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General Hospital

THE EMMA SAMMS INTERVIEW- GENERAL HOSPITAL

emma_main.jpgEmma Samms returns this week to General Hospital to finally get us down to the nitty gritty. Who is Ethan? Is he Holly’s son with Luke Spencer? Or, the biological son of Robert Scorpio? Or, is this just another scam being pulled off by the beautiful con artist?

As part of the “GH” May Sweeps humdinger, Emma came back to the show to tape a few weeks worth of episodes, something she says, she “relishes” doing. Her last appearance on the soap was a few years back. Of course, we all remember her as the young Holly Sutton who captured the hearts of both Mr. Spencer and Mr. Scorpio during the legendary “GH” heyday. But from that heyday did an offspring… spring?

On-Air On-Soaps chatted with Emma about her exciting return, her numerous projects, family life in England, and her time on the primetime soap, Dynasty. Also, she’s getting to work with her old pal Tony Geary, and her newest buddy, Nathan Parsons, and she tells us she couldn’t be happier.

Here’s Emma!

Listen to the audio:

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MICHAEL:

You are back on General Hospital this week! When you came back this time from your last visit two years ago, you came back to a new set and a different look, and the show in HD!

EMMA:

I tell you the new hospital set is amazing, but my character never goes anywhere near the hospital. The Police station, yes, but not the hospital. As far as High Definition, I hope I look good in it. (She laughs)

nathan_parsons.jpgMICHAEL:

How is working with Nathan Parsons (Ethan), presumed “son” of Holly?

EMMA:
I have he is amazing! I watched him before I met him and worked with him. Then as soon as I started working with him, I forgot whatever I was talking about, because he has such an interesting character and quality about him. It’s not your standard young actor. He is very interesting and the way he works, it makes you pay attention to him. I think everybody focuses on him. He is very charismatic. We have quite a few scenes together, and they have been very interesting, and that is all I am going to say! (She laughs)

MICHAEL:

So, as we have heard, he will turn out to be Luke Spencer or Robert Scorpio’s Son?

EMMA:

Yeah. That much I can tell you.

MICHAEL:

And Holly will be the mama?

EMMA:

Probably. I am very well trained by the ABC press department! (She laughs)

luke_scorpio.jpgMICHAEL:

Is Holly coming back with an agenda? What is precipitating her return?

EMMA:

I think it’s safe to say that Holly always has an agenda. I think there are a lot of people who are very keen on having her reunited with Scorpio, because that was such a successful pairing. But, what people have to remember is that she has been on her own for a long time, and it’s quite likely that she will revert back to type, which is a con artist. She’s from a whole family of swindlers and thieves, and in truth, it makes much more sense for her to be that character, if the writers are kind enough to bring me back every now and then. Holly is the type of character that you can bring back to cause a little trouble and than leave again. That idea of coming in and out of the plot and the show is what I am so happy to do.

MICHAEL:

So, Holly is either conning Luke with this Ethan, or she is there to tell Luke some truths?

EMMA:

Holly is always pleased to see Luke, as I am to see Tony Geary (Luke). I have been so lucky to have two marvelous on-screen relationships at “GH”, and I am very grateful for that. Of course, it was Tony who taught me to act at age 21. I think it’s safe to say that I was pretty rubbish….

holly_luke.jpgMICHAEL:

….And your first scene was in the pond, supposedly naked!

EMMA:

That’s right….

MICHAEL:

…I know my Holly.

EMMA:

You know the Holly trivia!

MICHAEL:

What do you think about Tony Geary? I think he is the consummate actor on soaps.

EMMA:

I totally agree with you, and the reason why, is he listens, he pays attention, he is not reading the lines in the way that you would necessarily think of them when you are first reading them, and he makes it all so different and exciting and interesting. I am still learning from him. The other thing about Tony is not only is he an amazing actor, he is an amazing person. It’s always a delight to be around him.

MICHAEL:

Well, it would be so exciting to have Holly, Luke, Robert and Tracy in a one big mess over Ethan!

tony_nathan.jpgEMMA:

A lot of people are hoping different things, and of course you can never make everybody happy, which can be a bit frustrating for an actor, because you are going to upset some people and you are going to make other people happy. I always hope, overall, you make more people happy than upset. You have to do essentially what the writers tell you to do.

MICHAEL:

I saw some “hot” chemistry with Maurice Benard (Sonny) on the set of “Good Day LA” when they did a segment on your first day back at “GH”. Do you think it would be fun for Holly and Sonny to mix it up?

EMMA:

I tell you, they would be two interesting characters together, if they were ever to have an issue to deal with that brings them closer.

MICHAEL:

So we can assume that Jane Eliot (Tracy) and you are going to really mix-it up?

EMMA:

I think one can assume that because it’s too good to miss, because Jane is such a fantastic actor as well. The interesting thing is now that I do all sorts of work other than soap operas, I therefore am on film sets and nighttime television shows, both here and England. The thing that makes the “GH” experience unique is that on a show like General Hospital everybody is nice and hard working and professional, because they won’t have you if you are not. You will get kicked off the show pronto, if you are none of those things. And, what a joy that is, and a difference that makes to go to the set and be surrounded by these really lovely people.

MICHAEL:

Well, Fallon, ( He laughs) when you played that part on the prime-time soap Dynasty, what was your take away from that experience and the primetime soaps of the 80’s?

dynasty.jpgEMMA:

Besides all the clothes in my attack? (She laughs) It was all mostly designed by Nolan Miller, and how lucky was I to wear those things? In truth, to be part of a show that has become an iconic representation of the 80’s generation is really a privilege. Who would have thought that after the show some 20 later, after the show has been finished, that people are still talking about it, and that it does represent the 80’s in such
a profound way.

MICHAEL:

Do you still stay in touch with some of your former Dynasty co-stars?

EMMA:

I do. The actor who played my love interest in the last couple of seasons who played the police officer, Roy Abruzzo, is a friend. He went onto to do The Sopranos for a couple of years. I have stayed in touch with him. In fact, I went to see him in a play a few weeks ago.

MICHAEL:

You live in the countryside in the UK. What have you been doing with yourself in England?

EMMA:

Mostly, I have been raising my kids who are now 11 and 12. I have a boy and a girl. I am blessed to have two such wonderful little people to devote my life too. I still work some. I do some bits and pieces for the BBC. I did a movie with Wesley Snipes a few years ago, and I did a mini-series in South Africa, except everything is a way from home! So, I try to limit it very much. I am going to be doing a very interesting job when I get back, which is that I am actually dancing in a modern ballet type production. I have not danced in a very long time.

MICHAEL:

Weren’t you a dancer originally in you career?

lisa_starlight.jpgEMMA:

Yes, I was!

MICHAEL:

See, I know my Emma Samms!

EMMA:

You know your Holly.

MICHAEL:

Of all your accomplishments, what are you most proud of?

EMMA:

I would say, by far, it’s having created with my cousin The Starlight Children’s Foundation. It’s now called, over here, the Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation, which helps children who are critically, chronically and terminally ill. And, to have had a career that meant that I could use that celebrity, as it were, to do good things and help kids, and to help families going through horrible times…that’s the best thing in my career, by a long shot!

MICHAEL:

Are you still active in the organization?

emma_samms.jpgEMMA:

Very much so… and certainly in the UK! Business is booming for us. We have raised more and more money every year, and reaching more and more children, which is very satisfying.

MICHAEL:

In closing, emails have come into me from many of your long time female fans telling me to ask you your beauty tip.
You still look amazing! What is your secret?

EMMA:

Genetics is my secret, which is sadly the answer. I think we are all destined to age pretty much like our mother, unless we mess with it too much by being out in the sun a lot or smoking, or whatever. My mother looks fabulous. So, thank
goodness for that!

General Hospital

GH’s Mark Teschner Tells Casting Stories of Johnny Wactor, Giovanni Mazza, Rebecca Herbst & Nicholas Chavez

This week during a very informative and insightful conversation, General Hospital’s 11-time Emmy-winning casting director and now a Daytime Emmy Silver Circle honoree, Mark Teschner spoke on finding the talent for specific roles on the ABC daytime drama series throughout his near three and half decades with the show.

During a livestream chat on the Michael Fairman Channel, Teschner recalled some of the behind the scenes casting stories that brought many beloved favorites to the GH family including the late Johnny Wactor (ex-Brando), the newly-arrived, Giovanni Mazza (Gio), longtime fan favorite, Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth), and rising star, Nicholas Chavez (ex-Spencer) to name but a few.

When speaking with sadness over the loss of Wactor, who was shot and killed back on May 25th, and what he brought to the character of Brando, Teschner recalled, “With Johnny, what you see is what you get. You see the most kind decent, standup guy, and that’s innately who he is. So, that quality comes through in his work and with the character.”

Photo: HutchinsPhoto

Mark explained, “Brando was a raw kind of hothead, troubled kind of character, and Johnny was able to go there. He had a real intensity that he was able to bring to the role, but at the same time, the character of Brando had to have this depth and this giant heart that he doesn’t necessarily reveal when you first see him. Well, Johnny had the biggest heart of anyone you’ll ever meet. So that essence was already there, and then his acting and his skill played the character. Johnny brought so much of who he was to the character, and there was something so authentic about him.”

Photo: ABC

Giovanni Mazza recently debuted on GH as “Gio”, so what was his road to landing in Port Charles? Teschner shared, “I was casting a recurring role for a 15-year-old on the show, but when I’m doing the audition, sometimes I’ll open it up because we try to cast true to age, really within a year or so.  If you think about it, all the kids in our show are the exact age of the characters that they’re playing. Because if you have somebody that’s older playing younger, it sticks out because they’re not going to blend age-wise. But I did read a number of actors that were older just because they looked interesting. Gio’s audition came in. I was viewing this through self tapes, and there was just something about him. It wasn’t just that he was a great-looking kid, it was just there’s something very soulful about him and something very compelling, and he draws you in. ”

Photo: ABC

Mark continued, “So with the group of the 15-year-olds that I sent to Frank Valeintini (EP, GH), I said, ‘Hey, I’m including this kid, Giovanni Mazza. I’m well aware he’s too old, but I just want you to see him.’

After having him come into audition, two weeks later, Frank called Mark and told him they were putting Gio under contract. Teschner added, “So, that was an example where it was his first week in LA, it was his first and ever audition. So we got  before anybody else.  I think he’s really gonna develop into, you know, quite a young actor.”

Becky Herbst has been beloved as Elizabeth for decades, and Teschner recounted her audition process and how she came to the role of Elizabeth. “She (originally) auditioned for the role of Sarah Webber. But the role of Elizabeth was created for Becky. While the character of Sarah did not last long, here we are with Becky 30 years later.”

Teschner cited Becky’s casting as a great example. “I always tell actors when they come into audition, you lay it out, you put it all out there, you bring everything you have to that role. You may not get the role, but if you do good work, you get remembered. And it’s so true.”

Photo: ABC

Nicholas Chavez popped in the role of Spencer Cassadine before exiting the series. Teschner tells how Chavez came onto the GH casting radar. “Nicholas sent his self tape in from Florida and the rest is history. He had a meteoric impact on the show.” Mark added, “You always have an expectation and the hope that they’re (the actor) going to nail it and run with it. But sure, there are actors, you think, ‘They’re gonna be awesome,’ and then all of a sudden it goes to another level. With Nicholas Chavez, we knew he’d be amazing, but you know, who knew? Well, we did.”

Watch the full conversation with Mark Teschner below where he talks about even more of the casting stories behind some of your GH favorites, then and now.

What you think of the Teschner’s eye for talent casting the characters of General Hospital? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

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General Hospital

(WATCH) 51st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards Winners Interviews

Last Friday night at the 51st annual Daytime Emmy Awards, many of the daytime drama series and performer winners took to the ‘Winners Walk’ to share their reactions on taking home the gold in their respective categories.

Speaking with Michael Fairman TV were: Outstanding Lead Actress winner, Michelle Stafford (Phyllis, The Young and the Restless), Outstanding Lead Actor, Thorsten Kaye (Ridge, The Bold and the Beautiful) along with friend and former B&B co-star, Alley Mills (ex-Pam, now Heather, GH), and his daughter McKenna, who attended the ceremonies with her dad.

In addition, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Daytime Drama Series, Robert Gossett (Marshall, General Hospital) stopped by to celebrate his win, as did Outstanding Supporting Actress, Courtney Hope (Sally, The Young and the Restless).

Photo: NATAS

General Hospital won both Outstanding Directing Team in a Daytime Drama Series and Outstanding Writing for a Daytime Drama Series, and both former co-head writers, Dan O’Connor and Chris Van Etten, spoke to us following their victories, as did the Directing team led by Robert Markham, Tina Keller and Allison Reames.

The Young and the Restless icon star, Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki Newman) along with her husband, The Bold and the Beautiful’s producer Edward J. Scott were the recipients of the Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award honors, and spoke on what it was like to take the stage and deliver their acceptance speeches after the moving tribute from many of their colleagues.

Photo: NATAS

Make sure to check out our red carpet interviews from soap’s biggest night and all the winners conversations via You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel.

Now, watch our 2024 Daytime Emmy winners interviews below.  Then, let us know who you were most happy to see taking home an Emmy for their work via the comment section.

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General Hospital

Bryan Craig Teases ‘Who Could It Be’ in Response to General Hospital’s Returning Mystery Man

Since General Hospital’s executive producer, Frank Valentini dropped a major bombshell of what’s to come on the long-running daytime drama at the 51st annual Daytime Emmy Awards, the guessing games have begun of just what former GH actor is returning to the cast this summer.

Speaking with ABC’s On The Red Carpet, as previously reported, Valentini shared, “A former cast member is coming back. And I think that the audience will go crazy for HIM.”

That has led to major online speculation that it could be anyone from: Jonathan Jackson (ex-Lucky), Greg Vaughn (ex-Lucky), Ted King (ex-Lorenzo Alcazar), Nicholas Chavez (ex-Spencer), and Bryan Craig (ex-Morgan) among others, that might be the gentlemen being referenced.

Photo: JPI

On Wednesday, responding to a post on the subject from Soap Opera Digest, Bryan Craig commented, “Who could it be ….”  Now, clearly he can just be having some fun with the situation to throw fans off-track, or he might be giving us a tease of what’s to come.

Before exiting GH, the actor won two Daytime Emmys for his performances as Morgan Corinthos in 2016 and 2017.  Craig appeared on GH from 2013-2016 and made a return in 2018. Since departing GH, Bryan has appeared most recently in Freeform’s Good Trouble and ABC’s Grand Hotel, plus several independent films.

The character of Morgan was killed-off the show when Olivia Jerome set a bomb that exploded in the car that Morgan got into, but was meant to kill Olivia’s brother Julian Jerome. Morgan’s death caused a huge split in the relationship of Carly and Sonny.

So, do you think Bryan Craig is just having fun with the audience, or do you think it’s possible he is the big return Frank Valentini is talking about? Comment below.

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