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REPORT: Ex-DAYS Head Scribe Chris Whitesell Headed To General Hospital Writing Team!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

More changes to the writing team look to be happening behind the scenes at General Hospital. 

In a report and item from Daytime Confidential, they are hearing that former Days of our Lives co-head writer, Chris Whitesell will be joining the GH team as a breakdown writer, supporting the efforts of new head scribes: Jean Passanante and Shelly Altman.

According to DC, Whitesell is close to signing a deal with the series. Chris does have a history with the ABC soap opera.  He was with the series back in 1997, both as an associate head writer and co-head writer for a time.

The scribe is certainly familiar with the genre having worked on many daytime dramas including: Another World, As The World Turns, Guiding Light, One Life to Live, Sunset Beach and The Young and the Restless.

What do you think of the pontential of Whitesell on the GH writing team? Comment below.

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jeremy
jeremy

Haha OMG, this SuckS!!!!!!!!!!!

Derick
Derick

Yes it is, GH has 6 months to turn it around or the soap will be cancelled. I am not shocked by this news at all. ABC want to replace GH with a new talk show .

CeeCee
CeeCee

Hey, Derick.
I really am hopeful for GH. The storylines are salvageable, if they could just move them along and get Sonny and his ‘plight’ take a long nap.
Friday, I enjoyed the easiness and love between Patrick and Sam.
Then, there are, Kiki, Franco and Nina. This trio is great together. Who would have ‘thunk’?
I just love the chemistry they share and consequently offer. I want more of that. Finally, Kiki is humanized. We all mourn differently…she is exhibiting loneliness, aloneness, and sadness.
I have a feeling the three will end up living together. Looking forward to it.

Kalle
Kalle

Is it another nail in the coffin?

Steven
Steven

This happens within writer’s rooms (all of the time)! – He’s going to be a breakdown writer (not head writer) and he was a writer on GH before, so he knows some of GH’s history. He has worked with both head writers (Shelly Altman & Jean Passanante) on other soaps before.

I also heard a rumor that writer Janet Iacobuzio is also joining GH too?!
She was recently a script writer at DAYS (under Gary Tomlin and Christopher Whitesell). She left DAYS when Josh Griffith & Dena Higley took over as head writers. Plus, she was co-head writer at GH (with Christopher Whitesell) back in 1997.

Mary SF
Mary SF

Sounds like another case of musical chairs in the writing department at the soaps. I get wanting to hire writers with experience in the genre, but it seem soaps writers just get passed between one soap to another, like a bad flu. Does anyone want to bet that within the year he will be replacing SA or JP as head writer?

su0000
su0000

lol ..
Shelly, Jean and now Chris . None know the GH history . Well, Shelly more-so than the other two, knows some of GH history.
GH could go every which way .. lol doing to be a fun ride 🙂

Shelly, as of today is still in the Y&R roll down credits as a writer with Y&R,
Jean has not been in Y&R credits for awhile.
Jean has been in with the writers of GH in the roll down credits, but Shelly is not.

Some are under the impression that Jean is tweaking/writing GH, I do not believe she is.
Ron is titled, as of yet, as the head writer. It’s still his stuff.
It is Ron’s stories we have been watching, and Jean has been with the writers most likely getting acquainted with GH history or stories whatever.
I do not see how what Ron has written and put to digital can be altered after filmed.
head writer writes the stories the writers write the dialog.

But who really knows, unless on set and with the writers we do not know what goes on.
I do see; Head Writer Ron.
I do not see; head Writers Ron and Jean or even co head writer Jean.

Jean, back when, was a breakdown writer during her short stay with GH, perhaps she has been doing her breakdown writing again because now Chris Whitesell from Days has been brought in as the breakdown writer probably to take over for Jean as she goes to head writer.

This change will be interesting, for sure 🙂

Jim
Jim

The stuff on air at GH now is in between Ron and Jean Passanante. Nathan Varni said on Twitter or Facebook about a month ago that it was in-between stuff and he and Frank Valentini were tweaking things.

su0000
su0000

hi..
they can tweak but its still in Ron’s hands, his writing.
I am going to miss Ron..
He is very good..
Since Luke’s exit Ron has switched it up and writing more-so as he wrote for OLTL
with couples and family..
there was a lot of couples/love stuff and a lot of family with OLTL, it was character driven.
Ron did well with OLTL and now I see he has recently, since Luke, brought his OLTL style to GH..

Dan
Dan

Jean, Shelly and Chris have all worked at GH in the past, so they’re certainly a lot more aware of the show’s history than Frank or Ron were when they took over. But I don’t think it’s about knowing history, it’s about writing good, emotional, dramatic stories. And stories that don’t infuriate the audience by dragging on and on for months or even a year in the case of the Jason/Jake storyline. That’s what it boils down to. If they can do that, the show will be fine.

su0000
su0000

hey Dan..

Passanante; now GH Head Writer—
Was-
GH -breakdown writer from May 3, 2012 until November 25, 2013
(google)
She was with GH = 6 months.

Shelly; now GH Head Writer.
Was-
Associate head writer: August 10, 2011 to January 6, 2012; = 6 months
Co-head writer: January 9 – February 20, 2012 = 40 days
(google)

Christopher Whitesell; now GH breakdown writer.
Was-
Associate Head Writer at General Hospital (1997)
Co-Head Writer at General Hospital (05/1997-12/05/1997) (with Janet Iacobuzio)
Succeeded by Robert Guza, Jr.
(google)

Whitsell– with GH in the 90’s , for 7 months

Passanate– with GH May 3, 2012 until November 25, 2013
(google)
She was with GH = 6 months

Shelly– was with GH 7 months..

None of 3 have any GH history to mention..

Dan
Dan

I know all of their history, Su. My point is having a history with GH doesn’t mean all that much. In fact, I think it’s good that they don’t have a big history with GH. It’s a positive to have some people come in with a different perspective. That’s why I was in favor of Frank and Ron at the beginning. You need someone to come in with a fresh look at some of the characters, and a different way of telling stories. Cause what’s been happening on the show for a while now is clearly not working.

Jim
Jim

Great news! He did great at ATWT and Days. He should know the longtime vet characters at GH better than a lot of other writers since he was there in 1997 before Guza. He knows the longtime characters better than a lot of other writers since he was there in 1997 before Guza.

Jim
Jim

I think his co-head tenure in 1997 at GH was dull, but he and Janet Iacobuzio were just holdovers between Richard Culliton and the return of Guza. He was there at the beginning of Liz, which should be quite interesting since some people now think Liz should be a saint and are mad she isn’t. Whereas at the beginning, people who saw her at the beginning, know she was the “bad girl” then, perhaps too stereotypically so.

su0000
su0000

hey Jim..
He won’t know anything much ..
He was with GH for 7 months..lol

Christopher Whitesell;
Associate Head Writer at General Hospital (1997)
Co-Head Writer at General Hospital (05/1997-12/05/1997)

Paul
Paul

I’m afraid no writer can save GH. It seems quite obvious that the network wants the show to be all Corinthos, all the time. I’ve found the last 4 weeks unbearable. There have been days where the non-Corinthos characters spend their entire scenes talking about Sonny. I’m barely sticking with GH right now.

su0000
su0000

Well. Paul..
The ‘Corinthos’ are now the core family of GH..
same as the Abbots and Newman’s are the core family of Y&R..
A core family; they are upfront with their family members in stories.
GH will always be about it’s largest core family the Corinthos.
If you watch GH then you will see Sonny and family. They are a cornerstone family, one of the couple of core families that are still alive.
To watch GH is to have the Corinthos on your screen.
it is what it is LOL 🙂

the past weeks centering on the Corinthos family, again- the whole family, has been awesome! It is the best insight into the C family in a very loooong time, and well done.
A great story and acting..
((and Sonny hasn’t said more than a few words these past weeks, sheess lol

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Are you kidding me?! “The Corinthos are now the core family”? Who really can say that with a straight face? (Besides you, suOOOO)?
Wow! I’m ALMOST (but not quite, as you can see-lol) at a loss for words.

Insight into the Corinthos family, you say? And then turn around and say “Sonny hasn’t said more than a few words these past weeks.”

So what is it–insight or silence??? Huh, huh!

Melissa
Melissa

You are right, unfortunately, that the Corinthos have become a core family. But they don’t have to be the only ones. We still have a Hardy on canvas in the form of Liz, and they can start recasting and bringing back her relatives. And for Godsakes someone give Tracy a real storyline having to do with winning back and running the family company. Bring back Monica in a big way. Don’t leave us with the Corinthoses as the only core family!

Justin
Justin

You’re so right Paul. I feel the same way. As long as the focus is on the Corinthos Clan/All Mob, I won’t return. I also know that we’re not alone. I just wish someone at the top making the decisions would realize that.

I think that all the suits hear is from the Sonny lovers. I think that they are a vocal group. There are millions of old-school true GH viewers that would love to have their show back.

KansasGuest
KansasGuest

I returned for GH’s 50th anniversary after stopping in the late 80’s. I’ve stayed this long. But, so help me, if Jake’s memory returns and he ends up going all Corinthos instead of helping to rebuild the Quartermaines, I’m gone. Watching Michael attend that organized crime meeting was disgusting. They waste a lot of characters with decency and heart like Anna, Dante & Nathan while allowing criminals with no morals to dictate the messages on the show. The show was most popular when Luke & Robert were the “good guys” and the Cassadines were “bad.” The audience liked the adventure, and watching Port Charles pull together in those difficult times. Now, PC characters create the difficult times and the mob characters actively keep core families apart, poisoning wells and driving wedges that are never resolved. The Corinthoses are rewarded time and again for their amoral behavior and I’m sick of watching it. Turn it around, or you’ll be losing more viewers, I swear.

Iakovos
Iakovos

I remain faithful, Paul, but the mob focus for years has been a turn-off for me. There is not enough balance. Characters need to grow, to evolve, to find redemption, to be punished. The death count (and resurrection count!) is way too high. And no one in Port Charles seems to care. For a show built around a hospital, there is little healing of body or spirit anymore. That disappoints me. Romance, a good mystery… how about it?

val
val

No disrespect to Mr. Whitesell but this is exactly why the daytime soap genre is dying and fails to reinvent itself. They just keep reshuffling the chairs on the Titantic. I get that soaps are complicated and need experienced people to write for them but why is it always the same failed people who started in the 1980’s. They go from one failed writing job to another. Talented new comers and minorities are never given a shot. I predict the resurrection of Bob Guza is right around the corner. Daytime will never change.

su0000
su0000

I would luvit if Guzza came back to GH 🙂
And– all the soaps can do for writers is recycle, there are no new writers.
soap writing is a very hard demanding job and it seems like the younger/newer gen of writers want nothing to do with writing for soaps, I can understand that .
It is a good thing that there are still seasoned soap writers, if and when they fade away so do the soaps..
Soap writers are an endangered species, on the endangerment list, soon to be extinct…

val
val

We don’t know if younger experienced writers want nothing to do with soap writing because they are never given a shot. Doug Marland was once a young writer, so was James Reilly Malone and Sheffer were unconventional choices. Now its the usual suspects over and over. I look at some of these shows and I see writers who worked on Another World for Petes sake. Institutional knowledge is great but you are not going to get young people to watch when the writers are all pushing 50 or more and do not reflect the diversity which is America today. I have no problem with a Chuck Pratt because he has been a winner in daytime, prime time etc. But new blood, new ideas, new themes are needed to save this genre

Harry
Harry

Me thinks Guza is back as headwriter, Suoo. The Jason and Sonny love story, the mobcentric stories…..
Perhaps Guza is the head ghost writer.

su0000
su0000

0oooh Harry, that would be wonderful !!!
Guzza back- I LOVE IT!!
If only it were true 🙁

I have very little confidence in Jean and Shelly; the Queens of Snooze..
(after 2014 Y&R snooze fest I fear the dual will comatose me once again..

Guest
Guest

Christopher Whitesell was a part of the GH writing team before as an associate Head Writer and briefly Co-head writer. They were even nominated for the writing that year. So he does know GH history. Why Michael did not report that he was apart of the GH family. Ido not know.

Melissa
Melissa

Agreed. For whatever set of reasons younger writers do not seem drawn to this genre — probably because younger viewers aren’t drawn to it either. I work at a College and for this age group the days of being hooked on a daytime soap are LONG gone. The genre needs reinvention STAT, much in the same way that network TV has found new and exciting ways to do sitcoms, dramas, procedurals and prime time soaps. The Corinthos are yesterday’s Sopranos. Do something new and different. It’s worth the risk because the death knell is tolling.

tim S
tim S

UGGHH……

su0000
su0000

Head writer;
The head writer conceives and outlines the long-term story.
In daytime television, the over-arcing story lines are broken out into daily episodes, which are then individually outlined by particular writers, and fleshed out with dialogue by others.

The breakdown writers /Chris Whitesell new GH breakdown writer will do this-
meet with the head writers sit down at the beginning of every week and figure out what will happen in the next five episodes….
or via a conference call to figure out where everyone’s episodes begin and end – what’s gonna happen storyline wise, which characters they are using, which sets to use in each show.
Once the week is worked out then they each take one day of the week and write a breakdown …
which is kind of a narrative of the episode…. It’s kind of like reading an outline of the show…. Once that’s written, it gets sent to the network executives and producers and they give them notes. then they incorporate the notes and then that goes to a scriptwriter and they then turn it into a script.

Writer
is responsible for writing the script/dialogue. Once they’ve handed over the script that’s pretty much the end of their creative involvement with the project.

Director
The Director is responsible for making the script a reality, they’re basically in charge of the creative decisions on the project. During pre production the Director will cast actors and may make changes to the script to suit their own personal vision. They will storyboard the shots and choose locations, colour schemes, costumes and many other elements.

Producer
may be the ‘boss’ of the production, with Director and Writer etc being subservient to them, and the producer having final call on things like script and editing.

Editors;
Decide what to cut or change script for better for time allotted.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Hey Su, are you charging for this seminar? LOL!

su0000
su0000

Hi Nancy ..
It is FREE!
I only charge if there are picture included … lol 🙂

code85
code85

Gh can have Christopher whitesell his writing over at Days was either a huge hit or big miss. I so glad days ace him , I like Gary Tolmin but the two together wrote awful stories( elephants statues with blood diamonds in them , boring couple’s Jordan and Rafe , Serena and Eric , Kate with Clyde , destroying Will and Sonny , I go on but there were some bright spots. Overall Gh can have him. Just don’t make him head writer or cohead writer.

Jimmy
Jimmy

Not sure what this means for GH, but the show is definitely in trouble right now. The cast is very disjointed, stories aren’t meshing well together, and there is still too much focus on the mob. I understand change takes time, but look at DAYS, for example. Josh Griffith and Dena Higley’s work started airing just over a month ago, and the show feels totally different. Vets are back, go-nowhere stories are being wrapped up, new and intriguing stories are being written, and the dialogue has improved.

GH doesn’t have this right now. The main focus of GH is Sonny and the mob, and that’s not what the show should be focusing on. There are many useless characters (Sabrina, Valerie, Jordan, Brad, Kiki, etc.) and there doesn’t seem to be a direction.

Chris and Gary’s vision of DAYS started out well enough, but somewhere along the way, it got clouded, and a whole bunch of new, unimportant characters were brought on, and story revolved around them. GH already has its share of needless characters (thank God Sloane was bumped off earlier this week), so Chris’ addition may not be a good thing. Only time will tell.

It’s just a shame because GH could be so great, if the show focused more on the Q family and the hospital, and less on the mob. I’m not saying get rid of the mob entirely, (and Richard Burgi is doing a great job as bad-guy Paul right now), but GH needs to be less the Sonny-mob-gunfire show, and more of the hospital-romance-Q show.

su0000
su0000

HI Jimmy..

you want GH writers to focus on the Q family.. hmmm what Q’s lol
The Q’s are near defunct..
Tracy is near retired and if FV & RC did not bring Dillion back there would be no Q’s but Tracy.. which Q’s would be in the romance generation, one- Dillon is it.
So- no big stories for the Q’s ..

The Hospital is a building.. Once long ago the hospital held many doctors and nurses all are now long gone.
Patrick and Liz hanging out at the nurses station is not really story building material.
Well, there is Brad and Lucas.

the mob has romance, family, couples and their problems as any other soap families. and the mob is 2 men and a moll .. lol
Paul is Cartell a much higher stature than mob.

GH has been mob families for over 3 decades, it is what it is .. 🙂

tim S
tim S

I have to say…. I do know that this is the old writing regime.. but…. the Dillon/Maxi movie storyline.. is AWEFULLLLLLLLLLL…… Is anyone really enjoying this?????

CeeCee
CeeCee

Not one bit, tim S. But, I am keeping my fingers crossed. There are many stories to be had….I just wait. LOL.

Melissa
Melissa

Nope, not me. I keep thinking it’s going to end in a Maxie/Lulu/ Dillion/ Nathan/ Dante pentangle. (Is that even a word? Basically a five way love triangle.) As always these storylines are moving at a glacial pace. I hope the new writing regime picks up the pace.

Shay
Shay

I think that would be a “quintangle.” Sounds quite messy….

su0000
su0000

On thursday’s show Ron gave us a goodbye gift ahaahaa!
Dillion and Maxies sex scene. After it went wrong, Maxie got off the bed to get dressed.
She was full Monty breast nude lol ,, yup, she was breast naked !!
It was a 1st for daytime, indeed..
OK- to keep it PG/whatever she had nude colored nip covers.
Maxie the 1st to go full monty neck to low waist naker- COOL ..

We had a good laugh… I have a wall mount 55′ screen smart tv and we got together and watched GH via the net on the 55′ and we froze the naked ahaa,
Josh said ”she is fine really fine and we counted a 5 second bare naked breasts with the nip covers, but still it was awesome for a soap, huh .. lol

((strange; the boards have no mention of it, go figure lol 🙂

Melissa
Melissa

I noticed too. Did a double take. I think they are trying to comment within this storyline the challenges of being an actor doing sex scenes. Still not sure how I feel about it though since I think Maxie and Dillion have no chemistry nor do their “movie” characters.

Michael
Michael

GH needs Ron C

Abruzzfan
Abruzzfan

I agree Michael!

Melissa
Melissa

Sorry, nope.

Tim S
Tim S

This is still Ron’s story lines. I heard that sometime in October is the switch.

Melissa
Melissa

Noticed the new head writers’ names listed in yesterday’s credits. Not sure if that was the first time or they showed up earlier. I scrutinized every line of dialogue to see if I could get clues as to future / new directions. So tired of Sonny hospital storyline and his family’s angst. Want to smack Morgan’s face every time he appears on camera. But loving the “family” storyline emerging with Kiki, Franco and Nina. Thinking about how much it will gall Ava to have Nina essentially serve as a surrogate mother to Kiki.

But basically I am REALLY tired of all the town’s mobsters being deemed by courts as fit parents. In what universe? It’s even absurd for the soap opera universe.

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

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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GENERAL HOSPITAL: Valentin's World Crumbles; Anna & Finn Put On The Brakes

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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General Hospital

General Hospital Delivers Super-Sized Promo: The Truth About Wiley To Be Revealed

This week, General Hospital is going full-tilt set to deliver the moment that fans of the show have been waiting for since back in September 2018, when on one fateful night  …

(Cliff Notes version here) Brad and Lucas’s adopted child dies, Nelle gives birth in the woods with an assist from Liesl. Brad and Nelle comes face to face on the road; the two switch babies and keep the long-held secret that Brad and Lucas are actually raising Nelle and Michael’s bio-son. Meanwhile, Willow thinks she is Wiley’s birth mother, having no idea, that her baby died with Brad.

Julian has been in on the secret, and when Brad finally revealed to Lucas the truth about Wiley, it caused their car to crash (Remember: Kendra who in the other car, who was trying to kill Alexis) which has left Lucas with only fragmented memories of that night.

Realizing everything is getting too close for comfort for the truth to come out; Brad accepts a job in Portland and is moving with Lucas and Wiley, while Nelle is selling her shares of ELQ to Valentin to get out of dodge too, so she can follow them, we think.

But in one of the best promo’s we have ever seen for a daytime drama series, as you see below; will Lucas remember and reveal the truth to Michael?

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From the cast credits at the end of the promo, to the setting up of the tale, this is one promo not to be missed.  Check it out below.

Now, let us know, how you think the truth will come to light that Michael will find out he is Wiley (AKA Jonah) biological father and that their was a baby switch? Will it be as teased in the promo, or some other way? Comment below.

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DAYS Eric Martsolf and Stacy Haiduk chat with Michael Fairman at Day of Days 2019; during their conversation the on-screen dup talk about the latest developments of Brady and Kristen within the series time-jump and more. Leave A Comment

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