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News for the week of 04-Nov-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

Kathleen Gati (Dr. Obrecht) was just as amazed as the viewers at Finola Hughes’ (Anna) ability to take on two roles, her own as a crimefighter and Gati’s as Dr. O pretending to be Anna. Gati watched those scenes, especially the one where Dr. O’s Anna came to Robin to reveal herself, and marveled that Hughes was better at it than she was. Michael Fairman conducted a joint, October 27th interview with the ladies who are their own mutual admiration society.

“It was incredible to watch Finola playing me opposite Faison!” Gati explained. “Some of those scenes were breathtaking. I told Finola a couple of times, ‘I feel guilty.’ Some people are so convinced that it was actually me with the mask on. The mask was actually brilliant. Joe Blasco showed me the mask, and he also made the ‘Duke’ mask. It is seriously great artistry! It was so well done that I have gotten tweets and emails congratulating me for being Finola [laughs]. So I had to say, ‘OK, guys. Let’s take a step back here. This is fantasy land.’ I had to say, ‘No, no guys. It was all Finola.’ It has been a very fun and crazy process, but it has been incredible to watch her. And even some of her facial gestures were so brilliant. I was crying from laughing so much.”

Both actresses protested loudly when executive producer Frank Valentini first proposed this storyline turn, though. Gati first thought she’d literally have to pretend to be Anna, bringing up the improbability in their different body types and vocal mannerisms. Turned out, Hughes had to do most of the work. But she had a lovely multi-talented stand-in named Kelly for help. Kelly did the stunts and was able to mimic Dr. O’s and Anna’s inflections.

The dream partners also love working with each other and with Anders Hove (Faison). It’s been a special time for them, riffing off each other’s distinctly creative talents, and going along the campy/dramatic ride. As by the book as they are—every word their characters utter is scripted (except for Dr. O’s accent, which is all Gati)—occasionally, they struggle with the giggles.

Gati pointed to the pre-love scene with Anders Hove’s Faison and the line she had to say, “Zee clamps?” She just couldn’t do it. It’s a good problem to have. Context: “But there was one line in the recent bedroom scene that very few people responded to, but I could barely do it with a straight face. Faison says, ‘Do me one favor?’ And I go, ‘Zee clamps?’ [laughs]… I could not do that with a straight face. I had to do that like 100 times! You can laugh before, but you shouldn’t laugh in front of the camera. It was such a great line, but that line, ‘Zee clamps’… are you kidding me? I thought they cut it out. [laughs]”

One of the greatest, most campy and surreal scenes coming out of GH ever had to be when Dr. O — in the midst of preying on an unsuspecting Anna with the propathol — suddenly sang karaoke while in disguise. Hughes was a huge fan. “I have to say, when Kathleen was doing the Peggy Lee song it was not like that on the set. You could hear a pin drop when she was singing the song. Everybody was watching … all the crew … everybody. There were people crowded around the monitor, because it became all of a sudden very Kurt Weill! She is singing the song and when she finished, everyone applauded.”

The scenes that generated the most favorable fan responses tend to also be favorites with the actresses: Dr. O playing Anna playing Faison, Anna confronting Faison, Anna almost begging Dr. O—mother to mother—to show her Robin. Gati said the best is yet to come.

Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth) lent her celebrity to another cause dear to her heart: EFGLA (Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles). She and husband Michael Saucedo (Juan) live across the street from neighbor friends who also have children close in ages. The older daughter, Alex, is close to the same age as Herbst’s oldest son, Ethan. Alex has epilepsy and her dad always tries to raise awareness and funds for the cause for his little girl every year. He made a request of the actress to see if she might not want to help on Twitter. Herbst gladly pitched in, recruiting her willing cast mates to hold up pictures with the words, “I think Alex is brave and beautiful and amazing and strong,” which she tweeted out to the world. Her fans have also helped spread the word to help. Herbst loved on her loyal, compassionate fans for doing this. They “are always wanting to make a difference and help in somebody else's life. I'm very blessed to know people like that, and I can always count on them when I need the word spread about something. They are always right there.” Besides tweeting these pictures for Alex — more to come — Herbst will also do the November 17th Rose Bowl Walk for the cause with her family and friends. The benefit walk also falls on Alex’s 13th birthday. Perfect timing. –, October 30, 2013

Maura West’s (Ava) son landed a major role as one of the Von Trapp children in the upcoming remake of The Sound Of Music, which will air on NBC December 5, 8 p.m. ET/PT. The Sound Of Music Live! stars country music singer Carrie Underwood as Maria. Joe West will play the Von Trapp’s youngest son Kurt.

Gossip for the week of 04-Nov-2013

by Carol Banks Weber

On Heather is Franco’s mother; the father is a doozy… Nikolas buys a clue about Britt’s badass lying… Sorry for those hating new nurse Penny. She could be connected to a major character… Here’s where Julian lets his personal feelings interfere with mob business. When Ava wants Sam and Danny to pay, Julian orders her to stand down… Lucy and Kevin’s daughter Christina does arrive, bringing mother-daughter friction… Perhaps Lucy can focus on the spa and the new “Face Of Deception” to take her mind off the spoiled brat. Um…

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