Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo on Brenda’s Wedding: ‘It’s Pretty Shocking’

This Friday, the wedding “General Hospital” fans have been waiting years to see finally happens.  Sonny and Brenda are getting married, and this time nobody’s getting left in the rain. That doesn’t mean that everything’s going to go as planned.  Brenda herself, Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo, previewed the week-long epic and also revealed why she thinks Sonny is the man for Brenda, how long she plans to stay in Port Charles, and why she chose not to work with James Franco.

Are Sonny and Brenda finally going to make it through their vows this time? They are.

They are really and truly going to get married. Yes. I’m going to be Brenda Corinthos.

What does it mean to Brenda, finally legally marrying a man that she loves? This is the biggest thing to ever happen in her life. She’s always been terrified of love. She is truly an orphan. She doesn’t have a family of her own. She’s been on the run for the past nine years. She hasn’t been happy. I think she just started to blossom back into herself again. I always like to call her the female James Bond. I’m sure she’s got to be the only female character that’s never been married. Of course we’re shooting for seven days and there’s a whole bunch of surprises, things that go wrong and reasons why the wedding shouldn’t happen, and these two just decide that they love each other no matter what and that they’re going to do this no matter what mistakes anybody’s made or what happened. It’s kind of beautiful, the definition of what love is supposed to be.

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There are all sorts of rumors and spoilers about the Balkan’s plan to ruin the wedding. What is actually going to happen? There’s definitely a lot of things that happen. I think the biggest one is probably an internal issue between Sonny and Brenda, but there are outside forces that definitely come into play. There is a huge explosion at one point and what ends up coming out of all of it, obviously I can’t say, but it’s pretty shocking. We didn’t really get to know about any of it until we read it last week.  Bob [Guza] did a really good job with it. Maurice [Benard] and I liked it a lot.

How have all of Brenda’s ill-fated weddings impacted her psychologically? I think Brenda’s so terrified to let somebody truly close to her anyway. Life and love can be very terrifying for her. She’s really fragile in an emotional way. She’s a tough girl on the outside but I think she has created a lot of scary scenarios by who she’s chosen and the situation that she’s put herself in. But I think that’s part of the beauty of her and why she’s interesting. If she wasn’t unconventional or brave or if she didn’t feel comfortable in the midst of chaos, she wouldn’t be as interesting a character to play.

Brenda’s wedding dress was destroyed. What dress does she end up wearing? This wedding dress is unbelievable. It’s Oscar De La Renta and it’s insanely beautiful. I really love it.  Mary Iannelli, our wardrobe girl, found it. They did a lot of custom stuff. It’s really incredibly beautiful.  Brenda’s never been super caught up [with clothes].  She’s always hated modeling. She isn’t a real girlie girl. She doesn’t go shopping and wear expensive clothing every day.  She’s more upset about knowing that people are trying to keep them from getting married then about the dress. I think she could care less. She actually says at one point she’d marry Sonny in her jeans. She doesn’t care too much about the décor and the dress and the details and the flowers.

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Carly plans to tell everyone at the wedding that Brenda and Dante have a child.  She’s wrong, of course, but is she going to make a scene? Definitely, everything comes out at the wedding. Every secret gets explained and unturned. Everything that could possibly happen happens.

Given all of the violence that Brenda has experienced in her life at the hands of Alcazar and the Balkan, how does she set aside Sonny’s criminal activity, and love him? I think when they were together he always lied to her about it. I think it’s a big deal to her that he actually, to her face, is honest with her.  Even though she kind of had an inkling of what he did when she was a kid and they were together, he never once admitted it in front of her that he was a gangster. I don’t think that she justifies anything about his life. I think she just realizes, especially after nine years of being away from him, that you love who you love. She really felt like she was dead without him. She tries to go off and live a life and become a philanthropist and do the right things with her life. She just wasn’t happy without him. She wasn’t her fiery, emotional self that she had been her whole life. She’s starting to find herself with him. That’s what she has to weigh. Does she want to feel alive and happy, does she want to feel passion and all those things that make Brenda so great? Does she want to go back to the life she was living for nine years where she became a shell of herself?

Will this marriage allow Brenda to be her full self again? For sure. I think being able to believe in love again and be where she wants to be… is already turning her back into the core of who she is.

Will Franco’s upcoming return have to do with Brenda? The last time we saw him he seemed to have fixated on her. I don’t know. You’d have to ask Bob [Guza]. I know that when they first asked me to come back for a visit they wanted it to be at the same time as James Franco’s visit. I decided against coming on with him, even though obviously it would be incredible to work with James Franco. I really just wanted to come and work with the actors that I had grown up with. So I think we’re probably going to stay in that zone and try not to do too much crossover because Brenda’s already in so many storylines.

How long are you going to stay with “General Hospital”? Bob and I are always going back and forth with that. I’ve always been pretty vocal about the fact that I love the show and would do the show for the rest of my life. It’s so cool the way that James Franco’s coming in and out. Tony Geary’s there sometimes and then some of the year he’s not there. I feel incredibly lucky that they’ve given me that opportunity to come in and out.  So I think we’re really just trying to figure out scheduling. I love the character. I love the show. But I want to make sure that I’m serving the show and we’re doing what’s best for the show. That’s Bob’s priority. I think when it works for him storywise he’ll allow me to come in. I’m also bicoastal and I have an eight year-old, so it’s hard for me to know schedule-wise what’s going to work as well. It’s always about scheduling for us.

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If Sonny is the love of Brenda’s life, how would you define Jax, Jason and Dante’s roles in Brenda’s life? Brenda would definitely love Jax (Ingo Rademacher) very deeply. She trusted him and she felt safe with him. He wasn’t the love of her life, but I think sometimes loving someone and feeling safe with someone can be even more valuable. It depends on who you are. Because Brenda’s kind of a wild horse, I think she’s meant to be with someone dangerous and wild. I think that’s probably what her father was like. Sonny was her first love. I think you kind of never get over your first love. Before Brenda left nine years ago, she asked Jax, “Did you ever really love me?” and he said no to her face. It was a pretty big deal to her because she’s terrified of being left or being tricked. She’s still pretty angry at him about that…  I like that and I play that in a lot of my scenes with him. Half of her still loves him deeply and half of her is still furious with him. I think that she’s furious that he’s with a woman who cheated on him and done way worse. Brenda’s never been a cheater. So I think she adores Jax and has a lot of unresolved feelings for him because of all that.

Jason I think she loves like a family member. He is at the top of her list. I think she’d die for him. She’d throw herself in front of a bus if it came down to something like that. She loves him that deeply. She would never admit it, but I can tell you as the person who portrays her that she does.

Dante I think she loves in a really pure, pure way. My scenes with Dominic [Zamprogna] were so fun because there is this kind of pure connection between us. He’s really special. He’s a lovely person. We really like each other a lot and have a loyalty and affection for each other that’s real. I think it’s different than the connection Brenda has with any other male on the show.

What will Brenda use for her something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue? One of the things I’ve always loved about Brenda is she’s not melodramatic or sappy. She’s almost a child in that way. The more she loves you, the more she’s going to punch you in the face or pull your pigtails. So it was forced on her by her maid of honor, Robin (Kimberly McCullough), and Brenda’s kind of hating it the whole time and she doesn’t want to do it. She’s kind of like a guy in that way. The something borrowed is Lila’s handkerchief that she had at her wedding to Edward. Edward (John Ingle) brings that to her. It’s a really beautiful scene. Even though he disapproves of the wedding he gives her that. Something borrowed is a pale pink ribbon that [Robin] had wrapped around her flowers at her wedding. Something new is the dress. Something blue is [Molly] gives Brenda a baby blue garter.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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