General Hospital shocked viewers today when it not only revealed that the oft-mentioned, never-before-seen Nina Clay is alive and waking from her coma, but she’s being played by former The Young and the Restless star Michelle Stafford (ex-Phyllis)! That’s right, fiery haired two-time Daytime Emmy winner has joined the cast of General Hospital!
Since departing The Young and the Restless last summer, Stafford has repeatedly stated she was focusing on other projects, even though rumors persisted she would be returning to soaps, specifically General Hospital, sooner than later. Daytime Confidential got the exclusive details on Michelle Stafford’s surprise appearance in today’s episode from the show’s head scribe himself, Ron Carlivati.
It turns out Stafford wasn’t due to begin taping until after GH’s production hiatus, the show knew the news would leak before the episodes began airing. “It was actually Frank’s idea to try to slip her into an earlier show that had already been written and shot, so we could take everyone by surprise,” said Carlivati to Daytime Confidential. “So he snuck her into the studio recently, at the end of the day, to tape the one scene you just saw. That was inserted after the fact. We’ve been sweating it out ever since that it would stay under wraps!”
Nina, the comatose wife of Dr. Silas Clay (Michael Easton) has been a major
plot point of conversation in recent months, when it was not only revealed that Silas had a wife that he cheated on with Ava (Maura West) two decades ago, but she was lying in a coma as a result a botched murder attempt! Hiding his true identity as Nina’s younger brother, Det. Nathan West (Ryan Paevey) came to Port Charles to investigate Silas for the incident, but thanks to Silas’ girlfriend Sam (Kelly Monaco), they were able to find the true culprit – Nina’s mother Madeline (Donna Mills)! Or so we thought…
Exactly what impact a newly awakened Nina will have on Port Charles lovebirds Silas and Sam remains to be seen. Carlivati told DC it was too early to discuss triangles, but the issues involving Silas’ affair with Ava will be touched upon. We all know love Ron loves his triangles, quadrangles and pentangles! Who knows what kind of quandaries will be created with Nina resurfacing.
Michelle Stafford is a phenomenal talent and I couldn’t imagine anyone else playing this role but her. Like Maura West, she has an on-screen presence that commands your attention. She makes every word of dialogue matter, an art not many actors learn to master. If you’re not familiar with her past work on The Young and the Restless, do yourself a favor and hit YouTube. The woman is acting napalm.
It’s no secret I’ve been a staunch critic of the Nina overload in recent months, finding hard to become invested in a storyline involving a character I’ve never seen. It didn’t help matters that Silas was portrayed as a hero who loved his wife, except for the small fact that he engaged in a long-term affair with another woman in the months leading up to Nina’s “suicide” attempt. It was hard to feel bad for a guy who supposedly loved his wife so much that he cheated on her. While finally seeing Nina doesn’t change my feelings about what’s led up to this point, I am however interested in Nina for the first time. I am actually looking forward to seeing how Nina is integrated into the canvas.
GH has an immensely talented cast and writing team, but no amount of casting can make up for a story that isn’t plotted well. It’ll be important to slowly introduce Nina. If you’re one who was sick of hearing characters talk about her, seeing her everyday would be just as bad. I also hope they mix Nina up with characters outside of the ones just connected to Silas or her family. Bringing Nathan outside of the Silas/Sam bubble worked wonders, hopefully GH will learn from the past and not make the same mistakes.