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News for the week of 19-May-2014

by Carol Banks Weber

The key to The Ghost And The Whale is Joseph Hawthorne, a disturbed widow whose tale of losing his wife to a whale out at sea seems — at first — hard to believe. The wrong actor couldn’t carry this new picture, much less sell the doubt then the turnaround to mainstream audiences. But Maurice Benard (Sonny) is hardly any actor. His wife Paula produced this movie with him in mind, minus the soap opera alter-ego. In an ABC7 L.A. news report, Benard described the film (“It’s about a man who goes out to sea with his wife, comes back alone and she’s dead. And the town and her family think that he did it. And he says a whale did it, and no one believes him”). To compel the audience to believe him, Benard had to commit to the different role wholeheartedly, which proved difficult, even for the Daytime Emmy winner. Occasionally, his soap mob character would creep in until wife Paula spoke up. She’d say, “Honey, it’s not working. You gotta take away all the Sonny things.” Then he’d “get back into” his film character. “Very difficult for me to do that for a month. But I think it’s turned out great.” The Ghost And The Whale waits for the right moment to air worldwide.

Head writer Ron Carlivati and his GH team needed to compellingly present the second annual Nurses Ball revival — which wrapped last week to mixed reviews — without losing the momentum of the ongoing storylines, while heightening the right ones. Not an easy feat. But luckily he was up to the challenge, armed with some very creative writers, including Anna Cascio, who came up with the perfect (inexpensive, as it turned out) cover for one of the main, pivotal characters (Dr. O) to sing to advance her story with siblings Britt and Nathan. “That one was so unbelievably touching and what amazed me was the emotion behind it,” Carlivati told On-Air On-Soaps’ Michael Fairman in a May 16th interview. “Kathleen [Gati] also has to still be putting on that accent. She sang it beautifully, and then as the character having to put on that accent, and still breaking your heart. I loved the scene with Britt (Kelly Thiebaud) and Nathan (Ryan Paevey). I thought Kelly and Ryan played that brilliantly because they don’t want to love this woman. That one took me by surprise. In my mind I knew it would be great, and then when I watched it. Kathleen really broke my heart.” The writers knew they had to bring Kathleen Gati (Dr. Liesl Obrecht) onto the stage somehow this year. She drove so much of the other characters in so many stories. Kudos to them for recognizing a good character in such a musically astute way.

For his Daytime Emmy reel, Jason Thompson (Patrick) went with the crowd pleaser: the scenes where his character must break it to Sabrina gently before returning to his back-from-the-dead wife Robin. That emotional arc played out nicely, and met the actor’s needs. “It told its own story within the episode. It represents me and the show well. It's always interesting trying to go through those episodes and find the one to send in... I was very comfortable with the one I chose.” ABC Soaps in Depth, May 9, 2014

Before Bradford Anderson (ex-Spinelli) found out he’d been nominated for a Daytime Emmy as a supporting actor, he was too busy preparing for the birth of his and his wife’s second daughter, Finola. Their doctor said the baby would arrive a week earlier. “I wasn’t anticipating the nominations, because the night before I did not have time to think of what was happening the next day. It was about making sure the bags were packed, and making sure we were set if we needed to get out the front door at a moment’s notice to the hospital. Thursday morning, my phone lit up with a lot of alerts, emails, and texts.  I kind of thought … ‘Why would this be? [laughs]’” The name Finola didn’t come from his GH co-star. She’d gotten wind of his and his wife’s plan to possibly name their second-born that name and tried to dissuade them, since she didn’t have a great time growing up with it. But Finola actually is a family name, from his wife Kiera’s Irish side. “It’s a great aunt’s name, and Kiera’s Irish heritage is very important to her. The derivative of Finola we had even talked about for our first daughter which was ‘Nola.’ And then Kiera said, ‘What about Finola?’ When we realized we were having a second daughter we played with the name … and having a little girl named ‘Fin’ was so cute. It was interesting. Sometimes when you name your kid it’s fun to not have any prior association with it. We talked about that, because we knew people would say we named her after Finola Hughes (Anna, GH). It’s a family name, but at the same time, if that’s the association people make with our daughter, we couldn’t be more thrilled.” Finola Hughes was too, after all that. Michael Fairman, May 11, 2014

Gossip for the week of 19-May-2014

by Carol Banks Weber

This week, T.J. supposedly finds out his mom Jordan’s a drug runner. I say supposedly, because, it’s more likely that she’s working undercover, which she may relay privately to Police Commissioner Anna.

Jasper Jax and Brenda Barrett may return soon. Brenda’s portrayer Vanessa Marcil indicated recently that she’s agreeable to this notion: “We’re always trying to work something out. Even if I'm committed to something else, I will always come visit…” “I'll play Brenda on the weekends if they want me to!”  –ABC Soaps in Depth, May 26, 2014, via snippets from Daytime Confidential’s Jamey Giddens, May 12, 2014

Who thinks this Luke Spencer is really a not-dead-after-all Frank Smith, heralding the return of son Damian Smith, portrayed by Leigh McCloskey?

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.