TVSource Magazine had the opportunity to speak with General Hospital star Kimberly McCullough during the Disney-ABC Television Critics Association Cocktail Party last weekend. McCullough discusses getting back into actor mode during her return last fall, if she wants to direct on the soap and thoughts on recent storylines.
TVSource Magazine: When you returned to General Hospital last year, how did you feel? Did it feel like coming home or was different?
Kimberly McCullough: Oh no, it doesn’t feel different.
TVSource Magazine: Was it easy getting back to your old routine on set?
McCullough: Yeah. I was saying earlier, the only thing that feels a little different was I had been focusing a lot on being behind the camera, shadowing directors for the last one and half years before I’d come back. So the only thing that was different was I was used to sitting in the background, being very quiet, making myself invisible. Having to switch modes into being in front and being like ‘Look at me, I’m the actress now!’, so it takes me a minute to kind of like, cross that barrier so to speak. But once I’m there, I get in the groove and everything is cool.
Remembering your lines is always something that’s like [makes groaning noises]. It’s like the first time you go back to the gym and sprint really hard and you’re like, “Oh wow, I didn’t know I had that muscle.” But then you get used to it.
TVSource Magazine: Speaking about your directing, have you talked to Frank [Valentini, executive producer] about possibly directing episodes? Kind of like how Alison Sweeney does on Days of our Lives?
McCullough: You know what? I have… [pauses]. But right now, for whatever reason, they don’t want me to. I don’t know why. I think that Frank does support my career, um, but it’s always an interesting political move because you have a lot of other actors that want to do it, so it’s always kind of like a tricky thing. It’s almost easier if I direct on another show, and also to be honest, I’m more interested in comedy. My first job was a sitcom, and I would like to single camera comedies. Not that I would turn down a job to do anything. But it’s not really the direction that I want to go.
TVSource Magazine: Storyline-wise, with your coming back, and Robin seeing Patrick and Emma, do you as a fan of the show have any feelings on how you want it to go? And what about Sabrina’s pregnancy?
McCullough: Well, not only as a fan of the show, but I’m a writer, I’m a director…these guys know! Even today Frank was like “You’re not the director here, you’re the actor!” to put me in line. I have a lot of opinions, too many opinions [laughs]. But at the same time, I was very impressed with the way that they wrote the wedding. It was a very typical soap situation, but the way that it played out wasn’t so typical.
TVSource Magazine: True. It was a little different from the conventional “back from the dead” soap tales.
McCullough: Yeah, and I really liked that and respected that. It was fun to play.
TVSource Magazine: How has it been working with Teresa Castillo [Sabrina]?
McCullough: I think she’s so sweet. The thing that is really weird, and I was actually thinking about writing a blog about this, is like, you really like another actor but for whatever reason on the show, you know, you’re like adversaries. But we’re not even really adversaries. It’s not like a Carly and Robin relationship, where they hate each other. But the fans want to pit you against each other and say that you don’t like each other or say weird, mean things, I mean…
TVSource Magazine: That’s always a bit of a mess. It’s the character who may not like each other, not necessarily the actors.
McCullough: Yeah, it’s characters! Not the people. But they can’t separate that for some reason. Um, but yeah, no, it’s been great because I’ve watched her on the show. I was actually there on set for her first day and remember being like, “Oh my god, I like her, she’s so good.” So yeah, it was really fun.
Kimberly McCullough will wrap up her most recent return in a few weeks, as she’s returning to directing.