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The Maura West Interview – General Hospital

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

November Sweeps is in full bloom on ABC’s General Hospital, and it’s turning out to be an epic one, especially for mob gal, Ava Jerome (Maura West)!  With so many in Port Charles wanting to take her down … or, out … it is whack-job Nina Clay (Michelle Stafford) who just did the unthinkable to her arch enemy with an assist from her evil mother, Madeline (Donna Mills)!  In the highly anticipated, knot-in-your-gut scenes, Nina has drugged Ava by paralyzing her, and then inducing labor with a series of terrifying syringe-filled injections.  Ava has no option but to have Nina deliver her baby!  Nina’s revenge plot comes to its fruition with a newborn baby in hand as payback for Ava having her husband Silas’ (Michael Easton) baby (Kiki) all those years ago!

Meanwhile, Sonny (Maurice Benard) has just filled-in Morgan (Bryan Craig) that Ava killed Connie!  Morgan has told Sonny that Ava is hiding out at the brownstone, and remember, Sonny told Ava he will kill her once the baby is born for retribution for her pulling the trigger.  What will Sonny do?  And there is this: which one of the Corinthos men is the father of Ava’s now kidnapped baby girl?  With the drama continuing to unfold, On-Air On-Soaps chatted with two-time Daytime Emmy winning dynamo Maura West, who just delivered, yet again, another star-turn as Ava’s world is turned upside down and sideways!

There is no question that West has become one of the crème de la crème, the quintessential actress of the genre, exciting the audience at home with her layered character and performances, and bringing her A-game to the set of GH each and every time.  In our candid and oh-so-fun conversation, Maura reveals what it was like taping the key scenes with Michelle Stafford, where Nina’s plan to take Ava’s baby goes into full tilt!  She also addresses: where she thinks the story will go from here, who she hopes is proven to be the father of Ava’s baby, if she is concerned that Ava could finally be sent up the river after all her crimes, and what she thought of Ava running down Jason, which facilitated the entrance of Billy Miller!  “Buckle Up, GHers!”  Here’s what Maura shared!

MICHAEL:

Ava Jerome has compiled quite the laundry list of crimes!  Have you been concerned at all how the writers were going to get her out of all this … and thus worried about the fate of the character?

MAURA:

Courtesy/ABC

Of course, you feel that way, but frankly, then I shed that.  It’s not my problem, or my business.  My business is to play my scripts one day at a time, and play this character.  It’s really not for me to wonder about four months down the road, or six months down the road, or a year down the road.  I am a human being, so sure I go, “Well, this is a tough one!”  But again, at the end of the day, it’s not my business.

MICHAEL:

When you found out that Ava was pregnant, what was your initial reaction?  Did you think it was a great way to keep her alive in the story?

MAURA:

In the moment, I thought it was a great way to save her and keep her alive.  It’s a handy tool for this genre to have someone be pregnant.  It’s very common, and yet this was unpredictable, at least to me.  I think the audience got it before the big reveal.  They were thinking, “Oh, she’s gonna be pregnant.”  The fans post their thoughts, and they are often right!  I am really game for anything; otherwise I wouldn’t be having any fun.  I loved it!  I loved the idea, because it’s hilarious that it could be Carly’s (Laura Wright) grandbaby that Ava is having.  Also, the idea that just this one time, one time in the crypt, and the possibility then of Ava having Sonny’s baby is interesting, too.  It all came out of the one misstep by these characters.

MICHAEL:

What did you think of the infamous “crypt sex” scenes?  Your performance, as well as Maurice’s, was amazing!  Have you watched back the scenes?

MAURA:

Courtesy/ABC

I am very self-critical, because I know what was going on that day.  I know what Maura was thinking before we started taping the scenes, or where I was emotionally.  So when I see it back, that is how I gauge each episode.  That being said, I would be an idiot to not watch the show, and the progress of not only Ava, but the other characters around her, and who’s talking about her.  Frankly, I like the show, and I like a lot of other characters, and I am entertained by it.  I did like the “crypt sex” scenes, because I got to work with Maurice Benard (Sonny). I find him to be a very interesting man, and an unpredictable actor, which I like.  I would say overall I liked the scenes, as much as you can like screwing in a crypt! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

The “crypt sex” certainly got a reaction from the fans of the show.  Many were outraged that the duo did it right there in front of the dead Quartermaines!

MAURA:

I love that the fans are so attached to the characters, and even the characters that are in that crypt!  It’s sacrilege for the fans of the show. They have been watching the show for so long, and Ava is sort of this new girl in town, and she screws on the graves! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

Morgan (Bryan Craig) was recently taking care of pregnant Ava and hiding her at the brownstone!  Now, he is armed with the knowledge that Ava killed Connie! What do you think will happen when he eventually confronts her?  How will she deal with it?

MAURA:

I would just guess from my relationship with Ava, since I am very intimate with her (laughs) that she knew this would be a conversation that would come up some day.  She was just trying to avoid the conversation as long as possible.

MICHAEL:

Ava is great at sidestepping.  She has been a survivor of all her dirty deeds … until now!

MAURA:

But in the end one must face their faults, their lies, and their demons!  The clock is ticking here.  It’s her turn.  I think it’s also important to remember, and for me to remind myself, that this was a mob hit.  This was no different from Julian (William deVry) shooting Vince at the pier, or the numerous shootings that have happened, or all the guards that were shot in Ava’s hallway at her penthouse.  People get shot on this show by mobsters, and that is what happened in that office that day with Connie (Kelly Sullivan). Connie had just found out that Derek Wells (Julian) and Ava were the Jeromes!  Ava could not allow that to go any further.  So, this is not like it was some forensic files creepy murder, it is what is, and that is a mob hit.  Now, that is not necessarily better (laughs) but it does change the attitude of it, as far as mobsters go. This is what happens in this world.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

For months and months, it has been set-up that Nina (Michelle Stafford) is going to take this baby from Ava!  Can you take me through the taping of the harrowing scenes, as played by you and Michelle Stafford?  What was your reaction when you found out just how Nina was going to take Ava’s baby … literally right out of her!

MAURA:

Michelle and I work great together.  We respect each other, the script, and the story, and we know what our jobs are.  So while having fun, as women and as actors, because that is so important, we can also get the job done effectively and efficiently.  When I read the script at home I was stunned!  I was just stunned.  The cruelty of paralyzing this woman, who is so active, able, and strong, and willful!  Those are all the things about Ava that I love.  Once she has been given this paralytic, she is stripped of her ability to defend herself, which is what she has done her whole life.  And for me, I almost dry-heaved!  I was like, “Oh, my God!”  I know Ava is bad, but I love her, and I have to love her.  So, my first thought was: “Poor Ava!”  And then I think to myself, “O.K. Maura, how are you going to do this?”  It is very difficult as an actor to act when you are essentially completely inactive, and yet you have all of these scenes to do. I found it very challenging in that way.  I don’t want to speak for Michelle, but conversely for her, she is the one who is the movement and the language, and she is the catalyst.  As an actor, I can’t give her a lot, because I am just lying there.

MICHAEL:

Your eyes showed the terror!  The scenes were phenomenal. 

MAURA:

Courtesy/Twitter

I certainly hope so!  (Laughs)  That is very challenging to paralyze your actress and say, “Now, go!”   It was very tricky.  Michelle was great, and in fact after those scenes were done, we went out and had a couple of margaritas to shake it off!  You have to shake it off, because it was sort of creepy, and it was emotionally taxing to do that kind of stuff.  Sometimes, you just need to decompress.

MICHAEL:

It was horrifying to see Ava go from being paralyzed from one drug, to going into labor from the other one, and Nina going crazy and getting everything ready to aid in the delivery of that baby!  How was playing that moment?

MAURA:

Michelle is so brilliant in this moment when that the paralytic wears off just as the drug that induced Ava’s labor kicks-in.  Nina needs to be able to have her push out the baby. Nina took great delight in that her plan had worked: that one drug was wearing off as the other was taking effect and kicking-in.  Ava at that point is paralyzed by the pain of active labor.  I can say that having been there a few times in real life! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

And then the baby is born!  Nina adamantly tells Ava that this is HER baby.  And then who shows up? … Nina’s accomplice, Madeline (Donna Mills)!  In an effort to keep the women from taking off with her newborn little bundle of joy, Ava starts to attempt to turn the tables on them by divulging a bit of information to Nina!

MAURA:

Courtesy/ABC

I know!  The baby is born, and it’s a baby girl.  Ava never gets to see her, or hold her, or smell her, or any of the things new mommies want to do.  The bargaining takes place when Madeline (Donna Mills) shows up to help Nina leave with the baby, which is totally insane, but great!  Ava is trying anything to stop them, and she is very weak after giving birth, and so she can’t just go running around after her baby.  She is not being able to help herself to the baby, and then she starts to verbally bargain, or really trying to plead to Madeline, that you don’t have to do this.  She tries to get Nina angry with Madeline by telling her how Madeline paid her to have sex with her husband Silas (Michael Easton) all those years ago, and to try to divide the two so they will somehow leave the baby.  And for me, those were my first scenes with Donna Mills!  Let’s not forget that!

MICHAEL:

This was a soap opera heaven for fans of the soaps, seeing you, Donna Mills and Michelle Stafford all together in scenes!  How was it working with Donna?

MAURA:

It was incredible!  Donna has this glorious presence about her, but she is just there to do the job.  It’s really just wonderful.

MICHAEL:

Were you a Donna Mills fan when she was Abby on Knots Landing?

MAURA:

Courtesy/ABC

Are you kidding me?  I don’t think you can be a television fan, without being a fan of Donna Mills!  Knots Landing was on for 14 years, or so!

MICHAEL:

So this little bombshell that Ava drops to try to put a wedge between Madeline and Ava, do you think she is telling the truth about how she was paid by Madeline to seduce Silas, especially given how Ava lies her way out of everything?

MAURA:

I think that we are left thinking that Ava is telling the truth.  Ava does fib a lot though!  She did not mean to fall in love with Silas, but she cared about him after the fact.  I think we are left realizing that this all could be true.

MICHAEL:

Ava is going to want her baby back!  Did you play it from the get-go that Ava wanted this child … or did you play it from a place that she was going along with the pregnancy, because this baby was the only way to keep her alive so Sonny wouldn’t kill her?

MAURA:

She is very upset.  As far as Maura played it, this woman anticipated, wanted, genuinely loved, and was not simply grown inside her to protect her, and so it wasn’t just a ploy for Ava to stay alive for nine more months.  It really was a baby that she wanted.  She is a mother, and she does love her other daughter Kiki (Kristen Alderson).  I think it has been made very clear that Ava does like being a mother, and certainly would want her baby.  It is a really devastating moment for Ava when they walk out the door with the baby.  Oh, yeah!

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

Do you think the audience is now going to root and care for Ava, now that Nina and Madeline left with her baby? 

MAURA:

It is our jobs to find the humanity in the scenes.  By the way, as exciting and dramatic as it is, it can happen and has in real life, but there is always a humanity written in there, which I love.  So that no matter what is going on, or how far-fetched we might go, in the next beat there is a really human moment.  That is the brilliance of General Hospital head writer Ron Carlivati, and his writing team.

MICHAEL:

So, who are you hoping will turn out to be the biological father of Ava’s baby … Sonny or Morgan?

MAURA:

Well, Morgan of course!  She told him that and she meant that.  Ava loves Morgan.  She doesn’t love Sonny, besides how many kids can that guy have? (Laughs)   Morgan and Ava had that sweet scene not long ago where she said to him, “I hope the baby is yours.”  I love working with Bryan Craig (Morgan).  He has always been wonderful right from the start, easy, and he never feared the weird feeling of him being so much younger than the actress he is playing opposite.  He has been really a joy, actually.

MICHAEL:

At the end of yesterday’s episode, Ava finally wobbles and crawls to the door, and there is Sonny! Oh, boy!  Her day of reckoning is here, or is it?

MAURA:

Courtesy/ABC

I know!  He is everywhere!   And there he is … standing there all cute! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

While many have been waiting for the showdown between Sonny and Ava, I am placing my bet that she and Sonny are going to be forced to work together to find the baby, therefore her life is saved for the moment … yet again!  How does that sound? (Laughs)

MAURA:

I can say that definitely something happens.  You have to watch.  Many twists!  And that is not a bad guess of yours.  It could be … or could not be.  Maybe … or maybe not.  So much stuff is going to happen.

MICHAEL:

When you look at the list of actors you get to work with in your story, including Michael Easton (Silas) they are all A-list heavy-hitters in daytime!  Do you ever take a moment and think to yourself how incredible and cool this is to work with such a talent pool?

MAURA:

When I first came to GH my first scenes were with Tony Geary (Luke), Jane Elliot (Tracy), and Roger Howarth (Franco) who is brilliant … they are all brilliant.  So, I know what you are saying.  Believe me, I don’t take it for granted when I go on set and Michael Easton (Silas) is standing there.  I go, “Wow! Holy s—t that is Michael Easton standing there!”  And you know, none of it gets really old to me.  I enjoy it.  I like people, and I like acting a lot, and for me every minute of it is such a joy.

MICHAEL:

Courtesy/ABC

Where do you think Silas’ relationship with Ava is at now?  He was there to help her when she was having labor issues.  Do you think that somehow Silas and Ava could rekindle the past?

MAURA:

These are two people that did care about each other, once upon a time.  As far as rekindling, anything is possible, but you need to give Ava time to heal up … she just had a baby!  (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Where is Ava’s brother Julian in all of this?  Does he get a clue to what has befallen his sister?

MAURA:

He does hear about things.  The last scenes I had with William I just loved with the Chinese food in the penthouse between Ava and Julian.  I got such a kick out of those. You find that Julian does really care about his sister, and it’s been kind of hot and cold: “You know I love you, but I am going to kill ya!”  Julian does want to protect Ava.  He does not tell her he is doing that, but he does tell people to back off, and is concerned about the whereabouts of his sister, as any big brother would be.  I think you will see him coming to Ava’s aid.

MICHAEL:

There have been rumors out there that Kiki (Kristen Alderson) may turn out to not be Ava’s bio-child after all!

MAURA:

Courtesy/ABC

I know, but I guess I would wonder why someone would think that?  That would be my question: why would this child she has been raising for the last 21 years not really be hers?  I myself have not seen clues to the fact, which doesn’t mean that is not true.  I don’t know!  I am absolutely playing that Kiki is my daughter, and that is the relationship that they have for me.  I guess, I did read something about how if Ava had a baby before, why should she be reading, “What To Expect When You’re Expecting!” (Laughs)  I love Kiki and the relationship they have.  I would be very sad actually if Kiki wasn’t Ava’s.   I can say that since we do see Ava give birth to this baby, that one we actually know is her biological daughter! (Laughs)

MICHAEL

We discussed in a previous interview how you take on and embody a character, and that the clothes Ava wears are also an important part of the creation.  You even got to keep her “Ava-style” when pregnant!

MAURA:

I was given flats one day while Ava was pregnant.  I said,“Please, she needs to have her heels on.  She may have to sit down more often though!” (Laughs)  I am not really an actor who works from the outside in, so the clothes don’t really make the character, but it’s all a puzzle that has to fit together.  Ava never wore pants.  She wore pants last week twice, and people went, “She never wears pants!”  You can’t put over anything on the fans.

MICHAEL:

You have had some fabulous scenes in 2014!  I say, “Emmy Nomination!” should be coming your way!  Any scenes come to mind that were some of your favorites?

MAURA:

Courtesy/ABC

I like the simple stuff and two person scenes, and God knows Ava doesn’t have any friends, so I have a lot of those! (Laughs)  I enjoyed the simple sweetness with Kiki, and there were scenes awhile back where Ava was getting out of Dodge, and Julian was going to kill her.  I loved that Morgan saved her, and those were written well.  They were emotional, and there was action, and love, all in one episode.

MICHAEL:

I just want to get to this little plot point … Ava ran over Jason (Billy Miller)! (Laughs)

MAURA:

I know, and that’s another thing!  I love that.  I just smashed that face and look what I made him look like … Billy Miller! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

She ran him over.  Ava can’t catch a break these days.  She is just a hot mess! (Laughs)  I loved the scene where she runs him over, gets out of the car, looks down at the body and is hysterical, and then Jordan is there to pick up the pieces!

MAURA:

I actually loved that scene where she saw him, and with Vinessa Antoine as Jordan, I love that relationship, too!  I love girls having girlfriends – it’s hard to really make that happen though when one is actually criminal.  I know Billy Miller, and so it was pretty nice that I was the one who ran him over, and brought him to town! (Laughs)

Photo Credit: Courtesy/MauraWest

MICHAEL:

So think about this: even with the baby kidnapping story, and that Ava killed Connie, there is still another major story to come when her part in running over Jason comes to light!  Where does that stack up in Ava’s mind?

MAURA:

That is the least of Ava’s worries at this point. (Laughs)  Jason is alive and looks good!  He’s got Liz (Rebecca Herbst) looking after him … she’s a pretty girl … he’s doing good!

 

 

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Dinah
Guest
Dinah

Great interview Michael

monica mailman
Guest
monica mailman

How crazy do they male Michael get? We hears the shot and I was fully expecting to see Sonny on the floor. Surprise, he shot in the air. lol

Scott (ATWT Fan)
Guest
Scott (ATWT Fan)

Maura West is a class act and such an old-Hollywood vibe of an actress. She is the gem of General Hospital for me; I love Ava, and I can only hope we have many more years of stories to come from her. She lights up the screen whenever she is on it, and it’s always inspiring to see her acting and exceed in her craft. I’d love to see Ava branch off from the Sonny/Morgan/Nina/Silas storyline in the next year, maybe re-connect with Tracy and maybe even introduce herself to Ned. There’s a lot of potential with the character, plus,… Read more »

steven cates
Guest
steven cates

I agree with you. Scott — Maura is a class act – you can tell she’s had stage training. Those scenes between Ava and Nina were like watching a master class in fine acting!

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

Wow! great posts. 1. “… I’d love to see Ava branch off…. re-connect with Tracy and maybe introduce herself to Ned. ” Yum! w/Ned… it would be a dream team to see her spar, share wit… cavort with the Quartermaines just another reason to further, Ava… in Port Charles she is beyond multi-dimension…. is constant throughout the whole show I, like many… am now an avid Maura West Fan! I’ve christened Ava the first Lady of GH and Port Charles… it’d go dim without @steven “Those scenes between Ava and Nina were like watching a master class ” it’s astonishing… Read more »

Brenda Moore Robinson
Guest
Brenda Moore Robinson

Agreed. Some of the best acting on television is on GH.

Melissa
Guest
Melissa

Fantastic interview, I just love hearing from Maura on Ava. She’s such a fascinating character, to hear what makes her tick and what Maura’s thought process is on playing her, I could read this kind of stuff all day. Thanks, Michael!

Karen Delagrange
Guest
Karen Delagrange

What a great interview! I love hearing Maura talk about her work! She is such a professional and explains every aspect of her job with such interesting detail. Her respect for her character and the script shows how much she values this profession. Her appreciation for everything involving her role as Ava on GH shows what a class act this lady is! Thanks for this fun interview!

Jake NJ
Guest
Jake NJ

Great interview Michael! maura is so convincing as Ava…u hate her and sympathize with her. I can never say this enough…so happy she was available to create this character and grace our screens. I am a former ATWT fan and equally loved Carly. Rock on Maura!!

Sheila
Guest
Sheila

This is my first experience with Maura West, and I’ve found her to be one of the best. She made me like Ava from the start. Her acting in those labor scenes was amazing. Hand her the Emmy.

monica mailman
Guest
monica mailman

I have disliked the Ava character from the beginning, I know that the same behaviour from the character of Sonny is despised. Yet Ava’s is idolized. Has the world changed so much.

dmr
Guest
dmr

Absolutely love Maura West! She is incredibly talented (and beautiful)! A great actress who should have been nominated for an Emmy last year. I hope she is nominated in 2015! Never a dull moment with Maura on-air!

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

kiki is ninas…end of story…lol…sonny and ava will team to look for the baby!!!

dee
Guest
dee

I love Maura West, she is just amazing as Ava.

Jen
Guest
Jen

Great interview. I love Maura West. I’ve seen her in her other roles on soaps, and I can’t say that I ever really like her characters, but I adore her because she makes me understand them whether I like them or not. She’s truly a gem in the acting world. I hope for many more stories with Ava.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

“Emmy Nomination!” should be coming your way! Any scenes come to mind that were some of your favorites?” MY favorite scenes as well ! “… I enjoyed the simple sweetness with Kiki, ” marvel ! I cried…. and cried… if she’s referring to the scenes when it was just her and Kiki….. visiting… and it was Ava birthday… and Kiki actually brought her mother… a cupcake with candle . she’s too good to even narrow down her body of work I have to hand it to her it clearly seems the front runners … that come to mind Maura West… Read more »

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

duh! forgot the best part of all… when the baby kicked and she let Kiki feel with

Mitch
Guest
Mitch

Wonderful interview Michael! Maura is simply a brilliant actress who always delivers(no pun intended)! !

mfarris70
Guest
mfarris70

Hands down, Maura West is the finest actor on daytime and one of the best on television. A great actor like West is always in character. Even when Ava says nothing, you can see the thoughts going through her head.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

she has such respect for the craft of acting

just delivers and fully embodies character

is alive on cue meets her mark imbues throughout … she shares

with respect to Maura West… I compare her to Jessica Lange
thats big

rebecca1
Guest
rebecca1

Great interview. LOL..asking again…why does she refer to herself as Maura in the interview? Ex: I am very self-critical, because I know what was going on that day. I know what Maura was thinking before we started taping the scenes, or where I was emotionally.

Sylvia Gillis
Guest
Sylvia Gillis

Maura West is my favorite Daytime actress & I’ve watched Soaps for 60 yrs. I’ve had the honor of speaking with her in depth at 3 Daytime Emmy events. As gutsy as her characters are portrayed. In real life she is very sweet & caring. Her talent is equaled by Michael Muhney amongst the male actors. Over time, no matter how bad their characters behave, they make you fall in love with them eventually. You never want to lose them. No one else can successfully take over their roles. they are pure “Gold”.Y&R treated both of them poorly, having no… Read more »

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

really lovely post

“… Her talent is equaled by Michael Muhney amongst the male actors ”

Truth

She’s in a class all her own… yet she generously crafts the scene and embodies throughout for the production as a whole

I”m certain GH will figure out a way to absolve her of Connie murder…. it doesn’t seem possible as they’ve marquee Sonny murdering AJ…

Gloria Zimmerman
Guest
Gloria Zimmerman

i have been a fan of Maura’s since ATWT, she’s nailed the character of Ava so well , Bravo Maura keep up the fantastic work……

Jacqueline
Guest
Jacqueline

What a great interview Michael well done, Maura brings her unique portrayal of Ava in every episode. Love her ,love Ava!

MARY DITANNA PENDRAK
Guest
MARY DITANNA PENDRAK

HI MICHAEL, I JUST WANTED TO TELL YOU THAT I’VE ENJOYED YOU INTERVIEWING MAURA WEST. GREAT QUESTIONS WERE ASKED AND GREAT ANSWERS WERE GIVEN BACK TO YOU SO WONDERFULLY. I LOVE MAURA/AVA, IT’S BEEN A TOUGH JOB FOR HER, BUT, OF COURSE SHE DID ALL HER SCENES TO THE TEA. ALOT MORE EXCITEMENT WILL BE COMING SOON, AND I DON’T WANT TO MISS A BEAT. AS FOR MICHELLE/NINA, AND AGAIN I SAY HER JOB WAS TOUGH ALSO, AND SHE HAS BEEN JUST PERFECT. NOW COMES BILLY MILLER. A WONDERFUL ACTOR, GOOD LOOKING, AND BEING JASON SEEMS NATURAL FOR HIM. I… Read more »

Fanny
Guest
Fanny

A consummate professional, being extremely grateful for the role she’s been given
and praising her fellow actors, Maura West is lovely inside out.
Kudos, Ron C for thinking that Maura would be right for this part, and of course
Frank V for hiring her.

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

isn’t that something… the advent of the new regime of RC and FV

Maura West just steamrolled and paved the way for the nuGH with RC/FV

it’s like theres no reason to look back… they’ve done their level best to characterize the past present and future

GH bloomed … every decision thereafter…. Ava and Julian….

the rest is history… if nothing else… it’s still premiering Serial

wow… what a tour de force team

ruth williams
Guest
ruth williams

I first saw maura on A.T.W.T I always watched that soap. I think maura was the best actress on the show .I watched it almost from the get go.I got a bit turned off when they started with issues I disagreed with and still do.Loved carly and jack!! often wondered about the cast, so decided to find maura Glad i did .I stopped watching soaps back then and did not know maura was on g.h thanks for the interview it was so great to read what is going on Maura you and Scott”ANDY” have a beautiful family.Good luck and God… Read more »

Jeffery
Guest
Jeffery

Michael, kudos! This is the best interview I believe you’ve ever conducted. Thanks for alluding to what we’ve all been thinking – that Kiki is really Nina’s long “lost” baby! Can’t wait for that big reveal.

Maura West is the biggest talent on daytime, on the most talented of daytime dramas, among the most talented of daytime casts (particularly equally formidable actors like Stafford, Elliot, and the like). Long may she rule the airwaves!

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

OMG IS Nina KiKis mother?

Patti
Guest
Patti

OMG I adore Maura West! I hope she gets an Emmy for Ava as she did for Carly Tenney/ATWT. That was amazing work this week, having that baby, dealing with Nina, and Madeline. I hope she stays on GH for a very long time!

Lillian
Guest
Lillian

Maura West reminds me so much of Beverlee McKinsey.

MissySnow
Guest
MissySnow

Ava is the best!

sandie
Guest
sandie

No matter what Ava has done,,, I simply admire this woman!! Her class is off the charts, , personally,, I believe if GH EVER kills off Ava,, this would be one of the worst mistakes they could ever make. The scenes with MS were just beyond dispicable,,, I could barely even watch,, to think that MW being a mother herself,, the emotional toll had to be unreal,,, I know I should not judge MS,, she is only doing her job,,, but,, this s/l makes me hate her with a passion, , ive always said,, to be the character you are… Read more »

monica mailman
Guest
monica mailman

This is later into the story L. Nina really truly is seriously sick and fragile in her own dangerous way. Ava is just being herself. I prefer the crazy because of sick, than it being just you as a person. I hope Ava is removed permanently There is enough truly mean and evil people around. It astounds me that the show would have Ava without balancing her with someone who was truly good. Like Laura or Lila or Emily.

Lia
Guest
Lia

I cannot get enough of Ava Jerome. I want Johnny Z to return so the two can pair up as a couple. Talk about some good GH episodes…Wow!

George
Guest
George

Maura West is why I watch general hospital now!!

Liz
Guest
Liz

Maura West is a powerhouse actor. She delivers 110% every time she’s on camera. Her performances on ATWT kept that show alive for quite a while. Y&R totally blew it in their horrible treatment of her. That show should be ashamed of themselves. Eric Braeden helped get her fired. It is a joy to see her on GENERAL HOSPITAL playing Ava Jerome. Good for her!

Timmm
Guest
Timmm

This is a great example of fans of any soap moaning that their show is adding yet another new character. Sometimes change is good. “Who is Ava Jerome and why do we care?” No you know. Very few characters from the soaps are originals. Time moves on.

Oliver
Guest
Oliver

Maura West is ‘alive’ in every scene as Ava. Many actors in the genre waltz into a scene with the goal of upstaging/stealing the scene. Not the case when watching her at work.
The ‘Crypt-sex’ scene should be on her Emmy reel. Explosive and subtle emotional work.

Laurie
Guest
Laurie

Another great interview. Interesting questions. Honest answers. I love when entertainers reveal themselves to be human in interviews and not just give the stock answers. The bit about how the fate of Ava is none of her business was very insightful. I kind of feel I know a bit aboutvMaura rolls. Lol. I’ve noticed that Maura’s interviews are always so colorful. She’s a woman who knows who she is, speaks her mind w/o throwing others under the bus. She’s no wilting flower. I love when actors are grounded in reality. Mty favorite comment: “It’s our jobs to find the humanity… Read more »

monica mailman
Guest
monica mailman

I have been watching the show for years, the first episode aired in my parents living room. I was hooked until the vampire stuff. I took a break until it came back to reality. I am afraid that we are heading into another break until some decent characters are back on and the dark and evil things leave the show. Or until they are put in their place.

General Hospital

Brad Schmidt Steps in Temporarily for Johnny Wactor on General Hospital

Temporary recasts have been a common occurrence on ABC’s General Hospital, of late, but they have kept the characters and actions going when the actors have to step out of their role for a short term due to a myriad of reasons.

Now comes word that actor Brad Schmidt temporarily is filling-in for Johnny Wactor in the role of Brando Corbin.

Photo: ABC

Soap Opera Digest revealed the fill-in casting news in their latest issue on newsstands now.

No intel on what GH airdates Schmidt will be replacing Wactor in, but they should be coming up very shortly.

In his career, Schmidt actually appeared on As the World Turns and Guiding Light back in 2002, and has been seen in numerous primetime series including: Summerland, House of Lies and Yellowstone. 

Wactor started his run as Brando back in 2020 on GH.

Interestingly enough, Wactor’s on-screen lady love, Sofia Mattsson (Sasha) was recently replaced on-screen by her own sister, Helena Mattsson for a few episodes, and now it looks like the tables will be turned for Sofia acting with Wactor’s fill-in.

So, check out Brad on upcoming episodes of GH, and then let us know what you thought of him.  Comment below.

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Breaking News

NATAS Reveals Categories to be Presented at 49th Annual Daytime Emmys and Creative Arts & Lifestyle Ceremonies

On Monday, The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) announced which categories will be presented at the 49th Annual Daytime Creative Arts & Lifestyle and the 49th Annual Daytime Emmy Award ceremonies.  Both award shows will be held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California.

The Daytime Creative Arts & Lifestyle Emmy ceremony will stream live at 9 PM ET/6 PM PT on Saturday, June 18 at watch.TheEmmys.tv and via The Emmys apps for iOS, tvOS, Android, FireTV, and Roku. while The Daytime Emmy Awards telecast will be presented live at 9 PM EDT (replay at 9 PM PDT) on Friday, June 24, on the CBS Television Network and streamed on Paramount+.

Check out the alignment of categories for each show and ceremony below.

The 49th Annual Daytime Creative Arts & Lifestyle Emmy Awards

Saturday, June 18, 2022 

Categories to be awarded:

Outstanding Culinary Series

Outstanding Legal/Courtroom Program

Outstanding Lifestyle Program

Outstanding Travel, Adventure and Nature Program

Outstanding Instructional and How-To Program

Outstanding Arts and Popular Culture Program

Outstanding Entertainment News Series

Outstanding Daytime Special

Outstanding Short Form Daytime Program

Outstanding Interactive Media for a Daytime Program

Outstanding Daytime Promotional Announcement

Outstanding Guest Performance in a Daytime Drama Series

Outstanding Culinary Host

Outstanding Daytime Program Host

Outstanding Writing Team for a Daytime Non-Fiction Program

Outstanding Directing Team for a Single Camera Daytime Non-Fiction Program

Outstanding Directing Team for a Multiple Camera Daytime Non-Fiction Program

Outstanding Music Direction and Composition

Outstanding Original Song

Outstanding Lighting Direction

Outstanding Technical Team, Camera Work, Video

Outstanding Cinematography

Outstanding Single Camera Editing

Outstanding Multiple Camera Editing

Outstanding Live Sound Mixing and Sound Editing

Outstanding Sound Mixing and Sound Editing

Outstanding Main Title and Graphic Design

Outstanding Casting

Outstanding Art Direction/Set Decoration/Scenic Design

Outstanding Costume Design/Styling

Outstanding Hairstyling

Outstanding Makeup

Outstanding Special Effects Costumes, Makeup and Hairstyling

Lifetime Achievement Award: This Old House

Photos: ABC, CBS, NBC, JPI

The 49th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards

Friday, June 24, 2022

Categories to be awarded:

Outstanding Daytime Drama Series

Outstanding Game Show

Outstanding Informative Talk Show

Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Daytime Drama Series: Actress

Outstanding Lead Performance in a Daytime Drama Series: Actor

Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Daytime Drama Series: Actress

Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Daytime Drama Series: Actor

Outstanding Younger Performer in a Daytime Drama Series

Outstanding Game Show Host

Outstanding Informative Talk Show Host

Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host

Outstanding Writing Team for a Daytime Drama Series

Outstanding Directing Team for a Daytime Drama Series

Lifetime Achievement Award: John Aniston

So, what do you think about how NATAS has chosen to give out this year’s gold statuettes?  Looking forward to the ceremonies? Comment below.

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General Hospital

General Hospital’s Nancy Lee Grahn Chats On Her Daytime Emmy-Nominated Performance and Its Significance

When the nominations were revealed for the 49th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, General Hospital mainstay, Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis Davis), was recognized for her stunning work in the Alexis-centric standalone episode which honored her 25th anniversary with the ABC daytime drama series.

Grahn, is already a two-time Daytime Emmy winner.  She won back in 1989 in a tie for Outstanding Supporting Actress for her work as Julia Wainwright on Santa Barbara along with All My Children’s Debbi Morgan, and again received the honors in that category in 2012 for her work on General Hospital.

Now. she is vying for the gold in 2022 in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series category against other formidable actresses including: B&B’s Kimberlin Brown, DAYS Stacy Haiduk, Y&R’s Melissa Ordway, and her GH castmate, Kelly Thiebaud.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Nancy to talk about her decision to enter the Emmy race this year, her powerful and moving scenes, why this nomination is significant and important to her, and her take on some very important social issues of our time.

Always candid, insightful, combined with great humor and wit, here’s what Nancy had to share below, and make sure to check out GH this week when sparks fly between Alexis and Gregory (Gregory Harrison). Will he turn out to be the new beau in Alexis’ life? Stay tuned.

Courtesy/ABC

Congratulations on the Emmy nomination.  How do you feel about being in the running again, especially with the material from your 25th anniversary episode?

NANCY:  You know, I don’t submit myself if I don’t think I have something, and I didn’t last year.  This year, I had the one show, and the first reason I submitted myself was I had the episode that was worthy of the competition. These judges have to sit, and watch this stuff, and very often, it’s hard to watch soap opera scenes.  It really is, unless you’re in it.  It’s a different kind of material that most primetime people aren’t used to watching.  So, it’s tricky business.  I don’t want to put them through anything too awful. I don’t want to torture them and I’ve judged before. It can be a bit tedious. So, for me to submit myself, I thought, it has to be something that isn’t going to torture another human being. The second thing is, older women get marginalized the older they get, and they get diminished very often, and every time we get nominated, it means something different to me.  This time, to me, I want it to somehow be symbolic, or a shoutout to women who are still producing, who have been doing their job for a long time and are still doing it good enough, and that it’s still worthy of respect and recognition.

When we were at the GH Convention back in March, I played the scene on-stage for the fans in attendance of when Alexis goes over to the corner of Kevin’s office and heals her younger self.  You saw the reaction just from the fans.  It’s such a beautiful moment within the story.  What did you think about how the standalone episode was crafted?

NANCY:  It was a different experience for me because GH co-head writers Chris Van Etten and Dan O’Connor, and script writer, Scott Sickles gave it the attention, but even more to that, they allowed me to participate in the creation of it.  They allowed the director, Phideaux Xavier, to participate.  We all sat in a room.  They said, “You know what?  Make it how you’re comfortable with it.”  There were so many people who gave it time and effort, and Phideaux gets a lot of credit because he came up with a lot of ideas.  So, the little girl in the therapy room wasn’t initially a part of it.  That was Phideaux’s idea, and they let us alter things, and they allowed me to write some words that meant something to me with the character.  Our producers, Michelle Henry and M.K Weir, who I both adore, were also a part of this.

Courtesy/ABC

That is great to hear that you were involved in the collaborative process of the creation of the episode.

NANCY:  We read through the whole script, and we worked it like you would on primetime. We went through it like, “Does this moment work?  Does that moment work?  Does this make sense?  Does that make sense?”  We never do that in soaps.  We don’t get to that.  So, it was a gift to me.  It really was. Chris and Dan, and Scott and Phideaux, and the two producers, generosity in gifting me that experience and making sure that it was to everybody’s liking, was really very special to me, and it meant a lot.

Did you come up with the key lines which summarized Alexis as a person and her journey: “I’m Alexis Davis, and I’m a fighter, and an idealist and an advocate?”

NANCY:  No. They designed it, but we were allowed to enhance and contribute creatively to it, and, we don’t normally have the time to do that.  They don’t have the time to – and you can’t allow people to do that with every episode, to be creatively participating, because it would turn into madness with everybody.

Then, when it came down to choosing the scenes from your anniversary episode to include for your Emmy submission, was that a challenging process of which moments to go with?

NANCY:  I just told a little story with it with the time that I had, and so, I edited it with a friend of mine.  I did a sort of pre-edit on it, I’m good at that, and handed the timeline to our editor, who nicely put it together. It took very little effort.

In my humble opinion, I think that episode featured one of your all-time best performances.

NANCY: Thank you. There was a nice effort from everybody, from the lighting to everybody else, and all the effort Phideaux put into it.  He worked so hard on that!  It was fun for us.  It was like the old days where you really got to work something out.

Photo: ABC

It truly harkened back to everything we knew up to that point about Alexis and her past as well, and included a montage of scenes over the years.

NANCY:  I think it was M.K. who put that together, but when you’re working at the pace we’re working now, to have to sit and put together a montage of twenty-five years, that’s not an easy feat.  Nobody has time for that anymore, but they did it, and like I said, it was really, really appreciated.  My only thought with it is that I wanted it to be relatable to other people.  I didn’t want it to just be some, you know, self-indulgent Alexis episode. I knew that by bringing in the little girl and talking about people being hurt in their childhood and how that makes somebody feel that it was probably relatable to many people, and so it became meaningful to other people and not just me.

Do you think you’ll attend the Daytime Emmys? I know the last time you won you were not present.

NANCY:  Yeah, I’m planning on it.  I mean, barring anything happening! (Laughs)

Does it feel nice to be recognized by your peers?

NANCY:  Of course, it does.  It always does, and way too often, women who are still producing well in their jobs, don’t get the respect and the acknowledgment for it.  So, that’s why I’m saying, this is no small thing, and that I want other women to know that I know that, and that I wish for them the same thing.

What was the reaction of your daughter, Kate and your fiancé, Richard, when you told them you were Emmy-nominated?

NANCY:  Richie goes, “What is this?  Your 18th nomination?” (Laughs). You know what I mean?  It was just kind of like, “Yeah, sure, why wouldn’t you be?” It wasn’t like, “Oh, my God!”  It was like they kind of expected that.  That was nice!  I’m glad they feel that way.  I’m glad they weren’t surprised.  They were like, “Sure!  Of course, you would be.  Why wouldn’t you be?”  I said, “You know, it doesn’t always work like that!”

Photo: JPI

Now comes the part of having to find a dress and all that goes with it for the red carpet.  Do you enjoy that part?

NANCY:  No, I hate that part.  That is my… oh ‘boohoo’, you know?  I mean, I have to find something to wear.  Also, the older you get, that becomes so much less important, and the more makeup, and the more hair, and the more foofy, the more ridiculous I look. I start looking like Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.  You’ve just got to keep it simple.

You were talking about women and ageism.  Do you not feel that also exists for men?

NANCY:  It exists for men, but it’s not at all on the same par as women.  I mean, men still get paid more than women, and men still are valued more than women.  I mean, there are exceptions, but if you look in any place of employment, even the soaps, you will typically find the men making more money than the women, and the older the women get, the less they get.  Life’s not fair right now.  It’s fairer than it was, but still the equality game is not won yet.

Photo: JPI

I know how much all of this means to you in terms of equality for women, and people being run out of their jobs because of their age.

NANCY:  It’s just a reality.  It’s not something that I’m hopeless about, but I have a story to tell.  I’ll tell it when the time is right.  It’s life!  It happens in every field everywhere.  When my mom was 70, she was still producing the exact same way she was producing when she was 30, and she got run out, and was replaced by a man who was 40 or something, and there was no particular reason for it.  It was just, “You’re done.  We decided you’re done,” but like I said, it happens everywhere, in every line of work, and that’s why I just wanted to give a shout-out, when you still, after 36 years, can be recognized or shown respect or acknowledgment for what your do.  It’s a very big deal that I am appreciative of and grateful for.

So, rooting for Nancy to win the Outstanding Supporting Actress prize? Happy she was nominated for her work in the the milestone episode devoted to Alexis? Share your thoughts in the comment section below, and to tune-in to the 49th annual Daytime Emmy Awards on CBS and streaming on Paramount+ on Friday night, June 24th.

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Cameron Mathison talks with Michael Fairman on taking on the role of GH’s Drew Cain, the latest developments in Port Charles for Drew. his busy career outside of soaps and the loss of his mother and his public battle with cancer.Leave A Comment
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Jacqueline MacInnes Wood as Steffy

The Bold and the Beautiful

Airdate: 5-09/13-2022

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