In part two of our exclusive interview, Lisa LoCicero talks about the changes behind the scenes at General Hospital, what she’d like to see happen with Steve and Olivia and more!
Over the weekend we published part one of our two-part interview with General Hospital star Lisa LoCicero (Olivia). In part two of our exclusive interview, Lisa talks about the changes behind the scenes at General Hospital, what she’d like to see happen with Steve and Olivia and more!
TVSource Magazine: It’s definitely been an interesting year and a half for you guys at the show. You went from Guza to Garin Wolf to now Frank [Valentini] and Ron [Carlivati] in charge in less than a year. How has it been reuniting with Frank? Are you comfortable with their plans for your character?
LoCicero: It has been a year full of change but it’s for the better. I love Frank. He’s a smart, sharp guy. He works harder than anyone you can possibly imagine. He has a vision and he gets it done. He’s not afraid to step in and say how he wants things to go. His eye is really good. It definitely – we’re going really fast, but I don’t feel like the quality of the show is suffering.
Somehow we’re managing to go. We’re whipping out 80 scenes in a day before 5PM I don’t know how he does it. Working with Frank again has been really wonderful, positive experience. I think he has a good understanding of Olivia and wants to do some interesting things with her so that’s always good. I met with Ron a little bit too. I think Ron was a script writer when I was on One Life so I had never met him before. He’s really funny. His dialogue is really great, fun and sharp. And smart, I think he’s writing smart stuff. And of course the actors coming back have been really nice to see – actors I had already worked with and friendly with from before. Like little Kirsten Alderson os like all grown up. She made that leap while I wasn’t at OLTL.
TVSource Magazine: It was like she was SORASed her after you left.
LoCicero: [Laughing] Absolutely.
TVSource Magazine: So…let’s talk about the controversy surrounding the “OLTL Invasion.”
TVSource Magazine: With the rising prominence social media, fans are able to have direct access to the stars and executives. Since Ron and Frank have taken over, some fans have accused them of trying to turn General Hospital into One Life to Live. You work there; you know what it’s like. If you could say one thing to disgruntled GH fans, maybe something to ease their concerns or give them insight just as to how hard everyone is working – from the actors, producers to the crew – if you could relay a message to them what would it be?
LoCicero: The powers that be at this moment – their desire is to give as many people what they want. It is a real case of you’re not going to please all of the people, all of the time. In this genre, you really have set yourself an impossible task in terms of making everyone happy. People are very emotionally attached to stuff and that’s the upside of soap fans too by the way – they’re very emotionally attached [to these characters]. Minus that we wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing that’s for sure.
You have to figure whenever a new writing regime comes on they bring in a bunch of new characters. When Garin came on we got Ewen, and the Woman in White, Maggie Wurth, Delores and more. That was just in the span of a few months we got new major characters. The fact that these [One Life to Live] characters came in already have an established fan base is just smart. [Laughs]. That’s just the smart. If it weren’t characters that a lot of the ABC audience and fans already loved, it would just be new characters that no one had ever heard of. Maybe people would like them, maybe they wouldn’t. But I don’t think they have time to dick around right now with like, “Hey I wonder of this character is gonna work on not.” You know what I mean? If they’re going to bring new people to the canvas, it needs to be people that you know are gonna hit the ground running.
I would also say to them that ok, so they’re bringing over characters from One Life to Live. Maybe you weren’t someone who watched OLTL, but I think they’re certainly honoring and respecting the longtime history of General Hospital. I mean they’re giving you Felicia, Anna Devane is back; Robin Mattson is back as Heather. You certainly can’t say they’re not giving you classic General Hospital. It’s more classic GH now than it’s been in recent history by a longshot I would think. Look at the Luke & Anna story. We’ve had Robert back for a bit. I think wasn’t Noah back for a little while?
When you throw new characters that already have established storylines and histories, it mixes up our canvas, it adds a little more excitement. There’s only so many interacts that the same so many people are able to have over and over again. You need to bring in fresh blood so to speak and why not do it with characters that a lot of the audience already loves?
TVSource Magazine: That’s the opinion I have too. Unfortunately, some just don’t want to believe that Frank & Ron have the best interest of the show at heart. Why not just sit back and go along for the ride? Trust that they have the best interest of the show at heart, trust that they’re listening and trust that they actually care.
LoCicero: No one is trying to piss fans off. They’re trying to please as many people as they possibly can. Some of those things you’re not gonna like. Some of them you are. That’s what art is all about.
TVSource Magazine: That’s very true. What’s coming up for Olivia? Anything fun you can share?
LoCicero: Lots of fun, so much fun [Laughs]. I can’t really say what it is now that Frank and Ron really want to keep things under wraps. They don’t want everything out. It’s curious to me in the soap operas of the past few years, it was like the entire storyline would be on the commercial [Laughs]. You’d know exactly what was going to happened exactly how it was going to look. So I was like “Why do they want to tune in?” I think Frank has tried to, in this day and age with the ability to leak things quickly; you’re not going to keep everything under wraps. I definitely think there’s some sort of mole of leak – I don’t know what it is. But some stuff is getting out. There was some stuff specific to me. People were tweeting about a pay cut which everybody did, before thy even mentioned it to me [Laughs]. That means someone is leaking stuff. BUT, a lot of what I read in terms of spoilers and stuff is bullshit. I mean it’s like some kind of fan fiction nonsense they’ve come up with. But what’s fun for Olivia? Hmm…there’s a lot of fun stuff with Olivia and Heather and Steve. And it involves Dante.
TVSource Magazine: That’s awesome! I feel like you haven’t worked regularly with Dom in ages.
LoCicero: I know! There’s stuff we will have yes. Some mother-son scenes.
TVSource Magazine: I was telling Chrissie (A friend of Lisa’s who runs her website) the other day that I’m surprised we haven’t seen Olivia demand some grandbabies by now.
LoCicero: Oh she has said it. I mean I know that it’s hard to – well…the thing with babies it kind of put a damper on what you can write for a couple [Laughs]. I think that’s why there’s so much dead baby stuff going on. Babies don’t wind up being sexy storylines.
TVSource Magazine: That’s true. I got into a discussion a few days ago with someone on Twitter about the dead baby storylines and I said something like, “Yes I know a lot are upset about the dead babies, but at least they’re not GH babies.” The fan was like, “That’s mean,” but it’s true. So chalk that up to a win for the GH people.
LoCicero: [Laughs] That baby thing with Sam and Franco being the dad and whatever…wow.
TVSource Magazine: Now it’s Jason’s baby. Heather switched the test apparently. Who knew?
LoCicero: Oh? Who knew? [Laughs]. I rarely know what’s happening now. Everything is so tight.
TVSource Magazine: It’s a good thing the show has been plugging leaks. Finola [Hughes] just did an interview and mentioned how the actors don’t know much their stories or anyone else’s anymore.
LoCicero: I try to get it from wardrobe. They know because they have to plan costumes but I’m always in there trying to get them to tell me what’s happening because I don’t know [Laughs]. I did just get a big batch of new scripts so I know some fun stuff is coming up for me.
TVSource Magazine: I saw a rumor today that was something like “Lisa LoCicero is leaving GH soon.” I was like ok? I feel like some “insider” tries to fire you at least three times a year.
LoCiCero: [Laughs]. They do that. I mean I know there was the whole thing with Brandon [Barash]. I think they were saying the whole thing about Dom at the moment. Honestly anyone on the show right now that tells you for sure that that they know they’re job is safe forever is lying. It seems from what they’re saying to me at the moment, they have some good stuff planned for Olivia. Who knows? It doesn’t seem from what they’re saying right now that that’s what’s coming up for me. But like I said, I’m sure people have been surprised before.
TVSource Magazine: What would you like to see happen with Olivia? If you had to pick your perfect story for the next six months or so what would it be?
LoCicero: It’d be pretty fun for Olivia to have a baby. But that would end up being like a baby that got thrown into a volcano or something in a tribal ritual [Laughs]. I mean something has to give with her and Steve. Either they have to take it to the next level and have a real relationship. That’s been such an on-again, off-again thing between the writers. The relationship between Steve and Olivia has never really had a chance to do something or not do something. I would love to see them write it. I mean that’s really where the stories are on a soap, as a couple. Either write something great and in that direction or give them some angst. Throw some kind of romantic issue into the relationship. Give them a good triangle that they can work through. That’s always fun to play. I would love to you know, look for people on the canvas that are rogue and unattached. I think Olivia and Shawn could do some damage.
TVSource Magazine: They could. That’d be interesting.
LoCicero: That’d be kind of fun. That might wake Steve up. He’ll be like “Wait a minute? I’ve been lying to her and been a terrible boyfriend.” I said to Scott the other that that Steve is the worst boyfriend in the world. “He’s like I know, I know.” Steve is such a mama’s boy.
TVSource Magazine: I think Olivia and Todd would be interesting.
LoCicero: Yes! That would be great. I think the writers have designs for him obviously…but that would be a fun option. I love Roger.
TVSource Magazine: I hear you’re doing a Star Trek convention soon.
LoCicero: Yes I am! It’s my first. I’ve been hearing about it from sci-fi and soap fans for such a long time. I mean if you have the opportunity you should do it once in your life. I came really late to the party so I’m only doing a booth thing on the weekend. I’ll be going from a retreat right to Las Vegas for the convention. It’ll be a rude awakening. But I think it will be a lot of fun. Like I said, I had only done like 3 episodes or something like that. I might just be sitting there with crickets chirping and no one gives a shit but maybe it’ll be a lot of fun. It’ll be an experience. And if it’s something that sci-fi fans are interested in that character – and I’ve been assured that those thing are taking place all over the world, all the time, every day. You could sort of spend all your weekends traveling to Star Trek conventions.
TVSource Magazine: And of course I saw you tweeting about your NoH8 photo shooting.
LoCicero: Yeah that was great. Chrissie set that up. That’s such a fantastic campaign. That’s such a perfect viral visual. And I mean the cause is so great. Although it seems kind of ridiculous that we have to even discuss this anymore. It’s so clearly one of these things that in 10 or 20 years we’re all gonna look back and be like “Can you even believe this was a controversy?” It’s such an obvious sort of legal misfire you know? I do feel like it’ll be laughable in the not too distant future, like women couldn’t vote and there were separate drinking fountains for blacks and whites and you’ll be like really? It’s gonna be one of those things very shortly.
The actress is preparing for her upcoming “Taste of Italy” fan event at General Hospital fan club weekend, taking place July 27 from 10:00AM – 1:00PM. Tickets are $80 and you never know…there may be a surprise guest! For more information, visit Lisa’s official website. For more information on Lisa’s upcoming Star Trek Convention appearance, visit http://www.creationent.com/cal/st_lasvegas.html