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The Greg Rikaart and Elizabeth Hendrickson Interview – The Young and the Restless

© JPI Studios

© JPI Studios

If there are two young stars that break the mold from your standardized soap opera acting  style, the names Greg Rikaart and Elizabeth Hendrickson of The Young and the Restless are at the very top of the list.  As Genoa City’s unconventional, at times eccentric and flawed duo, Kevin Fisher and Chloe Mitchell, they make this on-screen duo endearing to our hearts, and yet they have the ability to break them at the same time.  Not an easy feat, but the accomplished Rikaart and Hendrickson can pull all the strings making us laugh, cry, or leaving us plain surprised on what their alter-egos reactions and behavior might be in their growing complex relationship.

Greg and Liz, who are great friends in real life, translated that chemistry on screen to Kevin and Chloe becoming great buds and roommates on the Genoa City canvas. However, fans of Y&R this past week saw pivotal episodes where their relationship took a turn, when Kevin gets up the courage and admits to Chloe that he has deep feelings for her that are more than friendship.  In another of Rikaart’s moving performances, Kevin announces to Chloe, “I’m a really good guy.  And you should want to be with me the way I want to be with you.”  He goes on to tell Chloe, “You’re smart, beautiful, my best friend…”  I mean what girl wouldn’t just melt?  Well, not exactly, Chloe.  Her reaction included walking out on him!  So, what’s a guy to do?  Have sex with your ex!  Enter crazy Jana.

On-Air On-Soaps caught up with the two Y&R scene stealers to discuss Kevin and Chloe’s burgeoning romance, how it is being good friends while having to play
high emotional stakes, and to take a look back and look ahead for their characters
as the year comes to a close.  Here’s our chat with Greg and Elizabeth!

MICHAEL:

The two of you are very good friends off camera.  How did you come to get acquainted with each other, which in turn blossomed into this great dynamic between you and has manifested itself into an on-screen relationship between Kevin and Chloe?

LIZ:

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We knew about each other.  I remember meeting Greg through my friend Emily.  I remember saying “Hi” to you at a soap event in New York.  It might even have been the Emmys years ago, when I was on All My Children.

GREG:

I guess we knew of each other, but we did not become chummy until she started working on Y&R. We did a stage reading of a one act together for a friend and we worked together a little bit in that. Then, Barbara Bloom (CBS Sr. VP Daytime Programming) had been a really big fan of Liz’s.  So when she came in to read, I remember them wanting us to read together, which is kind of funny in a roundabout way, that here we are three years later and we are finally working together.  But it was a chemistry read.

LIZ:

Yes. It was a chemistry read.  I thought you were the one they were going to put me with.   I recall I had met Barbara when I first moved to L.A.  I had a meeting with her and nothing came of it ever again.  Then two years later, I was doing this stage reading with a friend, and that is when I officially met Greg.  Barbara came to see the show and a week or so later I got a phone call that she wanted to do a chemistry reading with me at the studio, and that was with Greg. And prior to that, I was driving with AMC’s Rebecca Budig (Greenlee) and Bob Guiney, and they were looking for a house. We were coming from the dog park with our dogs and Greg was standing outside. They saw a for sale sign, and they went, “Oh look! This house is for sale.” And I went, “Oh, that’s that kid from The Young and the Restless.”  They rolled down the window and went in and bought the house!  That was the other time, except times throughout the soap world, that I met Greg.  So I am kind of responsible for your house being sold, Greg!

GREG:

Well thanks, I owe you.  It’s funny. We have been kindredly connected before we were friends, so it’s kind of nice.

MICHAEL:

© JPI Studios

Liz, what makes Greg a great friend?

LIZ:

Let’s see…Greg stealing my phone and hacking into my facebook page! (Laughs)

GREG:

I think what she means to say is…. that she loves me so much that she sub-consciously leaves her phone on the set, and then I will hack her status update and make up something… and I post it for the world to see. (Laughs)

LIZ:

From the very beginning, Greg and I have had an awesome time with each other. I think that is why you enjoy watching us on television, and thank you very much to the fans for enjoying us, but we are really comfortable with each other.  We have a very similar sense of humor and we don’t take ourselves too seriously. When I work with Greg, I tend to be more myself.  So it’s always a safe supportive place to be.  I have a lot of fun with it because I feel I can fully trust it.  And so whatever I do, I know he will always be there to catch me if I fall, or make fun of me.  And, we have an awesome banter with each other!

GREG:

That is a good way of putting it.  Liz is a great dance partner and I feel the same way around her.  The level of comfort is so easy, certainly for portraying the friendship part of the Kevin/Chloe relationship, that is a no-brainer.  So it was like, when are we going to have to start acting?  I think there was a lot of material that was scripted not too dissimilar to the way we would goof around in real life, even when the relationship starts to change a little bit.  For instance, there is something coming up next week where she does something physical to me. It was as simple as her saying to me, “Hey, this is what I am thinking of doing. What are your parameters?”  I think there is that trust and comfort.  And off-camera, I love palling around with her, whether it’s at work or hanging out outside of work.  It’s a fun relationship.

MICHAEL:

So was it your personal relationship that influenced Y&R executive producer and head writer Maria Bell and her creative team, to pair you on screen as Kevin and Chloe?  Because as you know, many times in soaps, writers will tell you that in watching the actors on set, they see something that strikes a chord for them and they run with it.

LIZ:

We were gunning for it and planted a seed a long time ago. (To Greg) Should we let him in on our little secret?  Ok, remember the holiday party…

© JPI Studios

GREG:

I will never forget.  I was at the Y&R holiday party and I said to Liz, Maria Bell is having a cocktail, so this would be a good time to be subtle and casually mention that we would be interested in working together, which Liz interpreted as walking right up to Maria and saying, “We want to work together!” (Laughs).

LIZ:

Any chance we could get, we would have fun with it.  And whether that be that I would shamelessly flirt with him in front of Maria, or make sure to hop in front of the camera so they can see us being really cute together.

GREG:

But also, my interest in working with Liz was less about that I love her as a person and more about that I think she is fantastic on the show. And from day one, I always thought she is really like a Fisher/Baldwin.

LIZ:

That is what I wanted to be when I came on the show!  All I wanted to be was a Fisher/Baldwin. (Laughs)

GREG:

You know, I think our on-screen family has all very solid actors who are all a bit off and quirky, and I think she kind of fits in perfectly.

MICHAEL:

What do the two of you think of the repositioning and retooling of Jana being the bad girl in the mix?  And, how is Emily O’Brien (Jana) to work with in this new beat of story?

GREG:

© JPI Studios

I think it’s the most genius thing she has gotten to do. She has always been amazing, but Emily playing crazy with a lid on it, with sort of a Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction vibe, or Rebecca De Mornay in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, is so genius. And, I think it’s amazing.  I also like that it created such obstacles within our story.  I love it and I think it’s great.

LIZ:

I love it, too. This is the first chance I have gotten to work with Emily.  I have wanted to work with her for a long time, just like I was waiting to work with Greg, because I have always enjoyed their work together.  She just takes us by surprise every time.  It is so far from who she is as a person, and so when you are with Emily on stage, you are so in it. Sometimes I find myself watching her rather than being in the scene with her, which works because it’s kind of the way you look at a crazy person. You think, “Is this real or is it not?”  Sometimes it even cracks me up, and we have laughed at the end of some tapings.  It wasn’t funny when Greg and I would later watch it back, and then I don’t remember why it was so funny in the first place.

GREG:

You know what I think?  I think sometimes the laughter comes from how uncomfortable she makes you feel.  And you think, “Ok, I am going to nervously laugh now, because I wonder if Emily is legitimately crazy?”

MICHAEL:

How are we justifying this evil turn of Jana?  Was it the countless brain surgeries that have damaged her, or do you think its kind of the more extreme version of the original Jana that was a bit of whack-job?

GREG:

I think the character of Jana, and like the character of Kevin and other characters on the show, is a rather loose canon.  I don’t think she has ever been completely rational and normal.  Even before the brain tumor, she killed Carmen Mesta… (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

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Greg, Kevin is so great with Chloe’s little girl Delia, and he has also come to the aid and defense of Daisy, wanting to make sure her baby is loved and has a father.  Does Kevin want to be a dad?  Why does he want to help Daisy so bad, after all the things she has done to his loved ones?

GREG:

I don’t know he necessarily wants be a dad just yet, but he wants to sort of protect that innocence that he sees in Daisy’s baby, and protect her from the horror that he and Ryder and Daisy went through. I think that is more motivated about him wanting to protect her then him wanting to raise a kid.  Kevin loves Delia, too.

MICHAEL:

This past week we saw some game-changing moments in the relationship between Kevin and Chloe, especially, when Kevin bares his soul and feelings to Chloe.  I feel bad for Kevin!

LIZ:

I felt so bad for Kevin.

GREG:

I do remember Liz telling me that she did feel bad for me.

LIZ:

© JPI Studios

I felt horrible almost in the way that I played it.

GREG:

It came out of that sort of build of emotions that have been happening within him, that whether he realized it or not, has been going on for a long time already.  It all came to a head when he needed to step up in some way with the whole incident with Child Protective Services. Then he really lays into Jana after that and accuses her of masterminding that, and in the midst of that, getting shot down with Chloe when she says something while Billy is there that sort of diminishes their relationship.  I think that made something in him snap and he thought, “Alright, I can’t keep this to myself anymore.”   I think at that moment he had no choice.  He thought either I am going to go crazy, or I am just going to tell her how I feel.

MICHAEL:

Liz, so Chloe really had no clue that Kevin could possibly have deep romantic feelings for her? How did you decide to play those beats of the story that just aired?

LIZ:

I think she had been through so much with guys, and even if she had feelings for Kevin, it was so deep down that it wasn’t even something she was willing to recognize.  I think that what happened between her two great loves had damaged her so much, that I don’t think she was willing to accept the fact that this is possibly what love could be like.  Having it come from a friendship and think, why would you ruin something that is so great? Anything with Chloe that started on the right foot got ruined.  Even Chance started on the right foot and got ruined. With Kevin, that is something you keep in a safe place and it’s not even something you go near because, God forbid, if I lost that person, I would have nothing.  And so, she finally finds someone she can trust and be with, and it’s not how she associates love, or how she would even think about it.  I think that begins to change the minute she sees him with someone else, and it’s like daggers to the heart.  I am trying to play the fine line because I know Chloe is getting jealous of Jana.  She was originally thinking, “Well, she is not good enough for you.”  But she wasn’t taking it as, “Well, I want to be that girl.”  I think until she sees him with someone else, it is then she realizes it is a different feeling.  I mean your heart should not sink into your stomach if you walk in and see a guy with another girl.  If she didn’t have feelings for him, she would have been able to walk in and go, “Eww! That’s disgusting. I just saw my best friend half-naked.”  And not be repulsed by the fact that his tongue is down her throat.  I think just the thought of her having to disappoint her daughter again and have another man come in and out of her life is a major issue for her. Chloe thought Kevin was there with her and Delia for a reason.  So she thinks we are going to keep Kevin in that place because this is safe. I think it appears to be almost too good to be true. When Kevin shows her the Christmas photos, it is the life that she pictures, but I just don’t think she really knows how to get it and hold on to it. I think she gets that from the last screw-up she had with Ronan.  I don’t think Chloe thinks she deserves to be treated well.

© JPI Studios

MICHAEL:

By the way, I like the Chloe/Kevin Christmas card! So cute!

GREG:

(Laughs)  I was not at the Y&R Christmas Party, but I heard they had that picture blown up.

LIZ:

They did?

MICHAEL:

Greg, be honest, was it revenge sex for Kevin with Jana? (Laughs)

GREG:

Yeah, basically. (Laughs)  The thing is, no matter what Jana has put Kevin through, he doesn’t hate her, and certainly, he’s not trying to cause her any grief.  It was totally revenge sex.  Kevin was in a pretty vulnerable place where he was feeling pretty bad about himself, and here Jana comes along and she feels for him the way he wishes Chloe did.

MICHAEL:

Why are you able to tap into Kevin’s vulnerability so well?

GREG:

I think for me, it’s not trying to manipulate the audience, but saying he is doing some bad stuff.  Having sex with a woman he has no interest in, is one of them.  If you do that it’s too black and white, and he looks like an asshole.  So you say, this is what he is going to do, so how do I make this real for me?  He is really hurt.  I think showing vulnerability gets me through the tough stuff that comes his way sometimes, where it’s like me as an ethical person might judge Kevin’s motives.

© JPI Studios

MICHAEL:

Liz, looking back as 2010 comes to a close, what was your favorite Chloe moment?

LIZ:

This has been the most fun material I have gotten to play since when I first started on Y&R.  That was fun when I was kind of being bitchy, manipulative, and taking advantage of people. The first thing that came to mind when you asked, is anytime I get to play a little comedy.  I can’t just pick one.  I just know this is the most comfortable I have been since being on the show and being able to do everything I wanted to do in daytime.  I have been able to explore them over the last few months, and that is just having those moments and just letting things pop up and happen. On the flipside as my other favorite Chloe moment, would be the reveal of Chance cheating on her. That for me was the first time I was able to connect and feel the pain of being heartbroken.  It was actually the most heartbreaking thing for me to let myself go there.

MICHAEL:

Greg, your turn. What was your favorite Kevin moment of 2010?

GREG:

One thing that comes to mind is, whatever I am getting to do, I always like getting a break from that.  So, if I have been in a heavy storyline, it’s always nice to have a comedic break or vice versa. That was what was nice about the scenes that aired this week.  Kevin and Chloe’s relationship for the last few months has been light, fresh and fun. I think my favorite moment was our first real scenes together. That is when Kevin gets really drunk at the bar and they are commiserating and he is complaining about Jana and Ryder, and it was right at the same time that Chloe was dealing with her Chance issues.  I remember those being inherently funny because Kevin was getting really drunk, but there were serious moments, too.  It was the first time Liz and I got to play around together. And I think there were scenes where Kevin walks in on Jana and Ryder at the Athletic Club.  I think while he had been suspicious and confused by her attachment to Ryder, I think that was the moment where she tells him where her priorities lie, and it was devastating for Kevin, and are some my favorite scenes, too.

© JPI Studios

LIZ:

Wait… that just took me back to when we had those first scenes together, because I am just so proud of us for that!  We used to not be able to look at each other, because we would break out in laughter and non-stop giggles.  We were getting really nervous on set, and we thought, what are we going to do?  Even those scenes Greg is talking about that he did such an excellent job with.  I think the first time we did it, I laughed at him and we had to do the scene over again.  Greg, we have come so far!  (Laughs)

GREG:

Yeah, I know.  It was like if we were even in a group scene and I looked at her and she looked at me, we would giggle.  Liz still makes me laugh all the time and Emily, too.  I have gotten quite giggly of late on set. I am sure I am going to get a talking to soon.  I have been having a lot of fun lately with Liz; it’s not the worst thing. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

I assume you may have shared a romantic kiss on-screen, or that it may be coming at some point soon.  Is there any trepidation knowing that you’re dear friends in real life and now the time has come where you have to, or had to, have your lips locked?  Any apprehension about it?

GREG:

No, not for me.

LIZ:

You know, it’s really funny because I thought I was going to, after I got what I asked for! All of a sudden when the time was near it was, “Oh, wait. Ok. Hmmm.” And the minute it happened, Greg went, “You’re a good kisser,” and I went, “So are you!”  And you know what it totally goes back to, is the whole trust safety thing. The fact that I know that if there was ever a time I did something and I looked at him and I was not comfortable with something, I know he would go, “Ok. We will never do that ever again.”

MICHAEL:

So would you say, Liz, that Greg rates as a one of the best kissers of all your Y&R leading men?

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LIZ:

Definitely!

GREG:

I would tease her though, and say, “I am going to stick my tongue as far down your throat as I can! (Laughs)

LIZ:

I know! (Laughs)

GREG:

I would be reviewing the scenes we have to do the night before taping, and I will send Liz a text and say, “Get ready!”

MICHAEL:

As had been announced in the soap magazines for this coming week, Jana is going to try to capitalize on an invitation to Christmas dinner at Katherine’s house.  That is bound to be an uncomfortable situation for Chloe and Kevin.  As we head into the holidays, can we expect any happiness, or more sadness and conflicted feelings, for your on-screen alter-egos?

GREG:

Kevin and Chloe’s Christmas and New Year’s will be sort of affected by what you just saw happen on air this past week.  I think things go from bad to worse.

MICHAEL:

Are the two of you checking out the message boards and getting fan reaction and feedback to see if the fans want Kevin and Chloe as a “love” couple, or if they want them to just stay best friends?

LIZ:

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We are.  Look, I never pay attention to the bad press, because it makes me upset.  I have definitely paid attention and heard people at the studio say, “I like you two together.” And the fact that someone even had an opinion about it is good enough for me.  If you like it or don’t like it, that means you’re involved.  And if they are involved, that means we have you thinking about something and you are kind of waiting to see what happens next.

GREG:

The stuff I have seen and heard is mixed.  I think fans like us as friends, but I don’t know if everyone is sold on wanting us to be anything more.  If I have something big that happens in a storyline, and if and when I have time, I will go and see what the fan reaction is.  I don’t look to see if they say it’s good or bad.  I just look to see if they are talking about it. You are better off having people disagree and chatting about it versus people who don’t really care.

LIZ:

It’s the same thing of, if you hate me, that’s good.  Love to hate me; at least you’re having an opinion about something.

GREG:

The worse thing to be on a soap is boring, and I always say that. With thirty some actors on our show, it’s one of the most challenging part of the job, and that is figuring out what your niche is supposed to be, and what am I going to do that nobody else is doing. That is the other thing I like about our relationship.  There is that quirkiness factor …

LIZ:

There are no other characters on our show that are like us.

GREG:

Sometimes I wonder what came first, the chicken or the egg?  Did they have the idea to do awkward family photos for Christmas first?  Or was it, what are we going to do for Kevin and Chloe?  I think no matter what, when the idea came up of who is going to do the awkward photo, the powers-that-be thought, “Oh yeah, Kevin and Chloe.”  No one else fits that other than us.

MICHAEL:

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Do you think Kevin and Chloe could still be friends, if they embarked on a romance and it fell apart?

GREG:

It’s tricky, because you build up to this point and the whole thing is now, will they or won’t they?  My ideal situation for us would be if we can keep some sort of obstacle in our way for as long as we can, because who wants to be a happy couple?

LIZ:

I don’t want to be a happy couple! (Laughs)  I love the fact of Kevin still having a pull towards Jana. There is some sort of push and pull going on with them. I hope this goes on all year round, and we got to keep things moving, or we all are going to get boring.

GREG:

Kevin wants to get Chloe in the sack a couple of times, but living happily ever after?  I am sure Kevin would like that, but I would not like that.

MICHAEL:

In closing, Greg, what is your New Year’s wish for Kevin? What would you like to see him get involved with in 2011?

GREG:

What I like most about Kevin is the push/pull that happens in his brain, where he is like, “I want to be a better person. I want to be a good guy.”  Then it’s really easy for him to get lured into some sort of underhanded stuff.  I would like to see more of that in the New Year, and for him to continue to battle himself.  I would like to see him find some luck in love, but not too much.  And, I would love to see more integration of the fun family stuff as was in the past with Judith Chapman (Gloria) and Ted Shackelford (Jeffrey) and the Fisher/Baldwin gang.

© JPI Studios

MICHAEL:

Liz, what is your New Year’s wish for Chloe?

LIZ:

I would love to see Chloe get back to her passion of styling and fashion, and start to take over some jobs (Laughs).  I want to take someone down and replace someone, and go toe to toe with a really strong female.

GREG:

On that note, I would like to have Kevin and Chloe become allies on a caper to take somebody down… now that sounds like fun for the New Year!

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Sunshine
Sunshine

I Absolutely loved this interview! EH and GR work so well together and they have a great relationship! I don’t think either one of them have had better chemistry with someone than they do with each other! I hope to see them as a couple on Y&R because like GR said they both play Fishers really well. They are Perfect for each other! Love, love, love them! Chloe & Kevin FTW!!!

Judy
Judy

What a great interview! At this point I see them still more as friends but I’m more open to it becoming more after reading this. I guess more than anything I am afraid of having their friendship end if the romance doesn’t work and that I would miss. I’m definitely willing to give it a shot. I don’t want it all hearts and roses but rather some effort to make it work. I do think there is potential there!

Thanks for another great interview!

Robin S.
Robin S.

Great interview, Michael! Love the show and their characters. Great questions. The interview didn’t feel like the staged ones one reads in magazines. This felt like a truly intimate conversation between three friends.
I love their take on their character’s relationships with themselves and with each other. GREAT JOB!!!!!!

Yvonne G.
Yvonne G.

I absolutely love them together! Great interview. Love them as friends and have no doubt I will love them even more as a romantic couple. I hope we get to see that soon on the show.

Doe
Doe

loved the interview, Michael. These are two very fine actors who got lucky with their chemistry. They obviously play off each other extremely well. I enjoy what is happening within this triangle with Jana, Chloe and Kevin. Emily is doing a very fine job as well with all her connivings. I don’t want Kevin to go back to Jana. She is a loose canon!

Stephanie
Stephanie

This interview was amazing!! Pure gold!!

Fan
Fan

I FLOVE these two, That was a great interview. I am a huge Kevin/Chloe shipper, If the right kinda chem is between two characters/actos, I love soap romances that start as friend and lead to more. The only thing I wouldnt want is if they were to end, they stop being friends and having scenes together. I think its their fear too. They want their characters to hook up, but are afraid if they get torn apart they wont get to work together anymore. Sidenote: Jana freaks the hell outta me!!

semaj
semaj

love chloe and kevin pairing

Y&R Fan
Y&R Fan

I absolutely LOVE the pairing of Chloe & Kevin. The chemistry between Elizabeth and Greg is amazing. I have become such a fan that I literally fast forward to their scenes. Now this is the type of love story daytime needs. I FLOVE them so much! Chloe and Kevin have become my #1 favorite daytime couple to watch. Kudos to the writers.

Y&R Fan
Y&R Fan

I’ve said this numerous times and it’s been reaffirmed in this interview. There’s no two characters like Kevin and Chloe on any soap let alone theirs. Put the two together and call it a day. I’m a fan…a big fan.

Carrie
Carrie

I loved the scene when where Jana was “hot to trot”, and keeps asking Kevin for sex…When he said he was having “Gender Confusion” issues, it was laugh out loud funny, and a great excuse.
Also, the scenes in the theater with Jana and Kevin…Chloe throwing popcorn from the back rows..I loved them.
We Need A Little Humor…Right This Very Minute…
Bravo!

Peyton
Peyton

Like their friendship, but they don’t really work in a romantic sense at ALL! They are more like Carly/Jason. Chloe comes across really insecure and whiny with him.

Chloe Fan
Chloe Fan

Chloe and Kevin are awesome friends but there is no romantic chemistry at all. (IMO) Kevin is Chloe’s worst pairing by far! Chloe worked best with Ronan, I’m bitter that they dropped them like a hot potato! Now talk about passion and chemistry and a great duo! Kevin and Chloe just don’t do it for me as a couple, but great interview! Love Chloe and Liz Hendrickson!

General Hospital

GH’s Coby Ryan McLaughlin Talks: Shiloh’s ‘Dawn Of Day’ Followers, Playing A Cult Leader, And His Co-Stars

Ever since the arrival in Port Charles of the mysterious “David Henry Archer” (Hank) now better known now as “Shiloh” (Coby Ryan McLaughlin), the minds of several members of the community have been revealed to, or have fallen under his spell.

For Shiloh is the cult leader of the group “Dawn of Day”.  He wields his manipulative skills to entrap unsuspecting people in his quest for power and control.   And make no mistake about it … he certainly has a target for Sam (Kelly Monaco), and an ax to grind with her.   For in her past, “the con-artist” Sam apparently swindled Shiloh’s father leaving him with next to nothing.  In addition to that, it has been noted, that Shiloh shared combat time in Afghanistan with Drew Cain (Billy Miller), before changing his name and coming to the town, where says he owes Drew for saving his life.

In story, one of his most loyal followers, Kristina (Lexi Ainsworth) was to be initiated in the inner-circle of the cult, and after drinking from the cup as part of the ritual which drugged her, she was saved by Jason (Steve Burton ) who got her out of the “Dawn of Day” house and to a secret location, leaving Shiloh infuriated and needing to cover his tracks.  As the story has played out, we learn that Brad (Parry Shen) has also been bitten by the “Dawn of Day” bug and believes in Shiloh’s musing.  So much so that he wiped the evidence from the cup Krisina drank out of that Jason provided to Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst) for testing in the hospital.  The GH audience has also learned that Willow (Katelyn MacMullen) was one of Shiloh’s favorite former members of the cult.  She has revealed she had a child with the guy (the baby she thinks is being raised by Brad) and needs to make sure he never finds out.  But, does Shiloh secretly know?

When we last saw Shiloh on Thursday’s episode of GH, he went into the files of the “Dawn of Day” followers and found Kristina’s.  He opened it, and we finally learn her “pledge” – a deep rooted secret from her past that one must share as part of the journey with the cult.  It revealed, that Shiloh knows that Kristina was abused by her former boyfriend Kiefer and that her mother, Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) ran him down and killed him with her car.  Kristina knows about it first-hand, because she saw it happen as she was in the car with Alexis.  What will Shiloh eventually do with this Intel?

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Coby Ryan McLaughlin, who has been the catalyst for much of the latest trouble brewing on-screen on GH about: the complexities of playing such a dynamic, and yet terrifying character, what has it been like mixing it up with the stellar cast of the ABC daytime drama series, and what he thinks Shiloh’s next move might be.  Here’s what Coby had to say about all and more!

What do you think about the reaction of the GH audience to Shiloh?  Is it what you expected?

COBY:  I’ve never really played a bad guy like this.  It’s interesting playing a villain because they love to hate you.  I’ll go on Instagram every now and then and throw elbows at the fans.  It’s really a trip.  The thing I like about this guy is that he’s not completely diabolical.  There are other things going on with this guy; he has other agendas as well.  It’s interesting seeing people react to what it is that I am doing while I have a storyline that is playing out.

Courtesy/ABC

It’s is a bit of a trip as you say; because you have to, in many ways, be subtle in the manipulation as a cult leader would do.  Did you do any research on cult leaders before stepping into Shiloh’s shoes?

COBY:  I didn’t do much when I initially got the part, because I actually know some people like this.  I think as actors, one of the most interesting parts of our jobs is that we just get to sit back and observe things about people’s behaviors.  There are certain people who I have come across where my “Spidey senses” start tingling, and you think, “Well, I’m not going to get involved with this person, but what a fascinating individual.  This behavior is so fascinating.”  However, once I started this gig, yes, I did do research.   I’ll tell you, the one thing that a lot of these guys have in common is that they are extraordinarily exuberant.  They have just this energy about them, and they are seemingly humble.  They have these grandiose visions and these delusions of grandeur, but they do it in a way where you’re like, “Huh.  That almost seems kind of normal.”  In order to get a large number of people to follow you, you’ve got to be charismatic, you’ve got to be saying something that people really tap into and want to hear.  The behavior and psychology behind it are really interesting.  I watched this one documentary and these people literally had no idea … until they did.  They literally had no idea that they were in a cult until they woke up, and they were like, “Holy s**t.  This isn’t right.  This doesn’t feel right.”   Shiloh is an interesting role to play, and it’s written so straight down the line that I really don’t have to push anything, because the guy is written as what he is.   It’s really cool to be able to find all of the little things in that character, so I try to make him a whole bunch of different things to different people.

Did you know from the beginning that Shiloh would turn out to be this cult leader in the “Dawn of Day” storyline?  Who did you screen-test with that landed you the part?

COBY:  No, I didn’t know what he was going to be in the beginning.  I knew that he had an agenda, and when Mark Teschner (casting director, GH) told me that he was going to be a cult leader, I was like, “Oh, okay.  I know what I want to do.”   I have always had the opinion that cult leaders don’t come off bad… they’ve got to be likable.  You have to be able to relate to them in a way.  You have to be able to look at them and be like, “Ah well, maybe in certain circumstances what this guy is doing is okay.”  You have to be able to almost justify some of the behavior until you can’t anymore.  I screen tested with Laura Wright (Carly), and she is really fantastic.  We sit in the makeup chair and shoot the breeze all the time.

Courtesy/ABC

So, is Shiloh infatuated with Sam?   What does he ultimately want from her?

COBY:  Yes, but he wants a lot. (Laughs) There’s a lot of backstory to him and what really brought him to Port Charles.  Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) and I have conversations all of the time about what this guy really is, and what his ultimate goals are, and that may change.  I think that Shiloh is a guy who has come to find his power, and the more powerful he gets, the more he wants.   You know, I’ve become a fan of General Hospital now.  I never watched the show before I got this gig.  I was a Days of our Lives guy years ago.  Don’t tell anybody. (Laughs).

Okay… we will not tell. (Laughs) Ah, sorry!  That’s got to be in the interview! (Laughs)

COBY:  All of  sudden, I will get a message from HR saying, “You’ve been great, but…” (Laughs)   But as to what Shiloh wants with Sam, you know I will read the scripts in advance, and I’ll start creating certain these things for myself in my own mind, such as: “What if he wanted to screw over Sam because of what she did to his father?”  What if it started like that, but all of the sudden he’s coming into some prominence and he wants to go after Sonny’s empire, and what if he wants to run the whole town and screw everybody…?”  I go through this whole thing.  It could literally go anywhere at any time, which is so cool about the soap world.

Without revealing what it is, do you have an idea of what the endgame is for Shiloh, or do you not?

COBY:  No, I don’t.  I think that it changes.  This is a really malleable medium, I’m coming to discover.  I think that nothing is set in stone.  I ultimately know what I want… just because I ultimately think that the foundation of the whole thing is rooted deep within this individual’s character: his emotional makeup, and how he was treated.  There is a lot of revenge going on with this guy, but there is a lot more than that.  He’s not just motivated by revenge.

Courtesy/ABC

Something had to have happened to him, of course, because you know how it works in soap operas!?  If you’re completely evil or bad, and even if you do horrendous things, and they want to keep you on the show, they have to find a way to humanize the character.  Otherwise, you’re there to cause trouble for a time, and you’re killed-off.  Shiloh’s tentacles seem more far-reaching then viewers first suspected.  He has this thing for Willow, who used to be in the cult, and now he’s got Brad under this thumb. What did you think about how much Shiloh is intertwined with and affecting the Port Charles canvas right now?

COBY:  I think that he is an apex predator.  I think that he sees certain people, and he knows how to utilize them for what he wants.  It’s kind of like a chess game.  He knows where Brad is.  He’s always wanted Willow, because it’s the one that got away, so there are certain things he uses as a means to an end, and there are certain things that I think he wants just for himself.  I think the relationships that he creates with this “higher-ups” in the town are because he knows he can utilize them, and there are some personal relationships that he keeps personal.  Shiloh has his own reasons for doing what he does, especially with Willow.  I think he was grooming her to be something.  Just the fact that she left him … really bothers him.

Photo: ABC

He doesn’t know that Willow had his child, or does he … hmmm? 

COBY:  No, not as far as we know.

If he was to know, what do you think he would do?

COBY:  Well …  you’re just going to have to watch and find out.

So, when you found out that there was this major initiation going on which included: the drugging of Kristina, the huge payment she made to be in Shiloh’s inner-circle, and how he was preying on her vulnerability, were you like, “Oh my, God! They’re really going all the way with this cult thing?”

COBY:  No.  We kind of alluded to it, and it has to go all the way.   I wasn’t surprised when I read that in the script.  This is this guy’s MO.  He gets what he wants.

Courtesy/ABC

Shiloh’s s really upset that Kristina is missing and has figured that Jason kidnapped her.  He wants her back in the fold, correct?

COBY:  He does want her back, but he wants her back for a variety of reasons … and not just the fact that she reminds him of Willow.  That’s part of it, but I personally believe that he wants her back, because as I mentioned earlier it’s all about chess pieces for him.  He sets up the prominent people in his organization, so he can set them up to expand his means and to expand his agenda … to motivate his agenda, because there is a bigger picture to all of this.  Kristina is a Corinthos and she is part of the most powerful family in Port Charles, so there is that as well.  He wants to be able to have that power hold over that towns that he is in.

Many in the audience are wondering if Shiloh having sex with Kristina was a key part of his plan.  Is that part of his ritual?  Having sex with women upon initiation into his “inner circle”… or is that a grey area?

COBY:  Here is the thing, everything is consensual with him … that’s where his charm comes into play, that’s where sense of power comes into play.  So, with these women, nothing is forced.  There is not coercion …  at all!   So, yes, its alluded that he sleeps with them, but we don’t necessarily know if that is true for all of them … or…. if it is just for the ones that he takes a liking to.   The other thing we know; is that this guy is also a megalomaniac, so it’s also an exertion of power as well.  What I tried to do with it was not make it so completely overt.   He is a bit of a jerk, but I don’t want it to overstep that boundary of being tasteless.  I think you can go too far with it, so that is one of the reasons that we alluded to the fact that it was always consensual, and people what to be with him for one reason, or another.

Courtesy/ABC

That’s why there was an important conversation written into the script with Jason, Sam, and Michael (Chad Duell) about how there is no way to nail Shiloh for a crime because he is so cagey with every move he makes.

COBY:  Yeah, you could say cagey, I say smart.

Now, Jason is his target.  Would you say there are even more underlying reasons that the obvious of why he dislikes Jason so much? Does he really have an axe to grind with him?

COBY:  I think he likes messing with people, and I think if he is unable to exert his power, or his will, or his control, over somebody, it really annoys him.  The stuff with Steve Burton is rather fun!  Shiloh can’t manipulate Jason like he can manipulate these girls, or the way he manipulates Brad, because Jason just operates on a whole different level.  I think that Shiloh finds it fascinating that he can’t get to him.   Shiloh also wants to get him out of the way, because he can’t out-muscle him.  Even if I could, the writers wouldn’t allow it. (Laughs) So, that’s never going to happen.  As Shiloh, I have to out-think him, because I want him out of the picture.   Shiloh sees Jason as an obstacle and he wants him out of the way, and he will do it by any means necessary, via him or with his kids… anyway that he can, because he can’t get at him on his level, because the playing field isn’t equal.

Courtesy/ABC

What about Shiloh’s relationship with Drew (Billy Miller)?  What does he truly feel about him? 

COBY:  I have this conversation with Frank Valentini all the time.  I think the relationship I have with Drew might be the only true relationship I have with anybody.  I think that Drew really did what Shiloh said that he did.  I think Drew really saved his life, and he does really want to pay that debt back.  I think therein really lies the contradiction with this guy.  It makes it difficult for him to operate.  I think he is conflicted on some levels because he is one guy to Drew, and he is a different guy to everybody else.  I think the way Shiloh is with Drew is real.  In his past, I think that Shiloh was completely fatalistic and reckless and didn’t care if he lived or died, and Drew did save his life, and he gave him a purpose.  However, I also think that he is such a damaged individual.  He needs that feeling of safety by exuding his power and control over others.  The writers have alluded to the fact that he has this other life, and that he was a broken individual, and turned his life around and came back from the brink of dying, of killing myself, of not caring.  So, with Drew, I don’t want to manipulate him.  I don’t want to use him.  I am truly just grateful for the fact that he allowed me another chance at life.  I love working with Billy, because that’s when I get to be human.  I’m not trying to gaslight him.  I’m not trying to get something from him – well, I’ll take that back, because I am trying to get something from him.  I’m just not trying to do it in a way that I go about it with the other characters.  There is a huge amount of respect between the two of us.

Unfortunately, Drew doesn’t remember anything about their past, which puts “pause” in believing Shiloh’s war stories.

COBY:  Yet.  (Laughs). Well, we’ve been alluding to the fact of, “What if he did this? What if he went back into his memories?  What if he were able to remember?  There are a lot of “What if’s …”  So, they keep a lot of balls in the air with this relationship.

Photo: ABC

What has it been like working with Lexi Ainsworth in this story, because she has been the main character so far drawn into the cult? 

COBY:  She’s great.  I love Lexi.  She is so easy, fun, and safe, and just a really nice person.  We sit and chat all of the time and talk about what it is that we want from each other in the scene and how it’s going to work.   Everyone is great.   Kaetlyn MacMullan is so much fun as well as Willow.  As an actor, it’s really fun when you get people who really want to play and want to go.

And, what are your thoughts on working with GH favorite, Kelly Monaco, who is key in your storyline?

COBY:  Kelly is rad.  We talk about being able to “play jazz” all of the time, which means being able to go into a scene and just riff and have a good time, because there is so much dialog that you have to learn.  I mean, that dialogue is nuts, and sometimes you forget halfway through a page-long monologue when you are at 27 pages in.  That’s when it’s wonderful to have a really good dance partner who can pick you up.  There are times where I get so off script, and I’m like, “Holy s**t!  Where am I going with this?” (Laughs) I have got really good people like Lexi, Katelyn, or Kelly who have my back and that just makes it fun.

Courtesy/ABC

Some actors like to watch back their work, while others don’t.  Do you check out your performances on GH?

COBY:  Yeah.  Somebody on Instagram, this wonderful fan, will take all of the Shiloh’s scenes and post them!  Shockingly, I don’t own a television, so I don’t watch the show that way.

Do you make changes or adjustments once you see your work?

COBY:  Not really.  I made a decision to keep it real low-key with this, and just try to play everything real.   The other thing is I had never done anything like this before in my career.  I was so intimated by this whole thing, that it was like, “Alright man.  Just get in and listen.  Listen to what your scene partners are saying to you.”  In my approach, I am trying to be as still as I can possibly be and let whatever that person is saying motivate my responses and my actions.  If I watch my work, I’m like, “Yeah, that makes sense to me; I like that.  That’s something that this individual would do.”  Shiloh controls every situation that he is in, and even when he is introduced to new characters, he doesn’t wait to be introduced, he’ll just walk up and say, “Hi, I’m Shiloh!  What’s new with you?  How’s it going?” (Laughs) He kind of disarms them in every scene he is in.

Photo: IMDB

Soap fans first saw you on The Young and the Restless in your stint as Andrew working alongside Eileen Davidson (Ashley).  How was that experience for you?

COBY:  Eileen was unreal.  She was really cool, because none of this phased her.  She had been doing daytime so long that it was just a thing to her.  I’d sit there and read my scripts over and over and over again, but she just knew how to do it.  It was so easy for her, that it made it easy for me.

In a broad stroke, what would you tells the fans to look forward to with Shiloh?

COBY:  Well, Shiloh is going to continue his agenda.  He is going to have to go about it in a different way.  There are things going down right now (and I won’t spoil it) that are going to change the way he operates, and he is going to have to get what he wants in a different way.  Some of the people who you would have thought that he trusted, have turned against him.  It just all makes it more fun for him because this is a huge game.  Even the stuff with Sam, you may think that you know where it is going, but it may not be.  So, as much as he is enamored by Sam, he has an agenda with her.

So, what do you think will be Shiloh’s next move?  Will he blackmail Alexis to get Kristina back at “Dawn of Day”? What is his plan for Sam? Is Shiloh connected to a key family in Port Charles, but it has yet to be revealed? Who else do you think might wind up in the cult? Finally, are you enjoying Coby’s performance on GH? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below!

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General Hospital

Dominic Zamprogna Talks Dante’s Torment, His Daytime Emmy Nomination, And If He Might Be Back To GH

If you caught last week’s episodes of General Hospital, you witnessed the heartbreaking goodbye (the second time around) between Dante Falconeri (Dominic Zamprogna) and his wife Lulu (Emme Rylan), after it had been revealed that Dante is suffering deeply and disturbingly from his time in captivity in Turkey, and the mission that sent him away from Port Charles in the first place.  Of course, GH fans know that leg of the story served to facilitate the exit of fan favorite, Zamprogna, who departed the ABC daytime drama series back in 2018.

But since his original exit, Zamprogna has popped up on the series a few times.  First, as bad Dante in the special standalone episode celebrating Maurice Benard’s (Sonny) 25th anniversary with the series, and then again, a few weeks ago with his ten-episode run that set the stage for what might become of the duo known as “Lante”.

In addition, Dominic also learned a few weeks back, that he received a Daytime Emmy nomination for his performances in 2018 in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Daytime Drama category.

Michael Fairman TV spoke to Zamprogna while he was in Tuscany, Italy on the first leg of his three-week European trip with his family (which will also take him to France and Germany) to get his thoughts on: this just completed guest return on General Hospital, receiving the Emmy nod from his peers, and what the future holds for him in, or out, of the world of soaps.

When you came back for this ten-episode run, did you know what the story would be?

DOMINIC:  I knew it would be kind of a Brody from Homeland kind of story.  Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) and I had a conversation, and he said, “Sonny is going to rescue you,” and I said, “With all due respect to Sonny, Dante got himself into this mess.  Let’s kind of help them, help each other get out of this mess,” and he was like, “I like it.”  That’s kind of how that came to fruition.  Then,  he said something along the lines of: how they were going to make it like Dante got messed while he was away, and that he had seen some crazy stuff, and that Dante had to do so some crazy stuff, and he brings it home with him.  So, we knew the story arc would be a little messy, for sure.

Courtesy/ABC

The impetus was to bring Dante back to Lulu, then to separate them again while you were off the canvas, because they left the character of Dante dangling out there previously, right?

DOMINIC:  Frank said, “We don’t believe that this guy would ever take off on his family in this way for this length of time,” and I said, “Oh, I agree with you, so let’s figure out a way to wrap it up.”  So, this is where we ended up.

I’ve been seeing many tweets from fans, like, “Dante’s the best,” and “You’ve got to bring Dominic back full-time.”   The story was very emotional, and I thought it was a good opportunity for you to remind everyone of your acting chops.  And, the writers made a point of making sure Dante said to Lulu, “Don’t wait for me,” which leaves her story kind of open, as well.

DOMINIC:  I know what I want, and that is a good story, and around the time that I left before, we didn’t have a lot of great stuff going on.  I think Dante needed a good shakeup.  Maybe this is a blessing in disguise for a lot of the fans, but I don’t know.  I know that there have been some negative reactions too … like, “Why bring this guy back if he’s going to leave again?”

Yes.  I have seen those reactions as well. 

DOMINIC:  I’d say that you bring this guy back because he did leave thinking he was going to come back sooner than he did, and stuff got a little too crazy, and maybe you can’t leave him hanging out there like that.  You do have to address that.  Dante wouldn’t have left his family for that long, knowingly.  It was ten months.  I think it is valid to bring him back and address it, and then realize that if the actor, or the show, isn’t ready to commit to what’s next, you do whatever creates the most drama.  Isn’t that why people watch these things … to yell at the TV? (Laughs) 

Courtesy/ABC

Let’s talk about the tears Emme Rylan shed in those goodbye scenes that just aired!

DOMINIC:  I think she was really angry at me! (Laughs)

Probably!  She was like, “What are you doing!?”  (Laughs)

DOMINIC:  She was like, “What the hell is happening?” (Laughs)  I think that’s what people watch GH for.  I went on twitter and saw the clip of General Hospital from 56 years ago in honor of their anniversary.  It makes you give pause and think:  “What are you watching this show for?  Are you watching it to feel resolve at the end of it?”  Probably not!  As much as people don’t want to admit it, you don’t really want to feel fantastic after watching the show.  Nine times out of ten, you want to feel conflict and unresolved.  Otherwise, why would you come back the next day?  I feel like we kind of achieved that.  Which is why when you posed the question on Twitter, “What did you think of Dante’s return story arc?”,  I responded by saying, “I thought it was pretty good,” because a lot of fans are going to be pissed off.  However, a lot of viewers are going to be happy with seeing some good drama and some emotional scenes, and a cool arc (because I thought it was a good arc for Dante).

Photo: ABC

When you played Dante on this recent return, he’s obviously been tortured.

DOMINIC:  Yes, he’s been tortured, and he’s had to torture people to prove his worth.  As easily as he killed Raj, he’s probably had to kill other people during this time.  I think that’s a big step for Dante, because he’s never really had to do that.  In the time that he’s been on GH, he’s always been very black and white. I thought it was very good for me to be able to play that, because maybe he’s been pushed to the limit, and in those situations, you have to justify things that you probably would never have had to justify before.

Right!  I thought it was really sad, because you see people with PTSD who have been tortured.  Did you do any research on how being in captivity and how the condition may manifest itself in cases such as this, or someone under mind control?

Photo: ABC

DOMINIC:  I think PTSD is a pretty wide-ranging thing.  There are people who deal with PTSD who haven’t had to kill people and haven’t been tortured.  I think there is PTSD that people deal with in everyday life.  I think for a lot of people, if you had to go back and examine things, you’d be like, “Wait a sec, maybe that’s what this feels like,” and it’s not a comfortable place to be, but for this role, you kind of do go to places like that.

I think there’s been a silver lining for you in a few things since your exit from GH last year.  1) Since you’ve left, you came back, and got to play a bad guy version of Dante in the “Sonny-centric” episode. 2)  You received a Daytime Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series category.  What do you think about what has happened since you have been away from Port Charles?

DOMINIC:  That’s also about betting on yourself …  because it’s kind of like rolling the dice.  It can go either way.  It can be: “Hey, if I step away and no one cares, that’s cool too,” but you have got to be okay with that.  It’s like when I first started the show, and everyone said not to read the message boards, because if you read the good stuff, you’ve got to read the bad stuff, too.  Well, if you roll the dice on yourself, you’ve got to be able to look in the mirror and say, “Hey, it didn’t work out.”  Fortunately for me, in this situation, I rolled the dice, and it worked in my favor.

Courtesy/ABC

Did you love the “Sonny-centric” episode when you got to play mobster Dante?

DOMINIC:  I did.  I thought it was great.  Honestly, Michael, I loved this story too.   It was an experience for me.  It was a cool journey.  I felt like it was a neat exercise as an actor.  It was a cool development for the character.  I had interesting scenes with Sonny, I had interesting scenes with Anna (Finola Hughes), and I had good scenes with Mike (Max Gail), and the stuff with Lulu.  I thought the end of the arc was interesting too, because I’ve already played these goodbyes.  So, as an actor you’re like, “Man, we’ve already done this,” but as the character you still have to protect something.  So, when people ask why he didn’t say certain things to Lulu that he did to Anna, it’s because it’s so much more difficult to say those things to the person who you’re married to, and go to bed with at night, who supposedly knows everything about you.  It’s almost more difficult to reveal that vulnerability that he realized that he had been brainwashed!  You don’t want to admit that you’re at your weakest to the woman who looks to you for all of the strength.  That’s massively important.  I thought it was really interesting.

You received your third Daytime Emmy nomination. Previously you were nominated in 2014 and 2016 in this category.  I was so happy for you.  What scenes did you submit that have you going for gold on May 5th?

DOMINIC:  First off, this year felt kind of extra special.  I think because I left the show and only had four months of material that I could submit within the guidelines of the rules.  I sent the scenes with: Mike in the stables where he is talking with Avery, a scene where Nathan (Ryan Paevey) is dying, one scene with Peter (Wes Ramsey) in the interrogation room at the PCPD, and then the material where Dante says goodbye to Lulu to go off on his mission.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

You’re in with a good group of actors in the Supporting Actor category.  Max Gail is in there, too.

DOMINIC:  Yeah, and I’m so rooting for Max.  He’s one of those guys, like with Maurice Benard, where it just takes very little trying in a scene.  You’re in a place with a person and you’re just speaking, and good things happen.  The other guys who I’m up against, I’ve heard they’re all good dudes and good actors.  I’m not expecting anything.  I just want to go and have a fun night and enjoy being around everybody, and the group who is nominated from GH.  And … we’ve got Maurice, finally, back in the Lead Actor category which I am very happy about.

So, in terms of where you are now with GH, what would like to see happen down the line?

DOMINIC:  I don’t know.  When I left, Frank said, “Let’s have a chat about that future.”   However, I don’t know where I’m at as far as coming back goes.  I’ve been enjoying the freedom of being able to take a little control of my moves, so we’ll have to see.  I miss my friends and my family there, and we’re in a good place on both sides.  I think the story has been received well.

Photo: ABC

So, if GH gives Lulu a new love interest, how would you feel?

DOMINIC:  Oh, totally fine.  She’s dead to me at that point, but I mean, whatever. (Laughs)  Lulu better find somebody at some point.  I think in the long run whatever happens can only create more material for everyone to play, if we do revisit another appearance in town.

For the drama, Lulu will have had to have had sex with somebody by the time Dante reappears.

DOMINIC:  Oh, for sure.  If she doesn’t, I’ll be like, “What are you waiting for? (Laughs)  I told you forever is a long time,” but as long as it’s not like Peter, or Valentin (James Patrick Stuart), then I think Dante would fully expecting her to be with….

Photo: ABC

… Chase (Josh Swickard)?!

DOMINIC:  Oh, Chase.  Yeah, what about that jerk?  (Laughs)  I forgot about him.  You know, if Lulu did do that, it would kind of feel like almost like a “Top Gun” kind of thing … like if Maverick slept with Goose’s wife, or something like that.  Then, if Dante showed up and they were like, “Well, you were gone, and she needed help,” and Dante would be like, “Whatever Chase!  That’s low!”  It would be expected, right?  Chase is a good dude, and Dante left very messed up, so it’s kind of his fault, but I think in the long-run as a human being, she needs to have her needs met.  If it happened right away, then it’s like, “Wow! You didn’t wait forever at all.  Forever was two weeks for you? (Laughs)”

Photo: JPI Studios

So, what did you think of Dante’s return and the performances of Domininc Zamprogna? Are you rooting for Dom to take home the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series?  Who do you think Lulu might fall for while Dante is off the canvas?  Are you hoping Dominic returns on-contract with GH at some point down the line?  Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below!

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General Hospital

Bryan Craig Talks Javi In ‘Grand Hotel’, Recasting GH’s Morgan, And His Post-Daytime Career

When Grand Hotel finally makes its highly-anticipated debut this summer (Monday night, June 17th) on ABC, soap opera fans will see some very familiar faces in primo roles as this sudsy drama, based on the Spanish series Gran Hotel, tells the story of a family-owned hotel in Miami, the people who run it, and all of the secrets they keep from one another.

Brought to you by executive producers Eva Longoria and Ben Spector, the show explores the family dynamic of the Mendoza family. Longoria herself will play a mother in four episodes of the show, as well.

General Hospital fans will take note that Daytime Emmy-winner, Bryan Craig (Ex-Morgan Corinthos) is front and center in the cast as Javi Mendoza, the troubled son of the family who has some major obstacles in front of him.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Craig during the recent ABC TCA’s Press Tour for the network to get some insight into his new role, how he would feel if GH would recast the role of Morgan (he recently propped up former DAYS star Billy Flynn as a potential viable candidate) and what it has been like post-daytime in his burgeoning career in film and TV.  Here’s what he had to say about his TV life past and present.

What has this experience been like for you taping the episodes of Grand Hotel and working with such a stellar cast?

BRYAN:  It’s been incredible   It feels like it went by so fast.  It’s an awesome group of people.  We’ve got a fun show.

How would you say your character of Javi Mendoza stacks up against GH’s Morgan Corinthos?

BRYAN:  I think it’s one of the most layered characters that I’ve ever played.  There’s a lot going on with Javi.  He has a big disability, kind of like Morgan did.  It’s a physical disability, and there are a lot of challenges that come along with that.  He also has a substance problem.  So, some of the same issues and in the same world that Morgan was in.  Javi is a very troubled character, but he is also a lot of fun, and a ladies’ man … and sleeps with a lot of women! (Laughs)

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Do you think the audience will care for Javi, though?  

BRYAN:  Oh yeah, one hundred percent.  He was written in a very kind-hearted manner.  He’s a great guy, who has had a tough life.

Did they put you through a audition process to nab the role in Grand Hotel?

BRYAN:  They had read hundreds and hundreds of people for this role.  I came in at the tail end of it, and then the process went pretty quickly.  I read once, and the next think I knew, I was in a room with Eva Longoria and director, Ken Olin.  Then two days later, I was testing with Eva, and then I got the call that I had the part.

You’re a part of the core family, the Mendozas, on Grand Hotel, and on GH, you were part of the Corinthos clan.  How do the family dynamics stack-up?

BRYAN:  It’s pretty special.  There are a lot of similarities.  It feels like we have kind of shifted GH into prime-time.  In Grand Hotel, we have Demián Bichir, who plays Santiago Mendoza, and he is my Sonny Corinthos now.   They gave us a very heavy, heavy storyline … just like they gave Maurice Benard (Sonny, GH) and me.   So, I think the fans are really going to buy into it.   ABC, (I think) wanted to marry that bond a little bit, and I feel it was very apparent in the writing.  This network has been very good to me.

Courresy/ABC

Did you know that your co-star Denyse Tontz was in Prospect Park’s All My Children reboot as Miranda Montgomery and had a soap past, as well?

BRYAN:  Yes! I did know that.  Denyse plays my sister on Grand Hotel and we work together a lot on the show.  There were quite a few people on the show who came from soaps.  Even some guest stars who came in were big in soap at points.

So, this kind of all  worked out for you!  You left General Hospital, and landed a major primetime series, plus your other movie roles!

BRYAN:  It was a scary move, but it worked out.  I did a few things; a couple of movies, and I did a show for CW for a while, and then this.  So, it’s been back-to-back.  I’ve been fortunate.

Courtesy/ABC

How would you feel if General Hospital, ultimately, recast the role of Morgan?

BRYAN:  You know, if it was to behoove the show, then so be it.   I feel like it was a pretty nice end for me there, but I can’t sit here and be selfish and be like, “I’m the last person who could play that role!”  Would that be awesome?  I mean, yeah!  But, who knows?  They’ve got to do what’s best for the show.

GH’s Maurice Benard had great story in 2018 with the Alzheimer’s storyline involving Sonny’s dad, Mike Corbin (Max Gail).  Had you been checking it out at all?

BRYAN:  I know!   I do keep up with Maurice a lot.   We are good friends.

To remind those who have not seen the trailer to Grand Hotel check it out below.  Will you be watching Bryan in his exciting new role on Grand Hotel? Will you be OK with a Morgan recast on GH, or hope the show will wait for Bryan to return one day? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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