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GH News & Gossip
Topic Started: Oct 2 2007, 04:28 PM (649 Views)
Steve Frame
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GoSSIP for the week of 10/1

Gossip for the week of 01-Oct-2007
by Carol Banks Weber

About two, three weeks ago, I began to read of rumors that at least three actors were hot to be in a story opposite Kimberly McCullough (Robin). Tyler Christopher (Nikolas) and Steve Burton (Jason) were two of them, and Jason Thompson (Patrick) is the third who is supposedly not thrilled by the way Scrubs were scrubbed. Christopher’s Nikolas will entrust his health crisis to good friend Robin to help him sort through, that much is for certain. On October 12, according to a Soap Dish source, Burton’s Jason will go one further on the intimacy sale by donating his sperm for Robin’s pregnancy cause.

More victims will fall to the mob war. Head writer Bob Guza promised (in the latest SPW) one of those fatalities won’t be a bit player either, but a major female character… like, perhaps Natalia Livingston’s Emily, Nancy Lee Grahn’s Alexis, or Kelly Monaco’s Sam? If the loser turns out to be Monaco, some board posters have speculated it could tie in to a past story featuring Allegra and Sam’s doppelganger, the mean and nasty Alicia, in 2005. Maybe Alicia wasn’t killed off (was she killed at all? I’m spacing), maybe the vengeful slut before us is Alicia, and Sam’s still back with Allegra trapped somewhere on a tropical island, fighting to get back to Jason. Cough::copout::cough cough.

With the Guza announcement of more fatalities comes the free-fall of fear and trepidation over livelihood from the actors not working on GH much. And, more to the point, does Guza have the brass to kill off Sonny’s children? That would really send the message that crime never pays.

We’ve seen Anthony Zacchara’s nutty son Johnny with his gun. Soon, we may see his beautiful daughter, who arrives to deal some justice to long-time rival Sam (hence, the fatality). Susan Ward (ex-Meg, Sunset Beach; Shallow Hal) is a name a poster brought up on the Soap Opera Central site to play this daughter.



News for the week of 10/1

News for the week of 01-Oct-2007
by Carol Banks Weber

Maurice Benard (Sonny) experienced the adage – Be careful what you wish for – when TPTB finally agreed to give his soap character Sonny Corinthos the manic-depressive story the actor always wanted, last year. Because Benard is a Method actor, he threw himself 100 percent into this story, neglecting his mental health, much to his wife Paula’s consternation. It didn’t take long for Benard or Paula to realize, something’s gone horribly wrong. “After two months of it, I knew that I wasn't [okay]. But that's a problem with this disease. You always deny. 'I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine.' Until you get to that point. And unfortunately, at the end of the story, I got to that point. I had another anxiety attack.”

It was actually during the approaching climax of his scenes with Natalia Livingston (Emily) – when Sonny’s apologizing for his behavior and insisting to Emily that it’s bad – that viewers could see the anxiety attack coming. During those scenes, he hallucinated that his mother and father were on the set, and that’s when he knew he’d lost it. At first, he said he mistook the anxiety attack for a nervous breakdown and freaked.

Wife Paula went behind Benard’s back, to ask the writers to slow the pace and ease up, for her husband’s sake. They did. She said if Benard knew about it at the time, he would’ve been angry with her, because—even though he sensed himself losing control from the on-screen to the real life, character crossing over to portrayer—he needed to remain truthful to this true to life story; that’s just how he operates.

Another anxiety attack? Well, remember a flight Benard was booked on but bailed at the last minute? That anxiety attack. He recently came to another realization, he can’t fly. The one time he tried to board a plane, he said he just had to get off. The panic attack threw him, he’d never had one before. But manic-depressive experts say having a panic attack is part of the symptom-ology.

Maurice Benard and his wife Paula were on the Oprah Winfrey talk show September 24 via satellite to give an update on his life since his last in-studio appearance on her show in 2004.

Everybody in Maurice Benard’s (Sonny) life worried that he would go too far for his craft during the manic-depressive story of last year. Wife Paula and head writer Bob Guza Jr. kept going to Benard, 44, to make sure he was cool with the pace and the dialogue and the fictional situation. Like any manic-depressive falling deeper into a pit of self-delusion, Benard always placated their worries and fears, but sensed danger.

“It was the most courageous thing I'd ever seen,” Guza explained. “Most actors take risks; good ones take a character as far as they can. But they also have a cushion—it's a role. Maurice wasn't just playing it, he was living it. And he went to some scary, scary places.”

This story was the scariest he ever threw himself into. “I've been doing this 14 years, with some pretty intense story lines, and there have been times where I thought maybe I'd taken it a little bit too far. But it was nothing like last year, when I played, for over two months, a guy losing his mind,” Benard said.

When he first took on Sonny Corinthos many years ago in the late ‘90s, Benard envisioned a parallel back story starting with the diagnosis of bipolar disorder—with or without the writers. For Benard, it was a way of fleshing out and humanizing a mobster. “… I thought to myself ‘How can I make this guy come off in a way where it's justified, in his head, what he's doing?’ I had always thought about the history of the character, what happened to him as a child. When I let it be known I was bipolar, we wrote it into the character.” –BP Magazine, “This Rebel Has a Cause” by John Anderson, Fall 2007

Steve Burton (Jason) joked with Soap Opera Weekly’s “Carolyn Corner” columnist Carolyn Hinsey that his current job is to keep from cracking up on-screen around friend Bradford Anderson (Spinelli). It hasn’t been easy for Burton, who himself can be funny as hell. Sometimes, Burton admitted, he and Anderson will just let it fly before the final take—just to get it all out of his system, “and the crew will be laughing and stuff. But then I have to go back to being straightforward guy.” But when it’s go-time, Burton said he sobers himself up by thinking of “not-nice things.”

Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth) recently learned that her eldest son Ethan knows a lot more about the soap opera industry than she originally assumed when he expressed some jealousy over her on-screen son – and real-life neighbor friend’s child Braden (Cameron). Ethan visited the set, saw Braden up onstage with his mommy pretending to be her son, and wanted in right away. After she explained that he couldn’t take over the role because of their age difference, Ethan is almost six, while Cameron is supposed to be only three, the smart boy simply answered back, “When they age Cameron, do you think I can play your son?” Her response was, How the heck did Ethan know about SORAS’ing? –Soap Opera Weekly

Megan Ward’s (Kate) turning into GH’s version of Friends’ Jennifer Aniston with her stylish Anna Wintour-esque hairstyle, short, sassy, versatile from day to night, mommy to red carpet actress. Ward said she always experimented with changing her hair, whether it’s the style, cut or color, arrived at her current incarnation out of practical consideration as a mom to her second child, daughter Audrey. Her hairdresser Jaky Beasse took full credit for the transformation which shortly would land her the coveted leading role on GH opposite Maurice Benard (Sonny), and be the source of envy for many female fans. “The next time I went to see him, I told him how I got the role of Kate and described it to him. He said, ‘You got it because of your haircut.’” Her haircut is a woman’s dream; she raved about its versatility, with or without product. “I can wash and go. When they style it for the show, sometimes they curl it. Sometimes they blow it out. The great thing about the style is that you [do nothing] and it still looks put together. Then, when you add just a little bit of product, it can look really polished.” Hairdresser Jaky Beasse also reported to Ward that many of his customers have inquired about receiving the same Megan Ward treatment, the ultimate compliment. –Soap Opera Weekly

I have it on good authority that Jason Gerhardt’s (Cooper) position at GH is solid, and he has not been shown the door by September 28 as previously rumored. In fact, Gerhardt faces a considerable work load this month, which will air for November Sweeps. This comes straight from his manager Anthony Barnao, who had let the moderator/fan club president Lisa Sullivan know. She posted his news on the actor’s official fan forum. Sullivan informed me, “Of course, sure...in this business ANYTHING can happen but as far as we (Jason's team) [are] aware, we are proceeding with ‘business as usual.’ The Fan Club itself should be ready for launch by November Sweeps as well.”

Veteran soap actress Leslie Charleson (Monica) will host her "30 Years of Monica Quartermaine" luncheon in New York City’s Sofia’s Restaurant, October 27, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Non-refundable tickets run $70 per LCFC Fan Club member, and $80 per non-member. Info: LCFC Fan Club.

Soap Opera Digest [October 2, 2007] reporters couldn’t find a GH cast member to go on the public record with their comments about Kirsten Storms (Maxie), 23, and her September 7th DUI. But anonymously, they seemed very supportive and understanding. One of them said the arrest could’ve happened to any of them, making it look like Storms just had a little too much to drink and should’ve hailed a cab or gotten a sober friend to drive her home. “There but for the grace of God go I. You could have one drink and not have eaten and get thrown in the clinker. You have to be very mindful when driving. I have a glass of wine when I go out to dinner. Could I get caught? We all have to be more careful.” Another anonymous cast member vouched for Storms’ character regardless, citing her professionalism, kindness on and around the set, but suggesting her youth may have played a role.

Rick Springfield (Noah) has encountered his share of fans—of the soap and of his music—and this one lady had him and his band mates all fooled. Out on a music tour, Springfield and his band met the lady’s acquaintance when she fabricated a convincing story of her hotel connections as heir to the throne, and her ability to hook them up with comped Marriott Hotel rooms, wherever they toured. “We thought all this was great,” Springfield explained. “Then, about six months after we got off the road, the FBI came looking for her for all these bounced checks that she paid for all those hotel rooms with! She was unbelievable, but she was totally believable to us.” –Soap Opera Digest, October 2, 2007

The other week, I got politely reamed by a regular reader for putting General Hospital: Night Shift in amongst the GH News & Gossip, asking why couldn’t I do a separate section for the SoapNet spinoff? Well, I’m not god (Jeff Jungblut)!!!... duh! Until or if he deems another section worthy of NS, info about the hit nighttime soap will remain here. A lot of the spinoff cast has been transferred directly to the mother ship of GH anyway, with the approach of the summer arc storyline finale next Thursday, so it counts.

Jason Thompson (Patrick) previewed the finale as an explosive full circle, in that both it and the premiere leave viewers gasping for breath. The premiere had an exploding ambulance amidst the usual night shift chaos. And the finale will see a gang barge onto the premises and shoot ‘em up, putting the staff in peril, including Patrick and Robin. Their relationship is far from over, Thompson hinted, but for now, they’re apart, and their finale scenes won’t exact warm the hearts of the Scrubs fans. “[The scenes] between them are not as serious as some would probably like. There are intense moments.” More of those moments will cross over permanently to GH, along with the third-party detractor, the lovely student nurse Leyla. But judging from Thompson’s tease, Leyla may not factor in as importantly as Robin worries she does. –Soap Opera Weekly

My two favorite GH: NS staff members will most definitely be seen on GH, starting the week of October 8. Look for heart surgeon Leo Julian (Dominic Rains) and anesthesiologist Andy Archer (Ron Melendez).

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