In honor of Monday’s upcoming 13,000 episode milestone of ABC’s General Hospital, On-Air On-Soaps, along with a contingent from the press corps sat down for a chat with Tyler Christopher (Nikolas) and Rebecca Herbst (Elizabeth) to get their thoughts on a myriad of subjects, but chief among them that all signs point to a Liz and Nikolas rekindling of their torrid romance, with only one major stumbling block … Nikolas just became engaged to Dr. Britt Westbourne (Kelly Theibaud)!
As viewers witness this week on General Hospital, after a conversation with Robin (Kimberly McCullough), Elizabeth garners the strength to head over to Wyndemere to tell Nikolas that she is in love with him! And this time, she actually goes through with it and tells him! A stunned and overcome Niki tries to process Liz’s declaration and why she waited so long! So, now what? Will Nik admits he loves Liz, too? Will it change his feelings toward Britt? When Nikolas and Liz hooked up the last time, it was behind the back of all people, Lucky (as played by Jonathan Jackson) in one of the series most unpopular moves of all-time! But the landscape of the current canvas has changed … and now the story moves forward.
Here is what Tyler and Rebecca shared about revisiting the Nikolas and Liz romance, Nikolas acceptance of Britt’s lies, the return and departure of their dear friend and long time cast mate Kimberly McCullough, and for fans that have demanded a major story for Elizabeth … is this finally it?
TYLER on revisiting the Liz and Nik romance when last time there was so much pushback from fans, because it was so out of character for Nikolas to betray his brother, Lucky: The one thing I was told at the time was to not to try and defend the character, and it was difficult for me to not do that. Because, how do you defend something that is a betrayal of that nature? The only thing that I came up with was that he’s truly in love, and completely head over heels in love with Elizabeth. And then, OK, I go away from the show for two years, so we go away from that, and now we come back, and that’s one thing that I’m trying to reintroduce into the story, is that it has to be that way. Otherwise, why would he have done that? We spent so many years creating this persona of Nikolas being this upstanding, very noble guy of the highest morality, and then in that one instance we strip it all away. How do I bring that back? That’s the only thing I could come up with as an actor and me personally, is complete and utter love. So that’s what we’re trying to reintroduce into this story. So although what I did was completely unforgivable, here are our current circumstances, so how are we going to do deal with it going forward? That is now the conflict between Britt, Nikolas and Liz which is, how do I differentiate my love for Britt and my love for Elizabeth given the history of all of us together? And that’s really the story moving forward, if that makes sense.
REBECCA on if she was hesitant to tackle the Liz and Nik romance again: I was a little nervous at first; because it’s the one storyline in all the years I’ve been here that people were a little sensitive about. Nobody ever thought Elizabeth would to that to Lucky, and it was really hard for the fans to accept that … for these two characters, who have nothing but respect and love for Lucky, and you know how we all put Lucky on this pedestal. It was a little damaging. So to revisit this has made me nervous. I think Tyler has the right idea about it. It might have been lustful for a moment, but they really do love each other.
REBECCA on if this time Elizabeth is sure that she truly wants Nikolas back: Yes! (Laughs) She has tried for many years to put it in the back of her mind, but those feelings haven’t gone away, and it scares her too.
TYLER on what he thought when the GH powers-that-be told him that his character was going to fall in love with this woman, who is known as “The Britch” (Britt), and as an actor he has to justify Nikolas’ feelings for her: Well, the adjective you suggested is subjective to others people’s opinions. (Laughs) One thing about Nikolas is that he always reserves his own thoughts and opinions and feelings until he gets to know someone first and doesn’t pass judgment on someone until he gets to know them himself. The “Britch” got a pass because of that, in his eyes.
TYLER on how much Nikolas is going to put up with, knowing that Britt has lied repeatedly, while seems to continue to accept her manufactured justifications and half-truths: I mean, if you look at the history of the character, he’ll put up with just about anything, you know what I mean?” (Laughs)
REBECCA on Kimberly McCullough’s return and exit: Personally, I think it was great for her to be able to do this, and then pursue directing career and pop back here for awhile. Obviously, we love having her here at GH. From Elizabeth’s perspective she missed her friend, and Kimberly and I have really good scenes together. We work well together. All of Elizabeth’s other relationships have fallen off the sides of the earth! (Laughs)
TYLER on his special bond with Kimberly McCullough: Kimberly and I have a unique relationship. She also worked on The Lying Game with me, shadowing as a director, which was a unique experience for me to see her do what she really wants to do, and for her to see me as something that was not Nikolas Cassadine. Knowing that she is going away again, I know she is in a good place. I am sad to see her go, but we also have a unique working relationship within the confines here at GH as well. But I have seen her in her element, and it’s where she belongs, and that’s where she needs to be. Although I am sad not to act with her again, I am happy to see her go where she really belongs. The one thing I liked about Nikolas’ and Robin’s relationship was it was never forced into a romance. There was always a friendship. And if and when she comes back, I hope it will continue as such.
REBECCA on Elizabeth lying about her past pregnancies while now offering advice to Sabrina (Teresa Castillo) for her to tell the truth to Patrick (Jason Thompson) that he is the father of her unborn baby: I kind of have to say the lines, and it’s kind of hard for Elizabeth to tell Sabrina, “You can’t do this to Patrick,” and then to know it’s pretty much what I have done with all of my pregnancies as Elizabeth on the show! (Laughs) I just have to know that as the character, Elizabeth is coming at it from her experience … I am coming from the voice of wisdom. (Laughs)
TYLER on having Thaao Penghlis on the canvas as Victor Cassadine: It’s great, because over the years we have lost the Cassadines to various unfortunate accidents. And it’s one of those things where I felt like when you have a history of a family in a show like this, which has been around for 30 years, it’s unfortunate to have that dissipate. So the fact that you are bringing some people back, such as Victor in particular, it gives the long term fans that memory connection of what it used to be like. Thaao is a great actor and he originated the role. It would also be great to have Stephen Nichols back as Stefan Cassadine! It would be great to have the energy and the aura the Cassadine family brought back to long time fans. I am excited that Victor’s appearance could be the beginning of something more to come.
REBECCA on knowing that the fans have been asking for Elizabeth to have her own story for quite some time, and if that’s finally upon us: I am certainly more optimistic now then I was six months ago, or even a year ago. I am sitting next to my story … Tyler! (Laughs)
So, what did you think about the scenes this week where Elizabeth admitted to Nikolas she is still in love with him? Do you like Nikolas’ reaction? What do you think about a redux of the Nikolas and Elizabeth pairing? Do you want Nik with Britt, or Liz? Do you think this will be a major storyline for Rebecca Herbst finally putting her front and center? And finally, what did you think of Rebecca and Tyler’s word on their departing co-star Kimberly McCullough? Comment below!