The great folks in ABC Daytime’s publicity department gifted all of the reporters who participated in ‘General Hospital’s press day little spiral notebooks. I mention this because there was a piece of paper inside warning that I might be in violation of FTC laws if I did not disclose the receipt of this valuable, potentially influential swag. So now you know. I also ate an ABC-provided sandwich. It was delicious.
Nancy Lee Grahn and Lexi Ainsworth Reveal Keifer Is Going To Get What’s Coming To Him
You are telling an important story about teen dating violence. When is Alexis going to realize what is going on and how will she react?
Grahn: I can’t tell you when, but it happens very quickly and then something else happens. I think the falling out hopefully will happen after all of that because there’s no time to deal with anything with the way things go down. I think it’s such an important issue and the more that I check into it, really an issue that needs to be talked about. So I hope through our characters we get to know not in a preachy way but in a very realistic way we follow through with it.
Why do you think Alexis has missed the signs that Kristina is in an abusive relationship?
Ainsworth: They have a good relationship but she’s still my Mom so there’s some things that I don’t want to tell her and like most teenagers they like to keep some things private.
Grahn: It’s common unfortunately. Because that’s what I wanted to check on. How can a parent who is seemingly smart and devoted to her kids and observant and educated not see that? I said is that soap reality or is that real? They said yes, it does in fact happen often in real life because the abuse usually happens between [ages] 16 and 24. During the teenage years girls are individuating. They’re confused. They’re trying to be autonomous in their relationships. They’re trying to discover what a relationship is. They’re romanticizing relationships. These are all normal things that kids go through, which would be similar signs to abuse. It’s not even just the physical abuse. It’s the verbal and emotional abuse. That it’s okay to call your girlfriend a bitch. It’s okay to speak to them in a way that doesn’t elicit any respect. It’s not right for the female in the relationship to accept that.
That brings up an interesting point because Kristina’s father, Sonny, calls people those sort of names constantly and she witnessed him speaking like that to Claudia. How much do you think that has influenced her decision to stay with Keifer?
Ainsworth: It’s kind of the norm to her now that she’s grown up with her father treating women that way. She kind of thinks that’s how it is.
Grahn: I think it would be high time for that to stop.
How do you prepare for playing the scenes where Keifer hits you? They’re difficult to watch, in a good way.
Ainsworth: I do the what if [exercise.] I’ve never been in an abusive relationship but I draw from things happening in my life that I can relate to the character.
Alexis is finally teaming up with Diane, which is great. But why is she determined to keep Sonny out of jail?
Grahn: Because the writers say so. If it were me, I would say, “Best you are off the streets.” But there are many women who are bright and smart and educated that have emotional responses to things that aren’t sensible responses. I think right now Alexis feels responsible for the issues that her children have as a consequence of a choice that she made. I think a lot of women can relate to that. So I see why through her eyes, through the flaws that she has; she came from an abusive background. The dynamic of abuse gets passed through until somebody breaks it. I think she’s intellectually aware of what’s right and wrong but she’s not emotionally aware of what’s right and wrong.
Any chance that the women on the show are going to team up Thelma and Louise style to kick Keifer’s butt?
Grahn: I don’t think it’s going to go down that way, but it’s going to go down. Personally, I would rather see him go the Chris Brown route. I’d rather see him have to deal with the consequences or have it happen again. Unfortunately, it’s going to be a quicker end.
Jonathan Jackson and Becky Herbst Hope Lucky Is The Father
When will the paternity test results come back and which outcome are you rooting for?
Herbst: The results are supposed to come back in the next week. Elizabeth of course wants it to be Lucky’s. She thinks it’s her last chance at mending the relationship with him. That’s why she’s secretly hoping that it’s his, but thinks it’s not.
Jackson: I think for Lucky it’s a tricky thing where the pain of the whole situation makes him not want it to be his but deep down I think there’s a part of him that sort of hopes that it is. It’s one of those tricky things. I think it’s for me as an actor I think it would be cool if it was Lucky’s.
Herbst: Me, personally, I would like it to be Lucky’s too. For Liz to have three children by three different Dads — well, actually… [that's the case either way.]
Everyone keeps pointing out that Nikolas doesn’t pay attention to the kid he already has. I think it’s funny that that’s in dialogue.
Herbst: They have been putting a lot of emphasis on that.
What role is Helena going to play in all this because we know she’s meddling with the paternity test. What is her goal, since it seems like she should want it to be done properly since if it is Lucky’s kid she shouldn’t have any interest?
Herbst: Helena is wanting to have a Cassadine heir. She doesn’t think Spencer is worthy because of who the mother is. I don’t know why she all of a sudden thinks I’m suitable.
Jackson: I guess she wants an heir no matter what.
Lucky’s gotten involved in Johnny’s quest to take down Sonny. Will that play into the paternity storyline?
Jackson: I don’t know if the whole Johnny in the mob war thing is going to impact the paternity storyline. But as a detective, he’s in between two worlds because he has a relationship with Jason and he has a history with Sonny but he’s also a detective and he’s trying to be an upstanding cop. So he’s sort of in those two worlds trying to make sure Jason doesn’t overreact and kill Johnny and make sure Johnny doesn’t freak out and do something stupid.
What’s it been like playing Liz as she hits rock bottom?
Herbst: It’s been a nice change because Elizabeth never really hit rock bottom except for all those years ago with the whole rape storyline. Elizabeth always finds away to stay afloat and fly under the radar. Right now she’s having a really tough time. I’m glad the writers decided to go there with her.
The group therapy scenes just aired. What do you think of Lainey’s therapy techniques?
Herbst: Oh, Lainey. She’ll always be everybody’s doctor but nobody will ever follow her advice.