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THE TYLER CHRISTOPHER INTERVIEW – GENERAL HOSPITAL

tyler-main11.jpg

This week, Nikolas has just poured his heart out over Emily’s grave and then gets his first look at the Emily “doppelganger’ hovering in the halls of “GH” while all hell has broken loose in the OR. As the hospital catastrophe reaches epic proportions and people are quarantined from a dangerous biotoxin, Nikolas is smack dab in the middle of all the drama.

Tyler Christopher, everyone’s favorite “Dark Prince”, chatted with me about the return of his on-screen acting partner, Daytime Emmy winner Natalia Livingston, what lies ahead for the duo, the Daytime Emmys, and what it takes to play the noble and complex Cassadine!

Listen to the audio:

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MICHAEL:

On “GH”, there is big story playing out now and well into February. Natalia Livingston (Ex-Emily, now Rebecca) has come back to the show. How has that
been for you, now that she is in a
new role?

TYLER:

It has been great. We planted ourselves into the minds of the fans, and they can’t let it go. We are less apt to bring people back from the dead here. So it’s been good.

Natalia.jpgMICHAEL:

She looks quite different!

TYLER:

She cut her hair and you put some glasses on her, and nobody will know the difference.

MICHAEL:

Are you having fun with this new character?

TYLER:

Where we stand now, and at where we are at shooting-wise, we have not even had dialog yet. So the anticipation of that is exciting, but we have not gotten that yet. But, I have seen her in the hospital crisis more than enough.

MICHAEL:

As this crisis ensues, what’s Nikolas’s role in what happens?

TYLER:

I think his priority in the beginning of this, in addition to helping people that are injured and who need to be evacuated, is finding out who this woman is and what is her intention, and what is she doing here in the midst of all the chaos?

MICHAEL:

Are you moving people and patients to Mercy Hospital because “GH” is now in a shambles?

TYLER:

I don’t know exactly where we are moving them. We are just moving them out. (He laughs) There is an added obstacle that there is a biotxoin that is airborne, so there is that issue on top of everything else.

OR.jpgMICHAEL:

And as we learn that came out of someone’s body?

TYLER:

That’s what they say and tell me! (He laughs)

MICHAEL:

When you heard, or got the scripts, that it was time for another big “GH” umbrella story that always has elements of disaster, what were your thoughts?

TYLER:

If history prevails, either every November or February we all get together as a cast and we all hang out for a very long time. And big things happen. Things catch on fire, and people die. So it was not a surprise to find out that we were doing
another “GH” crisis.

MICHAEL:

Did you call the other actors when you found this out, like, “Here we go again!”

TYLER:

No. I think we all accepted our fate. (He laughs) That this was the way it was going to be once a year, even though it’s long hours. It’s fun to hang out, and laugh, and be serious when we need to be. For the most part, the times that we have done these crises, ratings have gone up and people have enjoyed seeing it.

MICHAEL:

And Emmys have occurred…

TYLER:

Emmys have been had!

nadine.jpgMICHAEL:

Is Claire Coffee, as Nadine, going to have closure with Nikolas? We know that Claire has stated she is now off-contract from the show. Obviously, the two of them seem to be heading towards just being friends. What are your thoughts?

TYLER:

I think all the evidence points towards that now that Natalia is back. It does not take a genius to figure that one out. I think there is some guilt in the beginning to tear himself away from this girl, and his obvious attraction to her, because of her uncanny resemblance to Emily. But, I don’t think Nadine will go quietly.

MICHAEL:

Did you submit yourself for the Daytime Emmys this year?

TYLER:

I did submit myself for Lead Actor this year. In retrospect, I don’t know what I have this year as opposed to what I had last year, which did not hold up!

MICHAEL:

It’s been a tough year for Nikolas trying to move on and get closure from the devastating loss of Emily. All great Emmy stuff, if you ask me. Do you think he finally got closure before all this is heaped upon him?

TYLER:

I think in as much closure as one can have with losing the love of his life. I don’t think he can move on. It’s been over a year and he was just starting to settle in to being by himself and living without her, and this person shows up and stirs up all those old memories over again.

MICHAEL:

So, back to the crisis. You are running traffic in the hospital and all hell is breaking loose?

TYLER:

Well, Jason is also trapped in there. So he is going to put on his fire helmet and police uniform and FBI badge, and come and probably save most of the day. I am doing my part with the added danger of the huge explosion in the hospital. People may or may not know there are many flammable things that are loose in the hospital, and I’m making sure the place does not explode… plus, Elizabeth is in bad shape. So I am trying to save her. It’s just everybody. It’s just one big happy helping hand!

new-nata.jpgMICHAEL:

Over the past year you had the brain tumor, losing Emily, trying to move on, and meeting Nadine. What was the hardest part in playing Nikolas over the past year?

TYLER:

The staple of this character, since I have played it the second time around, is his relationship with Emily. The very first month I came back five years ago is where we started this relationship with Emily, and just last year is where it ended. The challenge for me, as an actor is, “What is this guy like without this person in his life?” The audience is so used to having this couple around, and for five years on a soap, is an eternity! That’s the history that we have and in just one day it was gone. For me, it was what new fresh thing can we do for this character to fill that void? In the last year we added some humor to the guy, in that he is not just about manners and things of that nature. So, that was a new venture into the character to lighten him up a bit.

MICHAEL:

I don’t like him that way. I like the “Dark Prince”!

TYLER:

Nobody wants him to be happy. Eternal sadness!

MICHAEL:

I know you have your own theatre company: “68 Cent Crew Theatre”. Will you be performing in any outside plays coming up?

TYLER:

We are doing a John Patrick Shanley festival at our theatre, Theatre 68, this winter and spring. For me, with this thing going on, it’s just too much to take on a play at this time.

end-tyler.jpgMICHAEL:

In closing, what can we look forward to from Nikolas as we head into February?

TYLER:

Look forward to an in-depth exploration into this Rebecca character, and him trying to find out what her intentions are. Are they good or are they bad? Also, we’ll have Nikolas struggling with the fact that she looks exactly like Emily.

General Hospital

GL Alum Kimberly J. Brown Joins the Cast of General Hospital

Another daytime favorite is coming to General Hospital.  This time its Kimberly J. Brown (Ex-Marah) of Guiding Light fame.  She last appeared on the soaps during her from 1993-1998 and then a brief return in 2006

According to Soap Opera Digest, she will make her GH debut next week in a mystery role.

Kimberly worked with two GH powerhouse actresses during her tine on Guiding Light. 

She noted to SOD about her time in Springfield: Cynthia Watros (Nina, GH, Ex-Annie Dutton, GL) was my stepmom for a bit, and Laura Wright (Carly, Ex- Cassie, GL) played my aunt.”

Brown has appeared in numerous primetime television shows and motion pictures over the last few decades.

Now the question becomes, who will Kimberly play on GH? Share your theories via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

General Hospital and ‘H.R. Pufnstuf’s’ Billie Hayes Dead at 96

She was one-of-a-kind, and now actress Billie Hayes has passed away at the age of 96.  Hayes’ family announced her death from natural causes on April 29th at Cedar-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.

Hayes was best-known for her unforgettable role as Witchiepoo on the 1969-70 Saturday morning live-action children’s classic H.R. Pufnstuf from Sid and Marty Kroft.

However, daytime fans will remember that then General Hospital executive producer, Gloria Monty, hired Hayes to play the recurring role of the street-smart international spy, Brighton O’Reilly, back in the 80’s series hey day.

GH’s Tristan Rogers (Robert Scorpio) took to Twitter to mourn the loss of Hayes on Monday sharing; “My dear wonderful Billie Hayes has died. Sadly I only got to work with her on GH but it was a magical relationship. Right away Gloria Monty saw something unique and ran with it. I cannot tell you how her passing saddens me.”

Photo:ABC

In story, Brighton O’Reilly was shot and killed by Victor Cassadine back in 1981. Billie told Soap Opera Digest back in 2003 about her time as an agent on GH, and her exit from the series: “I asked Gloria why she killed me off, and Gloria said, ‘To tell you the truth, Billie, we really hemmed and hawed at it. But I decided to do it for selfish reasons. I knew if I killed O’Reilly there’d be such an abundance of sympathy and love for Scorpio that his stock would go up. And he’s my new leading man!’ I understand why Gloria knocked me off, but I would have loved to have gone on with it because I feel it could have been developed into a fascinating character.”

Photo: JPI

Sid and Marty Kroft also took to Twitter and expressed:  “Margaret Hamilton (Wizard of Oz) once told us that Billie Hayes was “one of the best witches ever” We couldn’t agree more. Rest in Peace dear friend.”

Billie’s career spanned decades including Broadway, television, motion pictures and voice-over work. In addition, she founded the Los Angeles-based animal rescue nonprofit organization Pet Hope, a cause she had championed since adopting a puppy abandoned in the basement of Broadway’s St. James Theatre during the run of Lil’ Abner in which she was featured in the role of Mammy Yokum.

Share your remembrances of Billie Hayes and your condolences for her family and loved ones via the comment section below.

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Breaking News

John Reilly ‘General Hospital’ Tribute Episode Set to Air May 21st

Details have emerged on the upcoming John Reilly tribute episode of General Hospital.  The popular star passed away back on January 21st and the ABC daytime drama series had promised they would deliver a special show dedicated to the man who played Sean Donely starting back in 1984.

According to Deadline look for GH enduring stars: Genie Francis, Kristina Wagner, Finola Hughes, Jon Lindstom and John J. York to all appear in the special episode, along with Reilly’s real-life daughter, Caitlin Reilly, which had been previously announced.

The story will involve the mourning of WSB agent Sean Donely, which will set Felicia Scorpio (Wagner), Malcolm “Mac” Scorpio (York), Anna Devane (Hughes), Laura Collins (Francis) and Kevin Collins (Lindstrom) into a mystery involving Sean’s daughter, Annie (Caitlin Reilly).

General Hospital EP Frank Valentini shared in a statement: “John Reilly was an incredible actor and a large part of the 58-plus-year legacy that is ‘GH’. This episode is meant to honor him and his contribution to the show’s rich history. With so many fan favorites returning, new and longtime viewers will enjoy it. We had a lot of fun filming and I am grateful that we were also able to include his daughter. Viewers will hopefully also enjoy one more surprise return – it is just too amazing to spoil.”

Mark your calendars for May 21st when the special episode is set to air.

So, looking forward to seeing the John Reilly tribute episode, and who do you think will be the big ‘surprise’ noted by Frank Valentini? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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