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88 January 27th, 2014 GH’s Dominic Zamprogna Talks Dante & Lulu’s Break-Up And Future & The Support Of The Cast During Difficult Time!

Photo Credit: HutchinsPhoto.com

There have certainly been some highly-charged emotional moments over the last several months for Port Charles’ Dante Falconeri, including losing his daughter in a custody battle, when the truth came out that the baby Dante and Lulu were raising wasn’t theirs, but Maxie and Spinelli’s!  Next, his wife Lulu walks out on their marriage.  Can Dante get the love of his life back?  Is this the end of the road?  Will he ever know that that Britt’s baby is actually Dante and Lulu’s bio-child?  So many questions to be answered in the months ahead!

We caught up with the very popular star of General Hospital, Dominic Zamprogna (Dante), at the recent ABC TCA (Television Critics Association) Cocktail Reception. We wanted to find out what he thinks of his on-screen break-up, and the transition and challenges he has faced since Julie Marie Berman departed the series, and Emme Rylan took over the key role of Lulu.  Dominic also shared with us how he got through one of the most difficult times in his life, the passing of his beloved mother, while having to play pivotal scenes in Dante’s recent storyline.  Here’s what Dominic had to say about his soap life and more!

They broke up Dante and Lulu.  Where do you think it will go from here?  And, what about the potential pairing of Ryan Paevey (Nathan) and Emme Rylan (Lulu)? Discuss! (Laughs)

Courtesy/ABC

DOMINIC:  I think Dante and Lulu will work on getting back together, and that’s not to say that they will.  And yes, there is the new detective, and Emme and Ryan seem to have good chemistry.  I watched them work the other day and went up to Emme afterwards and went, “What is this?  You’re hanging out with this guy?” (Laughs)  She goes, “Well, that is the way it was written!” (Laughs)  I think Lulu and Dante have been through a lot.  I think they have more story to tell.  I don’t think this is the end of anything.  I don’t think you have two people who love each other that much, who gets to this point, just to call it quits.  I think there is too much history, love, and pain to walk away.

I have wanted to see you have a story of your own for a long time.  How do you feel about the material you have been given of late, and what may lie ahead for Dante?

DOMINIC:  I feel for the first time since Sonny (Maurice Benard) shot Dante, when I was initially on GH, that I have something meaty to play.  Since then, this is the first time I have had an opportunity to play some real heartbreaking and heartwarming material.  I am really thankful for Ron Carlivati (head writer, GH) and Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) for writing it.  I feel like since September and October of 2013, it’s been really good stuff.  I have had an opportunity to tell really good story with Emme, Maurice, and Lisa LoCicero (Olivia).  I loved the scenes with Maurice in the boxing gym, and the scenes with Lisa with the baby in the apartment.  I also loved the scenes with Emme when Lulu breaks up with him, and she leaves Dante.  So I feel, if people don’t want Dante and Lulu together that’s one thing, but as an actor, it’s been really fun to play.

How has the transition been for you going from working with Julie Marie Berman to Emme Rylan as your on-screen Lulu?  There are some fans who have been very vocal about their opinion on the recast.

Photo Credit: Kathy Hutchins

DOMINIC:  I would just say the transition for me was not difficult, because Emme is so great.  She is really talented.  Does a talented actress replace four years of another talented actress and our connection to each other?   No.  You can’t just swoop in.  I don’t care who the actor or actress is, you can’t replace someone so easily.  It does take time.  I think that is what fans are having a hard time with.  And, what I keep saying to fans is: you’ve got to give this girl a chance.  She has only been there a year, not even.  It’s like a new couple.  I almost wish she didn’t have blonde hair, but brown hair, because then people would stop thinking that it was anything close to what Dante and Lulu were.  It can’t be.  It’s a recast.  It’s impossible, but I believe, and I told Frank and Ron this over the holidays, that I believe now Emme and I are forging our own path as Dante and Lulu.  I don’t feel this is Dante and Lulu that everyone remembered from me and Julie.  I think this is a new Dante and Lulu, and that we are exploring new realms that had not been paved out before.  I am pouring my heart and soul into it, and I know Emme is.  All I can say is to ask people to be patient, and to enjoy the ride that it is.  I am not telling you, you have to like anyone, just to give something a chance.

Do you see Dante dating other women in Port Charles?

DOMINIC:  Of course!  Any couple going through this hardship, the loss of a baby, a break-up, then thinking you are having a baby again and you’re not, and then she leaves him … these are real situations about real things.  We are not breaking up because they had an argument.  We are not breaking up because Dante looked at a girl the wrong way, or cheated on his wife.  We’re breaking up because this couple has hit a massive roadblock, where they start to question if they are truly right for each other!  Because if you were right for each other … would you be having these kinds of difficulties with everything you want out of your life?  So for that reason, I can see him dating again, but I do think Lulu is the love of his life.  That is the one thing that is a throughline from Julie to Emme.  It is still the same character.  We do have that history there.  But hey, this guy Dante is an Italian red-blooded man.  He’s going to want to be with women.

How is Ryan Paevey to work with?  It seems like Nathan may give Dante a run for his money as the best cop at the PCPD, and with Lulu!

Courtesy/ABC

DOMINIC:  He is awesome!  I don’t think having another cop in the cop shop was something Dante wanted.  I think it’s something he didn’t want, but he is dealing with it.  Dante had John McBain (Michael Easton) before, and I liked that dynamic.  I think with Nathan, it will be a more competitive relationship, and also maybe with Lulu.  Everyone keeps bringing it up.  If it is, it is.  It will be great.  I think fans will like it, and it will shake things up.  From a Dante working with Nathan as a partner perspective: it’s not going to be what he wanted, but it will be this competitive kind of nature type of thing that he has not had to deal with.  I think it might be good for him.

Have you talked to Julie Marie Berman at all?  How is she doing?

DOMINIC:   I have, and she is doing great.  She was at the baby shower we did for Brandon Barash (Ex-Johnny, GH) and Kirsten Storms (Maxie).  And … oh, my God.  Have you seen their new little girl, Harper?  What a beautiful kid!  They had a beautiful kid.

The scenes in the church where Brad (Parry Shen) came in and told Dante and Lulu that everything was a lie about their baby, and Dante learned that Maxie and Spinelli knew the truth … that was some of your best work.  Did you watch those scenes back?

Courtesy/ABC

DOMINIC:  I did, only because we have been looking at material for our Emmy reels.  I did not use that scene.  I used the scene with Maurice and me in the boxing gym, and me crying over Lulu’s dead body.  I loved the scenes in the church, and the way it was written. You had me, Bradford Anderson (Ex-Spinelli, GH), Kirsten, and Emme, and we are all trying to play with each other, and it was a tough time in my life.  My mother was very sick and it was right before she passed away, and it was tough to be there.  I did not know how I was going to be able to do these kinds of scenes.  But when you are working with people like that, it’s really easy, because they keep you in it and they support you.  I am glad you liked that.

Speaking of Maurice Benard, I know he has been extremely supportive throughout your career at GH.   What can you say about your relationship, especially during the difficult time of your mother’s passing?

Courtesy/ABC

DOMINIC:  The scenes with Maurice in the boxing gym were really difficult.  They were my first scenes back to work since my mom died, and it was supposed to be emotional, and he and Lisa and I went out to lunch beforehand.  I said, “Listen, I have never been through anything like this in my life.  They want these scenes to be emotional and I just don’t know what’s going to happen.”  I felt so screwed up.  Maurice is the most supportive actor I have worked with in my life, bar none.  That guy has been a friend and mentor to me since day one.  And those scenes were real, and when he put his hand on my arm in that scene and said, “You got me.”  It was Mo telling me I had his support and love.  So, we are stronger than ever.   My mom got ill very quickly.  She went into the hospital on September 1st and passed away on September 25th.  It was devastating.  You know who your friends are at a time like this.  I consider Maurice one of my dearest friends for the rest of my life.  He makes you a better actor.  He has been doing amazing work.  Since I have gotten to GH, Maurice has reached a whole other level, and his ego is completely removed.  He is not concerned about Maurice anymore, he is just there.  You can tell by the end of the week he is just exhausted, because of what he puts into it.  I am so honored to be able to work by his side.

What do you think about Dominic’s comments about the future of Dante and Lulu?  And the transition for the actor and the audience between Julie Marie Berman and Emme Rylan as Lulu?  And what do you think about the poignant moments in the interview shared by Dominic on the passing of his mother and how the cast was there for him during that time in his life?  Comment below!

 

 

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  1. su0000 says:

    I do not want Dante and Lulu together..
    I think they need a lot of time apart to get new stories other then them and their problems..
    I would like to see Dante grow!!
    I would like him to become Dante without Lulu …

    Reply

    SUSAN M. replied

    I don’t care for LuLu lately.. Instead of separating from Dante she should have stayed together and work things out.. She took the easy way out…

    Reply

  2. jimh(leave it to beaver) says:

    Lulu sleeps with Nathan(they dont actually doze off…lol), Dante learns of the affair, Dante and Lulu divorce, Lulu and Nathan marry, finally Dante and Lulu learn Ben is their son during sweeps…Feb., 2015! lol

    Reply

    Karen replied

    Are you sure you aren’t part of Ron’s writing team? LOL

    Reply

    MC replied

    You forgot the part where they disappear for months at a time.

    jimh(leave it to beaver) replied

    LOL…im just use to his writing style!!!

    SUSAN M. replied

    I don’t like Nathan all that much.. Very pushy and full of himself..

    Reply

    jimh(leave it to beaver) replied

    Nathan is like that for good reason…he is somehow related to Nina, Silas’s wife…he is either her brother like i said or the son of Nina like Rebecca had son which i feel would make more sense and drama, especially if he turns out to be Silas’s son. I cant wait for them to find out Silas’s lookalike brother Stephan is responsible for Nina’s coma!!!

    rebecca1 replied

    I like Nathan as a character…and the actor is certainly good-looking…but he’s either one of the worst actors I’ve ever watched…or he has a style all his own. Can’t decide which! And yet…I like him! Go figure…

  3. Toby says:

    Best interview! Loved it! Really pulled at my heartstrings. I love Dante and Lulu and always will. They belong together. Regardless of who plays them, as long as the writers write them as the loves of each other’s lives, they will be exciting to watch for me. I love Dominic and Emme as much as I loved Dominic and Julie. Each brings their own into the character. I’ve always felt Dominic and Julie showed us the beginning of their lives as a couple and now Dominic and Emme are showing us the ups and downs of being married and working through issues together. Thank you so much for the interview!

    Reply

    gloria replied

    Agree Toby! I loved Julie but I love Emme too! Dominic is right-we need to give the new people a chance! Almost everyone is a replacement at some time & we grow to love them. I was very moved by Dominic’s remarks about Maurice Benard-gosh I remember him as Nico on AMC. He has really grown up-as an actor & a man-what a wonderful generous person.

    Reply

    DEEDEE replied

    A year is more than enough time chance, tick tock times up. She needs to be recast

    Lori M replied

    Sorry! Its been almost a YEAR and she still hasn’t caught fire with most of the fans! (Check out the MBs etc…) Honestly. Emme was given a HUGE break with the amnesia storyline but again she failed to make the character her own! Ppl may say that this is the “new/softer ” version of LuLu but that was NEVER what LuLus character was all about! She is the daughter of Luke & Laura. She’s meant to ne “rough around the edges” This sanitized/ mini van version of NuLante isn’t cutting it. The bottom line is that Emme Rylan was capable in her previous roles but she is WOEFULLY miscast and over her head as LuLu! On another note-thank you Michael for another insightful interview and I’m happy that Dom has great friends like LLC and Mo to lean on in these hard tomes.

    Sarah replied

    I agree with Dominic as I just lost my mother as well. It is so hard to handle
    and to have to go everyday without her unless you lose your mother you just do not understand and he and Maurice did a great job with storyline.

  4. Jenny Brooks says:

    What a great interview! I didn’t know I could like the guy more than I already did! I also love him and Lulu as a couple. I’ve liked both actresses. But I think it’s wrong to split them up when the biggest part of this story has yet to be revealed–that they have a son! After all the awful things they went through, I think they deserve a little happiness! It makes me angry enough to think about all the months they’ve already lost with their son!

    Reply

    Janet replied

    I love Dante, he is otso hot

    Reply

  5. Cherie says:

    Another great interview Michael. I’m liking that he commented on Emme & the fans giving her a break. I actually love Emme & was one of the fans who thought of her right away when Julie said she was leaving. I think she has done Lulu great. I liked Julie a lot but Emme made her softer. If that makes any sense. As for Dominic you get better all the time. So sorry for your loss. It never gets easy but you do end up going on. It’s hard but I promise it gets bearable. Never better but bearable.

    Reply

    missellie replied

    It is interesting how people’s reactions can differ. You think that Emme makes Lulu softer and I think she makes her hard and brittle.

    Reply

    missfixit replied

    Excellent description, missellie. I find Emme’s “Lulu” less likeable than before, which is quite a feat since Lulu has never been one of my favorite characters.

  6. Nananes says:

    This was a great interview….I am encouraged by Dom’s comments about Dante and Lulu, who I hope find that their love is indeed strong enough to get them through anything, no matter how difficult…like a real marriage…without cheating by either, I might add. So glad to hear that Dom felt so much love and support from the GH cast when he lost his mother. This was a lovely, personal, serious conversation with one of my favorite actors. Thank you both.

    Reply

  7. GH50 says:

    Did he actually say you have to give the actress a chance because she’s only been here a year?

    Reply

    Karen replied

    He did. How many shows are cancelled in a year? LOL.

    Reply

    DEEDEE replied

    Only a yeah huh ? Please, he and JMB had chem from the start and it didn’t take a year to determine that. JuDo Lante forever

    Reply

  8. MBmomof3 says:

    What a sweet interview. Looks like more tough times ahead for Dante & Lulu, which is good news for the fans and opportunity for the characters. Sounds exciting.

    Reply

  9. Barb says:

    Loved the interview with Dominic. So wonderful to share with us about his mother & the support he received from the cast. I’m sure it is still very difficult to talk about, but because he knows how much his fans care about him, it was so gracious of him to share that with us. I love any & all new aspects to the story of Dante & Lulu. They need some time apart to maybe appreciate each other again. I love that they are really meant to be together & I will enjoy watching how Dom & Emme play this out. Also wonderful to hear about Lisa & Maurice’s support after the loss of his mom. Many truly wonderful people on GH…wonderful human beings❤. Dom will always be my favorite on GH tho!

    Reply

  10. Karen says:

    I disagree with Mr. Zamprogna’s comments & perspective that this is a “new version of Lante”. We (the audience) saw tremendous growth and maturity w/ the couple while Julie played Lulu. And I am more than convinced that if Julie was still on canvas – she and DZ would be playing this storyline with such power and conviction it would rip our hearts out. The issue for many is the choice of the actress to replace Lulu and for many ER just isn’t “Lulu”. And it is falling flat for many. I am sorry – but one can not just “forget” the chemistry that made Lante “Lante” for 4 years and justify that with some supposed “mature/ married” version. Again – if ER had been able to capture the hearts of so many that wanted her to, DZ wouldn’t have to make such statements. A year is a very, very long time in soaps.

    Reply

    Mary SF replied

    Well I was only beginning to watch GH when Julie left show, so I don’t have any history to go on, but just based on the couple of months I was watching– you are so right about the chemistry thing. Often that has nothing to do with the talent of any actress, but certain actors just click as a couple, and others do not, and even I without knowing the history like you do I can tell ER and DZ just don’t fit as well as JB did. And that is sad part of any soap couple when one leaves, and they recast, it is never as good, and ER can be in role for ten years and it still wouldn’t work. It is either there or it isn’t.

    Reply

    Callie replied

    I’m getting a bit tired of actors saying they have “chemistry” with their costars. Just because they say it doesn’t make it true. It has to show up on my tv screen and unfortunately IMO there is no chemistry with Dante and the NuLulu. I get more of a sibling kind of vibe from them. I have enjoyed the Lante story up until JMB left. Now I feel it is time to break this couple up and pair Dominic with someone he actually DOES have chemistry with.

    Lori M replied

    @Callie- Amen! I really DID try yo give NuLu a try but she really didn’t seem to have chemistry with ANYONE! ( I haven’t watched her with NuCop) The bottom line is AFTER THREE RECASTS Emme Rylan should have made that role her own! Its been almost A YEAR and she’s still swinging in the darkunfair for a talented actor lime Dom Zamprogna to have to carry her in EVERY scene! The bottom line is she may have acting experience but she is painfully over her head and treading.g water! Even a year later!! Its really unfair for a ta

  11. Buddy Lee says:

    What a great and touching, heartfelt interview! I DO want Dante and Lulu to get back together…
    As for the gorgeous new detective, I noticed that both Maxie and Lulu were all “star-struck” when first meeting him, while He did not appear to return the flirting.
    That said, I would really like to see Lucas and Nathan slowly become a couple and one that lasts, that would be great in My opinion…

    Reply

    Patrick replied

    Wow!

    Lucas and Nathan as a possible couple?

    that would smolder and catch my tv on fire

    Reply

    Shay replied

    I think “Cartini” needs to bring back the “Night Shift” to accommodate all these “Nathan” and “Lucas” fantasies I keep reading about, since they are definitely tooooo hot for daytime!!!!! And Patrick, you should be in charge!!!!! ; )

  12. Laurie says:

    Michael – I have to say this is my favorite interview of yours, ever – I’m a writer too and man you really asked DZ some great questions and you got some very candid answers. Loved reading it Michael – you rock!!

    Reply

  13. Patrick says:

    I, personally, have – never – liked recasts…. IT happens

    I have to give some props to Emme Rylan…

    I’m enjoying her scenes and how it’s being played out…. she has an instant chemistry thing going on with Benjamin

    whew! I also, like him, for Britta and Nicholas…. so… it’s going to be heart wrenching

    Nathan is, definitely, played for eye candy…. but… it’s not lost …. that Dante is thee man…. oh so fine

    splitting them up… even for a temporary thing… is OK… this couple… despite the recast.. they still belong together

    Reply

  14. Daphne says:

    I would like to see Dante move on… With someone like Sam! It would be hot and unexpected. Something to shake the show up. I loved Lante with Julie but with Emme, it’s not the same.

    Reply

    gloria replied

    Dante & Sam are too closely related if you ask me. It is all mixed up but remember she was pregnant by Sonny & lost the little girl & she is Kristina’s 1/2 sister & Dante is Kristina’s 1/2 brother. Too much family connection there. What about Dante & Elizabeth or . . . well there aren’t that many available girls on the show for Dante. He should just wait for Lulu!

    Reply

    Shay replied

    Let’s face it, nearly every man in Port Charles could potentially be paired with Sam, theoretically speaking! KM has a natural, wonderful chemistry with each guy she plays against….it really is something to behold…witness her recent scenes with Patrick, Dante, Nathan, even Julian (Not suggesting that last one though….LOL.) Not to mention her PC vampire pal, ME!….It’s ever so obvious that the “boys” just love doing their scenes with her! While Kelly may not be the greatest actress on GH, she definitely possesses that special something and it comes through time and time again…truly enjoy her work!

    Reply

  15. Janeway says:

    Thanks for the beautiful interview with DZ. The man has a huge heart, which shines through in his portrayal of Dante, and has made me a fan for life. It was heartbreaking to read about what he went through having to deal with the pain of losing his mother while filming those scenes (which he was brilliant in) and glad that he was able to get support from fellow castmates, especially from Maurice. They really have an incredible chemistry between them.

    I agree with everything he said about the difficulty of having people accept that Lulu was recast. I knew that you cannot compare any two actresses or the chemistry in a couple,so I didn’t try. I loved Lante with Julie and was upset when she left, but have come to love Lante with Emme. It is like they started a new and I am sorry that even after a year, some people will not let it go and move on.

    As far as Lante’s breakup, I understand what DZ is saying, that this is real because tragedies can pull even the strongest couples apart. I do however, want to see them fight to get back together (and get their son). I don’t want to see either Dante or Lulu with anyone else, even temporarily. What makes Lante special and unique to soaps is the deep, unconditional love that they share. They can be a model of what a good relationship is, don’t turn away when times get tough, but work through problems and come out stronger in the end. Besides, they are a legacy couple, the children of Luke/Laura & Sonny are meant to be.

    Reply

    Caitie replied

    Believe me, like you, I understand Dom’s frustration and concern about the difficulty some have had accepting Emme as a recast Lulu – and I sympathize with his situation here. I am also troubled by some of the excessive negatively comments we have all read, and I see his need to rebut those comments. However, the overall lack of acceptance happens in soaps and can last for a long time. In fact, just yesterday, I saw a preference stated for Tamara Braun’s Carly (and Laura Wright has been on GH since 2005). From time to time, such comments surface re various recast situations – although, admittedly, not to the same degree we have been seeing in the present and newer Lulu scenario. However, perhaps the current strong response speaks to the considerable investment made in the Lante story, characters and actors; and, as importantly, to the strong affection for Lulu as an individual character – as she had been developed since 2005. I think there may have a considerable under-estimation of the support for Lulu as an independent character – and the importance to those supporters of maintaining her character integrity and consistency. So, this reaction definitely goes well beyond “Lante” fans and may well be a good part of the reason the reaction has been sustained.

    My puzzle, though, is this: I’m just not sure that “starting a new” can be reconciled with Dom’s references to history and to “Lulu as the love of his life” as an essential Lante quality that is the throughline from Julie to Emme. I talk more about this in another post on this thread.

    Reply

    Janeway replied

    I do appreciate the passion of Lulu fans as well as Dante fans and Lante fans. I count myself in that group. In a perfect world actors would never leave and couples would never change. DZ understands the fans passion too. But he also has a job to do. He’s an actor and he’s given a script. He’s told who his co-star is and he creates chemistry the with that co-star. No two actresses are the same so he must start A NEW to create THEIR chemistry. The history of the soap couple is still there, the story is still there , but these two ACTORS must find their own way.

    As far as Lulu as an independent character she isn’t , any more than Dante is right now. They are part of a couple and every story has that element in it. And the characters change and grow. You may want “old” Lulu back but what version ? Some people still miss the hotheaded Lulu that ran off with Johnny, but she is long gone. Lulu changed when she fell in love with Dante and married him, that’s normal. She is in a different phase, she wants different things,. New producers/writers perhaps wanted to take the character in a slightly different direction. Same thing happened when Michael was recast. There was some outcry, he was popular. But this Michael is a softer, less abrasive version and eventually he was accepted.

    I think DZ feels badly for fans who miss old Lulu and old Lante. But I am sure he is tired of the many PERSONAL insults to his co-star online, and to him, and he wishes they would open their minds and try to see what he and Emme are creating right now. I for one, am deeply invested in their new story. He has stated in other interviews that he feels if people cannot accept the recast and the show as it is now, maybe they should watch something else. I agree.

    Caitie replied

    Oh my, I’m not quite sure you realize how much we agree on many of the points you have mentioned. One important point I shall make clear is that it is still possible to be very interested in what happens to characters and/or a couple even if one does not feel the intense investment you feel. And it’s equally possible to care very much about the actors as well. But, here, I simply meant to remind all of us that recast situations can remain issues for years and to suggest possible reasons why the reaction has been extreme this time. By bringing up various possibilities for this strong reaction, I’m simply trying to understand the scenario better.

    Who Lulu is as an individual appears to be part of this scenario in that her identity has been so widely mentioned in a variety of on-line sources and discussed by fans and bloggers. I’m not here to debate specifically who she is and has been – I just know that her core identity has been frequently mentioned in months of conversations on this topic (with the understanding that new portrayers of any character will bring their own variations to a role).

    Nor have I even remotely suggested that I fail to understand that Dom has a job to do. I understand that – and I understand that working with a new actress in a pairing will create new chemistry and nuances and minor changes in the direction of a character. That’s a given! We all get that. My references were just attempts to explain why I think it’s difficult to start anew in this scenario – because, as you and I well know, so much of the foundation – the “love of one’s life” concept – had already been well established. I am NOT saying that this version of Lante can’t or shouldn’t start anew; I’m just attempting to suggest a sympathetic opinion as to why this new start can be difficult.

    As for Lulu – or any other character NOT being viewed as an independent character, I cannot agree – again for Lulu or for ANY characters. Soap pairings are always subject to change, depending on a writer’s whim. Therefore, in the best interests of all characters and actors, I have always encouraged the integrity and strength of the individual characters even when promoting a pairing and, for me, individual characters have always been more important than pairings, no matter how much I have loved any of these couples. Despite how much WE ALL recognize that Dante and Lulu belong together, relationship permanence can be a fleeting thing in ANY soap pairing. As well, my interest in encouraging support for individual characters and actors has been increased by seeing the adjustments and minefields both Dom Zamprogna and Jason Thompson have had to manage as their long time screen partners left General Hospital. For me, continuing to focus on the individual actors and their characters has become a measure of my respect and caring for the actors – and not the opposite.

    Reply

  16. Beth CP says:

    As much as I adore Mr. Zamprogna, the sparkling, effervescent chemistry and emotional connection that he shared with Miss Berman is something that, for many of us, is something that will be unmatched. Where he has experienced a resurgeance in terms of good material for his character, the same cannot be said for the recast and her portrayal of L. RC’s writing has regressed her to the point where she is unrecognizable to this viewer. Add to this, where some have their opinion that she is good in the role, I continue to hold my view that she is woefully miscast. I never thought I would get to a place where I would be ready to cut my losses with the captivating Spencer daughter I loved from the moment she first appeared on my screen. The young woman now playing her has just about killed her for me and by extension the wonderful pairing that was Lante. It’s as much the writing as her acting. There are few layers, little nuance or subtlety. I draw comparisons to my dance background in looking at this situation. There are some dancers who are well trained and well versed in rote technical recreation of steps and choreogaphy, but their performance doesn’t “sing”. It doesn’t “live”, breathe, unfurl like a bolt of silk across the stage in a seamless flow, either as a solo performer or within a partnership. Such is this young woman currently occupying the role. Yes, I’m only one person, and yes, my words probably make me one to be looked at as a ” hater”. It’s not a word I would choose to ascribe to myself, as any criticism I have about her is directed specificallyto her acting as the character and not her personally. For some, however, we are just viewed as horrible people who don’t like her because she’s not Julie. It’s beyond Julie at this point. And this is what I see, this is what I think, this is what I feel. And yes, it still hurts. As I said at the beginning, I adore Mr. Zamprogna and truly applaud the wonderful way he has continued to carry the weight of the Lante love story. And he’s been carrying it for almost a full year. The recast just doesn’t measure up to the demands of the role. And she doesn’t match his abilities as an actor. How much more time shall be given her? Maybe that matching excellence in a screen partner is something that isn’t that important to this current regime. As long as someone is there to be a plot point, speak the lines and fill the space, that’s all that is necessary. And that’s incredibly sad…..

    Reply

    missellie replied

    I wholeheartedly agree with these comments. Due to recent press, I feel that GH is trying to promote ER in the Lulu role and trying to stop the tide of negativity surrounding her casting. It still is not working for me for all the reasons so succinctly stated by BethCP.

    Reply

    Beth CP replied

    Thank you.

    GH50 replied

    You’re not a hater, she’s terrible in the role. Some actors aren’t very good in specific roles and some are just not very good actors. Dominic refers to the actor that plays Nathan as awesome. Awesome at what? The guy is a terrible actor. He’s an underwear model that was cast because he’s handsome, like there are no handsome men who can act? This guy is beyond bad and is an offense to any actor out there with a SAG card trying to make a living.

    Reply

    Beth CP replied

    And thank you to you also.

  17. Mark says:

    He really is a great actor he makes it look so easy. I really like him a lot.

    Reply

  18. louisa says:

    He really sounds like a nice guy. Great interview. I actually like him better with Emme.

    Reply

  19. Betty K. says:

    I’m sorry to read that you find this recast so distressing. It must be so painful to have endured this day after day for the last year. I would think that it be easier and much less stressful for you to take Mr. Zamprogna’s advice from another interview and take control. Turn GH off and move on to something else.

    Reply

    Karen replied

    I’m sorry to read that you are unable to appreciate other’s opinions. A forum such as this comment section is designed for all viewpoints – and welcome the last I read. But most importantly the Mr. Fairman asked for feedback. Specifically in reference to the transition of Julie to Emme as Lulu.

    Reply

  20. Rose says:

    I guess I’m the nay-sayer when it comes to Lulu. I’m okay withi either actress, I just don’t care for the Lulu character. She seems spoiled and self centred to me. Maybe it’s part of the baggage of being Luke and Laura’s daughter and all they went through. I know it would be tough to possibly lose your baby, but I thought it was really awful what she did to Maxie in court to try to keep Connie. And especially what she expected from Dante…to lie. What makes him great is his honesty and integrity. And as for Maxie, she was being Maxie, and made all the make up overtures to Lulu, actually made a career at Crimson, and is trying to “grow up.” While Lulu just never has gotten into doing anything, except the Haunted Star thing.

    Reply

  21. davlestev1 says:

    Do I think it’s funny that Heather continually breaks out of an asylum…Do I find it a thrill to behold when a mentally disturbed patient runs a fully functional hospital??? People drop dead and pop up here and there for no other reason than a ratings grab??? Recently I watched crazy Cameron on Emmerdale..a British soap commit several murders and take people hostage during a storm that flooded the WoolPack..where he was holding them hostage…STELLAR.. in 2009 it was crazy Sally breaking up Laurel and Ashley..the year that also featured what we viewed as a hot hetero admitting being gay..Aaron. I don’t know. It’s hard for me to take American soaps seriously anymore. The unfortunate truth is the one soap that holds that tenuous rope fringe on reality is Y&R..I hate it but it’s more grounded in so many ways. Maybe my jaded view comes from being introduced to EastEnders on American TV in the late 80′s and yearning for all things grounded in reality. Phil Mitchell..a true gangster..Janine a true beeyotch and fierce mama bears protecting family. Not to mention the DIVERSITY from day one. That fabulous story in 2009-2010 of African American Denise Wicks married to a minister who murdered prostitutes was just so grounded..Stacey Slaters bi polarism inherited from HER MOTHER..who was just as cuckoo but learning to deal. I’m over these slapstick and slapped together stories by people who have no clue how to truly revolutionize the industry. 4 sad shows floundering in the Daytime arena. My love affair of daytime drama truly waned after the loss of Douglass Marland..Pat Falken Smith..When i watched soaps back in the day i followed the good writers to the next project..not an actor or actress i loved. For me it was all about the Head writer credit. So over the Daytime canvas. I have a myriad of episodes on my Dvr and am trying to get to the New year without just deleting ALL THIS CRAP. Something has to change more than it has and much faster. GH hyped the 50th year and it’s slowly sinking back into oblivion. HOW SAD!!!

    Reply

  22. davlestev1 says:

    Here’s a thought. Let Morgan have inherited Sonny’s Bipolarism since he is Sonny’s only son. Take Heather back to the days of when she burned her fingerprints off in her and Jeff’s kitchen instead of this ongoing silly mess,(i.e.) give us a Heather we understand with a clear purpose not a muddied one. As an WSB informant Julian had to take up some sort of conscience at one point that would conflict with his new history in PC. Ava clearly has a conscience as Maura conveys to us despite the material. Stop recasting and bringing back with no clear clue as to how things play out. A good writer has allowed the time to set up good story and isn’t relying on over the top and surprise returns. Everything has to have a clear meaning and a clear place. It’s not enough to know that someone could pop up in three weeks so we say oh yeah this is Pc she/he IS back. With all of Maxie’s problems we should have gotten to know her parents/uncle again. All the time has been spent on characters that fueled story and not Port Charles the actual town we grew up knowing. SUCH WASTED WASTED OPPORTUNITY!!!

    Reply

  23. missellie says:

    MF — thanks for the interview with Dom. I wish that he didn’t have to spend time promoting ER as Lulu. I feel that it is time for Dante to move on without Lulu. I really hope that Nathan is not paired with Lulu. I want to see a solid partnership at the PCPD between Dante/Nathan. I would even like to see a friendship there because so few characters are shown having good close friendships. Finally, I loved to hear that MB is such a kind and supportive person. I think that this connection really came through in the boxing scenes that these two shared.

    Reply

  24. heidi says:

    Another great interview… Michael!!! Thank you Dom!!! I liked all of his answers and appreciated getting his take on the Dante & Lulu relationship and on Maurice.

    Reply

  25. rebecca1 says:

    Great interview. I liked Dominic’s portrayal as Dante from the minute he walked onscreen. He’s both gritty and gracious, tough and tender, passionate and patient, hot and…hotter! ;)

    He is a “natural” actor…just evokes the son/husband/cop effortlessly and I truly feel invested in Dante.

    Of course we never know the real person behind the wall…but if I were to go just on this interview he gave, I’d say he was all good things his fictional character is, and more. I also extend (should he read this) my sincere condolences for your loss Dominic.

    As for the “new” Lulu…I think the problem some are having is that Julie’s portrayal always came off to me as somewhat of a tomboy. There was just something very little girlish/tomboyish yet giggly tough. Emme’s portrayal…and I think it’s because of the way she articulates each word…comes off as “proper.” She speaks very clipped, almost British without the accent! (no offense to Brits…i LOVE British accents!) For me it’s playful verse proper…that’s how I’d sum it up. Julie always had a twinkle in her eye…which goes with the girly girl yet at the same time tomboyish appeal…whereas Emme gives off a cute yet contained vibe. I think she needs to turn on the glee factor. And I don’t mean the show…I mean the joyousness. But then again this actress came on to the show when there’s no reason to be joyfull, playful or happy. I think when her story lightens up…so will she…and we’ll see the “old” lulu character back. I for one like her; adjusted to her the minute she took over the role. I think when her story gives her reason to fill with joy…the resistant fans will get the “feel” of Lulu. again.

    Great interview Dominic. Such a fan of your work and now you. And best to Emme…I hope she continues and people warm to her. And thanks Michael…

    Reply

    RICKIE replied

    This is very well stated, Rebecca, and couldn’t agree with you more. Rylan is a capable actress (I’ve watched her work on “Guiding Light” and “The Young and the Restless”), which can’t be said for many recasts, particularly when their predecessors’ work was so indelible. However, I think she’s having a better time of it than the actress who now plays her old role on “Y&R”. In time, however, I think she will put her stamp on the role as did many great recasts through the years (ATWT’s Hunt Block, OLTL’s Judith Light, Y&R’s Jess Walton, to name a few).

    Reply

    rebecca1 replied

    Thank you Rickie.

    gloria replied

    Excellent points rebecca1. Especially about Julie’s tomboyishness & Emme’s more formal way of speaking! That is a big part of the difference between them, I could never put my finger on it. Julie was more “Luke’s girl” Emme does not seem to “go with” Luke like Julie did. I could see Emme more as a “Laura’s girl” if that makes sense. Either way I love them both & always thought Emme was adorable as Lizzie on GL & Abby on Y&R, now this. She is just precious to watch. Give her a chance everyone!

    Reply

    Beth CP replied

    Truthfully, and with no disrespect or offense intended, how many chances must she be given? How much more time should she be allowed? In terms of character, drawing more from Luke’s persona is what made L so special, different, unique from the formulaic, “stock” soap heroines that have been typical of the genre. And right now, having watched her as both Lizzie and Abby, I’m seeing those characters as interchangeable with her portrayal, a society princess type that was never a part of L’s rough hewn history of being shunted from one unstable situation to another. It’s one thing for a character to mature, which is what Julie had brought to L, and what was already in place before she left. But now, L may as well be a brand new character. Even though posessing an innate nobility (via Laura), L was never “to the manor born” and that is what I see with this young woman.

    rebecca1 replied

    Yes Gloria, i see what you mean as Laura was a tad more “refined” than Luke…so it follows you’d think that…

    I think the key is that eventually Emme will have to have her own persona so ingrained tin Lulu
    hat the comparisons will stop.

    GH50 replied

    If by formal way of speaking, you mean stilted, robotic and without nuance I agree. It factors into her inability to connect with the other actors and develop any chemistry. She is also not very good at all in her emotional scenes. Some actresses just can’t play them, can’t cry convincingly. In those scenes, she is just painful to watch. There are some wonderful actresses on GH who can convey a wide range of emotions, Kirsten Storms, Jane Elliot, Finola Hughes, Becky Herbst, Kelly Thieboud, all are wonderful. Maura West is great too, but I’ve really only seen her do evil, LOL! Add Kathleen Gati to the list as well.

    Like I mentioned above about the new guy Nathan being a terrible actor, there are some who are just not very good. In terms of actresses, none on the show are as horrid as he is, but some are just not very good. Emme Rylan is just not very good. Add Teresa Castillo to the list. She may have really sold it on Nickolodean or the Disney Channel or wherever she came from, but she has very poor range as an actress. Her crying scenes at the wedding were just unbearable to watch.

    My point isn’t to bash actors, but it’s just a fact that some are just not very good at the craft. In Rylan’s case, she is following JMB who is a very good actress with range so the standard is higher for her to play the same role.

    missellie replied

    I have given her a chance for many months now and it just gets worse. I wish this interview was only about Dom.

    Beth CP replied

    Sadly, rebecca1, with this young woman, the comparisons may continue. I’m not saying it’s right or fair. (Having been miscast in roles as a dancer myself, my own experience plays into my views here.) How she plays the role is hers to own. That is on her. It is what it is, nothing more, nothing less.

    Caitie replied

    Interesting responses to your post, Rebecca. Reading some of them I get the impression there is more interest in Emme Rylan, the actress, than in Lulu Spencer Falconeri, the character. And I always wonder if some Emme fans would be quite content to see her play Lulu as an “adorable,” “precious” imitation of Lizzie and Abby. The problem is that the adult Lulu Spencer has never been played as an adorable, precious rich girl, and she has been a very different character from Lizzie and Abby. She has always had an edge (inherited from her father) that made her an interesting, if sometimes controversial, character. Yes, a recast will bring his or her own variations to a role, but the core character should remain the same. The character should not be rewritten to play to the recast’s personality and abilities. So perhaps saying “that eventually Emme will have to have her own persona so ingrained in Lulu that the comparisons will stop” is also backing up the numerous statements I’ve read that, while a capable actress and nice person, she is simply NOT the right recast for the character Lulu. Not if the role has to be adapted as much as you suggest to fit Emme’s personality.

    Reply

    rebecca1 replied

    I hope if Dominic Zamprogna reads this he realizes that this page is full of his fans! LOL…we’ve spent so much time scrutinizing, dissecting and “critiquing” Emme that I feel we’ve taken away from his excellent, very open and heartfelt interview. With that said……..LOL…….I’m going to respond.

    What I meant Caitie when I said Emme would have to have her own persona ingrained….is that unless an actor is playing a role which requires them to cultivate a foreign accent, ie a British actor playing an American or vice verse…they bring their own voice, literally, to the role…inflection, pronunciation, etc. The Carly we know today is nothing like Tamara Braun who was nothing like Sarah Brown. So unitl/if the fans who don’t like this Lulu get the actual voice/expressions /inflections of Julie Berman out of their minds…they’re going to continue ripping this actress apart. Roger Howarth is not James Franco. Billy Warwick was not Sean Kanan…each actor brings his own style…reads the same scripted words…

    As I also said previously I don’t think it’s a fair comparison because THIS Lulu was brought aboard in the midst of being kidnapped, brainwashed, told she couldn’t have kids, lost a child, separated from her husband, is worried about Carly, pissed at Maxie…she’s not the joyous Ms. Berman because at this point her role doesn’t call for that type of presence.

    I don’t think she’s a bad actress. I think she’s almost more of a stage actress…she seems more theatrical…I think she needs to lose some of her armor…I’d like to see what she does with the role if she’s ever allowed to jump for joy…figuratively speaking!

    Dominic…great that you’re standing by “your woman!” But look at the can of worms you opened up! ;)

    Caitie replied

    I have been a supporter of Dom Zamprogna since he first aired on my GH screen in June, 2009, and I continue to be his fan regardless of who his romantic screen partner is. Within the context of these interview comments, I have twice expressed my thanks for this heartfelt interview, and I do have great respect for all that Dom shared with us. However, this is also Michael Fairman’s page and, in my other posts here, I have done my best to give my answers to the three questions posed by Mr. Fairman at the end of the interview.

    I agree that these comment sections can turn into debates – and I’m glad you said “we” because “we’ve” all done it. And I regret pushing open the door I saw ajar in the chain of responses to your thread. Other than that, I have kept my comments as separate as possible from discussion of either actress.

    But, as you have indicated, the door is open and I’ll join you with an “LOL” and say that a need for clarity pushes me to continue the conversation now started. First, I fully understand what is meant by the “voice” of an actor and I and others hardly mean the specific vocal inflections of Ms Berman in this scenario. As well, I fully understand that all recast actors will add their own tone to a character; however, I still expect to “feel” the essence of that character regardless of portrayer. All three long-term Carlys were different – but I have felt that each one carried the “essence” of Carly and I have enjoyed the performances of all three. That doesn’t always happen and, no matter how talented, sometimes all actors don’t fit all roles. And, yes, these are subjective assessments.

    Now one last specific – and one that has me very confused. You say that Emme’s Lulu is “not the joyous Ms. Berman because at this point her role doesn’t call for that type of presence.” First, Emme’s Lulu is in a very sad place now, BUT she was able to play mostly a perky, happy Lulu for four months – from the end of the May when she regained her memory to the end of September when Connie’s true parentage was revealed. WE knew the truth, but Lulu didn’t and, for the majority of that time, she was very happy. But that is the lesser part of my confusion. I’m really not sure what you mean by the “joyous Ms. Berman” – especially when some of my most memorable and rewarding scenes with her have been when Lulu was in very dark, sad places. For specifics, let’s look at most of Lulu’s entire year of 2011. The year started with her dealing with two sets of serious lies from Dante about Brenda and two heart-breaking break-ups with him. Her year continued with her reactions to her father’s killing her nephew in a car accident; Luke’s subsequent lapsing into booze and deserting his family; a failed intervention; Luke’s disappearance and her futile search for him to try to help him and to restore some semblance of the Spencer family she missed so much; Nik leaving town; Lucky’s drug relapse; Dante’s traumatic second shooting; her sad struggle with accepting Dante’s proposal; and her own brush with drinking. And, yes, the year ended happily with her marriage to Dante; but the 2011 before that was full of scenes and stories of a definitely troubled Lulu. (And, as an additional comment, many fans complained in 2011 about the very dark world into which the then head writer had thrown the Spencers.)

    In closing, don’t forget that Ms Berman’s Lulu was the one who first learned that Lulu couldn’t carry a child to term and, in heartbreaking scenes, she was the one who had to share that bad news with Dante. Hardly “joyous.”

    Reply

    rebecca1 replied

    Sigh…Caitie…I in no way, shape or form was implying that YOU were off topic or were the cause of any shift away from Dominic! I was just laughingly saying I hope he’s not offended if he reads these comments…and just wanted to reiterate that those of us on this page are fans of his work and enjoyed the interview! I wasn’t referring to you in particular at all…

    I think even after I respond that we’re not going to agree on “Lulu.” Did I like Julie Berman? Yes. Was I used to her version of Lulu? Of course. But she left. She’s gone. And each new actor is going to be different. I’m prepared for that. I didn’t find it a huge stretch when I saw Emme onscreen for the first time (By the way, GH is the only daytime soap I watch…I used to watch OLTL before it was wiped off the map so to speak) so I was unfamiliar with this actress. For me, she was a pleasant surprise. I got used to her rather quickly.

    Look. If you think about soaps…we enter into this completely fictional world and get “close” to fictional people. We enter into a make-believe town…get attached to make-believe families, friends and situations. And yet for those moments per day we are for the most part engrossed and engaged. And when a show goes off the air or a character is killed off or decides to leave…it’s a loss. There’s a momentary time each day…or marathon weekend…or however one chooses to watch these shows, where we “believe.” So of course when an actor leaves and someone walks in and just starts saying the lines…it’s an adjustment.

    I wasn’t that attached to the Lulu character to begin with. Had it been Sam, or Alexis, Anna…I’d have a more difficult time. But for me…this interpretation works just fine.

    You’re right. The old Lulu went thru a lot of angst as well. Some pretty rough times. But, that’s where I get into my tomboy description. There is something very tomboyish about her to me, something “tough.”So whether she was happy or sad she just seemed younger, tougher and less “proper.” But I think that’s probably what Julie Berman is like. This other actress as I said…seem, to me…more “proper.” Less childlike. But I think that’s fine…it’s just different. But it’s supposed to be the same character, right? Yes…but I still think that’s sort of impossible. I loved Trevor St. John as Todd…loved him! But his Todd was totally different than Roger’s. But I loved them both…I still got a sense of who Todd was…but there was no way they would ever be similar; just look at the varying opinions on Jen Lilly when she took over for Kirsten Storms.

    I personally feel that Dominic and Emme have chemistry. It works for me. We can go round ‘n round…

    Caitie replied

    I had thought about not responding – but only because you are so right when you say “we can go round ‘n round.” This is indeed a circular discussion.

    However, I thought more about just one short paragraph you wrote – and I think you hit on a very key point here:

    “I wasn’t that attached to the Lulu character to begin with. Had it been Sam, or Alexis, Anna…I’d have a more difficult time. But for me…this interpretation works just fine.”

    Well and fairly said! Degree of attachment to a character – in this case Lulu – does seem to be one (just one) of the possible determinants of viewer reaction in this scenario. Just as you are saying, this strength of attachment might be a factor in ANY recast situation. In trying to understand why the reaction has been so strong and prolonged this time, I have already mentioned (in another post here) that perhaps the support for Lulu as an independent character was underestimated. Now, some of this is no doubt tied up with affection and respect for Julie as Lulu, but this appears to go beyond Julie and revolves as well on interest in Lulu as an independent character. Again, just theories, of course.

    Reply

    rebecca1 replied

    I actually think something I believe you posted earlier might be more applicable…which is also something I touched on. People remember Julie’s face….laugh, look, just her face!!! LOL…and I think that’s part of the problem with some recasts. The replacement has to literally “replace” the former actor in the viewer’s mind.

    Of course Julie left an impression; she was on the show for years. We equate actor with character in a lot of cases…

    Okay. Over and out! (on this topic.) ;)

  26. aline robichaud says:

    love dante he’s a real good actor hope he’s gonna stay in general for long .

    Reply

  27. SUSAN M. says:

    I liked Julie Berman as LuLu best of all… Don’t care much for Emme Rylan as LuLu now…She whines too much..

    Reply

  28. Caitie says:

    Thank you, again, Mr. Fairman, for such a quality interview. Once again, you have shown us your genuine respect and affection for our soap actors. And thank you, Mr. Zamprogna, for sharing a very personal piece of your life with us.

    Reply

  29. Ann Marie says:

    I know Dom wants us to give Emme a chance as Lulu, Emme just plain souks as Lulu

    Reply

  30. Sharonda says:

    I like Emme, but I hate Dante, he is very dry and boring. Nathan is interesting-but do we need Nathan, or Dante. Lulu was born on screen and is a legacy character. If anything I say ditch Kiki, Franco, Sabrina, Brit, Felix, all the teens, Sonny-without Brenda is pointless, Silas, Sam, Alexis-because she hasn’t acted since she caused Sam’s baby to die. I want more Elizabeth. Maybe Dante should hook up with Liz, that would teach Lulu when she yelled at Liz at the hospital for cheating on Lucky.

    Reply

    rebecca1 replied

    so basically you want to ditch the show…you mentioned about 3/4 of the cast!

    Reply

    Sharonda replied

    No I don’t want to ditch it, but they could trim the cast down.

  31. Carly says:

    I really like Emme as Lulu better. I agree with Patrick in that I think she is softer.

    Reply

  32. Caitie says:

    I’ll start by continuing my thanks and appreciation to Mr. Fairman and Mr. Zamprogna for this interesting and moving interview – and for a thought-provoking piece as well. First thought – I’m very pleased with Dom’s choices for Emmy consideration – those were my favorite scenes of his in 2013, especially the scenes with Sonny at the boxing ring. Powerful work, made even more emotional by Dom’s personal loss and his friendship with Maurice.

    Next thoughts are re Dom’s comments about Dante’s current story and his relationship with Lulu. I understand why he is so pleased with his current story – one in which he gets to play emotional material in a sustained story in which he is a lead and receives well-deserved attention for his talent and contribution to GH. As for his relationship with Lulu, I agree that such trying times can create marital discord – but, looking at the bigger soap picture, this is not a bad thing. Memorable and lasting soap couples have gone through significant, sometimes lengthy separations – and even other relationships – before finding their ways back to each other as the “loves of their lives.” We’ll see what happens as this current story unfolds; but, at this point, I expect Dante and Lulu to continue with some ups and downs as this baby saga continues. After when the baby story ends, who knows???

    Reply

    Sharonda replied

    I don’t think he will get an Emmy. It will go to either MM, BM on Y&R depending on category. He hasn’t had any good storylines or stellar performances. IMO.

    Reply

  33. Caitie says:

    Mr. Fairman asked for our thoughts on the transition between Julie Marie Berman’s Lulu and Emme Rylan’s Lulu. Because this interview focuses on Lulu’s love story with Dante, I’ll talk only about her in the context of this love story and not about Lulu Spencer in general. I see Mr. Zamprogna as being in somewhat of a Catch 22 situation re the audience’s transition between Lulus – the dilemma being that the “Lante” history – so richly and intimately created with another actress – is needed as the foundation for the current relationship with a new actress. When we talk about Dante and Lulu belonging together, those comments have their very deep roots with Dom and Julie’s Lante. And many former Lante fans have, understandably, found it almost impossible to continue to think of Dante and Lulu as a “love-of-my-life” love story without remembering Julie’s face and voice from the past. So I see where this has made the transition sometimes very difficult – especially when that past is so essential for the love story in the present.

    Dom himself said in the interview: “I think there is too much HISTORY, love and pain to walk away.” As well, he says: “Lulu is the love of his life. That is the one thing that is a throughline from Julie to Emme. It’s still the same character. We do have that HISTORY there.” So, as Dom himself has indicated, the Lante love story is built on its history – a history which began in 2009 and continued for almost four years with a different face and voice playing Lulu. Four years of friendship, deep love and loving, honesty and lies, crises, tragedies, dangers, family drama … and fun times like batting practice and rock band … and deeply formative and serious conversations about their lives and relationships. All of these elements firmly entrenched Dante and Lulu as a “love-of-each-others-lives” type of couple well before Julie Berman left General Hospital.

    So, to repeat and summarize, sometimes needed history can also be a barrier to moving on in the present – especially when the writing and acting … and actors … for this history created so much viewer investment.

    Reply

    Beth CP replied

    Both posts here are eloquent, well thought out. Excellent. Thank you.

    Reply

  34. Meegs says:

    Loved the interview! Dom and Julie were the reasons I came back to GH as a regular viewer and he has always struck me as a kind, down-to-earth person not caught up in celebrity life. He is by far my favorite actor on GH and I’m so glad he submitted the scenes with Sonny and Dante at the gym and with Dante pouring his heart out over Lulu’s “dead” body. Almost as if Dom was saying goodbye to Julie’s Lulu for himself and the viewers. I paraphrased that from someone! I know Dom is a team player full of praise for GH but I still feel that Frank and Ron don’t care about Dante as a character or Dom as an actor. I still feel like Dom should be on a show where TPTB and fans respect and value his talent.

    As far as the transitions between Lulus, it’s getting a bit too much with everyone saying to give Emme a chance. This is her third recast role so she’s had plenty of experience and doesn’t need all the hand holding. e. All I know is that so far I haven’t felt any emotions from Emme’s Lulu. She’s saying the words but there’s nothing behind it. I don’t feel that Lulu even likes Dante. Right or wrong, I place that on the actor. For example I despise Britt but Kelly is doing a good job portraying Britt’s emotions and I can feel something for her whether good or bad. I think Dom is carrying the weight of most of these scenes and I’m glad he’s had the chance to share more scenes with others. I really liked the Dante and Sam scenes from yesterday for example. He needs more stuff outside of Lulu.

    Reply

  35. Christy says:

    I really like him. I saw him years ago on Stargate SG1 so it was a treat to have him arrive on GH. I really enjoy watching his acting and he has had some really tough life altering moments to deal with and those emotions he had to deal with during emotional scenes really came thru, especially touching since you know there was real pain and emotion behind the acting. That’s tough to go to work with the pain of losing a loved one. Most of us would just hunker down in our cubicles and try not to talk to anyone, so to have to go in front of camera with all that… well I really feel for him.

    as far as Dante & Lulu, I’d like to see them back together and get their baby back. GH usually gets people who love each other back together… I hope they don’t give up on these two just yet… don’t let the Britch keep their baby either!

    Reply

  36. Karen says:

    Wow! What a series of comments to this interview. Best to Mr. Zamprogna with his continued work as Dante.

    As far as Emme. I make the following observations. For those viewers that have followed Julie’s Lu from inception – including her relationship with Dante, ER is a difficult recast. Because that followed the character, ER simply has not embodied any of those traits. Too much has been written, or posted, that ER is “Laura” or she represents the “family” side of Lulu.. or whatever, to justify her acting choices. As far as the “Laura vs Luke” argument .. so to speak.. Much of what made Lulu “Lulu” was that she remained pretty much “motherless” during her formative years. And Luke was her parental influence. It was what it was. But I will also add that Julie’s Lu – while a Spencer cynic, also had heart and forgiveness as displayed by Laura. Very much played out by Julie post-Brenda break up.. I think this is a huge piece of the Lulu/ Lante legacy many are willing to forget or ignore to justify ER. Which leads me to the Lante piece. ER is unable to play the passionate, fiesty, headstrong Spencer, many of the characteristics that Dante found to be such a turn on and a challenge. Starting with their meeting in 2009 until Julie’s leaving in 2013. Julie was always able to play Lulu as interesting, wtih an edge that kept Dante engaged. It was passionate and edgy. Traits that kept the couple viable for 4 years. And it was instant chemistry between the two actors. A chemistry that never had to be justified or explained by viewers who just want to see something “work”. It was just there. And for many that feel in love with that story, we loved the ride. Perhaps NuLante will garner their own fanbase.. not sure. But for me.. ER’s version of Lulu isn’t working – whether she be a Spencer daughter or a Mrs. Falconeri. She is nice and all, but juding a character by how cute she looks with babies doesn’t cut it for me. And as far as chemistry with DZ.. well. .. vanilla is more appropriate.

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  37. Karen Redman says:

    All I can say is “Wow!” Mr. Zamprogna is a “Class Act”. Kudos to Maurice Benard for his support of Dominic. Great interview.

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  38. Lia says:

    Love Dominic, and I know he respects Emme and her work, but she’s just not Lulu for me. I would have rather seen RC use the custody story to end them, and set him up with someone new. A consolation prize would be to see him as Ben’s dad with Britta as the natural mom, so I’ll at least get to see Dante interact with a different female. I think they would make better parents than Lante.

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  39. Barb Harnedy says:

    I just re-read this interview with Dom Z again this morning, and again I’m so impressed with how professional Dominic is, especially throughout the difficult weeks of his mom’s illness then her death! Can’t even imagine how stressful it must have been to do those heartbreaking scenes on air during that time! Makes me so happy & proud that his work is being recognized now with his 1st Daytime Emmy Nomination! He’s a wonderful actor and more importantly an exceptionally kind & caring person in real life! So glad his castmates supported him through those very difficult days & it does not surprise me one little bit that he totally supports Emme who is now Lulu on GH. Don’t we all wish we had that kind of support when we start a new job or when we replace someone who was so loved!?

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