‘GH’ Star Sydney Mikayla Talks Trina’s Mom, Her ‘Back from the Dead’ Dad & Working With Betty White
Teen daughters on soaps (and in life!) are often at odds with their mothers, but that’s not the case with Trina Robinson (Sydney Mikayla, who joined the show in 2019) and her mom, Dr. Portia Robinson (Brook Kerr), on General Hospital. And on the February 3 episode, Portia offers encouragement to her daughter, who’s undergone a series of challenges in her relative short life.
Trina’s not only watched two pals, Oscar (Garren Stitt) and Dev (Ashton Arbab), and her school teacher Dustin Phillips (Mark Lawson) go to that great soap in the sky, but also, her dad, Taggert (Real Andrews). Fortunately, Taggert had faked his death, which led to an emotional reunion between father and daughter.
Read on to get the 18-year-old’s insights on Trina’s relationships with her parents and with Ava Jerome (Maura West), and what it was like working on Hot in Cleveland with Betty White, and more!
How did you feel when the show brought on Trina’s mom, Portia?
Sydney Mikayla: Incredible. Brook is so talented and we’ve really connected — we both have a love of dance. Her maternal energy is great. I think that Trina had been the “best friend character.” Now, it’s great that she has someone whom she can turn to, too. She’s had Ava to talk to, but that’s still a work relationship. Trina idolized her father and his lie about having been killed caused a shift in their relationship. Now, Trina trusts her mom even more.
Réal Andrews had to miss a few days, including when Trina discovers her father is alive. It must have been hard playing that scene with another actor [Asante Jones].
I remember showing up at the studio one morning and meeting Asante. I thought he was playing another character on the show. Then, someone told me, “He’s playing your dad!” We rehearsed our scene and I just used the same kind of acting skills and visualization that I normally do. Asante is such a strong actor.
Right now, Trina and Joss and Cameron [William Lipton] all seem to be pals – there’s no romantic triangle per se?
They are all buddies [right] now. Joss is concerned about Sonny (Maurice Benard). Trina’s worried about her dad. We all have our own things going on. We’re there for each other right now. We’re busy with school – and our parents!
Tell us about the voting episode from last November, in which Trina and Josslyn [Eden McCoy] time travel to 1920 and witness the first election in which women had the right to vote.
Those costumes were insane! I was afraid to do anything in them because they were rented. The casting in the episode was diverse, and I appreciated how inclusive and realistic it was. It was a fun day.
You started acting at a very young age. How did it come about?
My mom is an actress; she put me in acting just to try to see if I liked it. I did and I stuck with it. The very first show I did was Yo Gabba Gabba. I was on set with these characters that I’d watched my whole life walking around! [Laughs] I thought, “I’ve made it!”
You did a Hot in Cleveland, too.
I remember meeting Betty White [Elka]! She was so kind to me. Hot In Cleveland was one of those few shows I’ve done that had a live studio audience. I remember her having great chemistry with the audience. She’s a legend.
You also played Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas in the 2014 biopic The Gabby Douglas Story. Was that your first big break?
It was. I got to work with Miss Regina King [who played Gabby’s mother, Natalie]. It was so much fun learning Gabby’s routines and wearing replicas of her outfits. When I played her, I knew I wanted to pursue acting full-time. They had to get a double [for the gymnastic routines], but I remember running through them, trying to make them as perfect as I could.
You also voice the character Wolf in Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts.
Yes. I wanted to make Wolf a very strong character. She’s 10 years old and is exploring a post-apocalyptic world, at first by herself. She goes from being isolated to learning how not to be that way.
Yes! Ingo and I just talked about that. He was in a group chat with Zendaya [who competed on the same season he did]. I’d love to be on that show. I know it’d be a challenge, but, especially after hearing Ingo talk about it, I’m ready for it!
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