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William deVry Interview: Actor Speaks Out On His GH Contract Status, Julian's Future, Julexis, & Fan Support!

Bradford Anderson GENERAL HOSPITAL Fan Club Weekend - Bradford Amderson Event Embassy Suites Glendale Glendale, CA 7/31/16 © Jill Johnson/jpistudios.com 310-657-9661

Photo Credit: ABC

It’s been a long hot summer, and one of the burning issues in soapland has been whether General Hospital and William deVry (Julian Jerome) can reach a deal that would put the popular star back under contract after negotiations were at an impasse.

After taping his last episode under his contract at the end of June, as of July, Will had not returned to the set of the ABC daytime drama series to continue the story of mobster Julian Jerome, and the rebuilding of the love story that had been known as “Julexis”.

GH and deVry fans have been very vocal on social media voicing their displeasure that he has not inked a new deal since the actor has made it publicly known he very much would like to remain with the show, and dig deeper into the next phase of Julian’s journey; which would hopefully feature some redemption, and other shades of this complex character.

Will sat down over GHFCW 2017 with On-Air On-Soaps for this in-depth, candid interview where he addresses where things stand with GH, if a return may be imminent, how he is moving on if they should not, his experiences with some of his major scene partners including: Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis) and Maurice Benard (Sonny), and much more.  Here’s what he shared in our conversation below.

So, take me though what happened.  You taped, which was for now, your last episode of GH at the end of June, and at that point contract negotiations were still going on? 

Photo Credit; JPI Studios

WILLIAM:  The negotiations were sort of starting at the point. I had hoped we could wrap it up quickly. I guess, times in daytime have changed quite a bit.  Things weren’t wrapped up as quickly as I would have preferred, and for all I know, maybe they did not get wrapped up as quickly as Frank Valentini (EP, General Hospital) would have preferred.  Everybody has mandates.  In the meantime. they are telling a story that allows them the freedom of having a little bit of breathing space for when I am hopefully back.  I am auditioning for other shows right now, and have a couple of things that I am close to getting.  I feel bad for the fans, really.

Your fans have really gotten behind this and voiced their displeasure over you currently not being at GH, and wanting the show to work things out with you.

WILLIAM:  I agree with you. They have gotten behind me, and I’m very thankful.  It’s surprising to be honest with you!

In a way, it reminds me of your time as Michael Cambias on All My Children. There was so much potential to keep that dark side of the character, similar to Julian, but not turn him so bad that he was irredeemable. Ultimately, Michael was killed-off, though.

WILLIAM:  Yes.  I think back to when I played Michael Cambias on All My Children.  When he first came on the fans loved him, and then Megan McTavish (Ex-head writer, AMC) just skewered him.

At GH, what do you think their position is in regards to wanting to work things out with you?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

WILLIAM:  At General Hospital, the good news is they want to keep me there, and I am thankful for that.  I love the show … I love working on the show, and I know Frank is passionate about it. But again, mostly I feel bad for the fans, because the powers-that-be at the show know what’s going on.  I know what’s going on, some of my closest friends know what is going on, but the fans don’t know what is going on, and not only do they not understand what is going on, they don’t know why, and that’s tough.  It’s probably tougher for me than anybody else.  The good news is we are super close to a resolution, and I hope that it is good news.  I am just going to keep doing my thing.  I am enjoying myself auditioning.

Is going back into the world of auditioning hard to do when you have not been doing that on an on-going basis, given that you spent the last four years at GH?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

WILLIAM:  It’s a muscle you have to use when you audition.  Now when you play Julian Jerome there is a confidence, and knowledge behind the work of the character.  I find I have to work four times as hard to prepare to go out for an audition.  If they call me at 6pm the night before, and say I have an audition at 10am in the morning, I will try to use as much of that time and get as little sleep as I can.  For instance, if I have 50 minutes to spare, I will decide to build a bio on this guy, and give him a background so I am confident when I go into the room for the audition.  A lot of actors hate auditioning, but I love auditioning, because that’s the real work. The payoff is when you have fun and get paid.  Our job is to get the gig.  I think the playtime is when we are working.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

I produced B&B’s 30th Anniversary tribute for this year’s 44th annual Daytime Emmy ceremonies.  I remember sitting in the edit bay watching Storm’s suicide.  Years later, it was still so powerful as a performance, and the way it was directed.  I was so moved by it.  The point I am making here is that the four years you spent playing GH’s Julian, while I understand a huge part of it is in the writing, you took what’s on the page and made the character work as you have done throughout your soap career. 

WILLIAM:  I appreciate you saying that.  The writers have given me a lot of material to challenge me with, for sure, and I am thankful for it.  I am an actor, so I agree with you.  It’s up to us to bring those pages to life. You have to really think about; is there any empathy there, and finding the likability in someone even if they are doing dastardly deeds.  I have had a great time over the four years at GH, and I hope it continues.  Going back to your comment on The Bold and the Beautiful… 

Wait! Could Storm actually be alive? (Laughs)  Stranger things have happened on the soaps and B&B! 

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

WILLIAM:  Well, possibly.  We had a couple of conversations over the years, but I do remember getting notes that they kind of wanted me to lose my s**t before it all went down.  I felt that there is a calm that needs to happen before the storm for it to pay off.  So when you are playing it as if you are freaking out along the way, you know it’s going to happen.  This way, you don’t.  I felt like I didn’t want anybody to know where Storm was emotionally during that whole time.  When he is looking at the pictures of the sisters, he knows it’s a possibility, but I also think when he is looking at the pictures that is when he is making that decision, and he knew it all along, but he finally allows himself to believe he is going to go there. That’s where that emotion and pain comes out right in that split second.  Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke, B&B) coming into the hospital room and running in from outside in the hallway with Nick (Jack Wagner) and realizing what was going, I thought was really well-shot and directed.  I know Brad Bell (EP and head writer, B&B) was super happy with it.  Interestingly enough, I have had this problem a few times, where if you are just looking at me from across the room, or on the monitor, or in warm-ups you might not register what I’m doing.  Frank Valentini said to me one time, “When I tape you Will, I prefer to come in really close. It’s not that you’re not doing anything, but you have to come in really close to catch it.” 

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Have the GH contract talks and your current status with the show, and the last few months, been an extremely frustrating time for you?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

WILLIAM:  Not as a professional actor, because being out in my element, I am a super confident guy, and I will continue to work. The frustration lies that I honestly feel that it just shouldn’t be this hard. Again, everyone has a mandate, and I do feel like people have my back, but they only have so much power. I have told the powers-that-be that daytime is in this weird era of telling multiple stories instead of focusing on consistency and that’s frustrating to me.  I meet so many fans, and they are so passionate, and they have differences of opinion.  Some are Julian fans, and some are not.  But the one thing that they can all agree on is they want the core characters, and they want to see the core every day.  We are in the salary cap era, and it’s all scientific.  They are going to devote, and I am probably going to get myself in trouble for saying this, but they are going to devote this pot of money to all the recurring character stories, and this pot of money to all the contract players and stories, and they are not going to deviate from those.  That is the way it is.  It’s scientific. It’s about we know we can pay our bills at the end of the year, and that’s just what it is going to be.  That’s all we can do.  It doesn’t matter if one of these contract guys runs off the charts in popularity, it doesn’t matter, and it should.  I know we are all being reasonable, and I know we were all challenged.  We all are in the same boat.  I want to be a part of the solution. I don’t want to be a part of the problem, and I don’t think I am part of the problem.  I feel like I love the show, I feel like I promote the show.  I go on Twitter and promote the show.  It’s natural for me to do things like that, because I am so passionate about it.  I want to do it.  Of course, being an actor you don’t have that power, and that is the frustrating part.  I think that is where a lot of actors get into trouble, but then a lot of us wouldn’t be so good if we weren’t so damn passionate. 

Let’s talk Julexis. There was this whole controversy of how could Julian be redeemed after everything he did to Alexis. 

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

WILLIAM:  I was really concerned about that, but I have to give props to the writers. They somehow knew they would fix it in the end.  I feel like there are some fans that things will never be fixed for, but I don’t feel like they were really true fans anyway.  I think of the ones who love Julexis, there is maybe 10% who go “that bridge is burned”, but there is still that 90% that are still raging for it.  Everyone else has been given vindication on the GH canvas.  Everyone else has been fixed and is still surviving, and they think Julexis should be able to that as well.  That is yet another frustrating thing for the fans.  I don’t like to compare other characters to mine, but somehow Julian keeps getting s**t on, but that is part of the story.  That is part of the excitement, and what gets people rooting for characters, or throwing bricks at the TV at other ones.  It’s part of the whole genre, and I get it.  That’s the cool thing about it.  And again, I want to be a part of the solution, and I don’t want to rock the boat.

What did the fans say to you at your event and during GHFCW?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

WILLIAM:  They don’t understand. They just don’t get it.  They don’t know why it’s taking so long to get it done.  For them, it’s a no-brainer: “We want Will back. What’s the problem?” They are kind of embodying me (laughs) and they are kind of taking that on. 

When you left and taped your last episode at General Hospital at the end of June, obviously you left feeling there was much unresolved for Julian.

WILLIAM:  Oh, yeah.  I feel like there is more story to tell, and I don’t feel it’s been exhausted by any stretch of the imagination, and that’s the sad thing; that there is so much left to explore. I feel like we have told a lot of good stories, but I feel like there are so many stories that we haven’t told.  I also feel there are a lot of people in the cast I haven’t worked with that I would love to have the chance to be in scenes with. There is a lot of stuff Julian hasn’t explored about himself.  There are also relationships that need to be explored further between his children: Lucas (Ryan Carnes) and Sam (Kelly Monaco).  In addition, his relationship with Olivia (Lisa LoCicero), who is the mother of his other child, would be great to explore as well.

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On your last tape day, did everyone know on the set?

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

WILLIAM:  No, nobody knew.  It was right before a three-week summer break and everyone wanted to finish up and leave, and start their vacations.  So, you shoot your last scene and it was like, “BAM … everybody’s gone!”  I am not the first one to go through it in daytime.

If things do not pan out with GH, would you go to another soap if there was a great role that popped up?

WILLIAM:  I am focused on primetime right now.  I could never say never to going back to the soaps.  In a lot of ways, it’s a home.  If somebody were to say, “I’m done”, there is a lot of emotional work behind saying that.  A lot of actors have said, “I’m done” but they don’t know how to prepare for the truth of that.  There is a truth of being really done. You now have to go out and get work, and that is not easy to do.  You have to disconnect emotionally from daytime. You can’t think you can always just pick up the phone. Having that crutch of being able to pick-up the phone means you won’t be concentrating on getting other work, because you are constantly seeing the soft landing. There is no ledge, and you have to jump off the ledge.

What show on primetime would you like to appear on?

Courtesy/SingleMomAGoGo

WILLIAM:  I just auditioned for a significant role on Taken.  I love that show.  It’s funny, in the breakdown it said, “Must be able to stand their ground with Jennifer Beals.  And I’m like, “That’s me!” Actually, Michelle Stafford (Nina, GH) helped me put some material down on videotape for Taken.  It was funny.  I felt like I was having virtual sex from across the room! (Laughs)  Michelle was so flattering.  She would say, “Oh, my God!  That was so good!”  I would go, “God, Michelle! I feel like you are sitting in my lap right now.” (Laughs)   She talked with the cameraman and goes, “Wasn’t he great?”  The cameraman goes, “OK, yeah.” (Laughs).  This all happened because it was a request from Toronto that I put myself on tape for the role. Being Canadian, they know me up there.  Now, I just want to say how much I love Michelle, and also to thank her for helping me with this.

Looking back at your time as GH’s Julian; was there a point in the story that you loved the most, or in his journey?

WILLIAM:  On a personal level working with Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis) was great, honestly.

Do you think Nancy upped your acting game being in scenes with her?

Photo Credit: JPI Studops

WILLIAM:  That is an interesting question.  I am a Taurus.  I’m not easy.  Nancy is a pain in the ass (laughs), but we have had so much fun and that made for some great scenes.  As far as the story goes and character-wise, I love the challenge that they gave me where he has to go to the edge and then pull it back in trying to redeem himself.  I think the only person I drove nuts a little bit was Maurice Benard (Laughs).  He has been doing the show for 24 years.  He knows his character well enough that he can learn his lines the night before, and run it during the rehearsal.  He has decades of confidence that he will remember his dialog.  Will comes into work wanting to work and run his lines, so Maurice would be like, “Yeah, we will run it,” but then he would add, “Dude, you have to have the confidence.” He was in essence saying to me, “Don’t worry about it. It will be there when you need it to be.”  I am more like, “I need to know and have the confidence that it will be there.  I can’t just wish it.”  Maurice would laugh at me and it wasn’t a bad thing, and he has always had my back on the show.  That is another whole storyline still left to  explore.  I was brought on, and my screen-test was with the character of Sonny.  I feel like there is a lot more adversarial stuff to still play, or now even the allied stuff; like the prison material, which is great.  I thought that gave a good example of what Sonny and Julian could do.  

Many felt you deserved a Daytime Emmy nomination this past season for your work.  You had several meaty scenes and some Emmy-worthy material.  Some thought you could nab a Supporting Actor nod. 

Photo Credit; JPI Studios

WILLIAM:  I went for “Lead Actor”, and I still think I should have been nominated.  You have to value yourself.  I would rather not get nominated, than not submitting myself where I feel I belong, or to just try to get a nomination.  Honestly, it’s not that important to me.  I just think if I can’t go in with the “Lead Actors” than I’m not interested in it.  I’m not saying anything other than that is where I want to be.  Everybody else is there to judge whether I deserve to be there or, not.  That is not my job.  My job is to give myself value.

In closing, what would you like to say to your ardent fans?

WILLIAM:  For all the fans who want to know if they are just whistling Dixie here and wondering if there is any hope?  Yeah, there is always hope.

So, what did you think about the comments made by William and his status with GH? Do you hope a deal can be struck that would bring him back under contract at the ABC daytime drama series? What should happen then to Julexis? Comment below!

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Jimh
Jimh

I wish bro Julian and Sis Ava were more like GLs Alan and his sis Alexandra…two great soap vilians who werent killers and wickedly fun to watch with their plotting and scheming…had GH lost him he would had been a good Peter Blake at Days!!!

Shay
Shay

Even though I’m sure he won’t have any trouble lining up new roles, I suppose this actor could always teach a class on “soap operas” at deVry University!

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

There we go! “Weren’t killers . . . wickedly fun to watch.” That’s what we need.
Enough killers!

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

And what’s this about Laura and Kevin–Genie and Jon–going to Paris and off-screen? Wow, TPTB are really blind. Don’t know the cardinal rule: “Give ’em what they want.” Boo! Hiss!

Steve
Steve

Nancy
Both Genie Francis and Finola Hughes have extended summer vacations written into their contracts. At least the writers were able to stagger them by a few weeks. If only Maurice would bless the audience with the same!

On OLTL, Erika Slezak was known for having her August vacation in her contract. They either pre-taped some scenes, or Viki was off camera in September.

k/kay
k/kay

Not sure but I think Genie takes time off this time of year for family.

Shay
Shay

@jimh…Per your “Diane comment” below: I’ll say this much for Attorney Miller…at least she was properly mortified at the thought of her beloved Max taking over Sonny’s place at the helm of his criminal enterprise…were that Alexis, it would have inspired a gush of unabated sexual euphoria! Hence not only does the superb legal eagle Diane possess common sense in spades, but she has exquisite style and a shoe collection to kill for to boot! (No pun intended….)

MB
MB

“I think it was one of those situations where people come back and people go out.”

So is he referring to Steve Burton? So let’s get this straight, Steve is responsible for all the money that is needed for DeVry as well as the reason Budig is gone right?

Meanwhile they aren’t paying Tyler Christopher’s salary anymore because God knows keeping a 20 year Vet who just won an Emmy isn’t important. Jane Elliott’s money is freed up. Geary’s big salary has been gone two years, but I see on a bunch of sites that Burton coming back is responsible for so much. Yet Frank figures out a way to keep paying Howarth and Easton. Easton on his 95th character and Howarth after staging a walkout and only showing how his absence has no impact on the show.

Timmm
Timmm

I cannot believe Steve would be so expensive. After all, he is no Tom Cruise! I would rather have Will and Rebecca stay and dump Howarth and Easton any day!

K/kay
K/kay

Their is a blood bath coming and they need it but Howarth and Easton will not be a part of it. I have said it a million times their is nobody in this business who makes or breaks a show no matter how big their ego is! Yet to see a actor that is that great personally I think Maura west should go else where she has the old Hollywood glamour she could make it!

Lucky
Lucky

I hope they work out a deal. I really love Julian. He’s compelling, and I think it benefits two of my favorite characters especially, Sam and Ava, to have him on the canvas. I was concerned last year after he tried to kill Alexis, but now that we know he had a plan to get her out of that, I can forgive that. And make no mistake I am aware of the suspension of disbelief that requires, but I’m used to that after watching many soaps. Alexis and Julian are great together, and I hope their story will be allowed to continue.

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

Completely agree, Lucky! I said almost the same thing on various posts.

Celia
Celia

I hope not….Lucky …

Shay
Shay

@Lucky….Whilst you are obviously not alone in your great desire for this outcome, I do not join you in that hope. This vomit-inducing couple needs to be dunzo….’tis a shame that may involve the necessary exit of deVry’s Julian, who on his own could have been a real keeper had the storylines gone in a completely different direction, but inexorably attached to that wanton ball-and-chain also known as the neurotic Alexis, his (dramatic) stock—along with future possibilities–dipped precipitously, then sank faster than those associated with the dotcom bubble when it eventually burst. Too bad, since it really shouldn’t have ended this way for such a talented actor. (I really hope the same fate doesn’t befall James Patrick Stuart since his most promising character of Valentin has been likewise tethered to the wrong female on the GH canvas.)

Celia
Celia

Cry me a river…not my idea of THE couple for whom to root. Used and abused. What a loving, shiny, comfy relationship. No thanks.

su0000
su0000

Great interview, Michael, You are the best !
I hope William/Julian stays on, I really like Julian.
ABC has to wake up and respect the value of the soap actors and stop treating them as second citizens!

Allen Saint James
Allen Saint James

it’s time for the show to move on. I’ve been sick of Alexis for decades now and Julian never quite landed with me. use contract money somewhere else

Shay
Shay

Thank you, Allen Saint James! It’s nice to know that there are others out there who are as unimpressed with Alexis and her monotonously ridiculous antics as I am!!! As much as I wish Mr. deVry well, I think it’s time for his Julian to go and if he could only take his estranged spouse with him, that would be most gratifying…Let’s put the money where the legacy characters are and get this soap back on track…there are plenty of other actors we are begging to see returned to the GH canvas! (It also would not go amiss to rid it of a few other notable newbie players and soap vet gets who have not jelled in Port Charles, as well, to fund this effort!)

JK
JK

GREAT INTERVIEW. REALLY GOT TO LIKE THE JULIAN STORYLINE BUT SO SICK OF ALEXIS EVER SINCE I STARTED WATCHING THE SOAP. WRITE HER AND HER WHOLE FAMILY OUT-OF-TOWN!!!!!!

Allen Saint James
Allen Saint James

Right on!!

su0000
su0000

Alexis was a great character in past 8 years..
The character has greatly failed, rolled in the mud, under Jean and Shelly..
I don’t see a way back for Alexis .
Jean and Shelly have left more than a few once great characters in ruins.

Suzie rm
Suzie rm

Totally agree! I could care less if I saw Julian again

Jimh
Jimh

I rather watch Dianne full time…wish they had paired her with Ned!

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

I totally agree, Shay. Well said.

Timmm
Timmm

And this, why would Hayden be so worried about her past when Finn has a worse record. STUPID story AND we finally see her dad and POOF, he is gone. What a waste!

Celia
Celia

Today’s Mickey Mouse theatrical court was neither entertaining, nor impressive lawyering. As it were.
Really? Oh, my gosh!!!! What was that? Was Alexis’ testimony supposedly meant to bring us to our knees? To tears? When she started reading the letter, I FFed. Good thing it’s a soap, otherwise everyone….the whole kit and caboodle would have been thrown out of court.

Kevin O.
Kevin O.

They wrote Julian into a corner long ago. Julexis was fun, at first, but now Alexis just looks pathetic pining for him. Goodbye, Julian, and good luck to William.

Tomas Torquemada
Tomas Torquemada

About being painted into a corner….. Sonny literally murdered Michael’s father and everyone is cool with it. Obviously there’s two sets of rules for painting a character into a corner. The Sonny option is to never ever speak of it and have every character say how awesome Sonny is as if it were an echo chamber.

Two standards. I love the actor. But enough with the mob stuff. Let Ava and Julian move on and out of that go nowhere story arc.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

“Wrote Julian into a corner long ago”—-yes, yes, and yes.
And agree that “Alexis just looks pathetic pining for him.”
Too bad; she used to be an intelligent, complicated character. Then she lost that standing. “Over the line”–another character bites the dust.

Shay
Shay

Instead of allowing the character of Julian to “find his footing,” he was immediately forced into the preposterous Julexis pairing without any forethought for the future. It was inevitable that such a contrived, specious union would never last, what with its highly-juvenile backstory and too-convenient “instant family” plotline. Added to that mix was Alexis—ever the walking cliche’ of a woman of a certain age clad in a plunging neckline—desperately seeking to capture a second chance to re-do her grossly-misspent youth with a mega-sexually-charged do-over that inspired far more laughter than passion. Shipping these two characters was an epic disaster waiting to happen and when one tossed in the mafia element to this ill-advised recipe, well, what you see now is exactly what you get….a dead end with no way out!

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

People fall in love, Nancy Dilligan. In REAL life maybe the most exalted would look like a fool /naive if they took back someone who held a knife to his/her throat. But, in real life that person would be behind bars, as would Sonny, Jason, Max, Ava, Sam, Carly and a host of other Port Charles residents.

In soapland, there are many fans who still love Julian and Alexis and, as is done in many a soap story, a character, no matter how far he/she has strayed, is somehow redeemed. Unless there’s no attempt to do so and they just have the person as the continuous villian ala Helena, Stavros, Faison, et al.

For many of us (much more than appear on this site) we ARE willing to buy “my sister made me do it”. It would be a lot more difficult if he had actually murdered Alexis (obviously) or even thrown her around/physically harmed her. Scaring her out of her mind is not innocuous, but it did leave the door open for many of us to believe it was all an act. And as I did point out on another post, you could see the regret from the minute Julian was captured. His visions of her, his constant questions as to her welfare, his repeated affirmations that somehow they’d get back together. It’s credible that he thought he could explain it to her down the line. His story was still further backed up when Olivia got to Danny as a warning.

So, as usual we viewers see characters much differently. I in no way see Alexis as pathetic or pining. Rather a woman very much in love who is having a battle with herself between believing his version and that he was trying to protect her and the family…vs the woman that was traumatized and convinced her husband was trying to kill her. Makes for an interesting soapy story about love gone awry and what people (in the soap world) will do when faced with conflict. And, since Sonny, Jason, Sam, Carly even Diane…who we assume in all her lectures to Alexis is still going to date the supposed new mob boss Max (which probably won’t happen)…it seems that Alexis and Julian should be able to turn their story back in time…or at least turn the page with a deeper understanding…than just writing them/him off, literally and figuratively.

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

correction: Leo, not Danny.

davlestev1
davlestev1

It’s opinions like these and constant tuning out that will send all of you to remember when websites instead of actual soaps that are still airing websites like this one because no soaps will be airing in daytime. DAYS latest numbers are plunging not rising and that’s just woefully sad. So keep complaining keep tuning out and then be left with nothing. Mission accomplished.

Timmm
Timmm

I for one will NOT tune out but I have a right to bitch about what is going on as a fan of these shows! Its passion and desire to want a good product, not a cancellation.

Celia
Celia

LOL… I don’t know about that, dav. It’s not the comments which will do GH in—we are asked to give opinions. I hope you’re not suggesting we ‘lie’ about our feelings and say everything is a bed of roses, raibows and love-birdies tweeting away, do you?
It’s the writers, who sometimes write these insipid stories that achingly bounce in my poor head.
Today was a most enjoyable episode. Got a kick out of Felicia and Mac making love ” al fresco”; aptly put by Maxie.
Whatever sexual “mischief” Mac and Felicia were up to, was behind the scenes. Appropriately done; not some gross show of barf-worthy display, as others. Loved it….especially for the fact that they acted so unabashedly in the aftermath of discovery. LOL.
More, such levity, would be greatly appreciated.

Nathalie Rutledge
Nathalie Rutledge

Really great interview! Thank u Michael and Wil!

Nathalie Rutledge
Nathalie Rutledge

Very awesome read! I too believe that a deal will be reach soon. Thank u so much!

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

I’m not as optimistic as you–and I think he should go elsewhere.

Mateo
Mateo

The character of Julian is a slow building fire. In the beginning you almost snuff it out because Will DeVry’s portrayal is so restrained and subtle. But you watch him for awhile and he draws you in. That man is sex on a stick. Which, as a gay man, I enjoy completely. I hope he is able to get a deal with GH but he would do well anywhere. Like I said, his style is restrained but it grows on you and he draws you in. He has staying power. Now I have to go pour a glass of lemonade and cool down because ….well because it’s Will DeVry!!!!! Holy cow — smoulder much?

Soaphound
Soaphound

I’m with you, Mateo. Mr. DeVry is smolder central and we need to keep him. Ditch the dullards like Burton and Easton if they have to.

Renee Galante
Renee Galante

Great article! Thank you to both Michael & Wil for doing this interview. Wil has so many fans, including myself, who love him and want him to stay on as Julian. He has amazing chemistry with Nancy. Julexis are ratings gold. I don’t understand why the network threw it all away. They need all the help they can get as ratings are continuing to fall. Why not invest in an actor like a Wil & a couple like Julexis that will bring up ratings? Fans love the couple & want him to stay. They need to pay attention to what fans want instead of focusing on what fans don’t like as reflected in low ratings. If he doesn’t come back to GH, ratings will continue to fall further. His fans will leave with him. They are stupid to let him go.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Wasn’t ratings gold for me.

Suzie rm
Suzie rm

For me either. I did not see love, I saw sex between them. There is a difference. I would fast forward thru the live scenes between the 2.

Makes Alexis look weak andJulian like a wimp

Also, who states in an interview they should have been nominated?

Steve
Steve

If you read between what WdV is saying, it appears Varni is holding the line on salary negotiations. This could also be his way of keeping his loyal fan base wherever he winds up.

His comments on the Emmy category reveals more about where he stands in contract negotiations. Julian is a true supporting character. He submitted himself in the wrong category and likely wants to be paid as a lead.

Sara
Sara

I agree as far as in my opinions Lead Actor on a Soap is a “Seasoned Character”!

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

You got it, Steve! Interview gave off some negative vibes.

KM
KM

I couldn’t agree more, Steve. He’s strictly supporting IMO. Even in the Liv story he was more her cowardly tool than the actual lead of the story. WdV needs to crank his ego down a few notches on that one.

Sara
Sara

PLEASE CALL THE GH HOTLINE & PASS THE NUMBER TO OTHER WILLIAM FANS: 1-323-671-4583 AWESOME TALENT!

Timmm
Timmm

OR its 1-800 ABC DOESN’T GIVE A SHIT!

Rodd
Rodd

I’m really conflicted about what he had to say. I really like him as an actor; the way he plays Julian. But his answers came across as more cocky than self-confident. IDK. I’d like to see him stay on GH if they don’t white-wash all the crap Julian did to Alexis and if that means I’m not a “true fan”, tough. I don’t like that Sonny gets away with all his crap either. That being said, I think he’s a very talented actor and wish him well…hopefully back on GH.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Agree–did sound a bit cocky. He won’t go for an Emmy unless it lead actor?? What’s that all about? Get that ego in check. Shades of someone else (TG) that turned a lot of long-time fans off. One of them is me.

Scoma60
Scoma60

His comment about only “non fans” have issues with Julian’s redemption pisses me off. You can be a Julexis fan & Alexis fan & believe Julian crossed an unforgivable line.
Julian man handled her, fantasized drowning her, set her up to take the fall for his crimes & tried to slit her throat. If GH had given him a medical cause like DID then I could eventually get over it. Saying his chubby middle age sister made him do it is BS to me.
His comments about Mo not wanting to rehearse are LOL. Mo stammers & pauses so much. He definitely needs to rehearse. It even looks like he has to depend on cue cards.

Celia
Celia

That’s what I’ve been saying. What a pitiful excuse….unhealthy relationship. As you point out, Scoma….that was raw sex,carnal gratification ( which is great when shared with love) but their ‘coming together’ had nothing to do with love.
What was the first thing they did ( Alexis could not control her urge) when he finally came out of his “hoodie”? They went to some sleazy motel and did it….that was not love.
Where were the caresses? They joy of seeing each other? Where was her anger? The minimal anger Alexis showed turned into hungry lust. What’s the word I’m looking for? Oh, yeah—-rutting.

Shay
Shay

And where was a plausible backstory upon which to build this farce of a so-called “relationship?” There were so many options available to give this couple a respectable beginning and reunion, but instead we were treated to a tawdry tale of anonymous sex with an unnamed stranger in the back seat of a car which resulted in an unwed teen pregnancy…lovely, just lovely. And they say romance is dead….well, if this pair who is portrayed as a purely fornicating freakshow is any indication, it certainly is1

Celia
Celia

@Shay.
Hiyahh, Shay, ma belle,
I do not normally go back to past sites, but , there was your post in my inbox. Niw, you tell me….how could I ignore you, my friend??
I came back to the ridiculous, incredible, and unrealistic courtroom sideshow. Nothing or no one for whom to root….unemotional drivel, Shay.
Alexis’ tears are a joke. Is it just me? I was not moved. All I could concentrate upon was her hand-gesticulations….never realized how big Alexis’ hands were for a girl.
I am flabbergasted. This is a farce. I truly believe the writers are doing Alexis a disservice. I do like her, but not like this….not for the crumbs that snake leaves behind. As I said, this relationship is the dark side of lust. She is well past her prime, compared to him. Sick, sick, sick.
This couple has now become a caricature for me. I never took these two seriously in this relationship….now? They do not exist, at all. It will be FF-ing. I can feel my bloodpressure rising if I even think of them together. LOL.

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

I think what he meant, Scoma60, although I agree he could have worded it differently because it came off as insulting (but somehow I don’t think he meant it to be) I think he meant that in the world of soaps, fans of a couple usually stick by them and want to see them get back together. So, many will go with the flow when a character or couple is redeemed…or some will like a couple (like Sonny and Carly) even’when they’re not. So “real” fans of a couple…well, they allow themselves to believe or rationalize where the story has turned to redeem a character. (ESPECIALLY in this story where they really veered off course.) Personally, I have more problems with Michael forgiving Sonny for killing AJ and to make it worse once again have such loyalty, refer to him as Dad and never once is AJ discussed…not with Jason, Monica or even Nell. Or, Carly marrying Sonny after he threatened to kill her for shooting Olivia (even though she wasn’t the target.) He could have been incredibly worried about Olivia when he wasn’t sure if she was going to make it (but he didn’t have to threaten to kill Carly if she didn’t.) No excuse; no matter how distraught. But, she married him.

Many, like myself, AGREE that there is no going back if Julian’s intentions were to kill Alexis and now he’s just “sorry.” But many, again, like myself, like them together so are willing to accept that he staged everything because he had to, that there was no way his sister could even suspect that he wasn’t going to kill Alexis and that she had far reach/eyes everywhere. Even at AA. The fact that he imagined killing her…I don’t even remember that!…but if you and others say he did I guess that scene took place. Not sure how to get around that other than to forget it (LOL, like I did unintentionally.)

We have no idea moving forward if they’ll unite them or not. I guess they’ll gauge whether more fans are willing to accept and forgive what we believe was not an intention to kill her but merely a ruse to protect her and the family, or if it’s BS.

If fans could buy Luke and Laura back in the day…

It’s really just a matter of whether you buy it or not. I do; I love their rapport. I love the way Julian loves her (LOL..minus the “slight” detour). I know others won’t accept it and feel she should move on. I think “Alexis” has the same dilemma…should she or shouldn’t she.

Patsy
Patsy

Hope your character will be back! Alexis is best with you!! Good luck in where you land, but do not forget get us at GH!!

Patsy
Patsy

Hope you find your way back to GH at some point! Good luck on prime time endeavors, but don’t forget us. Alexis is best with you in her life…you two are so great together!

Elle
Elle

Will seems like a nice enough guy who is good to his fans, but I feel like he’s over-playing his hand here. He’s been on the show less than 5 years and is negotiating with GH like he’s Tony Geary. GH has always been a show with great actors and many fan favorites, so 1 person isn’t going to make or break the show. I also think that really passionate fans can skew reality and make you think you’re one step away from being the next Hollywood movie star…when really, you’re blessed with the job you have. Further, I think GH has to be careful letting actors play these long, drawn-out contract negotiation games. It can disrupt storytelling, and sets up fans to be really negative, demanding and contentious toward the show. I mean, it’s a soap, our favorite actors come and (unfortunately) go all the time. It happens. Sucks in the moment, but life goes on.

Shay
Shay

Very well put, Elle! The bottom line is that soap operas are a business and when the numbers simply don’t add up, then changes must be made.

Celia
Celia

absolutely true, Shay…. everything comes fown to dollars and crnts. It is what it is.
We carp and complain, mis bella, but, I am sooo very grateful, we still have the luxury of watching the remaining few.
I asked my twin (Elle, who is not too taken by Julian—similar style of writing) if she had posted a comment on MF’s GH site….different Elle. LOL.

Tamara
Tamara

i will miss you. sad to see go. GH should listen to what the fans want
if they keep messing up. letting led actors go. The Fans will soon follow. i have been watching GH since i was a kid. my mom watched.
i learned the characters then. i was around 6 now 49 . thats along time fan . they need to listen us. love you and you will be missed.i will watch for you on taken.

Eileen OBrien
Eileen OBrien

I’ve been watching GH since 1983, back when I was on active duty in Germany. I remember Julian as played by Jason Culp. I always liked Julian, the guy with conscience in a mob family. I also liked Mr. Culp in the role, so was skeptical when Mr. DeVry took over the part years late. Now I can’t imagine anyone as Julian (sorry, Jason). I agree with others that there’s much more to Julian than meets the eye; he’s multi-faceted. If the PTB let Mr. DeVry go, it will be a great loss to GH. What do “The Suits” know about good soap opera? I hate The Suits.

AJ
AJ

William deVry is a good actor, but I’ll never be able to view Julian as redeemed. I like Alexis, but don’t like her with Julian. Julian held a knife to her throat. Relationships end over MUCH less than that. Sorry, I can’t suspend disbelief enough to be able to root for Julian and Alexis. If Julian is gone, I’m fine with that. How about Alexis & Finn.

Steve
Steve

Funny you mention Finn with Alexis as I saw pictures of NLG & ME appearing together at ABC’s TCA event. Easton is definitely staying so his choices for romantic pairings are limited. Alexis could finally try a relationship with a non-bad boy. They could try him with Anna, but she really needs someone more dynamic.

Shay
Shay

Finn may not be a cold-blooded gangster, but as a (former?) drug addict, he still qualifies as at least a semi-bad boy! Plus, the man has already been through enough trauma in tis lifetime…taking on Alexis and her endless neediness would hardly be the uplifting experience this character requires at this time. I don’t know that I necessarily would care to see Finn paired with Anna, but she would be a far better choice of romantic partner….and they would make a striking-looking couple given they both possess that timeless quality.

Shay
Shay

Personally, I think Finn would be better off with Roxy the Lizard!

Celia
Celia

Yeahhhh!! Hurrahhh!!! My sentiments, exactly!! They are fine without each other.

Shay
Shay

Quite frankly, the only man with whom Alexis needs a date at present is Andre….and I mean that in a purely professional sense! The woman is an adrenaline-junkie who gets off on bedding dangerous dudes, the more sinister and law-breaking, the better! That is so NOT normal! As for finding yet another in her long line of psychopathic twisted misters, I would suggest a personal ad: Soon-to-be-single, sexually-obsessed alcoholic white female attorney seeks playmate, preferably younger, since extreme stamina and readiness for whatever, whenever is essential! Criminal background not a problem, in fact, it is considered a plus—not to mention a huge turn-on! The lengthier the rap sheet, the better! Please leave a message for Alexis at 1-800-DESPRTE and I’ll get back to you as soon as the mood strikes, which should be in a moment or two.

Sam
Sam

I love him and Alexis together. ❤️ They need to keep him and continue their story.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Sounds like he’s done.
And he says “they took the character to the edge and now he’s doing the work to be redeemed.
UH-HUH! They took him OVER the edge. Can’t redeem him now.
So, TPTP once again went for desperate sensationalism–THEN tried for redemption.
Doesn’t work that way with this fan; unfortunately, you can’t have it both ways.
So–he’s done for me. Has been since they took him over the brink. Can’t identify nor empathize, no become invested in that one-dimensional character.
That, in a nutshell, is what’s wrong with GH. The writers need to write complex characters with shades of gray–not predictable thugs. No payoff for the viewer at all in a thug.

Linda
Linda

Yes, Will and Nancy have fantastic chemistry, but i don’t want Alexis back with Julian, after he tried to kill her. My sister made me do it, doesn’t cut it for me, because his sister did not make Julian fantasize about killing Alexis. So according to Will, I am not a true fan.

Timmm
Timmm

Let him go to primetime TV and recast the role. I never liked or disliked the actor so it wouldnt matter to me. Either that or pay him for one more story arc where he goes to prison and Alexis, Sam and Lucas move on. Alexis still has feelings for him but she needs to be stronger than his sex appeal and dump the bastard!

k/kay
k/kay

I liked the character did he cross the vine did Sonny? Good luck to him he was a smoldering actor but the writers ruined them ! Good lluck god bless and his not acacholenhebiscavtuallybavgery nice Guy! Do I think stevebburton had anything tomdimwithnthisbi don’t care

k/kay
k/kay

God I apologize , a good actor let him alone and could he be anymore arrogant then the others! They have put all their eggs in Steve burtons basket good luck

k/kay
k/kay

Lordy I spelled everything wrong Devryngood luck you are gone but I did enjoy you !

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

I’m always surprised at how blunt actors are when discussing negotiations. They aren’t specific, but there’s always some underlying tug-of-war that is revealed. So, on the one hand he sounds pretty confident they’ll keep him on and on the other he’s auditioning and thinks he may have landed another role. Confusing; unless he plans on doing both if both should come through.

Hope he stays. Love Julian, still love Julian and Alexis together though Julian’s great ouside the relationship, as well. Speaking of Alexis aka Nancy….she’s lost a lot of weight! She’s almost as thin as Finola in some pictures I’ve seen of her recently. She looks great!

KM
KM

I hate Julian!! But it’s in a “love to hate” kind of way. LOL.

Seriously, I genuinely think the character is a total weasel who puts his own hide before anyone else’s so no wonder he’s always being s**t on. He deserves every bit of it:)

Still, I’d rather see that than the usual ridiculously OTT cartoon villain who’s nothing more than a short term plot point.

I’d happily strangle Julian most of the time so I do enjoy other characters giving him exactly what he deserves. It makes them rootable to me which is something I don’t see enough of on GH.

Timmm
Timmm

I find it sad that Tony Geary who was old and grumpy got his ass chewed out because of his exit comments but here devry does the same thing and since his is younger and handsome, people will dismiss this arrogant attitude.

Steve
Steve

I find deVry’s comments to be more calculated, but still polite. Geary basically dissed Carlivati’s (aka The Writer) storytelling in his exit interview.

Harry
Harry

Hmmm….Good point, Timm. I never thought of it that way.
I really appreciated the honesty of Geary’s exit comments. What peeved me was his bitterness towards the Luke and Laura history and by extension, the resentment he seemed to harbor for the fans of that history.
His swan song was not graceful, it was angry and embittered. So much so, it was more of a black swan song.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Hey–again!–Harry–my sentiments exactly! 🙂

Celia
Celia

Agreed, T.

Shay
Shay

Timmm….The big difference between Geary’s and deVry’s comments is that Anthony was not only quite befittingly dismissive of the GH management, but undeservedly so to his fans, as well. That is what really angered and offended so many long-time viewers who grew up watching the Luke and Laura phenomenon…he never acknowledged our fond feelings for the duo and the support we gave to his iconic character which enabled his own mega-successful soap career. His less-than-gracious attitude toward Genie Francis and her Laura was also a major factor in his most un-well-received exit from the GH canvas. William reserved his wrath solely for the people in charge of the show, and apparently, it didn’t hurt him one iota, since he’s not going anywhere, and it looks as though we are going to be force-fed more nauseating OTT sexual acrobatics between his Julian and the hyper-wanton Alexis.

Timmm
Timmm

Duly noted Shay dVrey!

Shay
Shay

Haha, Timmbo! I just call it like I see it…you know I’m no great supporter of deVry, or rather, his character, Julian, but at least he respects his rabid fanbase…whoever they may be!

Dawn D
Dawn D

He is a great actor I hope he can do movies and GH. He is an asset to GH! I wish him well in whatever happens.

General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Lucas Gives Wiley To Michael; While Willow Learns the Devastating Truth

Friday’s episode of General Hospital, brought the highly-emotional moments viewers had been waiting for all-week long; following the year and a half reveal that Nelle (Chloe Lanier) and Brad (Parry Shen) engineered a baby switch with Willow’s (Katelyn MacMullen) dead baby, Wiley being passed off as Michael (Chad Duell) and Nelle’s newborn, Jonah, and Jonah being raised by Brad and Lucas (Ryan Carnes) as Wiley.  Now with the truth out, it was time for two of the heaviest beats of the story to be played out.

When Willow comes to at the hospital with Chase (Josh Swickard) by her side, needless to say she is dazed and freaking out that Nelle took Wiley.  Chase tells her he has some things to tell her and it’s not going to be easy to hear. Willow braces herself and then Chase tells her the story of the baby switch and how her baby died a SIDS death while at Brad and Lucas’ and then how the babies were switched.

Photo: ABC

In a heartbreaking and powerful performance from Katelyn MacMullen (yes, she is our pick for “Power Performance of the Week”), Willow struggles to come to grips with the truth and starts to realize all of Brad’s machinations, as she thinks back to herself how could she do that to her son … to trust him with Brad, only to have the little infant die.  The devastation played by MacMullen, whose Willow, now must realize her baby never lived the full and happy young life she thought, was gut-wrenching.

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Meanwhile, in yet another top-notch performance, William deVry (Julian) showed the pain and the need to unburden himself as Julian talks to his sister. Ava (Maura West) and spills what happened.   He goes so far to admit to Ava that he knew what Brad had done. Ava cannot believe he did not go to Sonny (Maurice Benard) right away with this Intel, but Julian just could not do this to his son, Lucas and rip the baby from his arms.  Julian says he will face-off with Sonny and not leave town, if it comes to that.   Ava says they have to come up with a way to silence Brad … before Brad gives up Julian’s part in the whole baby cover-up.

Photo: JPI

And in yet another masterful performance, we have to give it up to Chloe Lanier.  Who can play Nelle and spin stories and the tears so well, that if you did not know this pathological liar you would think she is telling the truth. When in opposing holding cells at the PCPD, Nelle lays it on about Brad so that the guard can hear them. She blames Brad for being the instigator in the baby switch and taking advantage of her – a distraught new mother, confused and dazed on the route where the baby switch happened.  It works! Brad is moved to a different cell and thinks look very grim for him.  Nelle smiles through her crocodile tears!

Photo: JPI

Then, in what we all knew had to happen, and even so, was still as heartbreaking as ever; Lucas spends his final moments with Wiley as his father in the kitchen at the Corinthos’ along with Bobbie (Jackie Zeman) and Carly (Laura Wright).  Lucas starts to tell his mother and sister, all the things Wiley needs and likes, such as having a story read to him.  All of this brings the tears as they know Lucas has to give the child back to Michael; who has been robbed of a year and half as the baby’s rightful father.

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GENERAL HOSPITAL: Nikolas & Spencer's Reunion Leaves Ava Attempting To Bring Peace: What Did You Think Of The Key Scenes?

Michael tells Lucas they will work this out, so Lucas remains a constant in Wiley’s life. He also tells Sonny and Sasha (Sofia Matteson) he feels so badly for Lucas, but they tell him to be happy for this chance to have the son he grieved for.   In the end, a tear-filled Lucas hands Wiley to Michael as everyone watches on in sadness for one father … and joy for the other.  Ryan Carnes was poignant in the scenes; as was Chad Duell.

Courtesy/ABC

So, what did you think of the performances from Friday’s GH featuring Katelyn, Ryan, Chad, William, Chloe and Parry? Comment below.

Continue Reading

General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Michael Blasts Brad As The Truth About Wiley Comes Out

FINALLY! On Wednesday’s episode of General Hospital, Lucas (Ryan Carnes) memory is jogged just enough that he clearly remembers Brad’s (Parry Shen) shocking words before their car crash; where Brad confessed that Wiley was Nelle (Chloe Lanier) and Michael’s (Chad Duell) biological son.

At the Corinthos home, Lucas stands up and announces to Michael that Wiley is actually his believed to be dead son, Jonah. Carly’s (Laura Wright) mouth drops and then she takes over getting to the root of the truth of the baby switch.

Brad is cornered and left with no choice but to fess up. He explains how Wiley died when he was no longer breathing, and how he was driving with him, when he ended up on the route where Nelle left Michael to die in the car he was driving (Michael recalls this bit of Intel in a flashback).

Then, Brad explains how Nelle appeared with her newborn baby and claimed the whole thing was engineered by Nelle …  and how he was so upset and panicked, that he went along with her plan.

Michael lets Brad have it for all of his lies and machinations, and the pain it has inflicted on so many people for over a year and half.  How on earth could he do that? Carly also lays into him.

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Meanwhile, Sasha (Sofia Matteson) has urgently called Chase (Josh Swickard), who leaves “Wiley” and Willow (Katelyn MacMullen) behind, and heads to the Corinthos’ where he hears the whole sad truth about the baby switch.

With Chase gone, Nelle goes looking for “Wiley” who is with Willow, and the two get into a major throwdown catfight.  Nelle comes out the victor and goes to get her baby ready to leave town with her son.

So, what did you think of how the truth finally came out?  What did you think of Michael’s tirade on Brad? What do you think will happen next? Comment below.

Continue Reading

General Hospital

GH’s James Patrick Stuart Talks on Valentin’s Downfall and Potential Rise to Power

After all his bravado, machinations and lies to keep the woman he loves, and believing he was the rightful heir to the Cassadine fortune, suddenly it all came crashing down for Valentin Cassadine (James Patrick Stuart) on recent episodes of General Hospital.

Payback can be a bitch, but for Valentin; who’s past has been fraught with numerous physical and emotional tribulations since his childhood, he now finds himself at the lowest point in his life; losing Nina (Cynthia Watros) who’s now taken up with Jax (Ingo Rademacher), realizing he is the biological son of the evil Helena Cassadine (Constance Towers), and not Mikkos, and having all his best laid plans and misdeeds backfire.  (Remember, he shot and “killed” Nikolas, and set up the ruse that led Sasha to pretend she was Nina’s bio-daughter.)  Now, enter Nelle Benson (Chloe Lanier), who could very well hold the ticket, to Valentin’s rise to wealth and power all over again.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with James Patrick Stuart to get the lowdown on: those heavy and emotional scenes opposite Constance Towers, working with Cynthia Watros as his newest Nina, if Valentin might really kill Jax the next time he thinks about it, and what about a potential relationship between Anna (Finola Hughes) and Valentin?

Not many can play bad as good as James in this industry.  He does it so effortlessly and still brings out the humanity in the guy that has t-r-o-u-b-l-e written all over him.  Here’s what James had to share about all of Valentin’s recent dramatic moments, a tease of what’s to come, and much more.

Photo: JPI

Valentin’s world has imploded at the moment.  When did you initially find out that he was going to turn out to not be a true Cassadine heir?

JAMES:  Well, there were some clues dropped by Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) back when we did the gallery auction where Helena’s portrait went up in flames.  Frank looked at me and goes, “Hey, Jack Nicholson it up.  Have some fun!  You’re not going to be feeling pretty good for a while.”  (Laughs)  I’m like, “Oh … what are the plans?”  He pulled me aside and goes, “Yeah, you’re going to lose Nina, but you’re going to try to take over ELQ.  That’s when I started to go, “Wait a minute!  That sounds to me like Valentin’s losing his money.”  (Laughs)  With the character of Nikolas (Marcus Coloma) coming back; it’s pretty great.  I think the writing was on the wall there.  I put it out on twitter the other day.  I said, “Look what they’ve done to my boy.”  Somebody chimed in, “They gave him a storyline!” (Laughs)

Who doesn’t love to see you, James Patrick Stuart, play tortured soul?  They audience loves to see you get the opportunity to go to those depths in your performances.

JAMES:  It’s been really interesting for me.  I’ve had a lifetime of playing bad guys because the line was always shorter. (Laughs)  Everybody wants to be Tom Cruise, but the Alan Rickman’s of it all, to me, were what was so interesting.  Early on, you play one dimensional kind of twisting of the mustache, tying a woman to the train tracks.  After a while, you start to watch the truly great actors.  They start to take you on a ride.  If you’re paying attention, you start to feel what it would be like to be that damaged, and that’s why you do it.  Then you start to see the vulnerability. To me, I thought, “This is a great time in my life because I’m ready to do that.” A lot of people say, “I don’t understand.  I feel like that makes no sense. because why would I root for a person who behaves like this?” and that to me, I feel is the greatest compliment of all.

So much happened recently to Valentin in one fell swoop; he overhears Nina telling Ava (Maura West) she kissed Jax, then he envisions shooting Jax and then he is drinking himself into oblivion and he gets a “visit” from Helena!  But … the scenes between Valentin and Helena really summed up the bitter truth for him, wouldn’t you say?

JAMES:  Yes.  In the “Helena” scenes, it all basically is revealed.  It all comes down in a moment where he “sees” her.  I think he realizes with the DNA test; he’s not the person he thought he was, but he certainly had no idea that he had her blood in his veins.  The truly tragic moment of the evening is when it dawns on him that he has a daughter with Helena’s blood in her veins.  Now, he would kill her a thousand times over in that moment.  He can’t do it.  He’s fighting phantoms.  That’s the bottom below the bottom, and things got worse than he ever thought they would get.

Courtesy/ABC

Does Valentin have any idea then, who his biological father could be?

JAMES:  I don’t think so.  I don’t believe so.  I know I don’t.  I think once he realizes that Helena is in fact the mother, I think he’d rather just go into oblivion.  I think at that point, he’s out of answers.  Enter Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) …which is wonderful because I think the world of Nancy, and she saves the day.   Alexis basically talks him out of hurting himself, telling him to count his blessings that he is not a Cassadine, etc, which was a really sweet moment.

I assume, when you have this kind of material to play, it must be exhausting, but exhilarating at the same time?

JAMES:  I think that’s exactly right.  As an actor, I think you want to do this stuff.  Maura West and I compare notes all the time.  I think it can be kind of emotionally draining.  You do feel it, and I felt it when I had spent a lot of time with Nina and Valentin, and when the actresses changed, and we brought Cynthia Watros in.  I worked twice as hard to make sure that Cynthia’s landing was as easy as possible, and I really grew attached to the Nina and Valentin connection.  So, when Jax steps in, Cynthia’s love life means nothing to me, I don’t care about that, but Nina’s love life means a lot to me!  And it bums me out, and I don’t know that I’ll actually be watching any future love scenes between them as much as I love them both!  I have a deep attachment to the Valentin connection to Nina.  So, the lines get burred because we just play these characters so long.

Photo: JPI

What was it like sharing those tough scenes with Constance? No one can play icy, evil villainess like her … and yet in real life, she is such a gracious and kind-hearted woman.

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JAMES:  In real life, Constance is such a sweetheart, and she’s so grateful to be there.  She was so ready to work, and rehearse, and play, and find the stuff, and she was great.  I’d been in scenes with her before.  Last time, we didn’t really talk to each other.  I was with the hump.  I was being Valentin pre-surgery.  It was some sort of moment in a graveyard, but this time we actually got to interact with each other.

You look at Valentin, and he’s not had the greatest life.  Do you bring his entire back-story into your performance; such as when he was deformed with the hump and how he had to literally reconstruct his life both in the physical and in emotional ways for many years?

JAMES:  Absolutely.  It’s the brokenness that he’s making choices from.  He was never truly and authentic person to begin with which is why his love fell apart.  He’s always been faking.  He’s always been putting on a show.  That’s not sustainable in matters of the heart.  It was unbelievably easy for Jax to swoop in, because it was inevitable that things were going to fall apart.  Of course, that anger and that brokenness were what lead him to want to kill Jax.  There’s no question.  He was prepared to do that.  If you look in the eyes in the fantasy sequence in the shooting, he just wanted to watch him die.  He wanted to watch the light go out in Jax’s eyes.  He was so furious … and even more tragic is … that was all he could think of, and somehow, he realized in that moment that wouldn’t work, because he’d lose his daughter.

Photo: JPI

Anna and Finn (Michael Easton) just kind of busted up.  Do you think Anna and Valentin will hookup? There is a connection and a history between the two of them whenever they seem to be in proximity of one another.

JAMES:  Personally, I’m waiting for that.  I hope so!  There is a finesse and elegance to that woman, and not only that, there is an effortless to the connection between Valentin and Anna, if one can say that about one’s own coupling.  I love to look at it!  I think we go together like a wink and a smile.  I just find that chemistry really great.  I think that’s mostly Finola, though.  She can probably have chemistry with most anything.

Valentin was going to leave Port Charles with Charlotte (Scarlett Fernandez), after Nikolas revealed all and the fallout began.  Interestingly enough, it was Anna who came to Valentin’s side and tried to talk him down from fleeing with his daughter and showed such compassion for him!

JAMES:  Wasn’t that great?  She was the one who got him.  She was the one who was able to calm the beast.  There was no one else he would have listened to.  In the moment in the police station, after Charlotte had been kidnapped, and there is that moment where Anna has that bruise, I thought it was such a tender moment.  I just said, “If I kiss my finger and touch your wound?” and she’s like, “Do it.”  It was just this moment where we had been bitter rivals and enemies for so long, but he just adores her so much it’s undeniable that he sees her wounded and wants to make it better.  It’s floating out there waiting to be done.  I know that everybody knows it.  It’s just a matter of what the right away to go about in the writing would be.

Photo: JPI

So, you’ve worked opposite two acting dynamos in the role of Nina – Michelle Stafford and now, Cynthia Watros.  Was the transition difficult for you when Cynthia came to GH?

JAMES:  It wasn’t.  It was scary because Michelle Stafford wasn’t just one in a million, I mean, she is one of a kind.  The last thing in the world that I would ever want to consider doing myself was recast that actress.  So, my deal was (and I’ve said this to Cynthia) I said, “I have no control over this.  All I can do is make the landing as easy as possible for Cynthia.”  We did a lot of photoshoots together, and I had flowers waiting for her, and I did everything possible to make sure that she knew that she had a friend and that she had somebody that was going to make it as easy as possible.  It was rough because a lot of the trolls on social media were just awful to her… just brutal, and she goes, “I have thick skin.  I can take it,” and then a week later, she goes, “I’ve closed all my social media accounts!”  (Laughs)  It’s been fun to watch those guys turn around and go, “You have a really special person.”  That wedding stuff was just incredible!  She came so prepared and she knocked it out of the park.  Cynthia has been wonderful.  I love them both.  I love her the reddest, and I love Michelle the bluest, and together I love them the purplest.  (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

It’s interesting that all the women in his life such as Anna and Nina, all have a soft-spot for Valentin; even though they don’t necessarily want to be with him.  These ladies are just drawn to this dysfunctional guy.

JAMES:  Don’t you think?  Is it that you want to help him, you want to fix him, you see the potential, you want to help him despite himself?  I think that’s what it is.

Courtesy/ABC

Do you think Valentin’s still going to try to win Nina back, or is that done? 

JAMES:  I don’t know.  I do know that the Valentin I know will never shake Nina, and when he loves, he loves forever.  He can be simultaneously in love with Anna whenever she’s near.  I don’t believe he ever truly got over Nina hearing his story and his brokenness and still loving him twice as hard.  Years ago, there was a moment where he said to her the stuff that he’s never said, and Michelle beautifully kissed my tears away and said, “You’re beautiful” to me.   I think in that moment his fate was sealed.  I think he knew that this was his woman forever.  So, I just don’t think that that goes away.  I think he will always carry a torch for Nina, for sure.

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Do you see Valentin becoming darker and darker now that he had found out he is Helena’s offspring?

JAMES:  Well, yes and no.  I remember watching these scenes and we’ve done a lot of this stuff, and you know how easy it is to sort of go, “Let’s go dark, let’s go dark, let’s go more dark,” and after a while, I go, “You know, maybe he does learn something.  Maybe there’s hope for this guy after all.”  Of course, more bad stuff will happen to him, and he will do more bad stuff, because that’s just who he is.  A leopard can’t change his spots, and those are his survival instincts, but there are some new colors, and it’s all a direct result of all of just these horrible things that have happened to him… mostly learning that he is part Helena and he can’t undo that.

Photo: JPI

We saw that Nelle (Chloe Lanier) called and then goes to see Valentin, because she wants to sell her shares of ELQ.  So, obviously he has the potential to become really rich here which is what would give him his power back.  How do you think that will go over with the rest of the Quartermaines? (Laughs)

JAMES:  (Laughs) A lot of the Quartermaine actors have been asking me that in the hallways of General Hospital!  Isn’t that interesting how he’ll just sort of switch families? (Laughs)

Of all the people, just as Valentin’s life is in the gutter and he is at his lowest, who should show up with a sort of lifeline, Nelle! How will he go about attempting to gain control of ELQ?

JAMES:  Valentin knows he has to get the majority shares to gain a control of the company, and he has to do it fast before people see that he’s doing it.  So, that’s where Michael E. Knight (Martin Gray) has been.  He’s gallivanting the states rapidly accumulating shares.  (Laughs)

Photo: JPI

It’s been so fun seeing you and Michael Knight on-screen and on a daytime soap together again, as so many remember you as Tad Martin and Will Cortlandt on All My Children.  How has it been getting the chance to work with Michael?

JAMES:  My God, are you kidding me?  He taught me!  He’s the guy who taught me.  I didn’t know how to do this.  Nobody instinctively knows… this is a very unique art form.  It’s more Jazz than anything else, and he showed me how to do it!  Walt Willey (Ex-Jack, AMC) showed me how to do my hair, and Michael Knight taught me how to break down a script!  And, what’s so funny is he is still doing it.  In a scene on GH, when he threw in that line, “From now on, you pay in advance,” I just about fell on the floor!  I thought, “There he is!  That’s the Michael I’ve always known and loved.”

Photo: JPI

Who would have thought that you guys would get to share scenes like that again on soaps?  You just never know in this life who may be wind up back in your orbit.

JAMES:  It’s incredible.  That’s what we say all of the time… “Who would have thought?”  You could never plan something like this and that we’d still be doing it at this point.

Now with Lulu (Emme Rylan) learning that Valentin is not a Cassadine, and Nina apparently moving on to a relationship with Jax, what do you think it will mean for their relationship in raising their daughter, Charlotte?

JAMES:  I think in the short-term, Valentin’s shelved any ideas of getting her out of Charlotte’s life.  He’s sort of putting out the fires in his own personal life.  Charlotte needs a mother in her life, and he’s quite willing to share custody as they always have been.  She seems to be looking at this as an opportunity to paint him as an unfit father, and she wants full-time custody.  So, we’re back to that again.  It looks to me like Lulu is kicking Valentin while he’s down.

Photo: JPI

It was so nice to see you, and some of your GH co-stars such as: Steve Burton (Jason) and Maurice Benard (Sonny) show up for Y&R’s Eric Braeden’s (Victor Newman) 40th anniversary on set celebration at CBS.  It was quite the event; speakers galore, and so many from our industry and beyond in attendance.

JAMES:  It was pretty profound.  Eric has always been kind to me.  I only worked with him on one movie, a western, called The Man Who Came Back, and that was probably 12 years ago.  He has been so complimentary of me in interviews and in his book.  So, if he does that with me, I can only imagine how many dear, dear friendships he has.  So, the fact that everybody showed up like that from the president of CBS Entertainment to local councilmen, and that they were willing to do be there for 2 hours was really proof of how much they love him.  Peter Bergman (Jack, Y&R), who I don’t even think was working that day, came in for it and spoke at the event. There was so much respect shown for Eric and what he has meant to this medium.

Photo: JPI

Your album The Apple Tree was so well-received, and everyone always loves seeing you get the opportunity to sing on General Hospital as well.  Will you continue to put out more music in 2020?

JAMES:  Yeah, that’s the plan.  I have another one that I’m working on.  I have a bunch of songs.  I’m in no rush to get it out.  Unfortunately, I lost Glen Roven, who wrote the cello part for Book of Love, passed away right after the Nurses’ Ball where I played Book of Love, which is really heartbreaking, and then, Michael Sherwood, who helped me with a number of songs on the record passed away right after The Apple Tree came out.  So, I’m a little gun-shy.  But, I’m planning on having something out by December for Christmas.

In closing, what would you say the fans should look forward to in the weeks ahead from Valentin?

JAMES: Look forward to that moment where Valentin is so low that there’s nowhere to go but up!  The comeback is going to be one for the books.

So, what do you think of how Valentin’s life hit rock bottom?  Do you think he will ever win Nina back? Do you think he will takeover ELQ? Share your thoughts on James’ recent performances and his thoughts contained in this interview via the comment section below.

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