May 5 is one of the biggest party days of the year, Cinco De Mayo. This year, ‘General Hospital’ fans have another reason to celebrate: Lulu (Julie Berman) and Dante (Dominic Zamprogna) are finally having sex, after months of inconvenient interruptions. ABC has decided to pull out all the promotional stops, getting a segment about the couple on Entertainment Tonight, partnering with a Los Angeles bakery to create a “Lante” cupcake, and making the actors available for interviews. The network clearly has big plans for this couple. It’s nice to see romance getting as much hype as a shooting. Berman and Zamprogna spoke with me about taping the intimate scene, the dessert that sums up their characters’ romance and why they won’t be wearing much clothing this summer.
Tell me about the big sex scene.
Berman: It was very naked.
Zamprogna: She was more naked than me. I had pasties on.
Berman: To make me feel better. We knew it was coming up. We were excited about it. We were ready to go for it, just push the boundaries to make it memorable.
Zamprogna: We were trying to live up to the hype.
What’s the set up for the big event?
Zamprogna: A little wine.
Beman: A little cooking. A little more wine.
Zamprogna: Some cheesy lines about ten months of courting.
Berman: It was bound to happen. Just that crazy sexual tension they’ve been carrying around. It was the right time when no one was interrupting so they went for it.
Did you help create the Lante cupcake?
Berman: We talked with the people who made the cupcake about our characters so while we don’t know a lot about making a cupcake great, with the flavors and stuff I think they were able to really make the elements of the cupcake relate to the elements of our characters and how that would actually taste good. I think we could come up with a lot of different things that we would like but it wouldn’t necessarily taste good, especially in the form of a cupcake.
So how does chocolate, mocha and marscapone cream relate to Lante?
Berman: The marscapone cream is the Italian of Dante. He’s whipped and he’s cheesy.
Zamprogna: The maltballs were Lulu, not Julie.
Berman: The flavors are rich and sexy. It’s something you want to eat right before you get in the sack.
Zamprogna: There’s some bourbon in it too, so it will give you a little buzz.
So which is better, chocolate or sex?
Berman and Zamprogna in unison: Sex!
Zamprogna: I don’t know why you have to choose. You can have them both at the same time.
This was Dominic’s first big daytime sex scene. Julie, did you show him the ropes?
Berman: I was surprised. Dominic was the first person that I’ve done this with who would both constantly check up on me and how I was doing, making sure I was comfortable with everything, which I thought was really nice. It was already comfortable to begin with but it’s nice having someone else be on that level with you.
Zamprogna: Just to clarify, that was a compliment that Julie just paid to me.
Berman: I love how he acts like I never compliment him. I totally do all the time.
In real life, you are both married to other people. Is it kind of weird telling them you’re about to do a bunch of interviews about having sex with someone else?
Zamprogna: We try not to bring that up over dinner. You just say you’ve got to go to work at seven o’clock. The less you discuss that stuff the better. It is just part of work, in reality. It’s not like you’re really discussing having sex with someone. If I was coming to work and talking about having sex with my wife that would be a little more awkward than talking about my character having sex with other characters.
Berman: My husband’s just stoked that his wife is hot enough to get naked on Entertainment Tonight.
Does this signal the return of Love In The Afternoon on ‘General Hospital’?
Zamprogna: Hopefully. There’s too much angst,people angry at each other. We need to have a little loving.
Everyone in Port Charles is so angry at Dante for revealing that Sonny did not kill Claudia,even though for months they were criticizing him for building a case that Sonny killed Claudia. Is he baffled by their hypocrisy?
Zamprogna: Yes. It’s kind of crazy. I think there’s a few people, the heavy hitters in the city, the ones who are closest to Michael, are definitely holding Dante responsible for the whole thing and not understanding how he could make this decision. He’s just doing what he thinks was the most honorable thing and the best thing for his new found brother. This is going to be the start of a lot of alienation, probably a whole Dante and Lulu against everyone kind of thing. You can look at the way Carly (Laura Wright) reacts and the way Jason (Steve Burton) reacts and definitely be baffled by the hypocrisy,but it’s also what makes it kind of cool.
Berman: Everyone’s point of view is very valid. I can see why Carly feels the way that she feels and I can see why Dante and Lulu feel the way that they feel and so it just makes what’s going on very compelling and real. There’s not one person that’s entirely right and one person that’s entirely wrong. It’s great because it gives fans a chance to pick a side and support it.
What was it like working with Chad Duell, the new Michael, during such pivotal scenes?
Zamprogna:It was great. This kid came in and was thrown into the fire and I think he did a great job. It’s different, because you’re working with a completely different person who brings a new energy, but I think it’s just as effective. I think it’s going to look great.
What ‘s next for Lulu and Dante this summer?
Zamprogna: We’ve basically been told to be ready to have our shirts off at a moment’s notice.
Berman: Honestly, that’s all we know about this summer is that we are going to be naked. With each other — we don’t know.
Zamprogna: I just assumed. But I shouldn’t assume things.
So, basically, they named a cupcake after you and then told you eating the cupcakes would be a bad idea because of your upcoming storyline.