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The Laura Wright Interview – General Hospital

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Last week on General Hospital fans were in for a very special treat when for the show’s broadcast of their 51st anniversary episode, executive producer Frank Valentini and head writer Ron Carlivati, crafted a series of scenes detailing the stormy past and present of the relationship between Sonny and Carly … only with a twist … and a cherry on top!  When Carly, as played by Laura Wright, confronts Sonny (Maurice Benard) with the knowledge that she knows he shot AJ (Sean Kanan), which eventually lead to his death, the duo sit down in the chapel of the hospital with Carly resenting being put in this position (yet again) by Sonny!  He asks his ex-wife not to reveal to their son, Michael (Chad Duell) who actually killed his biological father.  But from there, the scenes take a turn, and voila’!  Former GH Carlys, Sarah Brown and Tamara Braun, each have a moment center stage in emotional scenes recounting the history of the relationship between the mobster and the tough gal, in special guest star appearances … or shall we say, the Carlypalooza!

So, what did the current Carly and Daytime Emmy winner, Laura Wright, think of having two other Carlys back on the show for an anniversary surprise?  Does she think that somewhere down the line there is hope for a Sonny and Carly romantic reconciliation? And, as Carly has to wrestle with the concept of keeping Sonny’s secret for now, she is still involved with Franco (Roger Howarth) but is she truly and deeply in love with the offbeat guy?  On-Air On-Soaps chatted with the candid and always insightful, Wright to get an inside look at the making of Carlypalooza, and the state of Carly’s current love life.

In addition, with General Hospital offering up so many gems during their anniversary episode, Laura reveals some of the moments that touched her.  Plus, she chats about that one crucial scene between Carly and Robin (Kimberly McCullough), when Carly had no idea why Robin is leaving Port Charles, when in actuality it is to save Carly’s best friend Jason’s life … who Carly believes is dead!  Here now is one of the genres true champions, and one hell of an actress … Laura Wright!

MICHAEL:

First of all, what did you think of Carlypalooza on the 51st anniversary episode of GH?  What was your initial reaction when you heard about it?  How did they tell you they were bringing back two other beloved Daytime Emmy winners who had played Carly before you?

LAURA:

Courtesy/Twitter

You mean, why didn’t Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) tell me and I had to find out in a fitting? (Laughs)  I had no idea until a week before we shot it.  And so Frank says on why he didn’t mention it to me previously: “I don’t know.  I didn’t think about it.” (Laughs)  And then we laughed about it, and I said to him, “I think it’s a great idea!”  I mean, how fun for the fans?  It was a gift to the fans.  I said to Frank, “I wanted to know so I can be excited too!”  I love that kind of stuff, because I was a fan, and so I get it.

MICHAEL:

I know you have watched the soaps, but had you seen Sarah Brown or Tamara Braun when they were playing Carly on GH, previously?

LAURA:

I didn’t watch much of Tamara, because I was having babies, and working on Guiding Light at that time, but I did watch Sarah.

MICHAEL:

What I loved about the scenes between the Carlys and Sonny (Maurice Benard) was that it tied them together again, and reminded viewers that it is such an important relationship in the show.

LAURA:

Courtesy/ABC

Oh, it’s so great!  But doing those scenes was actually kind of hard for me.  I, as Carly, walked into that room pissed at Sonny, and then through the points in the conversation Carly is talking about how they have always loved each other.  But those points, where she says that in that come-around, happened with Sarah and Tamara’s Carly.  And I am like, “I am still pissed at him!  So what are you guys saying that evolves to why Carly is being nice to him?”  Sarah and Tamara got that and were like, “Oh, that’s right!”  So I am on set watching as they talk about things, and the past.   It was good for me to do that, so I knew when I got on set how to be in a softer place with Sonny.

MICHAEL:

So, the three of you watched each other act that day as the Carlys?  How was that?

LAURA:

Yes!  I did my thing and they said,”Laura, step out,” and then Sarah came on.  Then, Tamara stepped in to do her thing, and then I had to step in right after Tamara.  We were all on set together.  It was great being with them and so fun.  It was great, especially for Tamara, because Sarah had already been back.  Tamara was seeing people again she hadn’t seen in years!  She was having a great time hugging everybody.  I told Frank, I think this is so great … actors having jobs….I never think about that other stuff.  I always think, the more the merrier.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

What I thought was also great was that fans were speculating how they were going to utilize the Carlys.  Would it be a “Carly’s Angels” sort of fantasy scene set-up or what?  In the end, I didn’t see the way they used Sarah, Tamara, and you coming, which made it even more special!

LAURA:

… And it was really well done.  But of all the clips of mine, we showed the limo scene! (Laughs)  Maurice and I were laughing about that.

MICHAEL:

Viewers loved it!

LAURA:

People loved it!  Frank said, “Yeah, people SO loved it.”  Sarah, and Tamara, were so fabulous about it, and it wasn’t weird at all.

MICHAEL:

Would you like to play the romance of Sonny and Carly revisited?  They have such a unique relationship.

LAURA:

I have always loved it, and funny enough, I have not really gotten to play the Sonny and Carly romance.  It’s so different now.  We are really good exes, because they call each other out on their stuff, and so there is something really funny about them now.  I would play that story in a heartbeat, but I think it has to be really well done, and they would have to take their time with it.  It would need to be carefully written.  I think it would have to surprise the hell out of both of them, and be a gift for the Sonny and Carly fans.  I don’t think it can just happen, or they just fall into bed.  I think it has to be told through a story that is really interesting, and really beautiful.  Sonny and Carly are so different now.  They are not that wild.  There is so much pain, and death, and fear, and they are so grown-up that it would be more of a relaxed relationship, and not so intense anymore.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

Sonny said to Carly, “We may not be right for each other, but we’re it for each other.”  To which Carly replied, “I will always have you’re back, even if our love story is over.”  Those were such great lines and really the emotional crux of those scenes during the anniversary episode.

LAURA:

It’s interesting, because he can’t be anybody but who he is to her.  She knows him so well that there is no BS, and the second he is saying, “I am not telling you what I am doing,” Carly is like, “I am out of here.  I am not playing these games.”  It’s just not interesting in your 40’s to be playing the same story, too.  It’s there … all the underlying emotion and tension, but they have grown-up a lot.  For Carly, she has three kids, and has a lost a baby, and been married a couple of times.  I think she is like, “You want to go put yourself in danger?  Have at it!”

MICHAEL:

Carly picks other dangerous men!  Ahh … hello, Franco (Roger Howarth)! (Laughs) There has been a lot of pushback from fans on this relationship; one reason people are citing is because of Michael’s (Chad Duell) rape in prison and how originally that was connected to Franco.  So what are your thoughts on the whole Franco situation?

LAURA:

Courtesy/ABC

Here’s my opinion on it, and an honest opinion:  We couldn’t have the character of Todd anymore for whatever reason, and for whatever is going on.  They came up with, as best they could, with a character connected to people, and they connected him to Jason, and then they changed that and connected him to Scott (Kin Shriner) and Heather (Robin Mattson) which are rich in history.  This is a character that allows Roger Howarth to do what everyone loves that he does, which is his shtick of sheer brilliance!  And, they did the best they could at changing a story that really didn’t make sense anyway, so we could have a movie star (James Franco) run around and be weird!  And, it’s not that James Franco wasn’t great!  He was awesome, he was funny, he was kind, and he did a great job, but it didn’t really evolve our show, or really raise our ratings, but it gave us media attention.  Then, they gave the role to Roger.  I think that was a big deal.  And if we want to be stuck in the past, and point a finger to that, we can, or we can move forward and tell fun story, and it really is that simple.  I know history propels the present and future for soaps, but if you want to chose, and stare at it, and be negative, then you are not going to like anything he does, anyway.  I think they did a great job, and did their best to redeem the character of Franco enough in that he was trying to protect Michael, not hurt him. Roger had sold that very well, and here is the other thing – Roger is Franco now.   So, we’re here.

MICHAEL:

So, where is Carly at now with keeping Sonny’s secret that he shot AJ, which ultimately led to his death?

LAURA:

Courtesy/ABC

I think she just feels that she is not just going to walk out of the room and keep her mouth shut, just because he wants her to.  But, there is so much dysfunction that comes into play where the two of them need each other in some way intimately.  It brings up the past for both of them.  But, I think Sonny is family to Carly.  She says, “We take this to our graves.”  And, I don’t think Carly was that conflicted of what to do.  I think she was just pissed off at Sonny, and wanted to make him squirm.  And, it’s not about hiding the truth, please, that is one of the things Carly does best! (Laughs)  I think it’s more that she is thinking, “You just broke my son’s heart, you asshole!  Look at our son!”  I think what really propelled Carly to do that was when she was with Michael, and he is crying when AJ dies, and she sees the pain her son is in. And, then Carly realizes if Michael finds out Sonny shot AJ, he will be even more devastated.  So, she is pissed and disappointed on all levels!  But at the end of the day, the last thing Michael needs right now is to lose Sonny, as well.  And, when she finds out Ava is involved in this with Sonny, she is like,  “You’re a dumbass!” (Laughs)  If there is any more involvement from Ava with Sonny, Carly’s head is going to explode! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

If Ava and Sonny end up in bed together, what will Carly do?  She will go nuts! (Laughs)  I think Maura West (Ava) and you should have some semblance of an on-screen cat fight!

LAURA:

Courtesy/ABC

Oh, my God, that will be awesome!  You know, I don’t think it will work to have us actually do physical stuff, because Carly is a physical badass, and Ava would take out a gun and just shoot her in the head.  Carly could probably take her physically, but Ava could take out a knife and slice Carly’s throat.  Ava is more evil.  She grew up in a mob family and learned survival.  Carly is a scrapper where she would be more apt to say, “I am going to rip your hair out.”  Again, two 40-year-old women acting like that is embarrassing.  It only works if you have some really great dialogue that’s bitchy, and right when you go to do something it gets broken up.  Everyone loved that fight that Kelly Sullivan (Kate/Connie) and I had, but Carly had it in the lobby of her hotel …. that she owns …really? (Laughs)  It was fun and we had a great time doing it, but I just think these women have a little more class.  For example, Ava would never do that in front of people, but she would later come to Carly’s room and slash her throat.  That is why catfights are not as fun at this age; give that to the 20 year-olds, that, and the shower scenes.  (Laughs)  Roger and I always say that, “We are not 25 anymore; we are in our 40’s.”  And I go, “Yeah, but we are damn good-looking for 40’s” (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

One would assume that there is a major part of Carly that is relieved that AJ is dead!

LAURA:

Of course, who didn’t want AJ dead?  I don’t think she really cares.  I think for her it’s just all connected with Michael.  For Carly, her son was trying to have an honest relationship with his father, even though she hated him.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

Do you think Carly really loves Franco (Roger Howarth)?  Where do you sit with that?

LAURA:

For Laura, it is a bit hard; because I really loved the journey she was taking with Todd, because I thought it was really built on trust, emotion, and heartbreak.  It was really interesting, and I love playing love stories.  I think I am very good at that, and the Jax/Carly romance to me was the all-time best.  They were funny, charming, there was heartbreak it, and it was all over the spectrum for almost six years, and I loved that.  In that, I believe Carly truly loved Jax.  I think what she loves about Franco is that he accepts her 100%, and that is something Sonny never did.  There were always rules, and there was that juvenile relationship where one was leaving the other, etc, and again, when you get older, game playing becomes really uninteresting.  But now, what if you told a Sonny/Carly story where he wants to be with her, but he feels now he has to push her away, where it would be Carly saying, “Why are you pushing me away?”  And, he knows he has to because her life has been seriously threatened, and Sonny doesn’t know if he can protect her, because he couldn’t save Jason.  If you take it deeper to where Sonny pushes Carly away when they are so close to getting back together, and committed to each other, and then he says, “I can’t lose somebody else!”  Therefore, he has to be angry, and a jerk to her to keep her safe.  That is one way to go about it.   There are ways of telling a story and holding people back from being together outside of another person.  It can be their lives are on the line, or something like that.  I actually find that to be a very noble reason.

MICHAEL:

But, do you think the character of Carly is head over heels for Franco?

LAURA:

Courtesy/ABC

I guess that is what they write, but I have not actually gotten a chance to play it.  I got rescued from Heather, and then we say, “I love you”.  Then, all of a sudden AJ is shot, and meanwhile, we have a love story to tell.  Roger and I really play off of each other well, and we really have a great time together, and we don’t need a lot to come up with really interesting beats and moments, which you will see in a lot of upcoming scenes.  I mean, Carly says it all the time now: “I love you” to Franco.

MICHAEL:

I know she does!  I am looking at her going, “YOU DO?”(Laughs)  It’s hard for me to invest.

LAURA:

That is because you did not see the journey of them falling in love, or having a moment where she says, “I don’t know if I can be with you,” because then Franco pulls Michael out of the water, and then Franco got laid! (Laughs)  And that is great too, but it happened very soon after that saving Michael moment.  I don’t know what Frank and Ron’s timing on certain stories is.  I don’t know if they had something they had to get done in two weeks, because we have sweeps we have to worry about, people going on vacation, Nurses Ball, the anniversary, and so on.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

What did you think about the Robin (Kimberly McCullough) and Carly scene that finally happened?  That was a great scene, where Robin informs Carly she is leaving town!  But, she did not tell her why, as it would have rocked Carly’s world!

LAURA:

It is so great that she didn’t tell Carly!  When we were in dress rehearsal, I said to Kimberly about her lines, “What does that mean?”  And she tells me Robin is leaving because Jason is alive.  And I go, “OH! Oh, my God, I had no idea,” because I don’t get the whole script.  And so when she said, “the bow down to me” line, then I knew it was such a great line!  Then I thought, if they really wanted to tell that story with a funny twist, you could have Robin going, and Carly following her, and Robin going: “What are you doing here?”  But honestly, that would really only work if you actually had Jason (laughs) … but he is in Genoa City. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

It was a great little scene!

LAURA:

It was a great scene and the fans were saying, “I can’t believe Robin is leaving, and they never had a scene with Carly!”  So I watched everyone complain, and said, “It’s coming!”

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

The 51st anniversary show that aired last week, truly had a lot of little nuggets that are very special to how Frank and Ron celebrate milestones, as they did with last year’s milestone 50th anniversary of GH.  I am always struck by the negativity I see from some fans of the show, when to me; it shows they put such care in to making these shows special.  I can’t say that always holds true for some of the other network soaps annual anniversary shows, where often it is just another usual day of storytelling.

LAURA:

What is really interesting is how the episode started in black and white, and they said, paging, “Nurse Amy Vining!”  I got tears in my eyes, and chills.  I watched GH growing up.  Such a great idea!  I didn’t know that was coming in the anniversary episode.  I was at my girlfriend’s house, who was the editor, and who did the fade up from black and white to color.  She also edited those great fight scenes between Anna (Finola Hughes) and Anna.  How great was that?  Her name is Christine Cooper, and she edited that show … and it was flawless!  In the anniversary episode it was great with AJ (Sean Kanan) and Emily (Natalia Livingston) coming back.  I loved Monica’s (Leslie Charleson) thoughts, which were: she wanted to die and be with her family, because everyone is gone.  I loved it because it would make sense that someone would feel that way.  It wasn’t over the top. It was perfect, and the flashbacks of Sonny and Carly were great, too.

MICHAEL:

The Daytime Emmys will be upon us soon, and you landed a spot in the Lead Actress Pre-Nomination list!  Congrats on that!  What episode did you submit for the final round of competition, as opposed to what you submitted for the first round where you only submit a few minutes of scenes?

LAURA:

Courtesy/ABC

For the Lead Actress Pre-Nomination, what I submitted I am really proud of.  We will see what happens.  I submitted an episode that has Todd and Carly in the jail cell after she finds out everything.  I submitted for the pre-nom first round a scene where Carly is trying to talk Sonny down, and trying to get him to take his meds again, and she kicked Olivia out, but it was vey intense, had a lot of yelling, and was very emotional.  Great work by Maurice, though!  Then I chose a scene where Roger says, “I loved your smile when I saw you” during the bio-toxin water scare.  And he is saying, “I did not want to die, because I did not want to not see your face again.”  She is shaking with tears coming down her face, and trying not to look at him.  She is like, “You had to know it was going to come out,” and he says, “I don’t care, I didn’t want to lose you.”  And then, I kept going back and forth of what to choose for the final round, but the ending to that scene in the jail cell where Carly says to Todd, “You know, you are a really terrible person.”  I just loved that!  I didn’t want to submit a show where I yell and scream at Sonny for five scenes.  It’s great when I get to submit one scene of that, because it gave a contrast, but if I am going to submit a whole show, I want it to be something that I was really proud of, and that I was really present and in the moment, and worked really hard on … and not that I don’t have that with Maurice, but Roger and I worked really hard on the pairing of Carly and Todd, and the downfall.  So, I decided in the end to go with that.  We will see what happens!

MICHAEL:

After the GH 51st anniversary episode aired, are the fans saying to you on social media that they want Sonny and Carly together now?

LAURA:

Absolutely!  It’s the most response I have ever gotten about them in a long time.  We have not really had scenes in that respect, or emotional scenes, and every single time Maurice and I work together we get a lot of fan response of loving us together.  Maurice and I will always say to each other how easy it is for us to work with one another, because there is such rich history in these two.  It’s just there.  It was like when I worked with Steve Burton.  It was just so easy.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

Speaking of Steve Burton (Ex-Jason, now Dylan, Y&R) do you miss having him at GH with you?

LAURA:

Of course!  It’s Carly and Jason.  I know it would have been written 100% different if Bob Guza (Ex-head writer, GH) had been writing the show and Jason left, as Carly would have probably spun out of control.  But, I really appreciate that Ron and Frank didn’t do that to Carly, because instead of crumbling, as she would have done years ago, she chose to honor his memory by being who he wanted her to be.  I thought that was smart move on Ron and Frank’s part, because it kept her strong, and not having her fall to her knees again.  It gave her a reason to stay strong and motivated.  I really appreciate that they did that.  She didn’t get stuck in that.  She was able to move forward and do other things.  I love Carly’s need to help Sam (Kelly Monaco), or when Sam comes to Carly’s rescue because she knows Jason would want her to.  I love that, because it keeps his “death” and the story active.

MICHAEL:

What do you think will happen if Michael finds out Carly has been hiding the truth about who shot AJ?

LAURA:

He is going to be really pissed!  I would assume that is where we are going with this! Michael will be really mad, and Carly will probably have to beg, and then I am going to cry, and then Morgan will be Carly’s new best friend! (Laughs)  I think I have the best “children” actors of any show!  They are like Cane and Abel, blonde and brunette.  I was the one who picked Bryan Craig (Morgan), and not that nobody else had a say-so in it, but when they asked me who I thought would be good, I said, “You know what?  First of all, I think he was the best actor.  But visually, he has light eyes like me, and he is tan and has dark hair like Sonny.”

MICHAEL:

Photo Credit: Thomas Montalto

And where is Jocelyn? (Laughs)  You know they are going to SORAS her soon!

LAURA:

Who?  You mean my on-screen daughter? (Laughs)  She is hanging out with Jax in Australia.  She is going to come back 16, and hot!

MICHAEL:

Are you prepared for that?

LAURA:

Yes, I love it, and you know why?  I’d rather have a 16-year-old that can act, rather than have a 12 or 8 year old that whines about their mom.  I don’t care about that age stuff; I have never cared about that.  It’s about selling the story, not about my ego, and having a 20-year-old daughter on the show.  I had Stephanie Gatschet on Guiding Light, who played my daughter.  She would say to people, “Oh, Laura plays my mom on the show.” And I would say, “Sister.  I play her sister!” (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

What’s your take on the state of the genre in 2014?  All four network soaps have been gotten renewal pick-ups.   Do you get the strong sense that General Hospital is firmly on sound footing now?  No one is worried right now about cancellation anytime soon, right?

LAURA:

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

I don’t feel any worries about cancellation at all.  Frank runs a tight ship.  He keeps the budget in a place that keeps the network happy.  Let’s be honest, it was all about money for all the shows.  We had to make a lot of changes in how we do things, and we hit the budget, and it’s there.  We are telling great stories, and our numbers are going up.  A lot of actors are getting to work. Everyone still has jobs to go to, which is great, and we get a lot more vacation time, which is awesome.  It feels really solid, and it sounds like it’s really solid on all the other shows too, from B&B, to Y&R, and DAYS.  Sean Kanan just went over to The Bold and the Beautiful, and other actors come on, and it’s so great that we still have four shows for actors to soap hop!  It makes sense, in this day and age, because we move so fast.  It doesn’t make sense to hire an actor that doesn’t know, or hasn’t done this before, because they can have a really hard time.  There could be 27 items or more for me in one day, and I don’t even bat an eye, because I have been doing it for so long, which is part of the transition into the world we are in now, whereas, someone that does primetime or theatre, and they come into soaps it’s more difficult to them, which makes sense, because to anyone else they would think we are crazy! (Laughs)

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Maria
Maria

Really great interview. I’m really enjoying the journey of Franco and Carly. Laura and Roger are wonderful.

Cindy
Cindy

Great interview, Michael. Thanks!

missellie
missellie

Sorry but I cannot accept the Franco/Carly romance so I tend to not watch on days that I know they will be on. There is no reason that Carly would ever accept Franco into her life. She is being written completely out of character. I guess that LW will not admit that.

SaveTheQ's
SaveTheQ's

Ms. Wright is an excellent actress but she has to be kidding about Roger Howarth and Franco. The role allows Howarth to do stick of sheer brilliance that everyone loves? He acts like that no matter what role he’s playing and who loves it? OLTL fans? Franco is an annoying clown who makes every scene he’s in unbearable to watch. James Franco’s version didn’t evolve? I guess he missed that day in acting school where they taught chewing the scenery and playing every part like Todd Manning.

Patrick
Patrick

Roger Howarth’ Franco… has gone by the wayside…

he’s just another one of the canvas… that is relegated.. to when and if he is “featured”

AND, it’s a shame… he’s so alluring… a dynamic sexual presence… that Laura Wright’ Carly… should thank her lucky stars

Carly… is more hit and miss… and is eschewing.. all her scenes any way… the current story line… to FEATURE the bigwigs… isn’t going any where

Luke…. duh? bimbo… chasing young starlets… as dim Tracy turns brain dead
Sonny… mobbed up with angst… his dilemmas are now even worse as he now has to work with Michael….
Carly… oh what a tangled web we weave… to feature her doing some thing… and it’s dull as yesterdays’ news… and it’s been Laura Wright… move over… Maura West is the new Lead actress

KansasGuest
KansasGuest

Gee, imagine that – Roger Howarth being “one of the canvas.” Instead of what, taking over the entire show? I’m glad his story is not being put ahead of all the others because then we’d back to what drove people away before under Guza – Jason first, & everyone else second.

GH now has many rich characters sharing their stories & it feels more balanced & equitable than it has in a long time. All generations are being represented. Some of the more exciting stories are even going to older actors. A soap should never be a one-man show.

Jessie
Jessie

Great interview as always…I LOVED everything she said

Sarah
Sarah

Great interview Michael!!! Excellent questions n I loved Laura’s honest answers!!! I can’t take the Franco relationship seriously so I hope they break up soon!!!

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

If Jocelyn really is going to be soras..what about the other children such as Emma, Spencer and Cameron and his brother? It wouldnt make sense just aging one and not the others who are all around the same age…all of a sudden theyll be the same age as Molly and T.J. and Ben and Danny will still be infants? That wouldnt make any sense…so i dont see them aging Carlys daughter…unless they age all of them and Molly and T.J. become twentysomething!!!

Michele
Michele

Nice job Michael as usual.

therapist in Boston
therapist in Boston

Wonderful interview.!
You are a fabulous actress. ..You bring a richness and dimension to your portrayal

Thank you
Karen

Kim
Kim

I love Carly and Franco but I wish they had a better build. They were rushed and they really haven’t been written very well. I hope the writing gets better for them because I think Laura and Roger are great together.

Krindy
Krindy

Um, ‘who didn’t want AJ dead?’ I didn’t want AJ dead! Sonny and Carly are literally the scum of the earth, not some lovestruck teenagers as portrayed in this interview. They rag on AJ all day, but look at what they did to Michael while AJ wasn’t in the picture. They can’t blame his shooting or rape or Claudia’s murder on AJ, but he shouldn’t be allowed in Michael’s life? This is BS.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Absolutely, positively, COMPLETELY agree! I thought the exact thing when I read that. It’s one thing for Carly and Sonny to think that…but I would think Laura would realize that her character and Maurice B’s character drove AJ to drink…literally and figuratively. I didn’t expect her to weigh in since she wants to keep her job and can’t really speak out on the conflict between Sean and Ron…or the writing for AJ. But I still would have liked if she acknowledged that many fans were upset by the death and treatment of AJ…and maybe a little word on how she’d miss working with Sean. (unless that’s not the case…who knows….)

paula
paula

I also agree. Lots of people did not want AJ to die, including myself. I was surprised that Laura Wright would say this. If they were going to kill off A.J., then they should have redeemed the character. They never gave the character a chance. I mean, who has done more bad stuff, than Sonny? However, Sonny will always get away with it, because he’s not leaving the show anytime soon. Love Carly, but this statement by Laura was inappropriate.

Shay
Shay

Excuse me, Laura Wright, but that little throwaway parting shot at AJ and his portrayer, Sean Kanan was decidedly ungracious, not to mention, patently untrue! Many, many of us are still mourning Port Charles’ loss of our favorite Quartermaine, as well as the actor who played him…I continue to feel immensely incensed and bereft at the way his legacy character was so gratuitously tossed aside and is now expected to be instantly forgotten by loyal longtime fans. But I suppose such an imperious attitude is par for the course from those members of the vaunted GH inner circle….they simply expect us to “drink the Kool-Aid” too and believe that “Cartini” can do no wrong, thus, not ever question the showrunners for their dubious decisions. That message has been received loud and clear, from the cavalier manner in which AJ was dispatched from the canvas, to the near silence other characters have maintained since his passing….would it have hurt for Tracy and Luke Whoever to acknowledge for a brief moment over their Kelly’s luncheon the death of her nephew, shown an ounce of concern for his survivors or perhaps even a smidgen of remorse for treating him so badly? What about all the other PC citizens who have a history with the Quartermaine clan? Not all memories of AJ need be bad ones, although it would seem that there will be a great deal of revisionist history coming down the pike to further impugn and diminish the image of the late heir that we the audience considered to be an endearing and worthwhile character deserving of a decent, dignified send-off. Just all in a days work for Ron C……

rebecca1
rebecca1

@MichaelFairman…
Thank you so much for your wonderful, fun, site which is as addictive as the soaps! It’s a great place to exchange ideas, opinions, suggestions for SL’s AND discontent. While I understand your wanting to clarify Laura’s comment regarding the character of AJ…I, for one, understood the context of which you asked and what was answered.

Unless you edited out more of Laura’s response regarding AJ’s demise…her comment hits me exactly the same as my original reaction. There was no sensitivity/understanding that many fans didn’t want AJ dead…or that perhaps the character was given an unfair shake. The fact that Laura felt her character feels no sadness/remorse/regret…even AFTER she had a one-night stand with him, was still attracted on some level, knowing he’s the biological father of her child…makes her character Carly worse than ever in my eyes.

Carly, the young girl who stole Michael from AJ was bad enough. Carly, the woman who supposedly has grown and matured as she has stated even in this interview, should have come to realize that AJ was not the “pig” as Sonny so endearingly (rolling eyes) called him…that Sonny the not-bio dad was the murderer/crime lord…not AJ. That AJ did whatever he did in the past to have a chance with his son.

I’m not sure if actors interpret their own characters or they’re told what to feel/think. But if I were playing that role something inside me would say…”They, doesn’t Carly have mixed feelings for AJ?” They have a past, they have a son. There was obviously some attraction…whether it be love/hate…hate/passion…whatever it was it was there.

For her to feel NOTHING? Nothing but hate….no sadness at his death? Sorry…the answer left me cold. I would have preferred…”Yes, a part of Carly hated AJ but on some other level she realized her part in their sordid history. And she would have never wished him dead; just away from her son…”

Verdict? Carly? Still guilty!

rebecca1
rebecca1

corrections…fun site, “recently” had yet another one night stand with him, or they’re told what “their characters are thinking/feeling…”, “Hey” (not they)…doesn’t Carly…

Shay
Shay

Mr. Fairman….Thank you for your comments and clarification….you are always so gallant and protective of your interview subjects, and that is quite admirable. I am certainly willing to give Ms. Wright the benefit of the doubt that her remark was not intended to offend the countless AJ/Sean Kanan fans out there, although I still believe that her reply to your question could have been phrased a bit more delicately, as she undoubtedly should have been aware that this particular death and storyline have been sorely received by many of us. Thus, her seemingly flip response, while perhaps purely unintentional, came off as rather callous. It also struck some of us as a tad strange that a small nod to SK was not forthcoming…even if only as a perfunctory courtesy. Whether Wright likes it or not, one of Carly’s best and most memorable scenarios over this past year or so was her “hate” romp with AJ….their chemistry was off-the charts combustible and the subsequent comedic fallout was far more entertaining than all her flat, fizzled frolics with Franco combined (and I say that with no joy, as I was truly tickled by Roger Howarth’s twisted turn as the arcane artiste. There was simply no magic between Carly and the non-Q….who should have remained one, as an aside!) Hence, a parting acknowledgement of Kanan’s contributions would have been most appreciated by those AJ champions who hoped for a fond farewell and respectful closure for his character…just saying! Still, your explanation did make Wright’s answer somewhat more comprehensible from the actress’s perspective, so I will accept it in that spirit. At any rate, thanks again for taking the time to clear up this controversy.

rebecca1
rebecca1

@Shay…I’m thinking that the animosity between SK and RC is such that Laura was hesitant to (or advised not to) bring up Sean’s contributions and their on-air chemistry. Or offer an opinion either way of his demise. That, or perhaps LW doesn’t (and I don’t say this with malice) read fan reaction for or against another character.

Either way it hit some of us the way it did. I think since fans are emotionally invested in these characters for our suspended times of disbelief…responses should be more thought out because it colors the rest of the interview….

GH Past
GH Past

I miss Jax, and I miss the dynamics of Carly and Jax. I wish the writers would have written the characters a bit more equal and had given Jax more of a break. Carly and Jax had such wonderful chemistry and it’s because you can tell that Laura and Ingo truly like each other, and really enjoy working together.

Eileen
Eileen

Wonderful interview. Love hearing Laura’s insights and I’m onboard with her character all the way. Thank you!

Denise
Denise

would love to see Jax come back to be with Carly.. Thank you Laura for talking about Jax & Carlys love.

Linda
Linda

Having all 3 Carly’s with Sonny ROCKED! Love that show. BEST show in a long time! LW, SJB and TB rocked it with Mo!

Love what LW says about Carson that she would love to do Carson if written right! EEEEEEEEEEE! which I agree with her and would be all for Carly to reunite with her soul mate! It just has to be written right and true to character!

And PLEASE GH FREE Carly from Franco! No way do I buy Carly would ever want anything to do with Franco after what he did to her BFF Jason and her son! It makes no sense and I hate the SL as a Carly fan first! I do admit that RH and LW have lots of chem but I’m about the SL as well and IF the show wanted them to be paired up together they should have made him someone other than Franco!

Chelsea
Chelsea

I don’t buy CarSon either since he threatened to kill her over Olivia a few months ago. I like how everyone conveniently forgets that. Bygones? LOL

Shawn
Shawn

Michael, you REALLY don’t see why fans are complaining about the show? They don’t complain about the nods and history and vets. I love that Ron and Frank overall respect the history and bring back so many veterans and do their nods to the past, but Laura Wright just told you why the show is crappy. The timing of storylines sucks. Franco and Carly make NO sense, even though Roger and Laura are good together. Franco as a walking hyper goof-ball does NOT work. LOVE Laura Wright.

rebecca1
rebecca1

I find it strange that Carly and Sonny have ANY relationship after he threatened to kill her if Olivia died. Whether he would actually have gone through with it is doubtful…but just the fact that it crossed his mind and attacked her with such ferocity, hatred and vengeance would be enough to break the bond. One would think…

Seems like everyone’s conveniently forgotten that threat.

Chelsea
Chelsea

IKR? Sonny wanted kill Carly last summer but that’s swept under the rug. He wanted to kill her over Olivia. LOL! I will never be able to take CarSon after he threatened to kill her. Sonny is garbage!

Shirley Strickler
Shirley Strickler

Great interview love Laura Wright she is a phenomenal actress❤

hedda
hedda

Ava didn’t grow up in a mob family. They’ve gone out of their way to make this clear to the audience… where did she grow up, though?

KansasGuest
KansasGuest

In a bar w/Delia

silence1534
silence1534

Who didn’t want AJ dead? THE FANS. And I love Roger Howarth more than anything, but he’s so stupid for agreeing to take this character. Franco is irredeemable, no matter what scenes they try to re-write. They’ve been bombarding the cast with newbies like Felix, Sabrina, Carlos, Brad, and Kiki when they should be focusing on Patrick, Alexis, Sonny, Tracy, Monica, Luke, Elizabeth, and Nikolas. You know, the people who can actually ACT.

Shawn
Shawn

Yes! Thank you!

And why is there a story based around a character (Nina) with a mother (Donna Mills has been fabulous), an ex-husband (Easton looks so bored), and likely a child that has never been on the canvas of GH? And yet Monica and Michael are mourning AJ OFF-SCREEN. It makes no sense. Just like AJ rotting in jail for two months OFF-SCREEN. The pacing is awful and probably my biggest gripe.

rebecca1
rebecca1

AJ is never going to get a fair shake…not in life or death. Maddening.

Allie
Allie

Loved your interview with the amazing Laura Wright!

Shawn
Shawn

It was a good interview. Thank you Michael.

Cynthia
Cynthia

I love Laura and Roger together. I would have preferred him not be Franco, but I just pretend he is a new character and has nothing to do with the James Franco character. I also think they explained some things and the brain tumor changed him, too. I hope they don’t age Josslyn because I don’t want Emma and Spencer aged. The actors that play them are wonderful! Such a great interview!!!!

Shawn
Shawn

Yeah, why couldn’t Josslyn be friends with Emma (lol, Carly and Robin’s daughters … it just writes itself!). They can be frenemies and rivals later.

aria
aria

the way i read it, it sounded more like Michael fairman, was joking and said “you know they are going to soras josslyn” and Laura said yeah in response to his sarcasm,and then replied yeah, and she will be a hot 16yo. she said it was her preference, but the show just put out a casting for a young 8yo blond girl that sound like josslyn and will be added in with little emma,cameron and spencer. and shawn your right, Emma and Joslyn are frenemies truly writes itself.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

I hope they dont age Carlys daughter…too many adult cast members as it is and i dont want the show overrun with teenagers…

Carlyfan
Carlyfan

While I respect Laura has to like her storylines and promote them – this Crano mess has turned a lot of fans off of Carly! I now ffwd Carly because I don’t understand her anymore. The once fearless Mother bear who would do anything for her kids, ANYTHING, is now in love with the man that tortured her family and had her son raped. Sorry, not buying it.

Patricia Nolan-Hall (@CaftanWoman)
Patricia Nolan-Hall (@CaftanWoman)

Love Laura Wright, and it was nice to see Sarah Brown and Tamara Braun reprise their popular role. However, after the incredible opening, all of the time spent on Sonny and Carly in the anniversary episode annoyed me. The mob storyline drove me away from GH years ago. Currently, my only hope for the A.J. demise is that it drastically alters the Sonny character.

Sandy
Sandy

Thank you so much for interviewing Laura! She is my absolute favorite, and Carly is my favorite soap character of all time. ! I have loved Carly with all of her men, and I am so happy she remains in Sonny’s orbit, I will always have a soft spot for Carson. I haven’t forgotten Sonny threatened to kill Carly over what happened with Olivia, I just knew he would never actually do it. I loved Carjax, and I loved Carly and Todd. I am also enjoying Carly very much with Franco, drama is all about conflict and Carly has that in spades with Franco. I agree they could have been developed better, the focus was all wrong, it should have been on their conflict but I love the writing for them now. I totally believe Carly believes Franco’s actions were caused by the tumor, and that he did not intentionally have Michael hurt and that allows her to transcend the things he did. I also believe her love and devotion to Jason was a conduit for his twin ( or so we thought at the time ) into her heart . Once someone is in Carly’s heart, they never truly find their way out. Laura and Roger just bring out this quality in each other that is so very “real”, I forget I am watching TV. I do wish they had kept the character of AJ, and had him go off screen for awhile, there is so much history there that could still be played out. I really appreciate Laura’s frankness and insight. She is a class act. Thanks again for interviewing her.

Jenn
Jenn

Love the interview! I wish more soap actors had the same attitude and common sense that Laura does. She truly is a soap star.

Madhvika
Madhvika

Great interview! I LOVE Franco and Carly and hope we get to see more of their love story and not just the plot points.

Jenn
Jenn

Me too! LW & RH have such great chemistry and are such great actors. It’s too bad we didn’t get to see Cranco fall in love as Laura mentions but their scenes are always fun to watch.

Sandy
Sandy

I read the article once more and I have another comment i wanted to add. I love Laura’s choice of scenes she chose for the Emmy’s submission. There are so many but I think now that particular one is my all time favorite Carly scene. The one she chose where she tells Todd he is not her friend. I have noticed when Carly is in emotional pain, she will so often put her hand over her eyes almost as a shield. I am assuming this is a trait Laura has given her to show Carly hiding her pain from the world. In that scene with Todd, Carly does not do that. Her hand is down, and we can clearly see her face . Carly makes her self so vulnerable to Todd, and allows him ( and we viewers ) to see the pain his betrayal has caused her. Her face just crumbles with pure raw emotion. That is something she allows so few to see , and there was so much honesty and purity in that scene. For me, that is the magic that is RoLa. I just love their work together, and it is work and scenes like that make me continue to watch daytime.

Timmm
Timmm

Roger is a great actor but I hated the character of Franco and I dont like him playing it. He should have been written as a member of the Jax family, perhaps a brother that Jerry or Jasper knew nothing about? That way if Ingo come back, he has someone other than Sonny to fight with.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Id liked him to play son of Jimmy Lee and that would partly help build up the Q’s especially after A.J. was killed off!!!

Timmm
Timmm

You know what, your right! Bring back the character who played Jimmy Lee and have Roger be his son. This whole Franco, Scotty, and Heather thing is a ruse!

KMB
KMB

I feel bad that Ingo or Jax keeps being brought back to prop others. He stood by Carly while she seemed to be more loyal to Sonny and Jason. He’s brought back with Brenda so Brenda can drool over Sonny. The last thing Jax fans want is for Jax to be brought back to fight with Franco over Carly. We know how predictable that would be with these writers…Franco would win. So if Jax comes back, let Carly fall deeply back in love with him (The do have great chemisty) or bring him back for a new woman who will love him and him only for once.

Trisha
Trisha

Loved this interview. Laura was truthful yet diplomatic, as she should be..pure class. She knows how to speak from the point of her character and also how to let us know that she understands the problems that we are having with the writing. She’s a team player and that’s admirable.

However, I HATE how Ron C writes for her. He’s using her the wrong way and not enough and it shows by how she’s MIA in stories she should be a part of..something that is missing in most of the GH characters now. GH has always been about family and Ron C seems to forget that most of the time. At least lately, Carly has been a part of the Michael/AJ story, but Ron needs to understand that this kind of inclusion should continue and she should not be isolated just because she’s with Franco. It would make more viewers tune in than tune out if Carly is on where she should be. Actually, the writing is a BIG part of what is wrong about GH and someone should clue TPTB in on this and suggest they concentrate on writing FOR who the characters are instead of writing them just to push plot. It’s something that GH viewers obviously want and care about MORE than they care about any newbies that are brought on. GH fans just LOVE their core characters MORE than any newbies.

Belle
Belle

I agree with Rebecca 1 ; A.J. never gets/got a fair shake , and Silence 1; A.J. ‘s fans care that he’s gone; he didn’t stand a chance on the show listening to Carly.
I left General Hospital years ago when Sonny and the mob dominated the show. The Qs and all their power couldn’t stop Sonny from influencing Michael’s life. Plus, this mobster was allowed to control the lives of decent people. I never comprehended how the fans allowed Sonny’s character to totally wield power that he did over the show. In addition to that, allowing a mobster appear to be the better parent ; unbelievable. I could understand if Sonny was Michael’s father , but he wasn’t.
Also, I couldn’t understand why A.J.’s character was written as a weakling . Sonny is a mobster ; however, A.J. was still a man .He shouldn’t have had to beg Sonny not to kill him , nor, have his son intervene for his life. Plus, to have Dante , a cop, watching Sonny pull a gun on A.J. without doing anything ,really stunned me. I hope that a true police dept. doesn’t allow that. If by chance A.J.’s character returns, allow him to be a man ! It’s sad that A.J.’s role had to endure such character assassination to make a mobster’s role look good.
Frank and Ron were doing fine until A.J.’s role continued to make him look so weak and unsympathetic.
I wish General Hospital could have kept the characters of John , Todd , and Starr ; can’t have everything.
I would love for Sonny to try and pull his stunts on Victor Newton!

Patrick
Patrick

I appreciate her honesty… when she says… her 6 years with Jax… where when Carly has been and was… at her best…. and that includes as an actress.

her pom pom’ing Roger Howarth…. “Tod” is over the top… since, it would seem he’s not an every day player any more… just like 1/2 the cast plus

it’s a downright shame… what Roger Howarth must think…

I don’t buy for a minute… LW wanting a romance with Sonny… puhlease
that’d be death for both characters… but now that we think about it… would we really miss Sonny, Carly, Michael, Kiki, Olivia, ….

when she quotes : “…I think it has to be really well done, and they would have to take their time with it.”

’nuff said on lack thereof

DomSmythe
DomSmythe

Laura and Roger have ZERO chemistry. Snooze!

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

I love that she basically confirms a Jocelyn SORAS is happening, and I am okay with that. Joce has been pushed to the backburner, and should be focused upon. And I’d love for Jax to return, too. Because like Laura said, their romance was probably the best one that Carly has ever experienced, and it’s disappointing that she isn’t going to be playing off of the one anymore. They fit like a pair.

Carly/Todd worked much better than Carly/Franco, but Roger and Laura’s chemistry is beyond brilliant and it is more than I ever could have asked for. And the whole Carlypalooza could’ve gone bad, but the way they transitioned between the three Carly’s was beyond amazing.

I love Laura as Carly and cannot wait for more adventures with her!!!

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

But if they age Jocelyn…then theyll have to age Emma, Spenser, Cameron ect. and what about Molly and T.J. who are already teenagers? It wouldnt make sense if you just age Carlys daughter and not the others…also having them suddenly the same age as the teenagers already there would be a bad joke!

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Scott (ATWT Fan)

They don’t *have* to age Emma, Spencer or Cameron. These are soap operas and characters SORAS when they need to. Emma/Spencer/Cameron do not need to SORAS at this time. Their story is working for them. Look at Y&R, they aged Noah and Abby, and then aged Kyle a few years later. That’s how things can work. Soaps have been doing this for years, so it shouldn’t be anything new.

And there’s more things to joke about on GH than a simple SORAS, aka the horrific, stale and dated writing going on.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Yeah, ive seen that aging with children happen that way in the past…imo, its still kind of strange seeing these young children all around the same age and than ‘POOF’ one is suddenly a teenager while the others are still in elementary school…ive been watching serials for 50 years and i never get used to it…lol! Thanks for reply!!!

Johnny
Johnny

Laura Wright is an awesome actress, and the ONLY reason I find Carly even somewhat watchable or tolerable. If it wasn’t for her, I would fast forward through ALL of Carly’s scenes, as I did for years before she came on. It is such a shame that the show has saddled such a gorgeous, luminous performer with such an ugly, hard, disgusting character. and Laura’s responses to these questions sound like they were filtered directly through FrankenRon’s mouthpiece. viewers want her and Sonny together??? Um…not the majority of viewers who post on here. the majority on here want Sonny GONE, and are FIRMLY team AJ and Quartermaine. she did say a few things where she is confused, and unsure of how to play things as currently written, and I don’t blame her. Her character makes no sense whatsoever, and is long past the point of relevance. It was sickening to watch her and Franco, a serial killer, while canoodling, talk about her ex-husband, the murdering mobster. they grinned and laughed like two Cheshire cats talking about AJ’s death, wondering more about how Ava was involved than the fact that the man who GAVE Carly her “beloved” son, was murdered in cold blood. these are all characters who love death and violence. sonny does, Carly does, Franco does, Ava does, Shawn does, it is truly sickening. But, love Laura…and have loved her for 23 years since she popped up on Loving as Ally Rescott.

rebecca1
rebecca1

ditto.

Rose
Rose

Great interview, I so like her.

Moviegal
Moviegal

This interview is a perfect example of why I’ve always loved Laura Wright! I sincerely appreciate her candor, and the fact that she’s not afraid to speak her mind – particularly about the whole ABC/PP fiasco, and how it affected these (3) actors particularly, and those who played opposite them! I sincerely hope that she submitted the scene w/her and RH on the bridge after Franco took baby Danny for her Emmy reel.

dmr
dmr

I absolutely adore Laura Wright! I miss seeing her more often on-air. I can’t say that I am a fan of Carly and Franco. I loved Carly with Todd. I still love Roger Howarth; but, I wish he was brought back as a long-lost Quartermaine, instead. I just can’t buy the Carly and Franco pairing. It will be fun to see Carly mother a 16 year old daughter! HAHA! Payback for all of the hell Carly put Bobbie through when she first came to town (older than 16, but still…).

MegB
MegB

So the writers are going to SORAS Joss Jax and not Emma Drake and the other kids on the show? If my memory serves me correctly, Joss was born in 2009 and Emma was born the year before in 2008…am I the only one who thinks this is ridiculous? The writing and the characters have become absolutely laughable.

dmr
dmr

I know. Just what we need, more recurring tweens to invade the show. I hope they don’t SORAS little Emma Drake. That little girl has more talent than a lot of the other actresses on the show (useless Kiki).

aria
aria

i think Laura said she hopes they soras joslyn, but it doesn’t mean they will, i heard they were casting an 8 yo blond girl, and the characer disscription sounds like josslyn, i think the character will be added to the emma, cameron and spencer mix…

heidi
heidi

Great interview Michael!!! Laura is a fave and this was fun to hear her take on the strange things going on with Carly/Todd/Franco/Sonny and my fave Jax!

Kathleen
Kathleen

So Jocelyn and Serena(Carly Schroeder) can be associated with each other. Let’s see.

Susan Davoren
Susan Davoren

Is Laura Wright going to remain on GH or will be be leaving?
It is a great loss if she does leave.

General Hospital

Ingo Rademacher Returns As GH’s Jax Beginning In May

Things will get more interesting in the lives of Josslyn (Eden McCoy), Carly (Laura Wright), Sonny (Maurice Benard) and many others on the GH canvas with the arrival back in Port Charles of Jasper Jacks.  That’s because as previously announced, Ingo Rademacher is headed back to the ABC daytime drama series to reprise his signature role.

Circle May 7th for when you will see Jax back in action.  According to EW.com. “He’s back to see his daughter Josslyn and ex-wife Carly”   Jax will also share scenes with Steve Burton (Jason) and of course Maurice Benard (Sonny).

Looks like Jax may be back to help out Josslyn in her time of need as her boyfriend Oscar’s (Garren Stitt) final days seem to be drawing near, or does something else also bring his attention back to Port Charles?

It’s been a bit since Ingo played Jax on GH having last appeared on the soap in April of 2017.  Ingo eventually landed the role as the recast Thorne Forrester on CBS’s The Bold and the Beautiful, a part he played till December of 2018.

Back in March, the actor originally from down under shared on his Instagram account: “Won’t be long now.  Just had my fitting. All new look for Jax. Start shooting next week. No air date yet. Stay tuned. Can’t wait!”

So, excited for some Jax on GH? What do you think will bring him back? What do you think will keep him in town? Comment below.

 

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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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Breaking News

Cynthia Watros Replaces Michelle Stafford As GH’s Nina Reeves

Another big name is headed to the cast of General Hospital on the heels of the upcoming departure of Michelle Stafford.  Daytime Emmy winner, Cynthia Watros had been cast as the the new Nina Reeves.  Fans of Guiding Light remember her star turn as Annie Dutton, and she was last see on on daytime in the role of Kelly Andrews on The Young and the Restless (2013-2014).

As previously reported, Daytime Emmy winner, Michelle Stafford is headed back to her old stomping grounds of The Young and the Restless to play her signature soap role of Phyllis Summer.  She will replace her own recast, Daytime Emmy winner, Gina Tognoni.  Both actresses are said to be finishing taping their current runs on their respective shows in May. Watros will begin her GH run in Port Charles in June,

GH’s EP Frank Valentini tweeted on today’s casting news: “It’s a bittersweet day. I love @TheRealStafford and wish her all the best. I’m also really excited about @watroswatros joining the #GH family and continuing Nina’s legacy.”

PEOPLE.com broke the casting change.  Stafford has been with GH since 2014.  As for Watros, she opted to leave her role on Y&R to join the cast of MTV’s Finding Carter.  She is also known for her run on the hit ABC drama, Lost and other notable primetime series and films.

Michelle Stafford’s on-screen GH love interest, James Patrick Stuart, tweeted on the news: “Cynthia Watros … Big fan.”

So, what do you think of the casting of Cynthia Watros as the new Nina Reeves? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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