General Hospital star Dominic Zamprogna (Dante) spoke with TVSource Magazine during last week’s Disney-ABC Television Critics Association Cocktail Party. While catching up, he expressed happiness with the material he’s given, adapting to social media, as well as the positive changes executive producer Frank Valentini and head writer Ron Carlivati have brought to the show.
TVSource Magazine: What are you loving on the show?
Dominic Zamprogna: I think Maura [West] is fantastic. I just think she is [someone who] plays the truth of the scene, I feel like she does that every time. I feel like she’s beautiful and charming, and I think she’s been great for the show. I do really love the storyline I’ve been getting, about the babies and all that stuff. I think it’s pretty intense. I haven’t had intense since I first came to the show, I always worked a lot.
TVSource Magazine: But not so much at the center of storylines.
Zamprogna: Yeah, right, right. And I don’t think there’s a true center to the show right now, but I feel like I’m being used in a good way. I feel like the baby storyline, and the way it’s progresses, it’s not just a 3 week in and out. You know what I mean. It started, shit, in September and people still want more. So it’s working. I’m happy to be part of a working story. I should ask you what you like about the show [laughs].
TVSource Magazine: I think [not having a true center] has been good for the morale of the fans, especially when Frank [Valentini] and Ron [Carlivati] brought back so many favorites. It not only appealed to lapsed viewers, but brought in some new eyes too. And they kind of stuck around.
Zamprogna: It really did. I think a lot of people didn’t know what to think, including the actors. It was like “Who’s this? They were here 10 years ago? Oh cool,” and then when you start to see how much the fans have dug it. [They've] done well interweaving them with existing players and stories. Frank and Ron have done a really fucking great job. They deserve a lot of credit. They’re really great to us as far as writing goes as far as telling us when they’re happy with us. And I think we should be able to tell them same thing. We’re very happy with the show and with them.
TVSource Magazine: How have you adapted to interacting with fans on social media? Some find it to be a double-edged sword; others avoid it like the plague.
Zamprogna: But it’s always been that, it’s just evolved. When I first got on the show, every one said, “Don’t go on the message boards,” and I was like, “Well why not?” and they said “Because they’ll say really nasty things about you,” and I was like “Oh, I’m gonna go on the message boards.”
So I went on and I’m like “They were saying great things about me, why wouldn’t I want to see this?” They said, “Just wait, it’ll get bad,” and sure enough it got bad. You do enough bad things to the people they love it’s gonna bite you in the ass. So that was then. 4 or 5 yrs later now, everyone is on Twitter, which I think is better. I think it’s better for all of us actors. We can choose to…
TVSource Magazine: Block them if it gets out of hand?
Zamprogna: I’ve never blocked anybody.
TVSource Magazine: You’re a good soul.
Zamprogna: [Laughs] But yes, we could do that. I think people are just really invested in the show and we have some kick ass fans. I’m not just saying that. I’ve done sci-fi before and they’re kick ass fans, and these guys are a notch above the sci-fi fans. I think there’s some people who get annoyed, who come across as “haters” you’d say, and to them I’d just like to say, “Stop watching the show if you don’t like it.” Because it’s a small group of people I believe that are doing it, ones that disapprove of certain things that are beyond everybody’s control. It’s beyond their control. The only thing that’s in their control is to turn the TV off, so if that’s what you want to do, go ahead.
But there’s things that they disagree with as far as acting choices go, as far as casting choices go, and it’s like, “This has so little to do with you.” People are just doing their jobs. And I think for the most part, there’s brilliant fans, it’s just that 1%. That’s what social media has created, is that 1% able to get in there. And that’s fine.
Everyone can’t be happy with everything all the time but I feel like there’s respectful ways disagreeing with things and voicing your opinions and some people lack that sometimes. That’s my only complaint about social media.
This is part one of TVSource Magazine’s interview with Dominic Zamprogna. The actor joined us for a humorous joint interview with co-star Maura West. In it, the actors discuss the brewing mob war, the effectiveness of the Port Charles Police Department, and Zamprogna discusses the status of Dante and Lulu’s relationship.