Credit: Happier times for Kate & Sonny. (ABC)

“My boyfriend would say that sometimes Connie comes home.” recently spoke with Kelly Sullivan, who took over the role of Kate Howard in September 2011. Read on for her thoughts about playing Kate’s alter Connie, Kate’s future with Sonny (Maurice Benard) and what’s next for the emotionally conflicted fashionista.

First of all, with Kate stuck in a mental hospital and her only visible employee Maxie’s (Jen Lilley) recent stint in jail, wondered just who has been running Ms. Howard’s fashion magazine Crimson.

“We know it’s not Sonny,” Sullivan laughed. “That’s a good question. I do not know and I’ve been wondering that myself and wondering why there wasn’t something at least said about it. Maybe she has some international contacts or maybe she has some people that work from home. That’s my prayer.”

Sullivan was recast in the role originated by Megan Ward (“[She] did an amazing job.”) from 2007 – 2010. While Sullivan watched clips of Ward playing the character for background and history purposes, she wasn’t daunted by taking over for another actress.

“For me, I just looked at it as an opportunity to bring my own self into a role and knew it would be different,” she explained. “That’s all you can really do. It’s your version of a character. I took it as a really great challenge. I also became aware early on of the soap fans [laughs]. I don’t think I was really privy to that before. It’s all been a great learning experience. It’s a really fun character.”

When Kate reemerged last fall after a lengthy absence, she had an air of mystery surrounding her. That turned out to be her split personality Connie, but was that always the plan, considering there was a regime change midway through the reveal?

According to Sullivan, when she was offered the role, then head writer Garin Wolf described his vision for Kate, which included another personality that was very dark. However, it wasn’t until current head writer Ron Carlivati came onboard that everything really started happening.

“When Ron got to ‘General Hospital’ there had been so much build up,” Sullivan recalled. “He and I sort of talked about it and he said, ‘So much of the momentum has been put in place regarding the illness.’ He basically said, ‘The train has left the station and I’m going to continue riding it.'”

Carlivati then assured her he had a lot of experience writing about DID, so he knew what he was doing. Something “One Life to Live” fans can attest to.

Once Connie started showing up, Kate was often left devastated and in tears, requiring Sullivan to channel some deep emotion. As for how she handles those scenes, she relayed, “I try not to take it out of the studio lot. When I get in my car and I go home, I try to shake it off and let it go. When I get to work I have my process of getting ready. I sort of sit alone in my dressing room for a while. I think about the given circumstances and you just kind of let your imagination take off. I have a very crazy, colorful imagination so it doesn’t take me long to understand the situation. And if I don’t quite understand it or it’s something that I’ve never experienced or is a little over my head or something, I just talk about it…The challenge for sure is sort of letting it go. Leaving and knowing that’s work, that’s a job. It’s really exhausting sometimes, mentally, emotionally. My boyfriend would say that sometimes Connie comes home. [laughs]”