As if you thought this Cassadine would be a fine upstanding citizen? Think again! On this week’s episodes of General Hospital, viewers learned that Victor Cassadine (Thaao Penghlis) has been the master puppeteer, keeping Dr. Robin Scorpio Drake (Kimberly McCullough) around long enough at the Crichton-Clark clinic for her to finish her research and resurrect her dear friend Jason Morgan from his cryogenic state! But … Good ole’ Vic has plans for Jason that don’t include Robin! And just how did he manage to Robin away from her daughter and husband, when she was only an hour away from Port Charles? By being the party responsible of having put Rafe (Jimmy Deshler) up to running Patrick (Jason Thompson), Emma (Brooklyn Rae Silzer), and Sabrina (Teresa Castillo) off the road which caused the crash that ultimately led to death of baby Gabriel. Victor has Robin right where he wants her … and now the tale will spin out from here!
On-Air On-Soaps caught up with the talented Thaao Penghlis at GHFCW 2014 to get his thoughts on the latest twists in the arc of Victor’s story, a preview of what may be ahead, what he thinks of Victor’s relationship with Dr. Liesl Obrecht (Kathleen Gati), working with Kimberly McCullough (Robin) in the those major revelation scenes, and how he is even taking the heat from some fans because of what Victor is perpetrating on Robin! So, here’s what Thaao shared that is making watching Victor Cassadine, oh, so fun and maddening, these days!
What has it been like portraying Victor while coming and going off the canvas of General Hospital, and now to have what look likes a very juicy story?
THAAO: I can understand the way they have brought me in periodically, because in order to make the story cohesive, you have to have had these times off so that things evolve; otherwise the audience is not going to believe what takes place … like people being revived again and that type of thing. Miracles don’t happen overnight, and with this character for the first time, I am seeing something human. I love that, because I am always looking for the humor. Because when you are, as they say, the villain, and if people are going to like you then you gotta have some fun! You are going to be a challenge to the hero, and that is what I am enjoying doing now. I suddenly went, “Wow! What is going to be exposed at the beginning of September is wonderful! Suddenly my character went: “I am a person. I feel. I am having insights, and it’s not just about what I want and what I say goes.” There is a wonderful mystery that is evolving. I was learning my lines the other night, and I was already in it and so invested in the story. That’s how good it was. I can say it’s the best stuff I’ve had on this show since the Ice Princess. I am really excited for what is ahead.
So, now can we say that you will be kind of “recurring” on the show?
THAAO: It looks like roots are being formed with this character, so I would think so. And on GH, you don’t really have a true villain, except Kathleen Gati’s Dr, Obrecht, and that’s a woman. The audiences are not used to having female villains as much as they are a male villain. I don’t want to sound like a chauvinist (Laughs) but male villains are much more interesting! (Laughs) They have a lot more power, let’s face it. The world is full of them … and they are all men! (Laughs)
How would you define the relationship between Victor and Dr. Obrecht (Kathleen Gati)? Is Victor still smitten with her? Does he love her? Of course, we never saw their back-story fully on-air.
THAAO: I said to our EP Frank Valentini, so what happened to Victor … as I was the only one to survive, and I was put into prison, because I have no idea? So I have to put it in my own head, and I can’t play what’s not there. All I can do is have moments of what the lust must have been like between Obrecht and Victor, or what kind of sex we must have had, or what kind of passion we must have had. Obviously, Liesl affected Victor more than he affected her! She loves that crazy man, Cesar (Anders Hove)! I think I am baffled, actually. (Laughs) I love Kathleen! She says, “I would rather have you!” (Laughs) We have a wonderful rapport. It’s a dance and it’s funny. When I looked at her I said to myself, “Is this the type of woman I would go for?” I thought: “Kathleen is a lovely human being. She is a very dedicated actress, and she works very hard, and in the same way I was trained to do.” So there are all the romantic things between Victor and Liesl, but what I am also discovering is … there is a threat there … a threat!
How was working in those just aired scenes with Kimberly McCullough (Robin) … where Victor is quite nasty to Robin while they are trying to resurrect Jason?
THAAO: That has been interesting stuff to play. Kimberly was not feeling well the first day we worked. I had a sequence with her that was so primal. When I say “no” to her, something came out of me, some sound! I think I even shocked the crew! (Laughs) I shocked myself at the way it came out! It came out of nowhere, and so then I pulled it back in. You know, Robin is a very vulnerable character. So, I have to watch how to play with her, whereas with an Obrecht type character you can move her around, and throw her on the bed, or whatever. (Laughs)
Robin is one of the most beloved characters on the canvas in the history of General Hospital, and so to have Victor double-cross her when she is trying to do good and save Jason, could earn him the “Most Hated” Award! (Laughs)
THAAO: Robin is a sacrifice in a way, and she serves her purpose in all of this, and people are blaming me for getting Kimberly off the show! She wanted to get off the show, because she wanted to direct. It’s one of those things where fans are saying: “You better not get rid of her because I am coming after you!” And I am going, “Are they for real these people?” I have had a few threats. You look at it as the actor and you are going, “Ah, it’s only a script.” You look at these people who take the stuff so seriously. It is amazing how analytical the fans can be, and in-depth when they think up, or of, the storylines. But overall, it’s been an interesting time coming back to GH … someplace I never thought I would ever be coming back to again.
For more with Thaao on his real life travel adventures and more make sure to pick up a copy of his memoir: Places: The Journey of My Days, My Life.
Now let us know, what did you think of the reveal that Victor was responsible for running Patrick and Emma and Sabrina off the road? What do you think Victor plans to do with Jason? What do you think about how Victor used Robin? Do you hope Victor and Dr. O have more intense scenes together? What do you think of Thaao’s comments? Weigh-in below!