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News for the week of 07-Apr-2014

by Carol Banks Weber

While Jane Elliot (Tracy) would not hang out with the character she plays, she understands the appeal, especially lately. It took the veteran actress awhile to get the appeal of compelling characters over storylines that quite often suck. She referenced her guilty pleasure, watching Revenge to make her point. Loyalty. “I’ve watched it from the very first episode. I don't like the story this season at all but it doesn't matter because I'm completely bonded to the people. I now understand what it's like to be hooked on soap-opera characters,” Elliot told TV Guide’s Michael Logan in an April 1, 2014 interview. “The audience has seen [Tracy] through a million mistakes and a million marriages. They've seen her lose her parents and her brother. She's a familiar face, one they have a lot of history with, so it's almost like the story doesn't matter. And I finally get that!” Being adored by Luke has helped turn Tracy around too, Elliot observed, and given her some humanity. “She has learned to be forgiving and patient, and that has helped develop her in a way nothing in her life prior to this ever did. She makes bad choices but she's never been stuck on a bad guy the way she's stuck on Luke.”

It’s time for SoapFest, May 23-26, where soap stars mingle with fans in Southwest Florida’s Marco Island through various events and activities, including Q&As, auctions, a Celebrity Karaoke Bar Bash for charity, and the Cruisin’ Boozin’ & Schmoozin’ cruise. In attendance: Kristen Alderson (Kiki; ex-Starr, OLTL), Chad Duell (Michael), Bryan Craig (Morgan), Kelly Thiebaud (Britt), and several stars from the neighboring soaps.

Jeffrey Vincent Parise (Carlos) first went in to audition for the role that William deVry (Julian) wound up getting. But the actor/artist so impressed TPTB that they brought him back in for another character he inspired, as that of a Puerto Rican enforcer for Julian. Best of all, Parise received the ultimate seal of approval from respected executive producer Frank Valentini. “He’s an incredible actor and he is also incredibly well-liked by a bunch of people on the show, so it’s really fun to have him.” With such a seal of approval, Parise also gets to play around with his character’s personality and presentation. Like, the accent. Up until two days before the moment of truth, Parise said he wasn’t sure whether to have a Puerto Rican accent (he only recently visited the country with his girlfriend after nailing the role) or leave it alone. With incredible insight, he went with something in the middle, bringing up the strong accent only in times of emergency. “I didn’t want to go into it full-blown,” he told Soap Opera Digest’s Mara Levinsky recently. “You probably notice that when the accent really comes out is when he was begging for his life, when he’s really amped up, or when he’s with Sabrina. Especially when they start arguing, the accent really comes out. If it were real, they’d start speaking in Spanish, but instead I just sort of throw in the accent [more].” Parise was able to throw in a bit more of himself in Carlos’ apartment, with some inspired art he had on hand tying into his trip to Puerto Rico. When he traveled there, he noticed an awful lot of roosters and chickens running around. It just so happened that he’d come off an art showing of his “Chicks & Cocks” exhibit. He asked Valentini if he could have some of his art hang in Carlos’ apartment. Btw, Parise wears a lot of jewelry on the air as Carlos, made by his real-life girlfriend Malia Mau of M. Grace Jewelry. Mau, Parise, Teresa Castillo (Sabrina), and her husband all got together early on for dinner, where they found themselves amongst friends fast. In fact, Parise said his girlfriend and his co-star got along so well so fast that they’re like soul sisters now.

Jeffrey Vincent Parise’s (Carlos) girlfriend Malia Mau isn’t the only one into making jewelry as a business. Emme Rylan (Lulu) has a side business making her own jewelry on Etsy too. Kristen Alderson (Kiki) sported an Emme Rylan-made pink-beaded bracelet recently on her Instagram.

Gossip for the week of 07-Apr-2014

by Carol Banks Weber

Brava to Amanda Lee of The Macomb Daily Blogs: The World According to Mandy for another astute assessment of the decimation of a legacy family, the Quartermaines, for the 51st anniversary show. Posted on April 1, 2014, Lee didn’t think much of the way GH featured Sonny and Carly for the anniversary that should’ve gone to more of the cast while serving more of the history of the show. “Head writer Ron Carlivati kept touting the greatness of the anniversary episode — while forgetting to mention it was a big middle finger salute to longtime fans. He kept talking about flashbacks. Not from the rich history of GH, though, but from the toxic relationship that toppled GH’s ratings: Carly and Sonny. So, in the episode where Monica is dealing with the death of her fourth (and last) child (yes, I know, Jason is actually a thugsicle somewhere and not really dead) we spent the bulk of the episode watching Maurice Benard’s Sonny act with three different actresses – all playing the same character. The flashbacks were all of Sonny and Carly – the couple that (literally) dragged GH’s ratings to the basement.” Unfortunately for A.J., a Quartermaine and a legacy character too, the flashbacks didn’t serve him well at all, slanting history to serve Sonny and Carly’s version, so they could sleep at night for what they did to the biological father of Michael. A.J., the kidnapping, Kate-choking drunk, didn’t happen overnight or in a vacuum. Sonny and Carly happened to him. But tell head writer Ron Carlivati that. He’s not liable to take criticism well.

Kitty Bradshaw of Celebrity Dirty Laundry January 27 dropped that Det. Nathan West could be the son of Nina and a clueless Silas. This speculative spumor “would explain why her family was quick to ban Clay from her bedside. It would also mean that both Ava and Nina were pregnant at the same time, both unbeknownst to Clueless Clay. Only time will tell… but while we wait, I will start taking bets on who will Detective Nathan West screw first…. my money is on LuLu.” Or, maybe Madeline’s as-yet-to-be-revealed (maybe this week?) sister Dr. Obrecht gave birth to Nathan, which makes him Britt’s brother.

SoapTOWN USA’s Loose Lips wondered March 30, 2014 whether it’s true that this Luke is really Bill Eckert out to exact revenge on Sonny and Luke for “taking out Frank Smith.” Huh? “Faux/Luke attempts to hurry Tracy in getting hitched, but Ned sees something is not kosher. He tries talking Tracy out of getting married. As the wedding proceeds flash to Heather who walks into a room where we see Luke!!! Remember my darlings this is all speculation…for now…”

If Steve Burton (ex-Jason; Dylan, Y&R) hadn’t retired, he’d have played out a triangle with Sam and Elizabeth under head writer Ron Carlivati, according to the online grapevine.

General Hospital News & Gossip, Copyright © 2014 Carol Banks Weber. Published by SoapZone.com / Jeff Jungblut. No part of this page may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means (electronic, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the publisher. Opinions expressed on this page are those of the author and may not be representative of SoapZone.com or its advertisers. Don't steal scoops.