Hard to believe, but Kimberly McCullough’s return to General Hospital is coming to an end, and with that, fans of Dr. Robin Scorpio Drake are trying to put the pieces together to figure out how she will leave the canvas, especially because she just was reunited with her beloved husband, Patrick! No matter how she leaves Port Charles, Robin’s return was one of the most dramatic journey’s ever witnessed in the soap genre, which kept viewers glued to their set to see when on earth she would return to those she loves!
On-Air On-Soaps caught up with McCullough at the ABC TCA (Television Critics Association) Cocktail Party this past weekend, which was our first opportunity in awhile to talk to the beloved actress about what she thought of some of the emotional story beats that played out on-air! And of course to find out: is she ready to walk away from GH again when she wraps very shortly?
During our conversation, a candid Kimberly revealed that with her real-life father’s passing during her return to GH, there were some pretty difficult tape days as well, but with the love and support of her co-stars and more, she was able to continue to deliver one of the most heartfelt performances of the past year. For fans who watched all the emotional re-connections of Robin’s, we think you will learn some interesting nuggets and behind the scenes bits you may have not known before! Here’s our chat with Kimberly!
Robin’s return was filled with so many story points on her journey to get home that viewers were taken on a roller-coaster ride! What did you think of how it all played out, where Robin met up with each key person in her life separately? It certainly delivered emotional reunion after emotional reunion.
KIMBERLY: I think that was very smart, because it gave each character a chance to reunite, instead of all at once. I liked it and thought it was great.
One of the most memorable moments was the scene in the church were Emma (Brooklyn Rae Silzer) sees Robin and runs into her arms! Do you recall doing that scene … and what you thought of it?
KIMBERLY: What I remember, to be completely honest, is being so proud of Brooklyn. That was a moment that I felt proud. It was like a generational thing, that only soaps can do. Finola was there for me when I was a kid, teaching me and making me feel safe, and now I was just trying to do that with Brooklyn. It was a really cool moment. I think it was easy for both of us to do that scene. I think we bonded. I am so proud of her.
The line Robin says to Emma is “Mommy’s here!” And it was one of the most poignant moments in the entire story.
KIMBERLY: That wasn’t written that way. It just came out that way. Personally, I want a daughter so badly. I want a kid, and so that is what came out of me and my fantasy of having a little girl, and to be able to comfort and make sure everything is OK. It was a very personal moment and satisfying.
After the wedding shocker where Robin see Patrick again, and Sabrina is devastated in her wedding dress, Robin tells him to go talk to her, hoping that he told Sabrina, that now that Robin’s back, it’s over between them, but he didn’t do that. When he comes back to talk to Robin, she realizes she can’t go home with him, after she worked for two years to get back to the man she loves. I re-watched those scenes and I thought it was some of your strongest work … you just felt so badly for Robin! What did you think of that scene?
KIMBERLY: I think that I really committed to the scene. I loved the way that they wrote it! I was impressed and surprised. They did not pick the typical, “I am going to go home with you, anyway.” I knew for them to get to that moment of “no”, there had to be a moment of “Oh, my God. I can’t believe what was happening.” I have had moments in my life as well, where it’s been like I feel I am watching a movie. For instance, a situation where you’re talking to me, but what you’re saying to me is so devastating. And then, everything slows down. That is what I remember looking at Jason Thompson (Patrick) and his voice sounded like “Waaa-Waaa” (Laughs). It’s a moment as it was for Robin, where everything slows down and you think, “This is not my life! This is not happening.”
And as for Jason Thompson, what a performance he gave when he sees his believed-to-be-dead wife for the first time!
KIMBERLY: Jason is great in everything. I tried not to think about the pressure of the reunion scenes. But the great thing is, we can always rely on our relationship off-screen, no matter what. We know that we trust each other, and it’s never a competition. It’s never, ever been about, “I am going to be great in this scene”. We are there for each other, whatever the expectation are, and this is about us always being there for each other in that scene.
You have built this very unique connection with Jason Thompson. And it’s nice to know that in this genre, people can work together and become very good friends.
KIMBERLY: It’s my way of giving back. As you know, I had so many people teach me and make me feel comfortable growing up at GH. They would come from a place of, “I don’t care that your seven years old. You are an equal.” So when Jason came on to GH, I tried to make him feel like that. Jason can be super shy, as a person. So we were able to build something, because if I am working with an actor at the beginning that is cocky, they are not allowing themselves to trust me. So he allowed himself to trust me, and I trusted him. It was awesome and that is why we are such good friends now.
There was such expectation of the reunion scenes between Patrick and Robin. I remember Jason saying to me, he just had to try and keep that out of his mind. I can only imagine for you, the actress who made the choice to leave the show in the first place, there would have been added pressure for those scenes to be the best they can be.
KIMBERLY: I always go back to, why is there expectation? Why is there pressure? Well, there is pressure because people love Robin and Patrick. So, what is that love? That love is just support. You need to keep going back to … the fans wanted it to be good, because they support us, and you just remember that. Someone told me once, “Don’t be scared when you walk into an audition.” When you walk into an audition, they want you to be what they are looking for in the role they are casting. They are not sitting there trying to discredit you. They are going, “Please just be the part! We want to go home.” I did not get that until I was on the other side of the camera.
Another exceptional scene was when Robin and Anna (Finola Hughes) saw each other again for the first time since her kidnapping at Wyndemere!
KIMBERLY: I don’t know if you are aware of this, but we taped the first moment when Anna and Robin saw each other, and then we took two weeks off! I’m not kidding. (Laughs). So two weeks later, we do a direct pick-up where we see each other and then we run to each other’s arms. Finola was great; she was like, “Seriously? Alright. Well, see you in two weeks.” So on-air, you saw Robin look at Anna, and Anna look at Robin. That it was “cut”. Then two weeks later, we had to try to match that, and as an actor that is a very hard acting exercise.
That was another big pay-off moment for the audience. They wanted Anna to see Robin with her own eyes. Was there any trepidation filming that long-awaited moment?
KIMBERLY: Again, I would look at Finola, and tell myself,”OK. What do I know, right now? I know Finola is always there for me. I can always trust Finola. She is going to pull it out, and Finola is going to be great.” So, when she is great, it has the potential of making me great and so it’s fine.
I honestly don’t recall a time on GH, where Robin cried so much like through her ordeal, and rightfully so. But in the past, sometimes Robin would keep her emotions more close to the vest.
KIMBERLY: Well, as you know, my father died the second week I was back at GH. I had a lot of tears to get rid of, and I had no time to go away, and hide, and grieve. I have always felt control of my life as an actor, but this last time when I was on the show, I did not feel as in control at all. If you have seen me cry more that is why. It was very traumatic, but I had the support of people from GH. Actually, not that many people knew about it. I didn’t really talk about it, but they knew something was up. Finola didn’t really say much of anything, but she would look at me, and go, “You’re good” And by her doing that, it kept me strong during that time. I love the people I work with, and even our executive producer Frank Valentini had a moment where he would go up to me and say, “You’re good … you’re cool.”
What did you think of the scene, when after Patrick came home to Robin and Emma, he asked Robin to have another baby with him? I thought it was odd, and too soon to say something like that, after all the woman just got back to the Drake house from being held captive! (Laughs)
KIMBERLY: I actually thought Patrick asking Robin to have another child with him was very sweet, and an anxious sort of things that boys do. I think Patrick was so excited to have Robin back; he was like, “Let’s get this going!” At the same time though, I really liked Robin’s response which was, “Hey, I just got back. I just want to be with my family. Maybe we will have another child someday, but just not right now.” It was a cool pseudo-real life conversation.
Speaking of babies, some fans are continuing to backlash the character of Sabrina (Teresa Castillo), and especially now with the pregnancy story, since she is having Patrick’s child! And of course in true soapy fashion, Sabrina realizes she is pregnant two minutes after Robin and Patrick just found happiness again with each other!
KIMBERLY: Well, they won’t now. When they see how I leave GH, they will be all about Sabrina. I only have this week and next week left to tape, and then I am done.
How do you feel now that your time is wrapping up on GH?
KIMBERLY: It feels like it went by really fast. I am kind of sad, but I am excited because I just got my next directing shadowing project, which is on Grey’s Anatomy, so I will be right next door to GH! I am really not going anywhere! (Laughs)
I assume when GH writes Robin off the canvas, they will leave it open for her to return?
KIMBERLY: I hope so. It’s really up to the bosses, but I am always open to coming back. I am doing the Grey’s Anatomy assignment and then I am shooting my film in May. I do have a lot going on in the next few months.
So GH fans, how do you think Robin will be written off the canvas? Are you sad to know Kimberly’s time back on GH has come to end for now?
What did you think about Kimberly’s comments on some of the major reunion moments for Robin that we asked to her about in the interview? Were they some of your favorites too? Let us know!