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24 October 13th, 2015 GH’s Richard Burgi Dishes On The Treachery Of Paul Hornsby, His Co-Stars & Returning To Daytime!

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It has been a few decades since the character of Paul Hornsby was part of the canvas of ABC’s General Hospital.  Originally, Paul was a hot shot financial advisor to ELQ, who was eventually forced by the now infamous Cartel do to some of their dirty work.  Paul was married to Tracy (Jane Elliot), and fathered her son, Dillon (Robert Palmer Watkins).

Fast forward to 2015 after what seemed to be a “chance” meeting at the airport, Paul is back in Port Charles claiming to want to reconnect with Tracy and Dillon – after all he is now divorced from Jenny Eckert.  However, viewers learned that Mr. Hornsby has turned very dark and sinister!  So dark, that it appears that he is responsible for the hit on Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) … and that he is responsible for shooting and killing, Kyle Sloane (Robb Derringer).  Paul’s agenda seems to be to take over the territory, and bring down Sonny, and oversee the Jerome organization’s rise to power.   How is he doing this … by blackmailing Ava Jerome (Maura West) to do his bidding! But now, it looks like Paul could be answering to someone else who is pulling all the strings! Who could it be?

On-Air On-Soaps chatted with veteran television and film star, Richard Burgi, who has returned to daytime to take on the role of Paul Hornsby, originally played by Paul Satterfield back in the early 90’s.  The actor’s GH storyline has afforded him the opportunity to work with many of the power women of the soap including: the aforementioned West and Elliot, plus Finola Hughes (Anna) and Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis).

Burgi certainly plays treachery with a capital “T”, as Paul is one dude you don’t want to mess with.  During our conversation Richard weighs-in on: if he knew playing Mr. Hornsby was going to be this dark, teases Paul’s relationship with Port Charles Mayor Lomax (Saidah Arrika Ekulona), shares his thoughts on his new GH co-stars, and what it’s like to be back on daytime TV after his time years ago on Another World and DAYS.  He also gives a preview of what to look for in his relationship with Dillon, and the danger his character presents to the rest of Port Charles.  Here’s what the charming and witty, Richard Burgi could say about it all … for now!

Did you know from the beginning, when you were being brought on to General Hospital, that Paul was going to have a major reveal/character turn?  Fans were expecting something to happen, especially when Paul all of a sudden popped up on the canvas and bumped into his ex Tracy at the airport!

Courtesy/ABC

RICHARD:  Our cagey executive producer, Frank Valentini kind of alluded to it, but he keeps his cards close to his chest. So, I did not put too much into what he was saying, and some of what he was saying was cryptic.  I did not know GH before, and he was speaking in terms of possibilities for the character.  I really don’t pay much attention to what is coming down the road from what somebody is prognosticating, or offering.  I just try to live day to day.

So, you in essence are saying you wanted to protect yourself, because you did not want to be disappointed, right?

RICHARD:  That’s the probably the foundation for that façade, yes! (Laughs)  But I really did not know, but I had this intuitive trust in Frank, and I love daytime, because it reminds me of theatre.  It is the closest thing to theatre with usually a better paycheck and a better dressing room.

So, at GH is it a better paycheck and a better dressing room?

RICHARD:  A better dressing room! (Laughs) 

Paul is doing terrible things, and he is dishing out a lot of threats.  What is this all about for him?  Is he just power hungry?  Back in the day, he was in the Cartel, but not of his own free will.

Courtesy/ABC

RICHARD:  I think with most men they have a back-story where somewhere down the line something has hurt them, and unless they have gone through an inordinate amount of therapy, they are going to try to work that out in their day to day life. Someone who recedes into the background of how things work will press on, and charge ahead.  Every leader is going to take flack for whatever way they choose to point, or guide.  I think Paul is one of those guys, who has probably got a lot of skeletons in the closet, as we all do. He probably is a little power-hungry.  Who isn’t?  He probably also has some sadistic treacherous elements to him, as well.

The audience watched Paul shoot and kill Sloane.  This was all so he could still cover up his crimes, and still pin the blame on a dead Carlos (Jeffrey Vincent Parise) for Sonny’s shooting.  What did you think when Paul murdered Sloane in cold blood?

RICHARD:  There are certain people throughout history that will do something heinous, or have murdered for some sort of reduction of collateral damage, in order to have some future for themselves, and for those that they love.  They do what they need to do for their vision, their world.  I love some of the writing.  Now some of it can be frustrating, but because they are dealing with these nuances and subtexts, some of it is, and will be really, really juicy.  There are so many layers going on here!

What is the deal between Mayor Lomax and Paul?  He revealed he knew her back in the day to Tracy and Dillon.  Is that even true?

Courtesy/Pinterest

RICHARD:  That’s a good question.  I am involved in a few storylines so I am still cobbling the pieces together of Lomax and Paul’s back-story.  We all know people who have finagled their way into so many different situations.  I think Paul is one of those people who just has a great knack for success, and perseverance, and yet, I think he also has a backbone of humility, when all is said and done.  Not that I am a fan, but I look at Donald Trump like that.  Someone who’s clinging to this front of: “Yeah, I got it.  I will take care of it.  I know how to do it.  And all these other so-called-politicians are really blowing it, and it’s about time that someone with some balls comes in here.” I think Paul is similar to that, and such a fun complicated character.  I would hesitate to say whether he is bad, or good.  I have a dear friend who watched GH for twenty years who clued me on some of the back-stories.  It’s so brilliant and insane! (Laughs)

How has it been working with the amazing Maura West, and especially with the story set-up where Paul is blackmailing Ava to do his dirty work?

RICHARD:  It’s been really fun working with Maura.  She has this approach where she works angularly, where a lot of the actors come at each other head on.  But I have loved Maura’s attack on: what she does, what she is protecting, and what she is going after.  I have been so grateful to work with: Jane Elliot, Finola Hughes, Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis), and Maura. I also got to work with Vinessa Antoine (Jordan) and Teresa Castillo (Sabrina), and they are just delightful.  They are all so sharp.

Courtesy/ABC

Will the sparks fly between Ava and Paul?  Will they hit the sheets?

RICHARD:  I will say this; I am going to be doing more than threatening these ladies! (Laughs)

And what about working with the phenomenal Finola Hughes ?  I can see Paul and Anna really having a continuing cat and mouse game.  After all, she killed Carlos, and Paul has been putting those pieces together.

RICHARD:  Oh, she is very cerebral, and really well-prepared, and likes to play, and is self-effacing, and likes to win.  Finola is really right there in your face, and I say that in the best possible way.

And then there is the incomparable Jane Elliot! What has been like coming in to a show like GH, and to work with her?  And in story, does Paul truly care for Tracy?

Courtesy/ABC

RICHARD:  Jane will knee you in the nuts with a smile on your face, or a slap your back and walk out of the room cackling! (Laughs)  But on the same token, she’s like the guy you want at a bar room brawl.  Paul does care about Tracy.  They had a child together. They have this great history, and water under the bridge that nourishes a very fertile albeit dark foundation.

Does Paul feel bad he is living under the Quartermaine roof perpetrating his skullduggery? (Laughs)

RICHARD:  To a degree, but hopefully you come to terms in life that feeling bad is just one of life’s many things, like feeling good. (Laughs)

Robert Palmer Watkins plays your on-screen son, Dillon Quartermaine.  Both you and Robert are recasts in your respective roles.  What are your thoughts on working him?

Courtesy/IMDB

RICHARD:  Robert is a real sweet guy, and a strong young man, and he cares about what he is doing, and wants to do good work.  I was not like that when I was his age; I was such a pompous ass.  I studied with these great teachers, and I only looked at each scene, and did not think about to far down the road, sort of like I do now. (Laughs)  But, I never thought there was any longevity in anything in my life.  I was always playing everything as if it was my last day at work.  Robert just has a more practical approach to it, and he is a hard-worker.  He cares about what he is doing and portraying a young man in a conflict of dislocated parents.

Paul says he wants a relationship with his son.   Is that really important to him, or another smoke screen?

RICHARD:  I believe so, because at some point in life you start to question what is really important.  I have two boys in real-life and I can sort of push the needle forward a little bit, and get a feel of what it would be like in real-life to have a child like Dillon and the challenges therein.  Dillon and Paul hardly know each other, and they are both grown men, which makes it a very interesting father and son dynamic.

Sonny is paralyzed and has had health crisis, after health crisis, since the mob boss has been shot.  Have you had a chance to work much with Maurice Benard?  Sonny has been in the hospital scenes since the shooting, while Paul had been roaming around town!

Courtesy/ABC

RICHARD:  I haven’t really worked with Maurice. I have exchanged few words or time with him.  It’s revealed that Paul shot Sonny, but there are other revelations in terms of plot is concerned that turn out to be fallacious. But I will say, some stuff will go down between Sonny and Paul! Maurice may know more than I, and maybe I am projecting about the whole thing that he wants to be friendly, but we have this collegial distance.  This may be Maurice’s way of ramping up the characters and the ensuing conflict.  I’m digging it.  It’s great!  This is how I perceive things, but it may be part of the fabric of my imagination. (Laughs)  I respect actors who want to work that way, and whether or not, that is what Maurice is doing, I don’t know.  He could be so far from that, and so I would be wrong.

Will viewers be seeing a lot more of Paul?  Have you been working a lot?

RICHARD:  Yeah, I am kind of bouncing over the place.  I think they are trying to test me, or stir up some storyline.  I really don’t know where the story is heading.  I’m involved with several of the women, and my on-screen son.  I have also had scenes with Michael (Chad Duell).  I think there is part of Paul that perhaps is trying to enroll Michael over to his world, or save him from Sonny.  The whole Ava and Anna situation is also interesting to see where that is going.

Courtesy/ABC

You’ve been on Desperate Housewives and so many other primetime shows.  But how is it being back performing on daytime?  Earlier in your career you had a few other daytime stints playing Chad Rollo on Another World, and Phillip Collier on Days of our Lives.

RICHARD:  There is something that is so unheralded about doing daytime. There are wonderful actors, and it’s a crazy medium.  It’s a speaking medium, and to me there is a real premium on: getting your head around the words and getting your mouth around the words and engaged with your partner, and bringing some life to what is a rather stagnant environment, because of the medium.  You can’t have a lot of movement, and the cameras cannot be chasing your around.  You’re not going to be doing five or ten takes at different angles.  And for me, I love the soap production schedule as I can then have a life.  It’s not a grind; it’s a job, and a great job, and probably the most difficult of the filmic realms, which I find a challenge.

So, viewers have realized that Paul Hornsby is a son-of-a-bitch! Would you agree … and what do you think he will go through as he continues to try to take over Port Charles, while trying to maintain some sort of family life with his son and his ex?

Courtesy/ABC

RICHARD:  My goal is to breathe some humility and humanity into this son-of-a-bitch. I would challenge anyone to find their own inner son-of-a-bitch!  And for those of us who are willing to go out there, and say hey, “Let me portray this uncomfortable slice of humanity.  Let me really commit to this despicable act of inhumanity,” I think we all have it in us. I mean, haven’t you just known people who are just the greatest, and so magnetic, and people loved them, but in turn they were really hollow, soulless, and were just these black holes of humanity?  I have known people like that, and it can be the most frightening thing.  For Paul, I am sure throughout it all, there is comeuppance to be had, and paybacks, resurrections and redemptions, and who knows what else!

So, what have you thought of Richard Burgi’s performance as Paul Hornsby?  What do you think is driving Paul to create havoc in Port Charles?  Do you think it will be found out that someone else ordered the hit on Sonny Corinthos, not Paul? Other than Tracy, what Port Charles leading lady do you think Paul will ultimately end up in bed with? Do you think Paul truly wants a relationship with son, Dillon?  Share your thoughts on what Richard Burgi shared, and what you think will happen next with Mr. Hornsby in the comment section below!

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  1. Sprite says:

    This man is the most gorgeous thing to enter Port Charles since William Devry Simard. Great actor also.

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    Fanny replied

    Agreed…Acting on point ! Handsome, & Killer threads.

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  2. su0000 says:

    I’m luvin Richard Burgi/Paul..
    I can’t wait for more of him and some action and intrigue, something spectacular!..
    The way GH has been lately, boring conversations, and dumb stuff I hope they do not have Paul dancing with butterflies and kissing trees .

    Perhaps somehow Franco could get involved with Paul that would give him something to do.

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    CeeCee replied

    Lol. Dancing with butterflies and kissing trees? Su, what is he a fairy? A Sprite? All he needs is wings and some fairy dust.
    You really want Franco to get involved with Paul? You mean be a criminal?
    The last thing Franco needs is to be involved with a dangerous crook. Franco needs to keep his nose and hands clean.
    By the way, did you love his ringtone? What was that? To think that family members complain about mine…” Spirit in the Sky” (Greenbaum’s one hit wonder). LOL.
    I actually agree with Scoma60. GH made a bad move by making Burgi a bad guy….very disappointing. As Scoma points out, the town is full to the gills with criminals. It would have made more sense for him to have swooped in as an upstanding guy, weeding out the undesirables.

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    CeeCee replied

    Correction…needs ARE wings….not IS.

    Shay replied

    Aw, CeeCee, I really don’t mind Richard Burgi as a baddie….it’s part of his dramatic DNA! I cannot recall the last time I saw him playing anything but a heel of a horndog….that’s his raison d’etre, professionally speaking! To have Paul Hornsby be a real prince simply would not ring true. However, you are so right about Franco staying away from him….the man has enough on his plate with that loony duo with whom he is currently cohabitating. Now THAT situation, I truly cannot abide! I mean, the freaky “FraNiKi Family” scenario is like “Ozzie and Harriet” on acid! It simply cannot end well! (Oh, and as for your still-fervent wish that Phyllina is revealed to be the Kikster’s bio-mom? Just a though here, but remember when Britt performed that exam on Ms. Clay to determine she was well-past her childbearing prime???? Wouldn’t Dr. Westbourne have seen evidence of her patient having given birth? Since she was in a coma, I would think a caesarian would have been required to have delivered a baby, not to mention that no matter how well the body bounces back from gestation, there are always some telltale signs of it. I realize I am applying logic to a situation where there will no doubt be none, but it does make you go hmmmmmm. What say you, CeeCeeGirl??????)

    CeeCee replied

    @Shay.
    Ohhh, baby!!!! I am cracking up. “Ozzie and Harriet” on acid? That’s rich.
    Yes, I do agree with you, Shay….that living situation is way out there. It’s for the birds; the LOON-type.
    I also agree that there definitely would have been tell-tale signs of having given birth, whether naturally or by C-section. However, what if Britt chose not to tell her? Was Dr. W redeemed yet, at that time; or was she still in her mean-wayward-child phase?
    I would not like to see Kiki get hurt or anything, but her alcoholic binging may cause her to get behind the wheel and get into an accident. She will need a blood transfusion. The premise would be that Ava does not share the same blood-type. Enter Nina. Voila’, the truth is discovered.
    As far as Burgi, I did not realize that his raison d’être, as far as his career is concerned, would only be to assume a Svengali-like personality. Now, I get why he’s so good at it. I thought that poor Tracy would find some happiness with him this time around. Of course, un affaire de coeur could still happen. But, at what cost? She would be very hurt, again. And that, would be tres dommage.
    Then, there’s the possibility that he may play tootsies with either Ava or Anna. Who will it be?
    Later, bell’amica.

    CeeCee replied

    Correction….FOOTSIES, not tootsies. I know that’s what I typed….but, this iPad has a mind of its own.m

    Shay replied

    Hey CeeCeeGirl, sorry it took so long to reply on this thread…..let me begin by correcting my own mistake in haste….it’s “caesarean,” but of course! I totally cringed when I saw that whopper of a typo had made it to post…..anyway, what I recall from the time of Nina’s nutty quest for a bio-baby is that Dr. Westbourne was pretty straightforward as a doctor…she did discuss her impressions of how odd and mentally far gone her “cousin” was with none other than the likes of her “Mutter” in the COS’s office, but there seemed to be no deception on the part of Britt….however, one must think that if Dr. O. were truly aware of the fact that Nina has delivered a child, then she very skillfully concealed that fact in her own inimitable means of deflection during that conversation. However, when you get down to the brass tacks, no credible physician could miss that evidence if it existed….I suppose should our suspicions about Kiki’s true parentage ever come to fruition, then we must once again chalk up Britt’s professional ignorance to Ron C.’s poor track record of connecting the dots. As you have repeatedly remarked, there have been so many factual inconsistencies, dropped plots and tantalizing tidbits which ultimately led nowhere that overlooking a very crucial piece of Nina’s medical history would certainly not be the most egregious example to mention. (And on the subject of Dr. Westbourne….I still miss her! KT’s character was such a fabulous member of the GH canvas….no one can fill her void.) In terms of Mr. Burgi, yes, he is most often cast as the cad par excellence….it’s his calling card. I’m not saying he never plays a good guy—and credibly so, at that—but he most often turns up when a well-heeled male of questionable integrity is required….and he does do it so very convincingly!!! As far as his “romance” with Tracy???? I never bought it for a minute….plus, it simply doesn’t work for me. (They are simply too….different. Like Hill and Bill…haha!) Whilst Paul is a real step up from the crotchety old Luke, Ms. Q should have recognized his insincere slickness after all the idiocy she believed with Mr. Spencer…furthermore, I would much prefer Hornsby with Anna….both are too smart by half, and it would be a real delight to see the “Divine Devane” beat him at his own smarmy game. Hopefully, her current emotional travails shall be brief and she will be back on form in short order. Lastly, given that I’m beyond sick of Ava and her sexual antics, I would hate to see her take up with Paul….they would probably give Alexis and Julian a run in the “yuck” department when it came to OTT exuberance, and I’ve really grown quite weary of adults with arrested development acting like overheated teens in the bedroom department. Besides, I’d like for Ava to stew in her own lusty juices for awhile, since she has become persona non grata with all of her former conquests, Morgan’s offer of stud services in exchange for Avery’s staying put at Casa de Corinthos,notwithstanding. Whew! Gotta go now….it’s been a long night of playing catch-up here at MFSoaps! Later!

  3. Scoma60 says:

    I think Burgi is great but GH really screwed up making him a bad guy. GH is overrun with bad guys: Sonny, Jason,Julian, etc… Burgi could have been a great romantic leading man whose power came from legal means. I would have loved for him to be a high powered businessman who returned ELQ to the Qs. And let’s cut to the chase: everyone has to lose to the “sainted” (gag me) Sonny. What a waste of a handsome sexy charismatic actor.

    Reply

    su0000 replied

    hi Scoma60..
    the thing about GH ‘bad’ guys they are also ‘good’ guys, they have two sides, the good and the bad..
    The bad guys are bad when doing their mob business and good guys when with family and loved ones, with only a couple of exceptions.
    All, on GH are a mix of bad and good.

    Reply

    Fanny replied

    @Su000…. YOU R ABSOLUTELY RIGHT❗️❗️❗️❗️❗️

    ces replied

    Love Burgi, hated that they turned him into a killer already. Had high hopes for him and Tracy or even Anna. Both ladies need to do more than just drop in on people or poor tea.

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    Timmm replied

    I would have shaded him grayer. When he killed Sloane in cold blood it made Paul diabolical and that was a mistake! So I agree with you.

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    MBmomof3 replied

    I have to agree. He is one of the bright spots on GH right now and I would have preferred a character with “shades of gray” as opposed to outright murdering thug. GH has way too many murdering thugs already. I only wish he had put Sonny into a coma. The last thing I want to see is St. Sonny doing the “will I walk again?” schtick. Ugh.

    Anyway, Love Burgi especially with Tracy and Anna. Yummy!

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  4. Dawn says:

    I rather have Duke back. Paul is Duke’s replacement in that age range and they made him a super bad guy. It made getting rid of IB and Duke even more pointless.

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    Nonni replied

    I agree. However, Richard Burgi is lackluster. He needs to speak up or maybe has a problem with his voice. He spoke normally on prior shows. He is trying too hard. I do seem to like his chemistry with Anna more than Tracy. He looks pretty good. I think he must have had a hair replacement session or two. However when they dont use the super softening lens his lines really show horribly. Oh well. I’m open to see what happens.

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  5. elm51 says:

    i am loving richard burgi’s portrayal of paul hornsby – so glad they have someone in port charles for us “seasoned” lady viewers………………..lol

    Reply

    MBmomof3 replied

    I know, right? ;) lol

    Reply

  6. Robert says:

    Here is my prodiction…Paul and Lomax have a child that will enter the canvas. He will fall for Valerie right after she and Dillon finally realize they do love each other. Love Richard portrayal of Paul, this guy is a wonderful actor!

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  7. Timmm says:

    Mr. Fairman strikes again BUT I have never read an interview where I have learned NOTHING! Richard wasnt even being evasive in as much as he was just being methodical and for what reason? We know actors are not allowed to give plot lines up. I did like his positive comments about daytime and his respect.

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  8. Sly says:

    I love the experience and depth that Richard brings to the role of Paul. His screen presence is amazing. I love it when Finola Hughes is paired in scenes with strong actors that can match her brilliance.

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  9. millie says:

    I can’t wait for all the stories to unfold on GH. We all know that Paul Hornsby won’t be around that long. I am a fan of Richard Burgi, have been for a long time, he is a wonderful actor. Sonny Corinthos and his family are the core of GH so in the end Sonny will prevail. It should be a wild ride in the coming months for the Corinthos family and I for one am waiting and cheering for GH. I also can’t wait to see what the writers come up with for all the other
    characters on GH.

    Reply

  10. Scott (ATWT Fan) says:

    Was never a fan of his until he came to General Hospital. He has taken Paul and really given him root. Loving it, and cannot wait to see where Jean and Shelly end up taking him. Love the connection between Paul and Tracy, and Paul and Ava. Two potentially great pairings that I hope last!

    Reply

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