ‘Why are we waiting around to make something?  Yes, we can’t make a feature, but we can make something.  So, let’s do something.  Who knows what that will generate?'” 

Photo Credit: Sarah Anderson courtesy LA Shorts Fest

Michael added: “We are overwhelmed. This is only our second festival.  When you hear about the thousands of films that are submitted for this from 30 something counties, we feel so fortunate.  We saw some really good films here.  When I see those I go, ‘Wow! We should have really made more of an effort!’ (Laughs)  I watched the credits go by on these films and there were like 200 people in them.  I go, ‘Wow, well we only have six!'” (Laughs)

Fans can view the trailer for Ultraviolent below! Then let us know, would you like to see the short made into a full length motion picture? What did you think of these two talented gents comments about each other, and the emotionally riveting short film? Does the trailer and Michael and Trevor’s thoughts on their collaboration make you want to see more from the former stars of OLTL?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

(NEW) "Ultraviolent" Trailer

(NEW) "Ultraviolent" Trailer

Posted by Michael Easton on Sunday, September 13, 2015

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Deborah Corte
Deborah Corte

I’m really hoping to catch a screening of Ultraviolent and would absolutely love to see it made into a full length motion picture. The trailer was amazing. I am looking forward to anything these two extremely talented men create.

Lee Riggs
Lee Riggs

Totally agree! Miss OLTL but over it. They are two excellent actors/producers on their own 🙂

Scoma60
Scoma60

I’m a huge fan of both men. I can’t wait to see this film and will continue to follow both men’s careers.

Debbie Leonardo
Debbie Leonardo

I would love to see more! It looks and sounds commanding and emotional.

carla halifax
carla halifax

God, I have to see this, give me details on how I can!!!!!

PLEASE

Claudia
Claudia

Need to see a full length movie after that teaser!!!! Please???

Liz
Liz

I hope this gets screened in New England.

This week a friend asked on FB what song would you do in lip sync battle. I posted a clip YouTube clip, Memo From Turner from the movie Performance!! To see ME & TSJ referencing the same movie, that I hadn’t thought of in years….

Nobody plays messed up better than Trevor. I wish Michael great success with this short. I’m sure he has a future in this, his “wheelhouse”.

Tracey Ohnmeiss
Tracey Ohnmeiss

Wow about the trailer was awesome I wish I was there and the screening because know it was amazing. I think I would really enjoy it.

Becca
Becca

Two extremely talented guys. Really looking forward to seeing the film. I’m sure there is much more to come from both of them. Thanks for the interview Mr. Fairman. 🙂

Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

Trevor St. John is an amazing actor. I fell in love with his work during his time on OLTL. He can play so many diverse layers of a character. I’ve only known Michael Easton’s work as an actor and love him too. I’m very excited to see another avenue of his creativity.

The trailer is riveting. I definitely want to see Ultraviolent.

TnT 2.0 Forever
TnT 2.0 Forever

So happy for Trevor. He is such a talented actor. I wish him all the best.

louisa
louisa

Oh wow. How I love Trevor St. John! I would love to see this.

Addison
Addison

Me as well. Trevor is the real Todd Manning.
Great piece! These two gents are true talents and I am happy to know that greener pastures await them. They both deserve it.

su0000
su0000

Michael has the artistic deep dark in him sorata like Stephen King kind of mind..
I have read his writings and they are spellbinding.

Trevor is a great actor in many directions he and Michael make an awesome team..
I see success ahead for both..

nell brooks
nell brooks

Looks like a great film .please give more information on this , like a date and time to start with .. Love how they used the name of the Club from One life to live

nell brooks
nell brooks

Love how they used the Club name from One life to live.. Looks like a great film , please give more information, like date and time

Cindy Lopez
Cindy Lopez

I truly love these gifted actors!!! They are a rare treasure on T.V. And in Film . Trevor St. John I can’t keep my eyes off you, one of the best actors of are time, truly magnificent!!!! Loved you in Finding Normal a warm hearted spiritual family movie . The grief of other what a wonderful film . I’ve been watching you since you first appreard in Llanview on OLTL!!

TayloRose
TayloRose

Michael Easton’s “Ultraviolent” was disturbingly AH-mazing. The nuance and honesty in his work is unparalleled, no matter what artistic expression he uses. Trevor St. John’s performance was powerful and mesmerizing. Together, these two are MAGIC on the screen. FABulous interviews Michael Fairman…TY!

Timmm
Timmm

Look at these two guys, I would cast Trevor as Billy Abbott and Michael as a new detective for the GCPD!

Linda Cece
Linda Cece

I would do like to see full length. Absolutely love Trevor, where I was first introduced to his acting on OLTL. Excellent actor. Love Michael and am pleased with his decision to put this at the film festival. Have loved Michael since first seeing him on OLTL

Timmm
Timmm

Wasnt a fan of Silas but Michael seems like a good guy. Never saw Trevor act but heard a lot of good things and his name alone would carry some weight in casting him as Billy Abbott. The current Billy is horrible!

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

Hi Timmm…Trevor is an excellent actor but wanted off OLTL for awhile before anyone suspected the show would be canceled. They wrote him out and brought back Roge Howarth who played Todd Manning before him. Trevor’s Spain in interviews he then changed his mind and decided to finish his role as Todd when they learned it was going off the air…but it was too late by then. It wasn’t that he didn’t love his role or the soap, but he stated that he never intended to stay so long on any soap. Wanted to do theatre and film. All this to say if his mindsrt is the same he probably wouldn’t be interested in a long term soap role.

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

Ughhhhhh! Corrections…

Roger

Said, not Spain

Mindset, not mindsrt

Karen K-D
Karen K-D

I would not normally be attracted to this type of movie, but I am such an avid fan of both Michael Easton and Trevor St. John that I would definitely want to see it and also see it as a full-length feature. I loved watching them both on OLTL and I always felt that Trevor St. John, especially, was an intense, incredible yet underrated and under-appreciated actor. I always look forward to seeing both of them on the screen(s).

Jean Donovan
Jean Donovan

I agree with you Karen, not my type of movie. I so loved you Michael on GH and hated to see you go. I would love to see the full length feature, to show me your talent.
By the way Michael, my grandson’s first name is Easton. Is that your family name?

Dawn
Dawn

Looks great would like to see a full length
Movie for sure. Michael and Trevor are great actors!!!!!

Nicole
Nicole

Of course I would love to see a full version. I think both Michael and Trevor are brilliant actors. It’s not often you find actors that bring characters to life like these guys do. When they play a character, they put their heart and soul into it.

Jane
Jane

WOW!

Nena Castle
Nena Castle

Yeah! Michael and Trevor this is the start of a long relationship of genius. We are so happy when we are kept posted during your journey as you venture into your own creations. I really enjoyed what I have seen and read so far. You, Trevor and your team rock!

Bernadette McMahon
Bernadette McMahon

2 fantastic actors
1 intense trailer that leaves you at the edge of your seat

My opinion? Of course, a movie needs to follow! !!!!!!!

su0000
su0000

hey!
Michael should have been hired on as a writer for GH and possibly director..

he is knowledgeable with soap scripts..

elm51
elm51

trevor st john & michael easton together are a force to be reckoned with – i would definitely like to see a full length movie……………….

Marcy
Marcy

Would love to see this made into a full length film. I love both Easton and St. John as actors and look forward to seeing more from both of them.

Liz Lovely
Liz Lovely

I am very interested in seeing a full film of this. I know how good you both are and I think it would be very good.

MBmomof3
MBmomof3

Love these guys! Wishing them great success!

Thanks for another great interview. These are 2 of my favorites!

Anita
Anita

I actually had the great privilege of going to the L.A.gilm fest on Wednesday and viewed Michael Easton short film and it was amazing. I loved Michael and Trevor on oltl and knew these actors were talented,but they showed a different side of to their talents. Would love to see the full version of this story.

Rose pavlicek
Rose pavlicek

I loved the clip, and would like to see more. Will it be on Netfix, Hulu, or Amazon. I am a fan of Both Michael and Trevor.

Bruce
Bruce

I love both of these men! They are truly a class act. Trevor is amazing and his portrayal of Todd Manning was truly amazing. He was truly robbed of the Emmy when Todd almost died on death row. Wonderful man. Michael is right about Trevor, he doesn’t know how good he truly is. Michael is truly the best! he is always so great to his fans and his work is outstanding. I would love to see this project in full length.

TinaLBP
TinaLBP

Great interiew as always, thanks Michael! It’s great seeing their frienship and mutual admiration! I do hope they make this into a full lengthed feature film. I know it would be amazing as is the short from what I have seen. I was thrilled it won a best of show award! Michael told me he submitted it to the Nashville Film Fest just for me, so I will see it then.

Sue Williams
Sue Williams

Trevor is my favorite actor and is the reason I miss OLTL.
John is also one of my favorites.
I can’t wait for Trevor’s debute in his new TV show.
I would love to see him with John again.
Are you listening General Hospital. Of course
Trevor is destined for greater things.
An Oscar someday? I hope!!!!

General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Lucas Gives Wiley To Michael; While Willow Learns the Devastating Truth

Friday’s episode of General Hospital, brought the highly-emotional moments viewers had been waiting for all-week long; following the year and a half reveal that Nelle (Chloe Lanier) and Brad (Parry Shen) engineered a baby switch with Willow’s (Katelyn MacMullen) dead baby, Wiley being passed off as Michael (Chad Duell) and Nelle’s newborn, Jonah, and Jonah being raised by Brad and Lucas (Ryan Carnes) as Wiley.  Now with the truth out, it was time for two of the heaviest beats of the story to be played out.

When Willow comes to at the hospital with Chase (Josh Swickard) by her side, needless to say she is dazed and freaking out that Nelle took Wiley.  Chase tells her he has some things to tell her and it’s not going to be easy to hear. Willow braces herself and then Chase tells her the story of the baby switch and how her baby died a SIDS death while at Brad and Lucas’ and then how the babies were switched.

Photo: ABC

In a heartbreaking and powerful performance from Katelyn MacMullen (yes, she is our pick for “Power Performance of the Week”), Willow struggles to come to grips with the truth and starts to realize all of Brad’s machinations, as she thinks back to herself how could she do that to her son … to trust him with Brad, only to have the little infant die.  The devastation played by MacMullen, whose Willow, now must realize her baby never lived the full and happy young life she thought, was gut-wrenching.

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Meanwhile, in yet another top-notch performance, William deVry (Julian) showed the pain and the need to unburden himself as Julian talks to his sister. Ava (Maura West) and spills what happened.   He goes so far to admit to Ava that he knew what Brad had done. Ava cannot believe he did not go to Sonny (Maurice Benard) right away with this Intel, but Julian just could not do this to his son, Lucas and rip the baby from his arms.  Julian says he will face-off with Sonny and not leave town, if it comes to that.   Ava says they have to come up with a way to silence Brad … before Brad gives up Julian’s part in the whole baby cover-up.

Photo: JPI

And in yet another masterful performance, we have to give it up to Chloe Lanier.  Who can play Nelle and spin stories and the tears so well, that if you did not know this pathological liar you would think she is telling the truth. When in opposing holding cells at the PCPD, Nelle lays it on about Brad so that the guard can hear them. She blames Brad for being the instigator in the baby switch and taking advantage of her – a distraught new mother, confused and dazed on the route where the baby switch happened.  It works! Brad is moved to a different cell and thinks look very grim for him.  Nelle smiles through her crocodile tears!

Photo: JPI

Then, in what we all knew had to happen, and even so, was still as heartbreaking as ever; Lucas spends his final moments with Wiley as his father in the kitchen at the Corinthos’ along with Bobbie (Jackie Zeman) and Carly (Laura Wright).  Lucas starts to tell his mother and sister, all the things Wiley needs and likes, such as having a story read to him.  All of this brings the tears as they know Lucas has to give the child back to Michael; who has been robbed of a year and half as the baby’s rightful father.

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Michael tells Lucas they will work this out, so Lucas remains a constant in Wiley’s life. He also tells Sonny and Sasha (Sofia Matteson) he feels so badly for Lucas, but they tell him to be happy for this chance to have the son he grieved for.   In the end, a tear-filled Lucas hands Wiley to Michael as everyone watches on in sadness for one father … and joy for the other.  Ryan Carnes was poignant in the scenes; as was Chad Duell.

Courtesy/ABC

So, what did you think of the performances from Friday’s GH featuring Katelyn, Ryan, Chad, William, Chloe and Parry? Comment below.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Michael Blasts Brad As The Truth About Wiley Comes Out

FINALLY! On Wednesday’s episode of General Hospital, Lucas (Ryan Carnes) memory is jogged just enough that he clearly remembers Brad’s (Parry Shen) shocking words before their car crash; where Brad confessed that Wiley was Nelle (Chloe Lanier) and Michael’s (Chad Duell) biological son.

At the Corinthos home, Lucas stands up and announces to Michael that Wiley is actually his believed to be dead son, Jonah. Carly’s (Laura Wright) mouth drops and then she takes over getting to the root of the truth of the baby switch.

Brad is cornered and left with no choice but to fess up. He explains how Wiley died when he was no longer breathing, and how he was driving with him, when he ended up on the route where Nelle left Michael to die in the car he was driving (Michael recalls this bit of Intel in a flashback).

Then, Brad explains how Nelle appeared with her newborn baby and claimed the whole thing was engineered by Nelle …  and how he was so upset and panicked, that he went along with her plan.

Michael lets Brad have it for all of his lies and machinations, and the pain it has inflicted on so many people for over a year and half.  How on earth could he do that? Carly also lays into him.

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Meanwhile, Sasha (Sofia Matteson) has urgently called Chase (Josh Swickard), who leaves “Wiley” and Willow (Katelyn MacMullen) behind, and heads to the Corinthos’ where he hears the whole sad truth about the baby switch.

With Chase gone, Nelle goes looking for “Wiley” who is with Willow, and the two get into a major throwdown catfight.  Nelle comes out the victor and goes to get her baby ready to leave town with her son.

So, what did you think of how the truth finally came out?  What did you think of Michael’s tirade on Brad? What do you think will happen next? Comment below.

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General Hospital

GH’s James Patrick Stuart Talks on Valentin’s Downfall and Potential Rise to Power

After all his bravado, machinations and lies to keep the woman he loves, and believing he was the rightful heir to the Cassadine fortune, suddenly it all came crashing down for Valentin Cassadine (James Patrick Stuart) on recent episodes of General Hospital.

Payback can be a bitch, but for Valentin; who’s past has been fraught with numerous physical and emotional tribulations since his childhood, he now finds himself at the lowest point in his life; losing Nina (Cynthia Watros) who’s now taken up with Jax (Ingo Rademacher), realizing he is the biological son of the evil Helena Cassadine (Constance Towers), and not Mikkos, and having all his best laid plans and misdeeds backfire.  (Remember, he shot and “killed” Nikolas, and set up the ruse that led Sasha to pretend she was Nina’s bio-daughter.)  Now, enter Nelle Benson (Chloe Lanier), who could very well hold the ticket, to Valentin’s rise to wealth and power all over again.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with James Patrick Stuart to get the lowdown on: those heavy and emotional scenes opposite Constance Towers, working with Cynthia Watros as his newest Nina, if Valentin might really kill Jax the next time he thinks about it, and what about a potential relationship between Anna (Finola Hughes) and Valentin?

Not many can play bad as good as James in this industry.  He does it so effortlessly and still brings out the humanity in the guy that has t-r-o-u-b-l-e written all over him.  Here’s what James had to share about all of Valentin’s recent dramatic moments, a tease of what’s to come, and much more.

Photo: JPI

Valentin’s world has imploded at the moment.  When did you initially find out that he was going to turn out to not be a true Cassadine heir?

JAMES:  Well, there were some clues dropped by Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) back when we did the gallery auction where Helena’s portrait went up in flames.  Frank looked at me and goes, “Hey, Jack Nicholson it up.  Have some fun!  You’re not going to be feeling pretty good for a while.”  (Laughs)  I’m like, “Oh … what are the plans?”  He pulled me aside and goes, “Yeah, you’re going to lose Nina, but you’re going to try to take over ELQ.  That’s when I started to go, “Wait a minute!  That sounds to me like Valentin’s losing his money.”  (Laughs)  With the character of Nikolas (Marcus Coloma) coming back; it’s pretty great.  I think the writing was on the wall there.  I put it out on twitter the other day.  I said, “Look what they’ve done to my boy.”  Somebody chimed in, “They gave him a storyline!” (Laughs)

Who doesn’t love to see you, James Patrick Stuart, play tortured soul?  They audience loves to see you get the opportunity to go to those depths in your performances.

JAMES:  It’s been really interesting for me.  I’ve had a lifetime of playing bad guys because the line was always shorter. (Laughs)  Everybody wants to be Tom Cruise, but the Alan Rickman’s of it all, to me, were what was so interesting.  Early on, you play one dimensional kind of twisting of the mustache, tying a woman to the train tracks.  After a while, you start to watch the truly great actors.  They start to take you on a ride.  If you’re paying attention, you start to feel what it would be like to be that damaged, and that’s why you do it.  Then you start to see the vulnerability. To me, I thought, “This is a great time in my life because I’m ready to do that.” A lot of people say, “I don’t understand.  I feel like that makes no sense. because why would I root for a person who behaves like this?” and that to me, I feel is the greatest compliment of all.

So much happened recently to Valentin in one fell swoop; he overhears Nina telling Ava (Maura West) she kissed Jax, then he envisions shooting Jax and then he is drinking himself into oblivion and he gets a “visit” from Helena!  But … the scenes between Valentin and Helena really summed up the bitter truth for him, wouldn’t you say?

JAMES:  Yes.  In the “Helena” scenes, it all basically is revealed.  It all comes down in a moment where he “sees” her.  I think he realizes with the DNA test; he’s not the person he thought he was, but he certainly had no idea that he had her blood in his veins.  The truly tragic moment of the evening is when it dawns on him that he has a daughter with Helena’s blood in her veins.  Now, he would kill her a thousand times over in that moment.  He can’t do it.  He’s fighting phantoms.  That’s the bottom below the bottom, and things got worse than he ever thought they would get.

Courtesy/ABC

Does Valentin have any idea then, who his biological father could be?

JAMES:  I don’t think so.  I don’t believe so.  I know I don’t.  I think once he realizes that Helena is in fact the mother, I think he’d rather just go into oblivion.  I think at that point, he’s out of answers.  Enter Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) …which is wonderful because I think the world of Nancy, and she saves the day.   Alexis basically talks him out of hurting himself, telling him to count his blessings that he is not a Cassadine, etc, which was a really sweet moment.

I assume, when you have this kind of material to play, it must be exhausting, but exhilarating at the same time?

JAMES:  I think that’s exactly right.  As an actor, I think you want to do this stuff.  Maura West and I compare notes all the time.  I think it can be kind of emotionally draining.  You do feel it, and I felt it when I had spent a lot of time with Nina and Valentin, and when the actresses changed, and we brought Cynthia Watros in.  I worked twice as hard to make sure that Cynthia’s landing was as easy as possible, and I really grew attached to the Nina and Valentin connection.  So, when Jax steps in, Cynthia’s love life means nothing to me, I don’t care about that, but Nina’s love life means a lot to me!  And it bums me out, and I don’t know that I’ll actually be watching any future love scenes between them as much as I love them both!  I have a deep attachment to the Valentin connection to Nina.  So, the lines get burred because we just play these characters so long.

Photo: JPI

What was it like sharing those tough scenes with Constance? No one can play icy, evil villainess like her … and yet in real life, she is such a gracious and kind-hearted woman.

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JAMES:  In real life, Constance is such a sweetheart, and she’s so grateful to be there.  She was so ready to work, and rehearse, and play, and find the stuff, and she was great.  I’d been in scenes with her before.  Last time, we didn’t really talk to each other.  I was with the hump.  I was being Valentin pre-surgery.  It was some sort of moment in a graveyard, but this time we actually got to interact with each other.

You look at Valentin, and he’s not had the greatest life.  Do you bring his entire back-story into your performance; such as when he was deformed with the hump and how he had to literally reconstruct his life both in the physical and in emotional ways for many years?

JAMES:  Absolutely.  It’s the brokenness that he’s making choices from.  He was never truly and authentic person to begin with which is why his love fell apart.  He’s always been faking.  He’s always been putting on a show.  That’s not sustainable in matters of the heart.  It was unbelievably easy for Jax to swoop in, because it was inevitable that things were going to fall apart.  Of course, that anger and that brokenness were what lead him to want to kill Jax.  There’s no question.  He was prepared to do that.  If you look in the eyes in the fantasy sequence in the shooting, he just wanted to watch him die.  He wanted to watch the light go out in Jax’s eyes.  He was so furious … and even more tragic is … that was all he could think of, and somehow, he realized in that moment that wouldn’t work, because he’d lose his daughter.

Photo: JPI

Anna and Finn (Michael Easton) just kind of busted up.  Do you think Anna and Valentin will hookup? There is a connection and a history between the two of them whenever they seem to be in proximity of one another.

JAMES:  Personally, I’m waiting for that.  I hope so!  There is a finesse and elegance to that woman, and not only that, there is an effortless to the connection between Valentin and Anna, if one can say that about one’s own coupling.  I love to look at it!  I think we go together like a wink and a smile.  I just find that chemistry really great.  I think that’s mostly Finola, though.  She can probably have chemistry with most anything.

Valentin was going to leave Port Charles with Charlotte (Scarlett Fernandez), after Nikolas revealed all and the fallout began.  Interestingly enough, it was Anna who came to Valentin’s side and tried to talk him down from fleeing with his daughter and showed such compassion for him!

JAMES:  Wasn’t that great?  She was the one who got him.  She was the one who was able to calm the beast.  There was no one else he would have listened to.  In the moment in the police station, after Charlotte had been kidnapped, and there is that moment where Anna has that bruise, I thought it was such a tender moment.  I just said, “If I kiss my finger and touch your wound?” and she’s like, “Do it.”  It was just this moment where we had been bitter rivals and enemies for so long, but he just adores her so much it’s undeniable that he sees her wounded and wants to make it better.  It’s floating out there waiting to be done.  I know that everybody knows it.  It’s just a matter of what the right away to go about in the writing would be.

Photo: JPI

So, you’ve worked opposite two acting dynamos in the role of Nina – Michelle Stafford and now, Cynthia Watros.  Was the transition difficult for you when Cynthia came to GH?

JAMES:  It wasn’t.  It was scary because Michelle Stafford wasn’t just one in a million, I mean, she is one of a kind.  The last thing in the world that I would ever want to consider doing myself was recast that actress.  So, my deal was (and I’ve said this to Cynthia) I said, “I have no control over this.  All I can do is make the landing as easy as possible for Cynthia.”  We did a lot of photoshoots together, and I had flowers waiting for her, and I did everything possible to make sure that she knew that she had a friend and that she had somebody that was going to make it as easy as possible.  It was rough because a lot of the trolls on social media were just awful to her… just brutal, and she goes, “I have thick skin.  I can take it,” and then a week later, she goes, “I’ve closed all my social media accounts!”  (Laughs)  It’s been fun to watch those guys turn around and go, “You have a really special person.”  That wedding stuff was just incredible!  She came so prepared and she knocked it out of the park.  Cynthia has been wonderful.  I love them both.  I love her the reddest, and I love Michelle the bluest, and together I love them the purplest.  (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

It’s interesting that all the women in his life such as Anna and Nina, all have a soft-spot for Valentin; even though they don’t necessarily want to be with him.  These ladies are just drawn to this dysfunctional guy.

JAMES:  Don’t you think?  Is it that you want to help him, you want to fix him, you see the potential, you want to help him despite himself?  I think that’s what it is.

Courtesy/ABC

Do you think Valentin’s still going to try to win Nina back, or is that done? 

JAMES:  I don’t know.  I do know that the Valentin I know will never shake Nina, and when he loves, he loves forever.  He can be simultaneously in love with Anna whenever she’s near.  I don’t believe he ever truly got over Nina hearing his story and his brokenness and still loving him twice as hard.  Years ago, there was a moment where he said to her the stuff that he’s never said, and Michelle beautifully kissed my tears away and said, “You’re beautiful” to me.   I think in that moment his fate was sealed.  I think he knew that this was his woman forever.  So, I just don’t think that that goes away.  I think he will always carry a torch for Nina, for sure.

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Do you see Valentin becoming darker and darker now that he had found out he is Helena’s offspring?

JAMES:  Well, yes and no.  I remember watching these scenes and we’ve done a lot of this stuff, and you know how easy it is to sort of go, “Let’s go dark, let’s go dark, let’s go more dark,” and after a while, I go, “You know, maybe he does learn something.  Maybe there’s hope for this guy after all.”  Of course, more bad stuff will happen to him, and he will do more bad stuff, because that’s just who he is.  A leopard can’t change his spots, and those are his survival instincts, but there are some new colors, and it’s all a direct result of all of just these horrible things that have happened to him… mostly learning that he is part Helena and he can’t undo that.

Photo: JPI

We saw that Nelle (Chloe Lanier) called and then goes to see Valentin, because she wants to sell her shares of ELQ.  So, obviously he has the potential to become really rich here which is what would give him his power back.  How do you think that will go over with the rest of the Quartermaines? (Laughs)

JAMES:  (Laughs) A lot of the Quartermaine actors have been asking me that in the hallways of General Hospital!  Isn’t that interesting how he’ll just sort of switch families? (Laughs)

Of all the people, just as Valentin’s life is in the gutter and he is at his lowest, who should show up with a sort of lifeline, Nelle! How will he go about attempting to gain control of ELQ?

JAMES:  Valentin knows he has to get the majority shares to gain a control of the company, and he has to do it fast before people see that he’s doing it.  So, that’s where Michael E. Knight (Martin Gray) has been.  He’s gallivanting the states rapidly accumulating shares.  (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

It’s been so fun seeing you and Michael Knight on-screen and on a daytime soap together again, as so many remember you as Tad Martin and Will Cortlandt on All My Children.  How has it been getting the chance to work with Michael?

JAMES:  My God, are you kidding me?  He taught me!  He’s the guy who taught me.  I didn’t know how to do this.  Nobody instinctively knows… this is a very unique art form.  It’s more Jazz than anything else, and he showed me how to do it!  Walt Willey (Ex-Jack, AMC) showed me how to do my hair, and Michael Knight taught me how to break down a script!  And, what’s so funny is he is still doing it.  In a scene on GH, when he threw in that line, “From now on, you pay in advance,” I just about fell on the floor!  I thought, “There he is!  That’s the Michael I’ve always known and loved.”

Photo: JPI

Who would have thought that you guys would get to share scenes like that again on soaps?  You just never know in this life who may be wind up back in your orbit.

JAMES:  It’s incredible.  That’s what we say all of the time… “Who would have thought?”  You could never plan something like this and that we’d still be doing it at this point.

Now with Lulu (Emme Rylan) learning that Valentin is not a Cassadine, and Nina apparently moving on to a relationship with Jax, what do you think it will mean for their relationship in raising their daughter, Charlotte?

JAMES:  I think in the short-term, Valentin’s shelved any ideas of getting her out of Charlotte’s life.  He’s sort of putting out the fires in his own personal life.  Charlotte needs a mother in her life, and he’s quite willing to share custody as they always have been.  She seems to be looking at this as an opportunity to paint him as an unfit father, and she wants full-time custody.  So, we’re back to that again.  It looks to me like Lulu is kicking Valentin while he’s down.

Photo: JPI

It was so nice to see you, and some of your GH co-stars such as: Steve Burton (Jason) and Maurice Benard (Sonny) show up for Y&R’s Eric Braeden’s (Victor Newman) 40th anniversary on set celebration at CBS.  It was quite the event; speakers galore, and so many from our industry and beyond in attendance.

JAMES:  It was pretty profound.  Eric has always been kind to me.  I only worked with him on one movie, a western, called The Man Who Came Back, and that was probably 12 years ago.  He has been so complimentary of me in interviews and in his book.  So, if he does that with me, I can only imagine how many dear, dear friendships he has.  So, the fact that everybody showed up like that from the president of CBS Entertainment to local councilmen, and that they were willing to do be there for 2 hours was really proof of how much they love him.  Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R), who I don’t even think was working that day, came in for it and spoke at the event. There was so much respect shown for Eric and what he has meant to this medium.

Photo: JPI

Your album The Apple Tree was so well-received, and everyone always loves seeing you get the opportunity to sing on General Hospital as well.  Will you continue to put out more music in 2020?

JAMES:  Yeah, that’s the plan.  I have another one that I’m working on.  I have a bunch of songs.  I’m in no rush to get it out.  Unfortunately, I lost Glen Roven, who wrote the cello part for Book of Love, passed away right after the Nurses’ Ball where I played Book of Love, which is really heartbreaking, and then, Michael Sherwood, who helped me with a number of songs on the record passed away right after The Apple Tree came out.  So, I’m a little gun-shy.  But, I’m planning on having something out by December for Christmas.

In closing, what would you say the fans should look forward to in the weeks ahead from Valentin?

JAMES: Look forward to that moment where Valentin is so low that there’s nowhere to go but up!  The comeback is going to be one for the books.

So, what do you think of how Valentin’s life hit rock bottom?  Do you think he will ever win Nina back? Do you think he will takeover ELQ? Share your thoughts on James’ recent performances and his thoughts contained in this interview via the comment section below.

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