As General Hospital’s Countdown to ‘Sprina’ Continues, Tabyana Ali Shares Why the Pairing Means More Than Just Good Soap
This isn’t a role she takes lightly.
It seems that no matter how great things seem to be going between General Hospital‘s Trina and Rory, she and Spencer are just downright inevitable! Ava tried telling her young friend that complicated men are bad news, and it doesn’t get much more complicated than Spencer, but Trina just can’t get him off her mind.
And does it get much more romantic than those turtle doves Cyrus gave Spencer to share with Trina? If he actually goes through with it when he gets released, we have a feeling there won’t be a dry eye in the house.
When Tabyana Ali sat down with Maurice Benard (Sonny) for their State of Mind episode, the veteran actor marveled at how much of a hit “Sprina” has become. In fact, he even let Ali know how much Spencer and Trina reminded him of the early days of Sonny and Brenda.
“There’s not a lot of young couples who hit like that,” he noted, “and I’ve been here 30 years.”
“I feel lucky to be in this position,” a grateful Ali agreed, “especially for someone that looks like me.”
At the end of the day, there just aren’t a lot of Black women in daytime and having positive forces like Ali and Trina on TV can make all the difference to young fans wanting to see someone who looks like them and feel less alone. It’s certainly something Ali had to face from a young age.
The actress grew up around San Antonio and she was the only Black girl in her schools. She didn’t by any means have a terrible childhood, but being different is something she had to learn to deal with from a young age. In fact, her first encounter with racism, she thinks, was when she was just five or so. But back then, she didn’t really understand it.
All she knew, she told Benard, was that “I was different. But I didn’t really care. I’d always been a small, feisty, funny kid. I didn’t let anybody really push over on me like that. They tried.”
But she stood up for herself, she pushed back when she was teased, and she had plenty of friends. So it wasn’t until she was about 13 when she was shopping with her mom at a beauty store in California that she really started to comprehend just how different people saw her.
“I was just looking around and browsing in the aisles,” she recalled of that unforgettable incident, “and I could see out of my peripheral vision that there was somebody following me. I was the only Black girl in that store, but there was another group of kids who were probably being louder than I was.”
She had no idea why it was happening, but Ali first made sure she was being followed, weaving through the store with the woman always right behind her before she went to her mom for help. Her mom let the folks at the front desk know what was happening, but when they tried to confront the woman, she ran off. It was, Ali admitted, an “interesting” experience.
“I was like, ‘Wow. I don’t feel like I look different from those other kids,’” she shared, looking back. “I had on a little flannel, my jeans, a white shirt and I was like, ‘Why am I different from them right now? What’s the difference? And really, they’re probably being louder than I am! I’m not even doing anything, I’m just looking!’”
But that’s when she “started to really figure out what racism is and how to deal with it.”
Now, of course, she’s very much aware of it, including in terms of her own role on General Hospital. And hopefully her being on the show and part of an incredibly popular pairing can help other girls like her, some of whom may sadly be having their own first encounters with racism.
“It means a lot to a lot of little girls, I think,” she marveled of playing Trina. “It means the world. The amount of support that I get from them, it’s crazy. It really is crazy.”
Maybe, but at the end of the day, it just goes to show us all how much representation matters.
As we countdown to “Sprina,” catch up with where all of Port Charles’ relationships are with our General Hospital relationship photo gallery.