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Rebecca Budig Chats On Her Departure From GH, Michael Easton, And Her Emotional Final Scenes!

Photo Credit: JPI Stuidios

One of daytime’s most popular actresses, Rebecca Budig, has left the building and General Hospital.  Fans of Budig’s were shocked and saddened to learn the news that she had been let go by the ABC daytime drama series, just when it seemed like her storyline with Michael Easton (Finn) was becoming more and more intriguing, while making “Fayden” a new favorite on-screen duo.

Rebecca, who became soap-famous with her roles as Greenlee Smythe on All My Children and Michelle Bauer on Guiding Light, returned to the soaps in 2015 in the newly created role of Hayden Barnes on GH.  Through her time in Port Charles, viewers and Budig would learn more about her back-story as it was filled in by the writers.

On emotional episodes over the past few weeks, Hayden’s ex returned to Port Charles attempting to extort money from her, while holding a horrible secret over her head.

Last Friday, Hayden walked out on her relationship with Finn just as they were set to wed.  Those moments signaled Budig’s exit from the show.  However, in true soap opera fashion, the door has been left open for the character to return, but will she?

On-Air On-Soaps sat down with Rebecca following Michael Easton and Roger Howarth’s (Franco) General Hospital Fan Club Weekend gathering to get her thoughts on her departure.  Budig had made a very special appearance, which had the fans in attendance all abuzz and overjoyed.  Here’s what Rebecca shared in our candid conversation.

You delivered some powerhouse performances in your final weeks on General Hospital.  The episode in which Hayden learned her ex-husband is out of jail and wanting payback was riveting.  How was that to play? 

Courtesy/IMDB

REBECCA:  I had 103 pages that day in the script.  Matt Corboy was the actor I was working with who played Jared, Hayden’s (aka Rachel Berlin) ex-husband. Matt is a phenomenal actor, and had never done daytime soaps before.  I went to his dressing room, and he said, “I have 57 pages to learn!”  I said, “I have 103!  So, let’s work on this.” (Laughs)  He is like, “Oh, my God!  How am I going to do this?”  I replied, “We are going to run the lines, and we are going to know them, and then we are going to go out on set and do them!  It will be awesome!”  He was finally like, “O.K!” (Laughs)  We got through it, and he was great.

When you saw in the script that Hayden had hit a little girl while driving, were you shocked?

REBECCA:  Yeah, at first.  However, I totally believe it was something she could have done.  It was painful to think that she did that.  So, I connected with it, and it resonated with me.  Thank God!  It was heartbreaking.

It was great to see Hayden crumble, because Hayden doesn’t usually allow herself to go there.  For the audience, it was nice to get to see you have the opportunity to show your acting chops, and play deep, emotional despair.  Viewers don’t often get to see you do that kind of work with the characters you have played on daytime. 

Courtesy/ABC

REBECCA:  With Hayden there just wasn’t a lot written like that, and it was not the fault of the writers.  It was just I came on during the writer change, and so it’s been kind of difficult. In the story, she finds out she ruined this kid’s life.  Heavy stuff.

Those were some meaty scenes, as well as your final scenes with Michael Easton.

REBECCA:  Listen, everything they wrote after I found out I was leaving was amazing.  Not that it wasn’t before … but I actually loved what they wrote too, for Finn and Hayden.  Maybe I loved that, because it was true for me.  I was terrified to have a baby in my real life.  I had waited so long until I was older to have a kid, and it’s life-changing.  I really loved that in the relationship between Finn and Hayden, because to me it was very honest.  I loved that they were characters that were a bit awkward and weird, because people are like that.  In soaps, it’s rare that they write something like that, and so I really love that they wrote our relationship in that way.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

You and Michael Easton had developed a special on-screen relationship, and had worked to get it to a place that left the audience rooting for Hayden and Finn as a couple and wanting more.  Many fans feel that they invested in the love story only to have it abruptly yanked from them with Hayden’s exit.  When the news broke you were leaving the show, you received this outpouring of support on social media.  There was this outcry to “Bring Rebecca back.”   When you saw that, how did it make you feel? 

REBECCA:  When I saw that, all I felt was very humbled by it, and incredibly flattered. It felt really nice that people cared so much about me as an actress.  There are no words to really describe it.  For a longtime, I really didn’t know how people felt.  For a longtime I don’t think people really bought Hayden.  They didn’t really love her, and I get it.  I was struggling with it too, by the way.   We were all struggling with it.   We were all going, “Who is she?   What is she doing here?  (Laughs)  Why is she on the show?” (Laughs) Even for me, it was hard to find a hook into this character.  Slowly, I found a hook for her, especially with those scenes they wrote when I was leaving. I really started to find a hook in her, and so it was the best feeling in the world to feel like people cared, and that they loved us, and it was so nice.  The message that Michael Easton wrote and posted on his Facebook page after learning the news of my exit was just beyond.  It was almost like a love letter.  It was the sweetest thing I think anyone has ever written about me, ever in my life. 

When all was said and done, how was it working with Michael Easton? 

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

REBECCA:  Besides, him being the ugliest and most difficult actor to work with? (Laughs) When I found out I was leaving from Frank Valentini (EP, General Hospital), I didn’t want to tell anybody at first, because I just wanted to go to work and not have to worry about anyone.  Then I said, “I am going to tell Michael.”  He is like my dance partner.  I went down to the dressing room and told him.  Michael was very surprised to hear my news.  He took me to lunch, and bought me a drink … or two (laughs).  Michael Easton has changed my life.  Our friendship has inspired me to do things in my life, and he is a really great guy.  You don’t come around people like that very often.

Would you say working with Jane Elliot was another highlight of your time on GH, and the relationship that developed between Tracy and Hayden?

REBECCA:   I love Jane, and I just saw her.  She has been nothing but supportive after finding out I was exiting the show. 

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

There were rumors popping up during General Hospital Fan Club Weekend that you are heading over to Days of our Lives.   What was your response to that with the fans?

REBECCA:   I had fans coming up to me going, “I know you can’t say anything, but ….”   I replied, “I swear on my daughter, and that is my life.  I am not going to DAYS.”  No one has called me. 

What did you think of the writing of the final scenes between Finn and Hayden? 

REBECCA:  Kate Hall wrote those final scenes between Michael Easton and me, and I have ties to her, because her dad, Peter Simon, played my father on Guiding Light.  I just think Kate is really good and really talented.  Those final scenes were really real.  I texted Kate and I said, “Did you write those scenes?  She said, “Yeah”, and I said, “I knew you did.”   She is such a good writer.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

We all hope lightning in a bottle strikes twice for us in our lives.  With your leading men on the soaps on All My Children, did you ever imagine it could happen again for you in your daytime career? 

REBECCA:  It was a great time in my life working on All My Children.  I never thought I would connect with another actor like I did with Michael, like I did with Josh Duhamel (Ex-Leo, AMC), or Cameron Mathison (Ryan, AMC).  It’s very rare when this kind of magic happens, and it’s a bummer when it ends.

So, what did you think of the final scenes between Rebecca Budig and Michael Easton as Hayden and Finn? What are your thoughts on Hayden leaving the canvas and Budig being written-off? W0uld you like to see Rebecca return to the GH canvas sooner than later? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Rose
Rose

Such heartfelt, gracious words for her onscreen “dance partner”, co-stars, fans, and the show. Rebecca added talent and class to GH. Will miss her. Looking forward to seeing what’s next for her.
Thank you, Michael.

Debbie Corte
Debbie Corte

I agree. Rebecca is definitely a class act!

Margo
Margo

Rebecca is a class act exactly in the way that Michael is. I truly hope that Frank Valentini is going to right this wrong and is already planning on re-hiring Rebecca. It is completely illogical that GH would ignore the loyal viewers’ pleas to bring Rebecca back, as well as the thousands of names on a petition for her. I am so hoping this is not the end of Fayden.

Gigi
Gigi

She was awsome, I am really going to miss her. Wish she wasnt going off.

Jimh
Jimh

Not a big fan of Hayden but why dump her and bring in a newbie

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

My thoughts exactly. And, I note that she has chosen her words very carefully about leaving. Hmmmml.

AJ
AJ

I would guess because Rebecca’s salary was the issue, nothing to do with actual story.

Andi
Andi

She had a four year contract. She was in year one.

Mister Media
Mister Media

The actors took a pile of c**p and turned it into gold, which is business as usual on GH. As much as I wanted to invest in this “story”, it was 100% contrived and inorganic. When Hayden said, “Not a day has gone by that I haven’t thought about what I did to that girl”, all I could think was, “except for all the days that you’ve ever been on screen and haven’t thought about it”. File this one under “wasted opportunity”, as the real story here should have been about the family tie with Liz. I just don’t understand what this writing staff doesn’t get about letting a story play out organically and in a way in which the fans would so obviously wish to see. Sadly, this character was poorly drawn from the start; brought on without a through-line, tossed about willy-nilly and ultimately squandered. The same can be said of Valentin, Nina, Ava and others, all portrayed by heavy hitter actors who have to overcome sloppy story telling to make their mark. It’s to their credit that they manage to do so. GH has the best cast on daytime and that’s what keeps me watching as I tolerate the insult to my intelligence and sense of aesthetics that is the writing. Long live GH!

Margo
Margo

Well said, Mr. Media and I couldn’t agree more. Frank Valentini had said that “Hayden’s story had come to a natural end”? With Hayden’s tie to Elizabeth and the Webbers, as well as the future baby with Finn, her story on GH was just beginning. There was nothing “natural” about her end.

Fanny
Fanny

@Mister Media….Couldn’t agree with UUUUUUUUUUUU more.
Sophomoric writing at best & that’s on a good day!!! These 2 head
writers R by far the Worst of the lot…It must be quite disheartening
for some of the BEST ACTORS in daytime television to realize..this
is as good as their going to get.. Then again everyone needs to put
food on the table.

Debbie Corte
Debbie Corte

It’s very rare when two actors have as much chemistry as Rebecca Budig and Michael Easton have both on and off of the screen. I think GH really made a big mistake letting Rebecca Budig go

Madrene Boyle
Madrene Boyle

Rebecca delivered an emmy worthy performance with those final scenes, as did Michael. We fans are beyond unhappy that this has happened. Thanks Mr. Fairman for giving her the press we fans need to bolster our efforts to get her back to GH. Nothing would make a million fans happier then to see #Fayden back together.

Kim Thompson
Kim Thompson

I agree with wanting Rebecca back! However, I felt the final scenes did nothing for giving fans closure. I honestly had no idea Rebecca was leaving. So, as I viewed the scenes, I was expecting that Finn was eventually going to find Hayden. I didn’t take their disagreement and Hayden leaving with a “let me know when you figure it out” as the end of their story. So disappointed in this decision by GH!

Madrene Boyle
Madrene Boyle

Since I did now that Aug 11 was her last airdate, I felt she delivered a powerful exit performance. I agree, this s/l was woefully thrown together & completely out of character for Hayden, Finn & also Curtis. It was a shoddy exit arc which I feel was slapped together to provide her exit. There was definitely no closure. Many fans r constantly tweeting our displeasure at her firing. She is expected on screen 1 more time, not sure when though. Fingers crossed that she and baby Finn will be back to PC.

Madrene Boyle
Madrene Boyle

Forgot to mention what undeniable chemistry Rebecca and Michael have. It shows in every scene they are in. We love you Rebecca. #Fayden Army will not stop

Deborah Neal
Deborah Neal

Finn and Hayden such naturals what a wonderful touch to their relationship a pregnancy II was crushed about the exit of Rebecca (Hayden). I heard a rumor that Rebecca, could be returning that would be so exciting, some rumors some rumors come true. How exciting that would be.

Lois
Lois

My writing on the subject – WHY I FELL IN LOVE WITH THE LOVE STORY OF HAYDEN AND FINN:

https://www.facebook.com/KENSGAL22/posts/1907592606146618

aria
aria

who do we need to knock some sense into and bring back Rebecca? i know its something they are going to want to do, lets just hope Rebecca isn’t doing dool or Yr, BB, goodness grief this was one stupid move by Gh, the other one being bringing back Steve Burton and not Christopher Tyler.

Margo
Margo

Aria, please call the GH Comment Line (323) 671-4583. It’s not too late to fight for Rebecca’s return. I also agree about Tyler. I am very sad that GH would not give in to his contract demands, causing him to accept an offer at DOOL.

Max Daddee
Max Daddee

Excellent question aria raised.Letting Rebecca go was a huge mistake and disappointment. So much lost potential with a storyline that could include her growing closer to Liz. Further development of her relationship with Finn. All that’s been trashed to bring in Steve Burton and now a female actress newbie. No thanks, GH, I have no interest in either of those two.

Connie
Connie

I think the writers need a kick. They have thrown away a great opportunity to top the ratings. It could of come close to Luke and Laura. Now no one will top that memory. But, it would of come really close. The ratings, the fans would of watched country wide!!!! Dumb dumb dumb writers!!!!

Patrick
Patrick

“…I think the writers need a kick. ”

I copied that they need a bitch slap. just saying….

when the focus is so much Corinthos’ ….. dag! it’s gotten to the point that I am sick of seeing “Sonny ” hogging all the screen time. SO OVER HIM

Timmm
Timmm

Michael Easton is no where near the actor Tony Geary was!

Fanny
Fanny

@Timmm…BIBLE ‼️‼️‼️

Connieonnietreanor@gmail.com
Connieonnietreanor@gmail.com

I totally understand what you’re saying however, no one can be an equal to Luke and Laura. Duke and Anna, Robert and Anna and Frisco and Felicia are close but definitely not equal.

Shay
Shay

That’s true, Connie, but your aforementioned supercouples still rate far superior to the GH pairings of convenience to which we are currently subjected!

Scott5
Scott5

As a (former) viewer I as well never found that “hook” with Hayden but I love the actress. I don’t think Hayden was ever needed. I’m hoping that one day RB can return but as someone else. Emily, Sarah Webber, someone who is already connected to the history of the show.

Jessie
Jessie

Agreed

Jackie
Jackie

Rebecca is such an amazing actor and the chemistry between her and Michael was magical. It is hard for some of us to grasp that there are people on the canvas that do not bring much to the table while Rebecca and Michael keep us interested, intrigued and invested in the storyline. The best thing ABC could do is get through the new stuff and then let “Finn” do a search for “Hayden” and his baby and bring them home. Fingers crossed!

Erin
Erin

General Hospital (Frank, Nathan, writers, etc) made the BIGGEST mistake in letting Rebecca go. They had a goldmine of an actress and HUGE potential with her character, Hayden. It’s too bad they could not pull themselves away form the fixation on Sonny, et al, to really do justice to Rebecca’s character.

The scenes the writers gave Hayden & Finn in the last few weeks is what they should have been writing all along. In fact, it is those kind of scenes, the emotional investment, the story pacing – that moves things along – that is sorely missing from GH right now and is a significant factor in its poor ratings. I wish the ABC network and TPTB on GH would take a look at the feedback and fanfare that “Fayden” have received in the past month or so and realize they need to retool and refocus on the relationships and characters in this show. Give it some depth!

They also need to bring Rebecca back to GH. She was an outstanding screen partner for Michael Easton (one of his best in his career) and they have just thrown it away. There is also so much story to tell with Hayden’s familial connection to Elizabeth and the entire Weber family. I pray that Frank, Nathan, the GH writers and ABC can rectify this HUGE error in judgement before it’s too late.

Nancy
Nancy

I think they all know we, the majority of the fans, are not happy with Rebecca Budig’s exit from the show. So how do I feel as a fan??? ANGRY!

Carol
Carol

Since the door has been left open for a Hayden return, I hope it happens soon.

su0000
su0000

u’m very disappointed the Rebecca was let go….
shame on RC or whomever..

patty
patty

Hopefully, TPTB will bring back Hayden !!! There is so much more of her story to be told and Budig is an amazing actress !!! Thrilled that Ms Jones (Parker) is back !! Can’t wait for her and Kristina’s story to unfold. !!!!!!!!

Susan
Susan

Love her and her role. The writing team needs to bring her back. Who really cares about Payton and sonnys daughter. Can’t even remember her name.

Edith
Edith

Thanks for this interview Michael. What a great actress and I was very sad that GH let her go. I would love if GH would bring her back. I didn’t like Hayden at first but she really grew on me. I loved the chemistry of Rebecca and Michael had on screen. I hope to see her soon on my screen and would love her to return on GH.

Marianne
Marianne

Very upset that Hayden is leaving just when she got a good SL – becoming friends with her sister, romantically involved with Finn and starting a family, etc. Really wanted Curtis’s wedding gift be to “take care of Jared”! Hopefully, she comes to her senses and returns to Finn (ie TPTB wake up and bring her back!) soon.
If it’s a money thing would rather Steve Burton not come back, Jordan leave, Stella leave, Franco not come back, Nathan move to Portland and stay there with Maxie, etc.

Kevin O.
Kevin O.

I enjoyed this actress and her portrayal of Hayden. I will definitely miss her presence on the show.

Patrick
Patrick

SHE, doesn’t sound like she’s “leaving”.

perhaps, after all… because she was hired by Frank Valentini… this is the best way to assuage the audience and or production… that a little stint of a vacation will lessen the blow that she was even given a 4 year contract… while so many others are FIGHTING for 1 year contract.

I am a little surprised that all the blow back of her firing .. whilst all the time prior, all the backlash of her being a prop… and YES I seriously will still go their… that she was given every opportunity to blend in and meld with the whole cast. and YET even SOD printed that the pairing of Hayden and Finn were the isolated pairing that just couldn’t find a way to be a part of the cast, as it were.

like I have with Alexis… I will with Hayden…. given the lesser of ??? two evils… I will accept and be mindful of their characters… that it’s at least a distraction from : get this , the dullard Corinthos’. so be it… I do not buy FINN and Hayden… but will tolerate them at the expense of less Carly and Sonny . less Jason and Sam; less Michael and Nelle; less Finn and Franco.

this was all of her in a nutshell… : nicely done

“…It was great to see Hayden crumble, because Hayden doesn’t usually allow herself to go there.  For the audience, it was nice to get to see you have the opportunity to show your acting chops, and play deep, emotional despair.  Viewers don’t often get to see you do that kind of work with the characters you have played on daytime. ”

I will say when she did not show up for her wedding… my heart started racing… as Liz raced up the stairs. and returned with her engagement ring. she’s gone. well done by the production team.

I will be clear… it’s more for just her character , Hayden… come back with the baby… and be a part of Liz life. and Curtis; hopefully, by then… Hamilton Finn will have moved on. he’s just not their.

Jessie
Jessie

Hope so too. Not a fan of this pairing

amcknots
amcknots

The actress playing Nina could go. I am sure she is taking up a lot of salary and there is not need or story for her. More viewers favor Hayden/Finn over Nina/Valentin. If it is a salary thing, then get rid of non star actors, Nelle, Jordan, Olivia, the list could go on.

Rhonda
Rhonda

From your lips, amcknots! I detest Nina, and she doesn’t fit in anywhere.
She has no chemistry with the wonderfully mysterious Valentin but guess who does?
Yes, Anna! Anna and Valentin could be GH’s next supercouple–why waste this intensely gifted actor on that drip Nina?
And it’s sad that Michael Eastman finally finds an actress with whom he enjoys a great chemistry and they get rid of her. It makes no sense.

K/kay
K/kay

Stafford is a big friend of Franks she is not leaving I hate the show so I gave up soaps are a business and when you start making decisions based on personal emotions you lose

Rhonda
Rhonda

You are right, K/Kay.

Shay
Shay

Absolutely, k/kay! That’s the sad truth as to why GH is failing big time…this soap has been a refuge for FOF’s for far too long…..it’s not about whom is best for the show or the storylines, but maintaining the spotlight for those favored chosen few of his who have been granted a prime place on the canvas whether their characters warrant such privileges…or NOT!

Michele
Michele

She absolutely must come back. Talent like hers is rare. Chemistry like she has with Michael Easton is extremely rare. Believing GH is too savvy to let that go for good.

Iakovos
Iakovos

Have always liked Ms. Budig and credit to her for playing this role with grace, talent, and class. To be honest, I just never cared for Hayden and her story. Hayden is one of the many (of late) characters that have landed in Port Charles with tenuous/incredible ties to legacy families and characters and histories. And I understand well that is part of soaps, I would rather see things happen with the core group I have come to know and love through decades. It just seems it takes so long for these new characters to connect or find their place anymore. Isn’t there a long-term bible that charts the way? And if there is, why isn’t it sacred?

Ray
Ray

After being in a corporaterate office for most of my career, I have foundd it rare that people are supportive of each other. It seems very competitive to “climb the ladder.” I was told years ago that you never step on anyone to move up. You let your work speak for itselff and you let your kindness and being a team player shine through.

This interview reminded me of those words. It seems Rebecca is an epic team player. I love that she has/had such great relationshipsips with Josh, Cameron, Jane and Michael. I would love to see Rebecca come to DOOL as a Horton (Sarah?) or go to B&B as a new love interest for Ridge.

The best of luck to Rebecca and cheers to a successful future.

Lili
Lili

I am a LONG-TIME fan of Rebecca’s and know just how talented an actress she is. I too think it’s GH’s loss for getting rid of her character. With that said, I actually would LOVE to see her land a prime time role or maybe another movie role! As much as I love soaps and loved watching her on the soaps, I think Rebecca deserves and has earned the chance to be on a prime time series. She is just as talented and in some cases is more so than any of the actresses in prime time right now. For the life of me, I don’t understand why it hasn’t happened already. I wish her all the best, wherever she ends up, but I sure hope to hell that someone in prime time casting has the good sense to snap her up! Hello, Shonda Rhimes….??

Paula
Paula

I hate how they wrote Hayden out. Hayden and Finn are one of the very few good couples who respect each other. Rebecca needs to come back sooner, Not later!!!

Jean Williams-Jones
Jean Williams-Jones

Pleas find and bring her back for Fin

DBallard
DBallard

Hayden will be miss! Love the character started off shaky but she played the role well. Her work with Easton was well written. I do believe she will be back! #NoDays

Karen
Karen

I am going to miss her. She is a staple to Daytime! Why they decided to do this is beyond my understanding. She is my Michelle, My Greenlee, Now my Hayden. General Hospital has made a big mistake.

James R. Poissant
James R. Poissant

I’ve already told everyone how pissed i am over this so I don’t mind saying it again. This is a stupid move and GH better wake up and see what they did to a story that was working with alot of people. Having Hayden around meant we got to see alot of Elizabeth who is another favorite of mine. We could have had Jeff Webber back. Hayden was the kind of character that could have had so many ties to Port Charles just for being there. I know there’s more to this than what anyone’s saying.

Shirley Jordan
Shirley Jordan

Bring Hayden back ASAP

Sweet Poison
Sweet Poison

This will probably seem like I’m writing a book here, but I’ve been wanting a way to express how I, and so many fans of Rebecca Budig feel, so here it is. Rebecca’s performance in her latest story has been top notch! I am just blown away by her talent! She has been acting her heart out, and I think it’s a huge mistake she was let go! While I do sometimes get frustrated with this story, and feel it was out of character for Hayden to do some of the things she has done, after reading this interview, I now have a better understanding why Rebecca was drawn to this story about having a baby, and all the fears that go with it, and how she believed it was possible for Hayden to make the mistakes she’s made in her past. I only wish Hayden, could have, had the recent part of her story, (where she’s blackmailed by Jared for accidentally hitting that little girl), a little sooner. That would have been a better way to introduce it, instead of waiting until her exit, (that shouldn’t even be happening). I have to admit the story itself, is very good, on the edge of your seat material, and, everyone involved has been doing an incredible job, especially, Michael and Rebecca. They were given some really great dialogue, and they ran with it perfectly! Their last scene together, is what really pulled me in. They were so on point with their reactions, their anger, sadness, everything! They have amazing chemistry with each other, and obviously a very special bond as friends, and it shows so much in their work! If we are lucky enough to get Rebecca back, I truly hope Fayden’s love story will continue. I love several soap couples on GH right now, but Fayden touches my heart the most. I want to see them rise above all of this sorrow about Hayden’s past. I want them to be able to open up to each other as they usually do, and work together to rebuild their relationship. I don’t like seeing Hayden so insecure about Reiko. Hayden is not the same person she was in the past, and she’s much stronger than that now. There has been so much character growth and I don’t want that completely ruined. I want Finn and Hayden to have the chance to raise their baby together, and eventually get married when the time is right. I fully understand soap couples need to have some kind of conflict, and truth be told that doesn’t bother me, because it would be boring if everything was sunshine and roses. What I don’t understand is why Finn and Hayden has never really had the chance to really explore their relationship. They’ve had everything thrown at them, and now it has to end? I’m sorry but most of us don’t understand or accept this, and trust me, there are a lot of us! LOL. I believe Fayden’s story… Read more »

Scoma60
Scoma60

Michael, Once again I get the impression you dislike Becky Herbst and or her character Elizabeth. You do an exit interview and fail to ask Rebecca about what went down at GH regarding making Hayden & Elizabeth sisters.
We learned they were related 1 year ago yet GH never brought back Jeff Webber to deal with this. We never even learned if he was even told. Then we never saw Elizabeth & Hayden growing close until right before she exits. Instead of playing the beat GH went from 0 to 60 so their sudden closeness rang hollow.. I would have loved to hear her thoughts on this gigantic mistake. On GH we were subjected ad nauseum to mind-numbing talk about Morgan’s death while this story & others were squandered
Once again GH makes a bad decision. Instead of keeping Hayden they keep the God awful unneeded Nelle, Nina, and Amy. They have zero ties to GH & should’ve been gone long ago.

Shay
Shay

Whilst I am personally pleased to see the character of Hayden exiting the GH canvas, your point about “awful, unneeded” other ones is spot-on. That’s been the major problem with this soap for the past few years…too many newbies and nonsensical players that have nothing to do with much of anyone or anything that came before…..it’s gotten to the extreme of the ridiculous with all the useless people that are populating Port Charles! Both Nina and Amy definitely lead that list, along with a whole slew of filler cast mates who have no earthy reason for being there….the showrunners just keep introducing new faces in hopes a few will stick, perhaps with some revisionist histories added to them at a later date for good measure as a means to try and justify their existence, but it really never works. Hayden is a prime example of this practice…her fate was sealed with many viewers long before they finally let her go, because RB was simply another in a long line of big name soap gets that the producers desired and they moved heaven and earth to attempt to carve a niche in the canvas for her, yet once again, failed miserably with their force-feeding efforts. A real housecleaning is sorely due for this show, although thus far, it would seem that TPTB still have no idea who should be going, who should stay and why….they are clueless!

Patty
Patty

As a long time viewer, I love General Hospital!!! It’s the best! The show has turned many directions over the years, some great, others not. I have to say releasing Rebecca ( Hayden) was not a great move. We are finally getting a real and excellently acted storyline and it is dropped. ☹️ I just don’t get how you couldn’t see an incredible path for her and Fin and her and Elizabeth, and on and on. Please bring Rebecca back. It’s a waste if you don’t. Bring back #Hayden.

dmr
dmr

I haven’t watched the show in a week plus. I was never really invested in Rachel/Hayden or Rebecca as an actress, so I’m not sure what happened during her exit. I tuned in a little yesterday while home, and I heard that she left her engagement ring behind and is nowhere to be found. What a stupid exit storyline-very poorly written. Now, more “newbies” are arriving in Port Charles. Why? It seems as though Rebecca was honest in her interview and had the same frustrations with the character as some of the viewers did.

Timmm
Timmm

Seems like a nice lady. I preferred she be with Nicholas. Plus, Spencer bonded with Hayden since his mom was never in his life. What I see here is a classic story brewing where she will be off for a bit, Finn will dedicate his life finding her, Hayden will return next year with little Finny! Everyone is happy.

Rodd
Rodd

I think it’s really a terrible thing that they wrote her off GH. I don’t care who they needed the money to bring on ~ if that’s the real reason. RB is a very strong actress and her character and ME’s character were just hitting their stride; there was so much more story to tell; that i wanted to see explored. it all feels so abrupt, so I’m not a happy camper about this. On the bright side, however, I am glad they left the door open for her return. I hope that happens sooner rather than later.

Diane Fuller
Diane Fuller

I think they should bring Rebecca Budig back as Hayden!! Her story line was finally growing and everyone was connecting with her. I loved Hayden/Finn!!! They are having a baby!! No way can that storyline just disappear!! The fans are too invested into this couple’s life now, the story cannot end like this. Even Elizabeth and Hayden are acting like sisters now so that has a storyline also!! Please bring Hayden back!!! Rebecca Budig is a great actress, don’t lose her!!

annette
annette

bring her back she is a good actress while others on the show take off every other month

su0000
su0000

Hayden was not killed-off , so great hopes for her, and baby, return…

Kaytee
Kaytee

Please bring her back!!!! I really wanted to see her and Finn’s journey continue. Loved them together.

Peggy Mcdaniel
Peggy Mcdaniel

I. hope you she is comes back to to want any. gh. and I.finn before. the baby. is. bborn

Athena
Athena

I would love for Rebecca Budig to come back!!! She is one of my all time favorites. I was and still am so sad that they let her go. I keep hoping that the powers that be listen to the fans and bring back “Hayden”

lisa googe
lisa googe

they need to bring back hayden they wrote amazing story for her finn and roxy its a huge injustice to loyal viewers that she has been wrote off bring her back

Breaking News

Brandon Barash Replaces Tyler Christopher At DAYS

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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

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

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

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Breaking News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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General Hospital

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

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

Courtesy/CBS

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

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

 

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

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

Courtesy/GoodDayLA

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

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

Photo: IMDB

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

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

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Video du Jour

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

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