Interview with GH’s Carolyn Hennesy, Part I
Diane is NOT expendable! (ABC)
Here’s how you know that you’ve created a good career for yourself: you’re laughing, chatting, have a grand ole’ time and then you realize, “Oh, yea, I’m working right now.” This is what I experienced while interviewing General Hospital‘s own Carolyn Hennesy (the FABULOUS Diane Miller). Another realization I had is that for the first time ever, here’s a woman who seems so very much like her character that I actually almost forgot that I wasn’t actually talking to the sharp-tongued Diane! It could be because Carolyn told me that the GH writers didn’t actually know what they were going to do with Diane until they got to know Carolyn better. The role of Sonny’s new attorney was only supposed to last about three weeks but as we all know, the fans really responded to her! (When she starts doing fan events – you’ve got to meet her for yourself and you’ll see what I’m talking about. She defines the word “hoot.”)
She also told me that they’re still not quite sure what to do with Diane – that’s likely where there’s not contract talk as of yet. Carolyn says
that, of course, the writers need to keep the major character’s storylines going, but they want to keep Diane in the mix.
Here’s a little GH trivia for you. Carolyn actually appeared on the show many years ago. She says that she had about 5 lines, in fact. (This will really take veteran fans back.) It was during the Laura “Miss Star Eyes” story line. Carolyn played “Dora” who was a photographer’s assistant. She recalled that she spoke with “Luke” on the phone and he took a message for her. Isn’t that funny? I asked her if she’s worked with Tony Geary yet and she reports that she hasn’t run into him just yet. “Believe me, I’ve been lookin’!” She said that she has been a Luke fan for years and would love to do scenes with him.
As promised, this time I let Soaps.com fans come up with the questions. She had actually already gone to our message board to see what kinds of things you were curious about before I called her! So, here is what she had to say to all of you:
JasamRocks doesn’t really have a question for you, but she gave credit to your facial expressions and delivery, plus the fact that you get all the best lines. Do you have a comedic background at all?
CH: I do have a comedic background. I grew up glued to “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “I Love Lucy”. I also studied old-time comedians and vaudeville and trained with The Groundlings (in LA) and went to acting school in London. Even Carol O’Conner’s (from “All in the Family”) facial expressions left an imprint on my mind. Timing is timing; you have to be born with an innate sense of it.
Iluvsonnyc wants to know if you could choose a love interest for Diane,
who would it be?
CH: Definitely not Sonny! I love Rick Hearst (Ric Lansing.) He is such a
truly genuinely nice guy. Mac (played by John York)is quite delicious. I love John Ingle (Edward),and some fans have said that they’d like to see me with him, but I’m not that old! Mike Corbin (played by Ron Hale) is underused, there’s a lot of wisdom and history there. Jerry is a bad boy — that is so attractive. And Luke is…to dream the impossible dream.
Alikat wonders if you think Diane has enough staying power (on GH) without
a child or a love interest to anchor her OR if you think she’s a viable expenditure in a mob war? (I hated asking her that question, and we both had a big laugh once I finally got the words out of my mouth!)
CH: I'm just gonna say no! Of course she's not expendable. She is the best
lawyer for Sonny and if there's a mob war, who's going to take care of him? The fact that she doesn't have children or a love interest makes her
like a Greek Chorus - the voice of reason. She can see things from all sides, like how she's handling Liz's divorce, for example.
Morganfamilyalways wants to know if you're getting fan responses and recognition when you're out and about.
CH: I was the first character to get killed in Terminator III, and was in
a Jenny McCarthy sitcom and NOBODY ever came up to me in public. When I was only on GH for a month I was at Disneyland and people kept coming up to me saying, "You're Sonny's lawyer!" Everyone has been so kind and complimentary, they hope they're not bothering me. BOTHERING ME? This is what we live for! I like to know that people are responding to the work. I've had a long and varied career and it's great to know that suddenly I'm affecting people.
Anonymous2u has the million dollar question - do you really like fashion?
CH: I do! I love it! I came to the love of fashion later in life. I wasn't
big into it in my teens or twenties or early thirties. Fashion intimidated me back then. Now I love to put things together in my own way.
Don't worry Diane fans, this interview didn't end for a WHILE. In Part II, I'll share how Carolyn answered the rest of your questions, as well as tell you about her other career as an author of a fantasy/fiction series for young adults. (The first book in the series comes out in January and there's already interest in adapting it into a movie!) And there's more, Carolyn said that she'd love to arrange a time to talk to you all via the Soaps.com message board live! She suggested that we do it around the time of the Black and
White ball - since (SPOILER ALERT!)...
..she already knows that Diane hasn't been invited! Won't that be fun?
Thank you Carolyn and all of the fans on Soaps.com's message board for providing the questions for me! Stay tuned for Part II.
Julie Clark Robinson
General Hospital Editor