‘General Hospital’s Lisa LoCicero Previews the Quartermaine’s (Belated) Thanksgiving

Q&A
ABC/Todd Wawrychuk

In real life, General Hospital viewers are well into Thanksgiving Day leftovers, but in Port Charles, Turkey Day airs Monday, Nov. 30. Of course, as fans of the long-running ABC soap opera know, the Quartermaine clan never manages to chow down as some catastrophe or other prevents a traditional meal from being served.

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Time will tell if pizza ends up on the menu again, but one thing’s for sure: There’s going to be a heaping plate of drama. TV Insider chats with Lisa LoCicero (Olivia) about some of it, including hubby Ned (Wally Kurth)’s cheating on her with his ex, Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn), her recent spy caper with Scorpio (Tristan Rogers), and her reunion with son Dante (Dominic Zamprogna).

Marrying a Quartermaine comes with a drawback – you’re destined never to eat turkey on Thanksgiving.

Lisa LoCicero: Correct. The show comes up with a new way each time to explain how things don’t work out. This year, Olivia is going to do some bad cursing in Italian. I don’t want to spoil what happens, but that’s a good tease.

Lisa CoCicero, Wally Kurth General Hospital

Olivia’s still unaware that Ned strayed. Will you learn anything about it in the Thanksgiving episode?

In Olivia’s ignorance she invites some people over, and there are some interesting antics. She’s trying to give her grandson Rocco (O’Neill Monahan) a traditional Thanksgiving.

Hopefully, he likes pizza. So, how much fun did you have playing Olivia’s spy caper with Robert Scorpio earlier this year?

It was so fun getting the scripts and realizing that you’re going to get to do something. When you’re on set actually doing it, you have to put on your “big girl” pants and be professional. You have lines to say, marks to hit, and you’re wearing shoes that are incredibly hard to walk in. You’re thinking about your hairdo staying in place. There’s a jillion different things you’re trying to do to make it successful. And as my husband, who’s a director says, “Excuses don’t photograph.”

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Olivia loved stepping outside her traditional world. Was that how you felt?

I couldn’t believe I was getting to do this. Olivia couldn’t believe she was in Monte Carlo. Whereas, I, Lisa, couldn’t believe that I was getting this storyline. I told the writers I appreciated it all.

Tristian’s a fine wine…he’s a delight. His wry sense of humor only gets better. We have a great time working together. I’d love for [further adventures] to be part of Olivia’s canon of possibilities.

Let’s go back to Ned’s infidelity. Did you, as an actor, like the narrative twist?

I’m ecstatic that it gives us great drama to play and it gives me an excuse to tease both Wally and Nancy endlessly. I’ve been through this with girlfriends in real-life [who’ve experienced infidelity]. They’ll say, “And he’s out there living his best life!” So, I say to them, “Why don’t you go out and live yours?” I’m not sure how this will play out, however. I’d love for Olivia to find a way to both forgive Ned and also look at what’s missing in her day-to-day life.

That’s a refreshing perspective.

Human beings are complicated. Olivia used to be black and white about things. Now she’s come to appreciate some of the gray behavior. We saw it when she responded after Brook Lynn [Briana Lane] told her she’d erased those text messages. Olivia didn’t take off her earring and get into a catfight. Instead, she took the stance of, “OK, you did what you did. We’re a family and we’re going to make this work.”

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Olivia finding out about Ned and Alexis, then, presuming she does, might not mean the end of their relationship.

I’d love to see another take on this other than decimation and indignation. Olivia and Ned could be better for all this, maybe? I’ve seen it happen in real life.

So not only did you get a big spy caper storyline this year, Olivia also had an overdue reunion with her son, Dante.

I was nervous about the scene where Olivia and Dante were on other sides of a door and she couldn’t see him. When we got to see each other for real, my choice was for Olivia to look at him and her thoughts were that he might just disappear. Olivia could not believe he was standing there in front of her. If I’m honest, I haven’t sat and watched those shows, but I heard from fans who said that they were moved. That’s what I care about. If I make the viewers cry then, I’ve done what I’ve needed to do.

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