Oh hell, yeah! Daytime drama favorite Rebecca Budig has just returned to General Hospital for her second go-round as the mysterious Hayden. And with that came the news via a tweet from ABC Soap In Depth that Budig has signed a new four-year deal with the series.
Budig, who previously played take-no-prisoners Greenlee Smythe on All My Children, will now be re-teamed with the head writer who generated many of her stories in Pine Valley, Jean Passanante.
On-Air On-Soaps caught up with Budig this past weekend at GHFCW 2015 to get the skinny on her Port Charles return, the ramifications of Hayden awakening for her coma (Watch out Nikolas, Liz, Jake, Sam, et al), the potential GH on-screen love interests and leading men for this fan favorite, her performance on the GH Live Shows, and the road that led her to the 52-year-old soap opera following the birth of her baby girl, Charlotte and more.
Jean Passanante, the new co-head writer of General Hospital, has a very interesting history with you. She truly was instrumental in bringing the character of Greenlee to life on All My Children, correct?
REBECCA: I think if my memory serves me: Agnes Nixon (creator, AMC), who was very involved at the time with All My Children named Greenlee, but Jean Passanante was the head writer of the series at that time, and she wrote for the character. Jean wrote the Greenlee and Leo (Josh Duhamel) romance and story. I think it was one of the best love stories ever on the soaps.
Hayden has awakened from her coma after being shot in the head, thanks to a bullet from a hit man hired by Nikolas (Tyler Christopher! We don’t what she remembers or she doesn’t, since she was about to tell Jake (Billy Miller) that he was really Jason. Are you intrigued to see what your character will ultimately be about?
REBECCA: I don’t know what this character is ultimately going to be and I am just getting started. It will be interesting to see. Believe me, I keep bugging our executive producer Frank Valentini going, “Who is she? What’s going to happen?”
Was your first stint on GH really supposed to be only very short term? Now you are on a major contract with the ABC daytime drama series!
REBECCA: It was originally only suppose to be two or three episodes, and so I said, “Sure”. I am still a new mom with a baby, and I didn’t know if I was really ready to get back into it. I thought this would be a good test to see if I am! (Laughs) I am very happy to be here.
Many GH fans commented that you rocked the GH Live Shows back in May. I concur!
REBECCA: Really, you think so? You say that to everybody! (Laughs) Becky Herbst (Elizabeth) and Tyler Christopher (Nikolas) and I wanted to rehearse and rehearse, which I loved. You know, some people like to just run lines twice, but we did it over and over. I felt like we had a good handle on the scenes going into the live shows.
How is working with Tyler Christopher? I actually think your character is going to end up with Dr. Patrick Drake (Jason Thompson) down the line, after his relationship with Sam (Kelly Monaco) takes a tumble when everyone learns that Jake is Jason.
REBECCA: I love Tyler! You do think Hayden is going to end up with Patrick? Listen, I’ll take Jason Thompson. He’s kind of hot, too! (Laughs) Of all the men in the cast I get to work with I get Tyler and Jason … I mean, c’mon! Not only are they gorgeous human beings, they are incredible guys with no ego, really easy going, funny, and hard-working.
Had you known Jason Thompson previously, before coming aboard General Hospital?
REBECCA: Yes, I knew Jason. I had watched General Hospital off on and on before I was on it. I go to know Jason from Super Soap Weekends, and we knew each other sort of socially. But Tyler, I did not know at all. I also get to work with another guy, Nicolas Bechtel as Spencer, who is the cutest!
Viewers are in for a ride as to whether Hayden is lying and she does know who was responsible for shooting her in the head, and if she does remember that Jake is really Jason. And if she does know, the question becomes what will she do with this ammo?
REBECCA: We will see. Even if I did not know, I wouldn’t say. But right now, I don’t actually know!
How has motherhood been treating you? You gave birth to your beautiful baby girl Charlotte in the fall of last year.
REBECCA: Motherhood is amazing and challenging in many ways. It is also gratifying in so many ways. I also want to act and have my life, and I don’t want to not be able to do that just because I have a child. Trust me! My whole life and my brain are devoted to Charlotte when I am not with her. Before you know it, she will be in pre-school in 3 years and right now Charlotte is already 11-months-old. It is going by so fast.
What happened to The Better Show, your first foray into being a talk show host? I thought you did an excellent job. A lot of actors who attempt to become hosts fail miserably, but that was not the case with you.
REBECCA: They cancelled it, and I was so sad. I really enjoyed that experience. I actually feel that JD Roberto who was my co-host was incredible. JD was so smart, and he taught me a lot, and we just jived. To be a good host you have to be able to listen and not make it about yourself. Actually, there are a lot of hosts out there that don’t listen. I’m not even talking about “actor hosts” … I’m talking about “hosts”. When they don’t listen, they miss things and seem so aware of themselves. And that was one of the things I loved about hosting, and that was it was not about me, it was about the guests.
I still will never forget our final All My Children interview together with Cameron Mathison (Ex-Ryan) … so many tears. What are your thoughts on where Cameron has taken his career and your special relationship with him?
REBECCA: Cameron is doing so well … look at him on Entertainment Tonight now! I love him so deeply that I can’t even explain. We grew up together. We were on All My Children and we were so young. We evolved as human beings together, and went through so much together in our lives and in our personal lives. Cameron is amazing. He is the best dad, and best husband. He really is like the perfect guy. I am so proud of who he has become and who he is, and as my friend. He is incredible.
So, who do you hope will ultimately be the leading men for Rebecca Budig on GH … Tyler Christopher, Jason Thompson, or someone else? Do you think Hayden knows exactly what happened to her and remembers that Jake is Jason? If so, what will be her next move? Do you think it will be revealed that Hayden has a connection to someone else in the town of Port Charles? If so, who? Are you happy to hear that Rebecca will be sticking around GH for quite some time to come? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!