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Viewing Single Post From: SOD: Ron Carlivati Interview
Miss Rhi
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The original exit for Robin was for the lab explosion to happen, Robin would be injured, Patrick would rush her into surgery and would lose her on the table. He was told that KMc wanted a permanent exit to avoid the temptation to come back. He thought it would be powerful story to see a husband try to save his wife and not be able to do it, but at the same time he thought that they just couldn't kill Robin Scorpio! What if KMc changed her mind and wanted to come back? He's always picturing the scene were Robin walks through the door and Patrick's mouth drops open. He'd be crushed as a fan to think that they couldn't be reunited. He talked to FV, who talked to KMc, and they came to a compromise. He decided to show Robin alive after the funeral in order to give the audience hope since everyone was being told that soaps were going to be cancelled, and her being alive would be sign that she could still walk through that door and it would mean there is still hope for the show to go on.

Mag: Robin's exit paved the way for FH's return...

RC: He was handed Robin's exit story and thought he was lucky because even though he had watched GH growing up, he had been in and out over the years. That critical moment with a Robin allowed him to bring on Anna and Robert, who he could relate to, having watched when they were on and that made it easy to get his mind around the show. He was able to write Holly, Robert, Helena, Anna, which led him to 'Why should Anna not stay?' And then he though, 'What about Heather?'. It ended up working perfectly into his plans for revealing secrets about Jason's birth, since Heather could have info about that given that she's Susan Moore's cousin.

Mag: There had been criticism about GH being too dark and mob-heavy. Was it natural for him as a writer to gravitate toward the lighter stuff or was that a goal?

RC: He likes to think of himself as 'I write the funny show'. There were wacky things on OLTL. He gravitates towards larger than life characters. He loved Asa, Roxy, Dorian, David, people who could bring comedy. At the same time, he found himself writing dark things on OLTL. It's the nature of the beast for those kind of stories to evolve. He set out to bring a little more humor to GH. He knows that the mob was a criticism of GH, but he goes back to the 70s and mobster Frank Smith and how the mob was always present, but he understands the point that the show had become a little fixated, but it happened for a reason: it was successful.

On OLTL, he liked to write for the whole canvas, which lead to Brian Frons saying that he was a socialist since he would write for everybody. Frons believed you had a limited amount of real estate and it should be given to the heavy hitters, the people that bring the ratings. He gets that philosophy but his is different. He thinks, 'People have a chance to step forward and shine. They might be hot and heavy for a while, and then that story can die down. And then, all of a sudden, it's somebody else's turn.'

Mag: Give an example of someone he gave the chance to shine.

RC: Olivia. He thinks she was someone that was thought of as a supporting character and was sidelined a lot. He thinks she's been great with the LSD stuff and hallucinations. Monica is another one who had basically fallen on the face of the earth, but the return of AJ has brought her front and center. He thinks she's wonderful and someone that the audience loves.

Mag: Back to Frons and the socialist thing...

RC: He says the term was used affectionately because it came about when he and Frons were discussing their different philosophies of how to write the show.

Mag: What has it been like to work with Vickie Drummer?

RC: He says that she's been supportive from the get go. Her parents love GH and she let him know who her parents liked and didn't like. The ABC structure is different so VD has her hands in daytime and other things. He's always had a great relationship with ABC, but Frons was more hands-on in terms of story. He thinks Frons had a good sense of story. He could tell BF the long story pitch, BF would listen and then say 'But think about it from Blair's point of view'.

Mag: GH fans were bothered by the dismantling of the Qs...

RC: At first, he wondered how he was going to return focus to the Qs. John Ingle was ill. His only real options were Tracy and Monica. AJ's return allowed them to have jolt into the family and he thinks it has been great for the show. When he saw the episode with Alan (in late Nov), he wasn't expecting his own emotional reaction. He burst into tears when Alan started talking because it reminded him, 'Oh, my gosh, this is why I loved this show!'

Mag: The OLTL characters...

RC: He wanted to use them from the outset. As a fan, it was a dream to have a crossover of all of these shows together. He grew up reading comics and DC and Marvel would do that, he'd think, 'Wait a minute! Superman is fighting The Hulk? You're kidding me!' He was already thinking how it would affect story. It wasn't to make OLTL fans happy. Starr was his first thought -- 'What if the son of Sonny Corinthos and the daughter of Todd Manning, two of the most iconic characters of daytime TV, got together?' That led to John and Todd. McBain appealed to him because of Kemo and her and ME being such a popular pairing on Port Charles. It was twofold - the interaction between them and him being a cop in a town dominated by criminals. He could shake-up the police force, which was basically Dante and Mac at that time.

Mag: Did you have a consciousness that GH was at risk of being cancelled at first?

RC: Yes. No one told them it was going to be cancelled, but the feeling was there. As much as he loves GH, his mentality was that it could be a 6 month job. So he was thinking, 'if it ends, Sonny belongs with Carly? Sonny belongs with Brenda? Who belongs with who?' But he quickly started to let that go and realized he couldn't write it like it was going to end. And now, knock on wood, he's not hearing anything about cancellation.

Mag: Do you and FV share a creative sensibility?

RC: Yes and No. There are things that he loves to do that FV doesn't get, but indulges him. FV has brilliantly produced anything he asked him to do, but it probably wasn't FV's first thought to have Bo go back to 1968 after being struck by lightening. Oddly, a guy that been on two soaps with DID characters doesn't really like DID as a conceit! And one of the reasons he (RC) loved OLTL was Viki/Niki. They share enough though and he thinks it makes them a good pairing because if they were exactly the same and FV indulged everything, Sonny would be going to Mars.

Mag: Looking back over the past year, what are you most proud of?

RC: He likes when he hears people say, 'This feels like GH.' He's not trying to put anyone down. He came at it from his own perspective from when he watched and what characters make him feel like it's GH, when he turns it on and sees Duke and Heather and Anna and Luke and Robert and even the OLTLers.... When someone says, 'Wow, this feels like GH to me,' that is gratifying to him. It's subjective, but he'll take it. He loved GH when Mikos was trying to freeze the world. Everyone has their own perception of what that means. Luke and Laura, for some that is GH. For others, Sonny and Jason. For others, the Qs. Maybe right now, they have a small taste of all of those things and maybe that's why it feels like GH to a bigger group right now.

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SOD: Ron Carlivati Interview · GH: News, Spoilers & Discussion