January 29th, 2010  |  Leave a comment

The Dominic Zamprogna Interview – General Hospital

©JPI Studios

It will be the shot heard around the soap world. Today on General Hospital, Dante gets a bullet from the barrel of a gun when Sonny pulls the trigger. And as the blood soaked Dante lays on the floor, secrets and lies begin to unravel and are revealed. For month’s the General Hospital powers-that-be have formulated a story of Sonny’s biological son by Olivia, Dante (known to most in PC as Dominic), who originally comes to town working undercover for the Feds to put Sonny away for his crimes. As the story has played out, we have seen a closer bond develop in a very interesting way between these two strong titans from opposite sides of the law. It’s mostly due to the fact that Dominic saved Morgan and Sonny’s lives, which elevated the young cop in Sonny’s mind as someone who can be trusted! Oh boy!

Newcomer Dominic Zamprogna has proved his mettle in the role of Dante (AKA Dominic). With high praise from fans, his cast mates, and the show’s producers and writers, he has stepped into a very high-profile soap opera role and done it justice. Zamprogna has the right mix of tough guy with a heart; the edgy look that makes him a modern day soap hero, and the acting chops to pull off this very complex and compelling role.

In this revealing interview, Dominic Zamprogna talks about working with his GH co-stars, Maurice Benard (Sonny), Julie Berman (Lulu) and Lisa LoCicero (Olivia) in the high stakes February sweeps storyline that is set to play out over several weeks, and previews the fallout when Dante actually realizes that the man he has sought out and worked to have arrested, is actually his real poppa!

Listen to the audio: The Dominic Zamprogna Interview

Play

MICHAEL:

Dominic, first off, did it ever get confusing that your character is also known undercover as Dominic and your real name is Dominic? Or was that an easy part, even though now you are also known as Dante? Confused? I am. (Laughs)

Courtesy/ABC

DOMINIC:

The only confusing part was when I first started and I got my first script. They told me my name was going to be Dominic and I was going up for the part of Dante. I called up Bob Guza (head writer, GH) and went, “What is my character’s name?” (Laughs) He said, “You are undercover. It’s Dominic!” And I go, “Oh. Ok, then.”

MICHAEL:

Has this role turned out the way that it was promised to you, since you were going to end up being Sonny’s biological son? Did it live up to the hype?

DOMINIC:

Probably more. I did not know what to expect. We treat things very different in Canada. (Laughs) You see, I am from Hamilton, a city outside of Toronto, and I had been living in Vancouver for the last eight years before I came to LA. You get a different kind of attention down here. As far as the role goes, GH definitely held up their end of the bargain. They told me what it was going to be, how crazy it was going to be, how demanding it was going to be, and how important it was going to be, and hopefully, the way things have played out they seem happy with me.

MICHAEL:

Yes. You have been so heavy in story, and working with Maurice Benard in many of the episodes. How is working with him? Other GH actors tell me, “You have to be on your game with Maurice.”

DOMINIC:

Courtesy/ABC

Maurice was in my corner from day one. I feel like I had him on my side, and I did not need to win him over or impress him. We had a good audition experience together. Working with him is awesome! Maurice really gets into it, and he is an amazing actor. I am a bit out of my mind right now; because I just watched our big reveal show with Lisa LoCicero…

MICHAEL:

…Oh, you got a Sneak Peek. What did you think of it?

DOMINIC:

I thought it was awesome. Laura Wright (Carly) always says, “You are never as bad as you think you are or as good as you think you are,” and I think that is a very fair statement. I felt really awesome on the day we did it. You always pick things apart in an unfair way when you watch it as an actor who is looking back at their performance. You can’t dictate when the producers are going to cut to what shot, or really know how you are going to look. You just hope it turns out well. I am having a hard time putting into words what it is like working with Maurice, because I just watched our big scenes and it worked so great. He came up to me before we taped these pivotal scenes, and he said, “Let’s do it. Let’s kill it.” And we did, and the scenes were written so well. And Maurice is the kind of guy that if you stay with him throughout the scene it will be a roller coaster, and that is what it’s supposed to be. When I first came on the show, because our characters were feeling each other out, as well as we as people, like, “Who is this guy that can just walk into my house and tell me how it is?” So, I don’t think Sonny has ever had to deal with a character like that. So it’s kind of interesting to be in a kind of fake position of power, because in reality, I am scared out of my pants going up against this guy. He could pull out a gun any second and shoot me. But as an actor, I felt like this was my best way to play it, even if it’s false bravado. I was to be able to come in and be the tough guy with Sonny.

Courtesy/ABC

MICHAEL:

It’s been great to watch, because you are one young actor who can actually go toe-to-toe with Maurice, and the character of Sonny Corinthos.

DOMINIC:

I have heard that, and I thank you for saying that. Over the course of seven months, it’s been my character working sort of underneath this guy. Maurice is such a supportive, amazing person who truly wants what is best for the show. So when you are working with him that is what you get, someone who wants to do well and wants you to do well, and sparks will fly.

MICHAEL:

Going into Friday’s episode, Sonny’s is supposed to be going to Jocelyn’s christening and Dante does not want to put him away yet. Why is Dante conflicted? And, what is driving this guy?

DOMINIC:

Basically, the knowledge of what he is about to do is going to crumble a lot of lives and he does like Sonny, and that is the truth of it. He is trying to not like Sonny, because he does not want to be compared to the guy, but Dante kind of sees himself as the same type of guy. They do behave alike. One is on one side of the law, and one is on the other. Dante knows he has a job to do, but he really does not want to do it. He wants to give another peaceful moment to the family before he lowers the boom, because it’s going to be an earthquake…

MICHAEL:

He is going to have Sonny arrested?

DOMINIC:

Yes, that was his goal. Dante is going to arrest Sonny, that is for sure. But it happens prematurely and it all goes awry.

©JPI Studios

MICHAEL:

So, are we going to be on the edge of our seats?

DOMINIC:

The way they cut it is… it’s juxtaposed against the christening of baby Jocelyn where Sonny and Dante are supposed to be at. But, Dante is at Sonny’s and so the build up to the christening and the build up to my getting shot are dramatic. And that is not why I am at Sonny’s at that moment. Sonny calls me over to do a job and I go, not really knowing that I was going to have to pull my badge at the time, but you have to wait and see!

MICHAEL:

Have you even shot the big emotional Sonny/Dante father/son come to terms scenes? If that’s even possible! (Laughs)

DOMINIC:

I don’t think we have shot that yet, because I am still technically in the hospital in bed. And Dante does not do too well. He is shot in the chest and it’s going to be a battle for him.

MICHAEL:

How is working with your on-screen mom, Lisa LoCicero?

DOMINIC:

Lisa and I have been tight since day one. She showed me around the first day I got here, and I live five minutes away from her. She is unbelievably supportive and she has got Beatle’s Rock Band, which is cool (laughs). Working with her is great and we generally have fun together. From day one, Lisa and I working together was natural, even though people were saying we looked more like lovers than mother and son. We still felt really good about the mother and son relationship and we worked really hard to shape it.

©JPI Studios

MICHAEL:

Not only is Sonny going to be devastated that Dante is his own son, but when will Dante actually realize Sonny is his father?

DOMINIC:

One of the first things that happen when I wake up in the hospital is I talk to Lulu and she tells me, “All may not be well.” (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Then do you have a talk with Sonny?

DOMINIC:

There is, but it’s not going to be one of those, “Oh, that’s what you meant? It’s cool.” It’s a mess, and unfortunately, the way Sonny is, he would not dream of harming anyone who is his own kid. Even though I am someone who betrayed him, when he finds out I am his kid, all of a sudden I am under that umbrella… you know, the really protective thing. So, Sonny is coming at it from a wonderful nurturing place and is really torn up by what he did. But for Dante, he feels, “This just proves to me who you are. And whatever we had before, friendship and possible palling around, is going to be null and void.”

MICHAEL:

Can you see Dante ever working for the mob?

DOMINIC:

He will always be on the other side of the law. I think my character has such strong principles and values, that I think something would have to go south in his world or in his life for him to not be a cop. If he was not a cop, I don’t know what that would be to bring him into the mob. I have been thinking about this for a long time, because this is the great debate: would I ever kind of flip and decide to work for the bad guys? However, I don’t see a scenario where he would do that, unless it was like between a rock and a hard place and there was no right answer to something, and he was forced into something that no matter how you look at it, this would be his only choice.

Courtesy/ABC

MICHAEL:

And Lulu becomes unhinged when she finds out Dante has been shot, and that he is Sonny’s son! Why do you think you and Julie Berman are working so well together on-screen? Do you think the Dante/Lulu romance works?

DOMINIC:

Oh, it works, totally! Julie and I have a ridiculous amount of fun together. We laugh in the hallways. Julie is a talented actress as well. I am blessed in my storyline to have three ridiculously talented people to work with. Each are ridiculously talented and soulful people who give a ton and more, in every scene they are in with you. Regarding Dante and Lulu’s romance: at first you feel pressure to make the chemistry work because everyone is going, “Oh, this is going to be your love interest on the show.” So you really want it to work. You feel you are pushing hard on the gas to make sure it works so everyone is happy. And then what you realize, “It’s out of my control!” You just have to play these scenes and have fun. Julie and I have a mutual respect for one another.

MICHAEL:

Lulu is going to be a mess over you!

DOMINIC:

Not necessarily a mess, but freaking out over what happened. The nice thing about Dante is that he has someone who has got his back, and he trusts that she has his back. With Olivia, his mother, he thinks that she does not really have his back. He knows she loves him, and he knows all the things she did; not telling Sonny or Dante, and even telling her lover Johnny, who knew Dante was undercover. Olivia always has a reason. Unfortunately, this is the first time you are going to see the bending or shift in their relationship because of how he was deceived by her. He thinks she was coming from a place of concern and care, but it might be misguided. Dante is going to look at it that way, no matter what. With Lulu, the first thing he is going to do when he wakes up is ask for her. She now is the only person that Dante trusts. She has proven it and will continue to prove it.

MICHAEL:

Should we expect to see Michael Corinthos continue to be a thorn in Dante’s side? After all, it was he who blew Dante’s cover to Sonny. In other words, Sonny’s biological son, Dante, and adopted son, Michael, fighting for their father’s approval, and with each other?

Courtesy/ABC

DOMINIC:

We actually see a different side to Michael. He tries to be real with Dante for once. It’s tough because when I see him after the shooting, instead of him coming to attack me, which is what I expect him to do, he actually seems like he is coming from a genuine concern for his father, Sonny…. who is now both our father!

MICHAEL:

So will Dante forgive Sonny? Does he still want Sonny arrested after this reveal that will change the course of their relationship?

DOMINIC:

There is so much confirmation for Dante that he goes back to what he came to town to do and the final few days when he goes to arrest Sonny, it gets wiped away. Any kind of progress he made in the enjoyment of being undercover and getting to know these people, pretty much gets wiped away by the fact that he gets shot. Dante is not a bad person or an insensitive person. He is a sensitive person. He will listen to you and let you speak, and take in what you have to tell him. He is a stubborn person, and it’s probably not going to change his mind if you just shot him.

MICHAEL:

How much of Dominic Zamprogna is Dante?

DOMINIC:

Originally not so much, but as you play a character and the writers see you in the character, things become a bit more blurred; where a lot of you become more like the part you play. I also think that is the nature of daytime soaps and how they are written for actors.

MICHAEL:

Will you be submitting yourself for Supporting Actor this year in the race for a Daytime Emmy nomination?

Courtesy/ABC

DOMINIC:

I was talking about that the other day. I don’t know. I guess I will.

MICHAEL:

You have plenty material.

DOMINIC:

That is the thing I am happiest about. I did not think I would be in 130 some episodes. I am definitely blown away with that. And going back to your earlier question, the people that make the decisions are obviously happy with the way things are going and utilizing me, and I am very happy the way things are going.

MICHAEL:

You were involved a bit in the Co77x storyline with James Franco. How was the James Franco experience for you?

DOMINIC:

I did not have a lot of experience working with him. The story was always going to be James Franco’s and Steve Burton’s (Jason) story. There was an association between “Franco” and Dante, but it wasn’t anything more than that. I think it works out better for my character and the story. I think it worked out better for Dante in this story for having his cover get blown with Sonny. So I am happy how everything shaped up. But I think James Franco is a great guy. He did great work, and from what I hear he had more lines than anyone would want to dream of having in a day. James came in here and kicked-ass!

Courtesy/ABC

MICHAEL:

To sum this all up, why should GH fans not miss Friday’s’ must-see episode and the weeks to come? Will we need hankies?

DOMINIC:

You will be blown away, and you will need hankies if you care about Sonny, Dante and Olivia. If you don’t give a damn about them you won’t care. (Laughs) You may need to get in front of the TV with a drink and some popcorn for this. (Laughs).

  1. Doe says:

    I just finished wtching GH and I thought the episode was written really well. The climatic scene that I knew was coming, was acted pefectly and nicely underplayed by both actors. There was no yelling and screaming at one another which most scenes are in that situation. I think there will be great upheavel coming up, and I think the scenes between Carly and Jax should be very interesting especially, if she finds out how duplicitous he was in the Sonny plot. Will be watching……

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  2. susan says:

    Thank you for this interview. Dominic Z. is amazing. Just finished watching the reveal episode. GH and soaps in general have not seen a talent like this in a long time. The is a tremendous actor and GH struck gold with him.

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  3. m says:

    DZ is the best thing that has come along in a loooong while–every facet of him is a gift–completely compelling to watch. I adore him.

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  4. Tara says:

    Dominic Zamprogna is the find of the century as far as I’m concerned. This is a very special actor. I’m stunned at how utterly flawless and gifted he is. I have not been on the edge of my seat like this in years! The reveal was so powerful I felt goosebumps watching it unfold. I pray that the show does not change a thing about Dante. Not his hair, his attitude or anything else we have come to love. This is a rare find here. Please hang onto this guy! He’s pure gold!

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  5. Marilyn says:

    I saw the show on TV today, but had to see it again. The acting was great and I was on the edge of my seat. The scene between Dominic and Maurice was off the charts, can’t wait to see what come’s next. Dominic was a great addition to the show, wow!

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  6. Lisa says:

    SO proud of DZ, he is from my hometown & that ep today of GH was one of the best I have seen in years on this show!

    DZ was masterful & amazing!

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  7. Maria says:

    I have loved Dominic Zamprogna since he first arrived on the show…he is the much needed addition to an already great soap opera. I must admit I was never aware of this actor before now and after some research I am more and more impressed, not only is he an amazing actor, but the sincerity and slight humbleness he brings to the screen just makes him a character you really feel you can relate too. Of course, being from an old-fashioned Italian family (get the whole respect thing) from Brooklyn probably contributes a bit but non-the-less, I haven’t been this addicted to a series in a looooong time. Thank you GH for choosing Dominic Zamprogna to join the cast and thank you Dominic Zamprogna to adding much needed excitement to my world!

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  8. Mary says:

    I watched the scene twice today too! Never do that. It was fantastic. Loved the way Dante was so nervous, you could hear him breathing hard and the dryness of his mouth. It was brilliant. I am a huge Sonny fan too, so it was totally great to see these two masterful actors with so much intensity but not overdoing it.
    Thanks for the interview! Love how articulate and down-to-earth Dominic Z is!

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  9. Linda Dowell says:

    I love his character so much that I feel GH is revived for me – I look forward to it again.

    It was instant for me – I immediately liked Dominic/Dante and have watched every scene, sometimes many times, since he’s been on.

    He is a wonderful, truly great, actor, and I’m grateful for him.

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  10. Bridget says:

    GH is on fire right now and part of that is because of Dominic Zamprogna! The producers have his pay dirt with this guy! He’s an amazing talented actor and knock your socks off sexy!! I also love the Lulu/Dante romance. It’s something we haven’t seen on soaps in a long time..so sweet these two. I hope the writers have big plans for this couple and keep them together for a looooong time! Congrats Dominic!! Now the hard part will be waiting a whole year to hear him accept his emmy! :-)

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  11. Pat says:

    The instant Dominic Zamprogna played his first scene on GH, I was hooked. I have been watching GH since it started. DZ is the most dynamic actor to ever hit the streets of PC. After watching the reveal episode, I had to watch it again and again. I was mesmerized. Maurice and Dominic played the scene so realistically that I was crying. DZ is a fantastic addition to an already fantastic cast. Thank you GH.

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  12. W.J. says:

    I’ve watched GH for many years, mostly for the Sonny and Jason storyline. They’re great. Dominic’s arrival on the scene really pumped new energy into the story. Friday’s confrontation between him and Sonny was heart-stopping. I could alternately feel Dominic’s fear, and Sonny’s conflicted emotions as he pulled the trigger.

    I just started watching a new Canadian series a week ago called “Edgemont” on CW. I immediately recognized one of the young actors, a high school student in the show, as a young Dominic. I’ve been enjoying watching him there as well.

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  13. kiran says:

    Now i have watched the scene between Dante and Sonny for the umpteenth time. i am still at the edge of my seat waiting to find what will happen on monday. Both Dominic and Maurice were great, the show was written well and acted perfectly.
    Dominic is the best thing on gh right now. I wait to watch Dante scenes on GH. Dominic is really an amazing actor.

    keep it up!

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  14. Lante JaSam lover says:

    I am loving Dom on Gh. I love even more is him and Lulu together. i hope they give a a deeply devoted romance for these two. I hope to keep Lulu and Dante together for a long time.

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  15. L says:

    I have been watching GH since the early days & this is definitely one of THE best story lines; Dom is a talented actor/artist & it’s such a great break in the day to watch his work. You are drawn in & your emotions run the scale…it’s like watching a movie every day. The Dante/Lulu story line is like that of a modern day ‘Luke/Laura’; 2nd generation! Love it! Please stay – often when excellent actors join a cast, they don’t stay too long: please stay!

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  16. Christi - Massachusetts says:

    Dominic Z. is a wonderful addition to GH. He is very talented…. I looked @ his bio and will see everything he acted in…. I love how sexy he is…..

    Good Luck Dominic I hope you are on for years to come…..

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  17. Michelle Lee Martin says:

    I was at the edge of my seat when Dante went in for sugery to remove the bullet. Was he going to live or die? I’m glad that he lived, and I hope his and Lulu romance blossoms, and they end up together.

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  18. Page says:

    I have been watching General Hospital since my kids were little and they are in their 40′s now. After reading all the previous comments,anything I would say about Dominic would be redundant. But I will say that HE DEFINITLEY IS THE BEST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED TO GENERAL HOSPITAL. I “also hope” that the Lulu/Dominic story line lasts indefinitely. They could be BETTER than Luke & Laura.

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  19. Terry says:

    Dominic Zamprogna has put the zest back in General Hospital. He has amazing on screen chemistry with Maurice Bernard and many of the other characters. I think he is worthy of a Best Newcomer or Outstanding Supporting Actor Emmy. Plus he is very easy on the eyes for us ladies!!!!

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  20. baby_fat221@yahoo.com says:

    will dominici will get merry to Lulu

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  21. jasam&luante>3 says:

    I have been watching GH since I was a little girl with my mother, now that I am 40 years old and my daughter is watching with me, wow, that is how speachless I am over Dominic! The seen when Sonny shot Dante was so real and convincing that I forgot I was watching a soap! I watched it over and over I could not stop watching it, it was so breath taking that I was just in tears! I have always been totally in love with Jasam that I stopped watching GH when the whole Liz and Jason thing happened, I thought it was cruel, but I couldn’t help myself and started watching it again when I knew it wouldn’t work out. Then I saw Dominic for the first time and I watch the show at least 2x’s a day and then the next morning while I’m drinking my coffee before work I am so taken by Dominic. I love his acting, he is so beautiful and his character is so refreshing. I love the sweetness between him and lulu, please do not hurt this couple like you did Jason and Sam. They were loved and they didn’t even sleep together that was so intense but when she couldn’t have children Liz became pregnant with Jason’s baby, how cruel. Please do not ruin this couple, they are and can be the next Luke and Lura. I have both of my couples that amaze me in completely different ways, but there is something so special about Dominic that we have never seen before on GH or anyother soap, trust me your ratings will keep going up if you keep up the great storylines with Dante and lulu and Sonny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love you to death and know you will win every award that is coming your way!

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  22. Chelly says:

    I do not usually like short guys, but I love Dominic as Dante. It is kind of funny that I say that because I’m only 5’3 1/2″, and Dominic would even tower over me. If I ever get married someday any guy will be taller than I am. I love Dominic, and I think it is something how much he looks like Maurice who plays his father on the show. They picked a good one to play Dante, and I’m not just saying that because Sonny and Dante look a like, but Dominic is a wonderful actor as well.

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  23. Moriah says:

    Dominic melts my heart, because he is such a sweet guy. I love his character Dante, and he is the best thing that has ever happened to General Hospital. He is not tall, but I’m sure that he would still tower over me since I’m only five feet tall. I hope that his romance blossoms with Lulu, because they are so sweet together.

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  24. Francheska says:

    My sister in law watches General Hospital and so do I. I must agree with her that Dominic rules. He is such a sweet guy, and I hope that Dante and Lulu end up together. They remind me of my husband Michael and I, except for the height difference. My husband is 6’1″ and I’m just barely five feet tall. Dante is just barely taller than Lulu. Thank you for the interview Dominic, and I hope that you stay on General Hospital, and I hope that Dante and Lulu make it. They belong together.

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  25. Angelique says:

    Dominic is a wonderful addition to the show as Dante. When he first came on I did not think that I was going to like him, but then I fell in love with his character. It should be interesting to see what Dante does next. Will he find out that his own brother is the killer of Claudia, and what will Dante do about it. I’m also wondering if Sonny is really responsible for killing that cop when Dante was little who he thought of as a father. The truth will come out soon, and hopefully Dante becomes a wonderful older brother to his siblings, especially to Michael and Kristina, who are the most troubled.

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  26. Jennifer Theoret says:

    I love Dante and Lulu together. I think that they are my favorite couple on the show. I really hope that Johnny and Olivia don’t end up together. He is such a jerk, and I think that there should be an Olivia and Sonny reunion. Afterall these two have great chemistry together, and Dante will finally have the family he always wented.

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  27. Evelyn says:

    This is old, but I would like to comment on it. I have been married for a long time now, over forty years. I have three children and eight grandchildren, and another grandchild on the way. I have been watching General Hospital for a long time now, and I must admit Dominic is a wonderful addition to the show. The fact that it took Sonny to shoot Dante in the chest to find out they are father and son took the wind out of me. I was afraid that Dante was going to die, and thank God that he didn’t. I loved it when he stuck up for Morgan in court, and as illegal as his move was, I think that Dante did the right thing, even if he did get arrested for it. Then when he found out that Michael actually killed Claudia, Dante finally made the right move and came forward with it. I don’t know where this will lead, but I’m curious to find out what happens with Michael, and I hope he will look up to Dante, and learn to admire his older brother for doing the right thing.

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  28. M.L.M. says:

    I was watching Dying To Dance, and I noticed Dominic right off. He is such a talented actor, and is a wonderful addition to General Hospital. I can not believe how much Maurice and Dominic look a like. They even look like they could be father and son on the show. Dante does not like Sonny, and I don’t think he will ever like him. A Mob Boss for a father and a cop for a son, boy that is some combination. I hope that Michael does not have to go to jail, and I hope that others see that Dante is just trying to help. Dante has been the only honest one in this case, and I feel that Carly, Sonny, Jax, Sam and Jason need to go to jail more than he does, but I just don’t see that happening. Dominic is the best thing that has happened to General Hospital, and I hope that he stays for years to come.

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  29. W.W.J.D. says:

    Dominic is so sweet and I simply love him on General Hospital. He is such a good guy so far, but I have a feeling the darker side of him may pop out. He is so much like Sonny and Maurice and Dominic even look like father and son. I’m glad that Dominic was picked to play Dante, because of that. I love you Dominic and I hope to see you on General Hospital many years to come.

    Reply

  30. tayla says:

    you are so fuckin hot i watch you r sow and seee you everyday i luveeeeeeeeeeeeeeee you foever

    Reply

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