“I remember it being sort of exhilarating and terrifying at the same time, and I knew I had to step up my game.”

Every time Genie Francis returns to “General Hospital” to play the legendary Laura Spencer, it seems all is right again in Port Charles. But none of her returns over the years have been as poignant as her recent arrival to help usher out her longtime costar and super couple counterpart as Anthony Geary leaves General Hospital as Luke Spencer after 37 years.

Francis took the time to speak with Soaps.com about her first-ever scenes with Geary as a teenager in the hospital coffee shop, their still-controversial rape storyline, and what her future on the show might be.

Soaps.com: So it looks like you’re going on one last adventure with Tony as Luke and Laura.

Francis: I know, it is so sad!

Soaps.com: What details can you give us about what is ahead?

Francis: I think now it has been revealed on the air that we are in search of our son Lucky who has disappeared, and that is what sends us off on our journey. And beyond that I can’t really tell you because it goes on for a while like that.

Soaps.com: What do you remember about your first scenes ever with Tony when you first started working together?

Francis: I can remember that vividly. Laura was a cheerleader, and she was with Scotty [Kin Shriner] and she was doing cheerleading for her high school, and I think he met me first in the park as a cheerleader, and then in the hospital coffee shop we had a scene where we ran into each other. And I don’t remember what the conversation was or what we were talking about, but I remember it was one way in dress rehearsal and way different when we taped. And when we started to tape, we were sitting down eating something and he took his food and he did all these crazy things, dumping salt and pepper and doing all this crazy stuff as he talked with his food, and it was just – I hadn’t worked with anybody like that before who improvised in the moment, and I remember it being sort of exhilarating and terrifying at the same time, and I knew I had to step up my game. And that was really my feeling about it, that I really wanted to keep up with him. I think I might have been just 17, or the end of 16.

Soaps.com: Did you ever anticipate how iconic your coupling would be?

Francis: Oh God no, how could you anticipate that? It was like lightening in a bottle. It is beyond what anyone could ever imagine.

Soaps.com: What do you attribute that to? What was it about the two of you?

Francis: I don’t know, really. If I had the answer to that I would be the most successful producer in Hollywood. It is amazing how people fell in love with those two characters so, so quickly. I know that when Gloria [Monty] started pushing my character forward, she actually told my father, she sat us down and said this was going to change Genie’s life. The idea was, the show was on from 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM in a major part of the country and the kids were home from school. And to use a kid who was the same age to try and capture that audience. So I know that was what they were doing with me, and they started with that almost immediately after Gloria came on. So they were pulling in a young, young audience. And then with Tony’s entrance, they just went crazy with that coupling.