In a recent interview with Soap Opera Digest Kassie DePaiva opened up about what it was like to get the call from General Hospital's Executive Producer Frank Valentini eleven years after her last appearance on the show asking her to bring Blair Cramer back to Port Charles. DePaiva admits that it was kind of crazy.
"I was traveling back to New York from visiting my parents in Kentucky. It's a long drive, and I always stop in Cleveland and visit Robin Strasser," DePaiva revealed. Strasser played Blair's aunt Dorian Cramer Lord on One Life to Live. "I get to kill two birds with one stone -- I get to visit my [soap] family and my real family," DePaiva said of the visit.
According to DePaiva, she had initially missed the call because her phone had inexplicably stopped ringing. When she saw that Valentini had called, she was certain that it had been a mistake. "But, when I got home I saw that he'd left a voicemail," DePaiva revealed. When she listened to the message, Valentini explained that he wanted to run something by her. "So, I called him," she said. Valentini invited her to appear on GH for a couple of days, and she readily agreed.
DePaiva has been busy in recent months. She recently appeared as Eve Donovan on DAYS, a role she had played from 2014 to 2020. "I shot that in February; they shoot six months ahead of schedule," DePaiva shared. "It aired around the same time that this was going down, which kind of sounded like, 'Oh, my gosh. I'm just the hottest commodity on daytime!' But the timing was just a coincidence. It's just one episode there [on DAYS] and two here [on GH], but I'm grateful and I'm happy and it was wonderful to be on set again and to get to see so many people that I've worked with, including so many One Life to Live-ers in production and on set at General Hospital," the actress said.
DePaiva confessed that she had signed on without knowing the reason for Blair's visit to Port Charles. "I didn't know until I opened up the script," DePaiva said. "I was assuming I was going to be working with Roger Howarth [Austin Gatlin-Holt], but then I realized, 'Okay well, Roger's not Todd Manning anymore, so I guess that's not a viable storyline.' But I was thrilled to find out that I was going to be working with Michael E. Knight [Martin Grey] and the icing on the cake was that I also got to work with Jane Elliot [Tracy Quartermaine], who is just one of my favorite people of all time and one of my favorite actresses," DePaiva shared.
DePaiva revealed that she had first met Elliot at a party in the late 1990s. "I had just found out that my son [J.Q. DePaiva] was deaf, and she just grabbed my face and said, 'You know, J.Q. chose you to be his mom.' It really was powerful. It was a life-changing moment for me," she said. DePaiva shares her son with actor James DePaiva [Dr. Bensch, GH; Max Holden, OLTL]. The actress shared that it had been a difficult time for her because she'd learned that she had a special needs child at the same time that she'd been in the throes of trying to keep her daytime career alive. DePaiva is grateful for meeting Elliot because she considers Elliot her soul mate.
DePaiva has known Knight even longer. "Everyone knew 'Tad the Cad' from All My Children," the actress said with a chuckle. "And of course he was married to Catherine Hickland [Lindsay Rappaport, OLTL]. He's just a sweetheart. I first got to work with him when Frank [Valentini] directed us [on the ABC.com series What If...]. It was a great little segment; it was sexy and fun and Michael has the perfect comic timing. Michael and Jane are both icons -- iconic legends!"
As viewers learned during the September 15 episode, Blair is Martin's third ex-wife. That means that Blair's trip down the aisle with Todd in 2013 during the OLTL reboot likely ended in divorce. Again. "The Todd issue is not addressed," DePaiva reveals. She hopes that the OLTL fanbase isn't too disappointed. "But I think -- knowing Todd and Blair -- something happened. She probably thinks he's dead and he's not or something. I don't think Blair would ever give up on him."
Despite not sharing a scene with Howarth, he and DePaiva had an opportunity to share a warm reunion. "He didn't even know I was coming," she revealed. "I was finishing up my scenes with Jane, and Roger came in to dry-block his scenes, all sweaty because he'd been working out, and he looked at me like, 'What?!' And he grabbed his heart.' After DePaiva finished taping, she and Howarth took pictures. "It was really nice to catch up with him a little bit."
DePaiva had nothing but praise for Valentini, and she described her time on GH as fantastic. "I'm glad they made her [Blair] sharp and successful, regardless of who she is divorced from! I hope you will get the essence that she is still freakin' Barbie, man! I think Blair is the ultimate Barbie [laughs]. She's a great character and is so special to me."
DePaiva hopes her time on GH goes over well with viewers, and there will be an opportunity for her to return.
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