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The Dominic Zamprogna Interview – General Hospital

Photo Credit: Eric Schneider

General Hospital favorite, Dominic Zamprogna, delivered one of the power performances of last week, during pivotal episodes of the ABC daytime drama series.  In story, PCPD detective Dante Falconeri was on to the theory that Luke Spencer (Anthony Geary) was being held against his will in the old Spencer home basement by an imposter, Fluke!  When using his investigative skills, Dante deduced that he had to get Luke out of the basement.  As he attempts to do so, Fluke throws him down the basement stairs and then clubs him over the head with a crowbar.  Dante, desperate to get to his feet in order to save his father-in-law, mustered the strength to get to the chair in which he believes Luke is tied to and being held hostage, only when he gets there Dante is in for the shock of his life!  Luke isn’t there, but a skeleton of him, or someone else … and there is a bomb ticking in the skeleton figure’s lap!  Dante is about to die!

These scenes provided the backdrop for fans of the series to get an opportunity to see the talents of Zamprogna … and it didn’t stop there!  After Dante is rescued from the bomb by his police partner, Nathan (Ryan Paevey) he comes to in the emergency room at General Hospital, and reveals there is also a bomb on the Haunted Star.  Elsewhere, his father Sonny (Maurice Benard) has escaped Pentonville prison, and made his way to the boat himself to save his son Michael (Chad Duell) from certain doom.  Michael finds the bomb on board and runs with it out to the deck, but Sonny grabs it and goes into the waters of Port Charles when the bomb explodes. When Sonny survives, he has a tender and heartfelt reunion with Dante.

On-Air On-Soaps chatted with Dominic to talk about his wild week of story, and find out: what he thinks the future holds for Lante, how he and co-star Emme Rylan (Lulu) feel when they are back-burnered, what he thinks of the Fluke/Luke mystery, the return of Brandon Barash (Johnny) and if Dante will be part of solving this supreme GH riddle of what is going on with Luke Spencer in the coming weeks, and what kind of story would he like to tackle next.  Here now is what Dynamite Dom had to say!

MICHAEL:

Let’s discuss the scene in the basement, where Dante is trapped with a skeleton Luke, or Bill, or whoever that is, and the bomb that is about to explode!  Was that difficult to pull off dramatically?  First, there was the obvious humor in it … you looking at this skeleton … and then having to play it for all it’s worth!

DOMINIC:

Courtesy/ABC

There is nothing scary or frightening about it.  It looked like a burned corpse, which was a little disconcerting, but these are the toughest scenes to play: rolling around and then pretending to be unconscious.  The way some things went down … where Dante reaches out and grabs the crowbar … I am questioning: “Am I awake, or am I asleep?”  Going into the scene, I was thinking I don’t know how to play any of this.  I said to the producers, “You have to give me lots of blood, so it looks like he is really f**d up.  Otherwise, there would be no reason that he can’t use any of the tools at his disposal to get the hell out of there.”  It was important to show Dante in as bad as shape as possible.  Getting back to the skeleton, it’s never easy to play off of something like that.  You look at it, and know it looks kind of silly, and additionally it has a bomb sitting in its crotch. (Laughs).  However, you don’t have time to think about that.  You have to get through the material, and the last thing I can do is really smile about it on-camera. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

And in actuality, it was very upsetting to see Dante left alone to die with a bomb! You felt so bad for him, and when he said he didn’t want to leave his son, Rocco … hankies!

DOMINIC:

Courtesy/ABC

It’s always one-take unless you royally mess up, and you know that going in there, and I have been at GH now a pretty long time.  When you are doing stuff by yourself, it’s tough to know how well it’s going, because there is not another actor there, and you are trying to depict something that you think would be accurate for that situation.  I tried to find the combination of drunk, and asleep, and being out of it.  I have never been thrown down a flight of stairs, and smashed in the head with a crowbar! (Laughs)  So, you kind of have to do your best.

MICHAEL:

How was it working in these scenes with Tony Geary in this key part of the Fluke/Luke story?

DOMINIC:

We had the confrontation leading up to falling down the stairs, and I love working with Tony.  Apart from being a legend, he’s a terrific actor.  He is also a really generous actor and person.

MICHAEL:

How did you film the scenes where Fluke is hitting Dante in the head with a crowbar?  Was there a double involved?

DOMINIC:

Courtesy/ABC

Yes.  I think in one shot Tony’s double hit me in the head, which was the one I was concerned about, and there was another shot with Tony, where there was a close-up on his face as Fluke.  Tony was kind of just doing the motions of it, and dropping the crowbar out of frame. It was the double that actually had to get a bit closer to me!

MICHAEL:

Dante wasn’t being doofus in all of this, and I was so glad about it.  He was actually figuring things out in the Fluke mystery more than anyone else last week … prior to getting clobbered and trapped!

DOMINIC:

Dante thinks he’s on the right track to discovering who Fluke is, and I was really excited about that, but then we come to find out he’s not on the right track. (Laughs)  So, that didn’t last very long.  And yes, I was kind of happy that he was figuring things out.  So much of this story is left to other people, other than the police department.  I have always wondered … why that is?  I don’t understand why we, as the cops, can’t figure things out on this show, whereas other very intelligently written shows have both strong and intelligent evil and good characters, and there is a very strong push-pull.  Every great crime drama has both of those elements.  I have never understood why the PCPD can’t have a few more “wins”.

MICHAEL:

It is nice to see Dante in heroic-mode, but sometimes that is far and few between these days now that Nathan (Ryan Paevey) is on the scene at the PCPD.  Nathan was the one who rescued Dante from the basement, and the bomb.  How has it been working with Ryan Paevey?

DOMINIC:

Courtesy/ABC

Its great working with Ryan, and it’s nice for Dante to have a partner.  It was cool when Michael Easton was there as McBain.  Dante and John had a good partnership going.  As for Ryan, he is a super nice dude.  He came into the show pretty green in the acting world, and I think he has come along way since he started.

MICHAEL:

Is Dante going to help Lulu come to grips on where and/or who Luke is?  Viewers were left with the belief that Fluke is Luke after the Friday air show.

DOMINIC:

I think Dante is going to help Lulu figure this out and keep track of Luke.  I think Nikolas (Tyler Christopher) is going to be more helpful to her than Dante coming up.  There is going to be a bunch of stuff with Lulu, and Tracy (Jane Elliot), and Nikolas.

MICHAEL:

Maurice Benard (Sonny) and you turned in some powerful moments on Friday’s episode in the scene where Dante comes to see Sonny at the hospital, as he is so glad that his father is alive.  After all, Sonny was the one who took the bomb off the Haunted Star and saved everyone on it.  Maurice was so good in the scenes with you, and it’s a shame that viewers don’t get to see the two of you together on the show that much anymore.

DOMINIC:

Courtesy/ABC

We talk about that same thing every time we get to work together.  We seem to have one scene like that every six months, or so.  I heard it was received well this past week.  I remember doing it, and Mo was in that emotional place, and we kind of bring that out in each other.  We have always played, since the beginning, the fact that this father and son love each other despite their differences, and despite the obstacles that are constantly going to be there, and it’s painful.  The one thing that is nice is that the more scenes we do, they are more reconciliatory.  There feels like there is more common ground between them, and a little more forgiveness on Dante’s part for who is father is.

MICHAEL:

I recently did an interview with Maurice over Christmas, and no matter what anyone says he still turns out great performance after great performance.  I know that a lot of the fans of the series backlash him, and they still feel, at times, it’s the Sonny show.  However, it feels that sometimes this man doesn’t get the due and respect from members of the audience when he comes to the table with scenes like we witnessed on Friday’s episode.

DOMINIC:

Courtesy/ABC

I have always thought that since I got to GH.  I am shocked he did not get a pre-nomination this year for his work in the Daytime Emmy race. The last two years, I think Maurice has done top-notch work.  He has really made a conscious decision to grow the Sonny character since I have gotten to GH.  Maurice has grown Sonny into this other person, and by that I mean he’s developed this guy even more so.  He has gone from being an ego-maniacal, ruthless, gangster to a softer-gentler version of that.  I thought he really deserved a nomination.  Maurice obviously has a huge fan base, and because of having a huge fan base, there is also a large contingent of people opposing that fan base that are going to be there, because people like to s–t on things.  Every time I am in a scene with Maurice, or see him do a scene with Laura Wright (Carly) or Chad Duell (Michael) he’s a 150% there.  He brings it out in other people, too.  You can’t work with someone like that, and see what they are doing, and then half-ass it.  I have the utmost respect for Maurice, and I always have.  I would love to work with him more.  Every time we do get to work together, we get to the heart of who these guys are.  It’s a real human relationship, which is hard to come by sometimes.

MICHAEL:

So, I hear you decided to not submit yourself for the Daytime Emmys this year?

DOMINIC:

I did not submit for the Emmys, because I did not feel I had the material.  I have had discussions with people in the past of when to submit, and when not to submit.  Some people think just throw your hat into the ring and see what happens. I have never felt that way.  If I don’t know off the top of my head and remember that I have something, I tend to not want to participate.  I knew last year I had that scene with Maurice at the boxing ring that felt really good to me.  I didn’t feel I had that this year off the top of my head.  I looked at a couple scenes, but they weren’t there for me.  I didn’t want to waste people’s time, I think, who have to watch the reels in the voting process.

Courtesy/ABC

MICHAEL:

What do you think of Brandon Barash’s (Johnny) return?  Did you have good time with Brandon reigniting the tension between rivals: Johnny and Dante?

DOMINIC:

I loved doing it.  The only thing I didn’t want to fall into was playing the same story beat that we played when Julie Marie Berman (Ex-Lulu) was here a few years ago.  Dante was imagining them getting it on, and it was a side of this relationship that I never had played, and that was: Dante being jealous.  I did not want to redo that story.  I tried to find on the surface at least, why he was concerned about this business relationship between Johnny and Lulu, because I do believe Dante trusts Lulu completely, and I do believe he doesn’t trust Johnny.  When Brandon came back, and I told him this, when I worked with him he felt like he was super free.  And, anytime you get to work with anyone that is feeling like that it makes me more free.  I think Brandon did great, and I don’t know what his plans are for the future, but it was cool to have him back.

MICHAEL:

It has seemed up until now that you and Emme Rylan (Lulu) have been back-burnered … or shuttled off the canvas a bit.  Do the two of you often get together and talk about times when there is a lack of story for Lante?

Courtesy/ABC

DOMINIC:

Yes, we have talked about it.  I have talked to our executive producer Frank Valentini about it, too.  He had said that sometimes you need to have happiness in one place.  I guess we were that for a long while.  For a long time I wasn’t working much with Emme, but working with other people, which is also great.  Doing a scene with Chad or Maurice, and doing those scenes with Tony, that was very different for me; and I welcomed that.  Now at the same time, I do enjoy working with Emme, and the Lante relationship is very important.  But, maybe it’s time for some kind of shake-up with them, and maybe the Johnny-thing was the first ax!  I know they talked about some future story plans, but I don’t know if they will come to fruition; so we shall see.  If you have people happy for too long, people don’t dig it anymore, and mostly because no one in their real life is that happy! (Laughs)  I think people don’t tune-in to watch a show about happy people; they tune-in to watch a show about people who are “train-wrecks.”  Not that I want a split or something terrible to happen between Lulu and Dante, but you do crave the change-up, and have things blown-up once in a while.

MICHAEL:

Could you see another woman on the canvas catching Dante’s eye to stir things up?

DOMINIC:

Courtesy/Tumblr

Maybe not on the canvas, as of yet, Michael. (Laughs)  In the past, we have talked about women in Dante’s past, but that none of them have come close to what Lulu means to him.  I think that is what makes them so special: he was Sonny’s son, and she was Luke’s daughter. So, I don’t know if it would be a long lost love, but there could be some action somewhere down the line, potentially.

MICHAEL:

I think it would be interesting if this time it’s someone from Dante’s past that drives a wedge between Lulu and Dante.  Previously, all the romantic conflict has come from men in Lulu’s past.

DOMINIC:

I think that would be interesting, too, and we have been there before with Lulu and her past loves.  But, I think Dante is just too good right now.  He is a good person, and there is never going to be any doubt about that, but I don’t know if anyone is this clean.

MICHAEL:

I hear you’re working on some very exciting and intriguing outside projects!

DOMINIC:

Courtesy/ABC

My life outside the show is sort of taking off.  So, things happen for a reason.  When I started on the show I was called: “Every day Dante” by Lisa LoCiero (Olivia).  It’s a long ways from that now, so you want to be somewhere in the middle of that.  The time off has allowed me to develop a lot of things outside the show which could potentially be a big next couple of years for me.  I have a few TV and film projects I am working on at various stages, and it’s just super exciting.  One I did the story with a buddy of mine, who did most of the writing on it, and one is a movie about Charles Ponzi.  If all goes well, we hopefully will have an announcement down the line.  It’s all been very interesting! Being on GH is a great job!  It allows you to go to work, work on your craft, pay your bills, support your family, and lets you realize some other dreams you might have.  It’s incredible.  I feel blessed and lucky.

MICHAEL:

What do you think about the way GH fans take to social media to comment on what they see on the episodes, and in story each day?  Your show tapes and then airs those episodes, I would say, faster than the other daytime drama, so the feedback seems more instantaneous.  Would you agree?

DOMINIC:

Our show is different, because we shoot it and three weeks later it airs, and fans react one way, or the other.  I would say GH faces things that other shows don’t face in such real time.  Any other show, mostly in primetime, they shoot their show and then it airs, and they get love or hate from the viewers, and then it ends.  This show is never-ending! (Laughs)  We take two weeks off, and then we are back at it.  We don’t take six months off.   I think it must be difficult at times for the powers-that-be to tell the story you want to tell, and then deal with the praise, the good, and the bad from the audience.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

Of all the scenes that aired this past week with Dante being trapped, the confrontation with Fluke, the emotional material with Maurice … what was your favorite?

DOMINIC:

The stuff with Maurice brought back all those old feelings of the guy who shot me, cheated on my mom and left my mother, and wasn’t there for me, and now is.  It’s so heavy.  The history with Fluke/Luke and Dante is based off that Dante is married to his daughter, but the father/son relationship between Dante and Sonny is like no other.  The material with Sonny was the most rewarding for the character, and for me as an actor.

MICHAEL:

What can you tease, or preview to the audience that is coming up for Dante?

DOMINIC:

There could potentially be bumps in the Lante cupcake batter.  There could be some bumps in the road coming up.  And let’s just say, their happiness could be tested. There is going to be some fun scenes coming up with me and Tony Geary again, where he plays getting under Dante’s skin again, and he plays that very well, by the way. (Laughs)  So there is going to be confrontation, and the Luke mystery does not get solved yet; I think for a couple more weeks, at least that I know of.  Dante will eventually come back into the fold to help Lulu in dealing with, and fixing, the situation with Luke.

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

MICHAEL:

In closing, since we are getting close to understanding the Fluke/Luke mystery, when you found out who Fluke was going to turn out to be, what was your reaction to it?  How do you think the audience will feel when all is said in done?  Do you feel it’s been laid out so they will fully understand it?

DOMINIC:

When Tony Geary and I were talking about the story shortly before the Christmas holiday he told me who the character was actually going to turn out to be.  I thought it was kind of cool, and I actually liked it.  There’s a deeper meaning to me, and to him as actors, to play the way the story actually is, than with these other red herring stories that they were throwing out there.  I actually liked it, and the way they went with it.  I think it will completely make all the sense in the world very shortly to the audience.

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Chip
Chip

Great interview. Dante is my favorite male character on the show at the moment, and I’m glad DZ’s gotten such good material the last few weeks. Sometimes he can be too isolated, so it was nice to see him in scenes with the rest of his family. I love him with ER’s Lulu, so I hope whatever drama comes their way in the future is something they can overcome.

CAS
CAS

great interview. Thanks Michael!

Jen
Jen

Great interview. Dominic is a wonderful actor and has chemistry with everyone he works with. I agree with what he said about wanting to see more “wins” for the police department. I would like that a lot. I’m glad Dante was the one to make the big discovery this week. Dominic did a terrific job with those scenes.

jonboy
jonboy

Not to take away from Dom, who is indeed a decent actor, but how is a “powerhouse performance” determined by getting clubbed, thrown down stairs and all the other action alluded to? And: Sonny survived the bomb? Shocker! That’s my problem with GH, everything turns up roses nearly every time. Case in point: Heather Webber.

Timmm
Timmm

Same on Y&R, Victor never pays the piper!

Elisa
Elisa

Great Interview with Dominic. Love his acting.

MARY DITANNA PENDRAK
MARY DITANNA PENDRAK

AS USUAL THAT YOUR INTERVIEW WITH DANTE WAS FANTASTIC. HE’S SUCH A SWEETHEART AND EXPLAINED HIMSELF THROUGH OUT THE WHOLE STORY. LOVE HIM NOT ONLY AS DANTE, BUT SUCH A NICE GENTLEMAN AND A WONDERFUL ACTOR. I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL THIS STORYLINE ENDS HERE IN FEBRUARY. I’M SURE THAT DOMINIC IS ALSO WONDERING HOW ALL OF US FANS WILL TAKE TO THE ENDING. I’M SURE THAT 95% OF US WILL FINALLY BE HAPPY ABOUT THE ENDING, AND THERE WILL BE SOME THAT ALWAYS HAS COMPLAINTS. WHEN THIS IS OVER, I’M SO ANXIOUS TO SEE WHAT COMES NEXT WITH OUR REGULAR CAST AND THE COMING OF SOME OTHERS COMING BACK FOR A VISIT??? GIVE DOMIINIC MY LOVE AS I CANN’T SAY ENOUGH ABOUT THE INTERVIEW. PERFECT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Toby
Toby

Loved the interview! Love DZ’s honesty and openness. I would love for the PCPD to be shown solving cases instead of someone else and agree, they deserve more wins. I’m in love with Dante and Lulu, always have been! I love the fact, they are unlike other soap characters. They love each other and are willing to work through thier issues instead of running off and sleeping around. I realize they cannot and should not be perfect, nobody is, but the difference between Lante & other soap couples are obvious. As long as they don’t write them crumibling the Lante cupcake, just to hurt one another, I’m good with ‘bumps in the Lante cupcake”. DZ & Emme have been wonderful together! Can’t wait to see more story for them!

cooks7570
cooks7570

I agree with Dom about the police work on the show. Dante and Nathan should have figured out who Fluke was not Sonny and Julian. I still don’t care for this Dante and Lulu.

Buddy
Buddy

Great interview (as always) Michael Fairman, You really get the best answers from Our “GH” cast, thanks as always!!

NOW, as for Dom aka Dante, I just love him, and it doesn’t hurt any at all, that he is so gorgeous, lol…

Erick
Erick

Great interview! I first became a fan of DZ’s from his time on Battlestar Galactica. Great actor showing such depth of emotion.

Janeway
Janeway

Thank you Michael for that great interview, Dominic is my favorite actor and Dante my favorite character in all my many years of watching GH! The last few weeks just show what a great talent like DZ can do when given good material. I hope that he will have a lot to submit for the Daytime Emmys next year.

Lante is my all time favorite couple, and it was great to hear that he loves working with Emme and appreciates the importance of Lante. And while I do love seeing them happy, I don’t like seeing them backburnered, so I have no problem with them stirring them up a little. I would love to see a better balance of showing them as a couple/famiily and as individuals working with other actors/characters.

In addition to Emme, I have really enjoyed seeing Dom playing opposite so many talented actors like Tony, Brandon, Jane, etc. but admit that he has a very special bond with Maurice both his character and personally, and it is criminal (pun intended) that they have shared so few scenes lately.

As for the PCPD wins, I think Dom was speaking for the audience on that one!

Most of all, very happy to hear that DZ loves working at GH and still has time to work on other projects and pursue his dreams.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Loved the interview. I watch this show for Dante I think Mr Zamprogna is an amazing talent and seems like an awesome guy. Love all his scenes with family and hope for more. I also agree with him that Lante were special because of Luke’s daughter and Sonny’s son at first, but also the actors DZ and JMB were so special together and just had sizzling chem. Not only that, they had writers and producers, etc who not only cared about the couple but also the characters. That made a huge difference. I think the writing for a couple and character are just as important as the acting and the chem–I think that is what is missing in Lante now. I think Emme is a great actress, the chem is just not the same with DZ and ER and when you put that together with the lack of focus and writing they get–it makes for a coupling that a lot can’t get invested in. I think the best thing for Dante is to move on from Lante and do something different at this time. I hope for that for Dante and for Mr Zamprogna. I think he can do so much more than what they are giving him. Thanks so much for the interview .

missellie
missellie

Thanks for this thoughtful interview with Dom Z. I think that DZ is the most underappreciated actor under the RC/FV regime. DZ can display gut wrenching emotions when called upon. He makes me feel Dante’s emotions. He should have a front burner story which he hasn’t had since this regime took over.

I cannot say enough of his work with Maurice B, it always stirs my heart strings! The casting of Dante/Michael/Morgan as Sonny’s sons is brilliant. I wish that the writers could come up with more scenes and stories between these men.

I agree that the PCPD should be shown as competent and that Lante needs to be shaken up. At this point, as a former Lante diehard fan, I would prefer that Dante be moved into a new pairing.

I hope that Dom is given many chances to shine in 2015 as he already has during these sweeps story.

denisefan
denisefan

Great interview, very natural and loved how he directly answered your questions. Thank you, Michael!

Timmm
Timmm

I have never been a fan of Dante. Maybe they do need to split him up and give him another actress to work with. He does click with everyone. He seems like a nice guy with honest answers. Of course it takes good questions. Another fine job MF.

dee
dee

love love love Dom Z, he is such a great actor, however they do not use him as much as I would like. I agree with him too and also the posters they need for the PCPD to win and to figure out, instead being the keystone cops. I always luv Lante, but it would be nice if there would be a old gf or just someone that he could not resist, they do not show that much with Lante anymore, which makes me so mad, because he is the reason I watch the show, now I do like other actors, but Dasnte is the reason why I watch!

Karen
Karen

Thank you Mr. Fairman for another insightful interview with Mr. Zamprogna. I couldn’t agree anymore with DZ than I do w his thoughts. Personally I have appreciated all the praise DZ has received in recent weeks against scenes with Brandon, Chad, Tony and Mo. And it does appear “freeing” for him – an enthusiasm for material I have not witnessed in almost 2 years.

And best of luck to Mr. Zamprogna in continued development of his future projects. I have been anxiously awaiting updates on those started a few years back, and it seems to me news could break soon. Bravo.

I have loved DZ since his early days as Dominic Pirelli. Wishing him continued success regardless at GH or off -Screen. This fan is here to support him. 🙂

M.D.
M.D.

Thank you Michael for another wonderful interview! I always enjoy Doms candor about all things GH! He was so good in the early years as Dominic Pirelli and his pursuit of LuLu! I enjoy and miss seeing him interact with his on-screen “family” Sonny, Michael and Morgan. I hope there is more of that in the future. His talents are too good to be wasted! Let’s hope he continues to get some meaty storylines that continue to show his devotion and smarts as a member of the PCPD!

Julia
Julia

So great to read. DZ is wonderful and really pairs well with anyone he is Ina scene with. His chemistry with JMB was incredible and ER is just not the same. But I think keeping them together sets them apart from every other soap couple. Dante is a good person, a one woman man. I love him with Olivia and all of the corinthos family. He just shines!

Caitie
Caitie

Michael and Dom, thank you both for such an honest, informative, caring interview. I enjoyed reading Dom’s take on these excellent scenes – scenes which I enjoyed very much and which I have been waiting to see for a long time. Such a long time that I fully understood his choice not to submit a reel for Emmy consideration. Truly, this very talented actor has not been given the material he deserves for a long while now on GH. However, so far in 2015, I like what I’m seeing for him with both more meaningful interactions with a variety of characters and with more scenes which allow him to share his talent with us. I am hoping this continues, and to that end, the “change up” he suggests in Dante’s love relationship can be a good thing. With a five-day-a-week, 52-week-a-year format, keeping a couple perennially happy is difficult. Even the most storied of couples like Luke and Laura had their long separations and even involvement with other parties. So should a “change up” happen, I hope it makes sense for the characters as they have been written and that it provides the good acting opportunities it should provide.

In the meantime, Dom has me more interested than ever to watch the revealing of the final layer in this complicated story about Luke Spencer. Looking forward to seeing what happens and hoping Dom continues to have an involvement.

sharrie
sharrie

I’m a newer viewer to the show, and Dom has such potential to me, I’m REALLY hoping he gets a great storyline with maura west (ava) or stafford (nina) soon. Like Bryan craig, I think these hunky younger actors are SO MUCH better in scenes with the powerhouse acctors. I like Maurice, but to me, stafford, west and howarth are in another league.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Courtesy/ABC

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

Photo: JPI

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

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

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

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

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

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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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