Rebecca Budig"General Hospital" SetThe Prospect StudiosABC Studios06/24/19© Howard Wise/jpistudios.com310-657-9661Episode # 14356U.S. Airdate 07/31/19
Credit: © Howard Wise/

“I hope she’s not dead.”

It’s a question fans have asked repeatedly and for various reasons over the past year or two: Where is Hayden Barnes, and when will portrayer Rebecca Budig be bringing her back to Port Charles? So obviously, when we sat down to chat with Budig a while back, we asked if maybe a comback was in the works.

“No, I have not heard from them,” she admitted to us. While Budig “would love” to come back to the show, fans are going to have sit tight for now. In the meantime, we get to feast on her more in-depth response about Hayden’s exit from Port Charles and whether it surprises her that Hayden has managed to stay away from her daughter Violet for so long. The answer is… well, it’s heartbreaking.

Hayden takes Violet home General Hospital

Calling her exit “tragic,” Budig told us that she had to come up with her own explanation that would make sense to Hayden’s true character because everyone knows she loves Violet to her core. “Well, the only explanation I could say is that she can’t come back,” she shared. “I would be shocked if it were my choice. She loved her daughter, you know. I would be shocked if she was away because she didn’t want to go back. So to me, there’s got to be a reason she’s not back.” So, what would keep Hayden away?

More: Budig reunites with a former leading man

Budig has formed her own opinion about the situation without input from anyone at General Hospital. “Either she’s dead or she’s being held captive or something. I hope she’s not dead. I don’t want her to be dead. That would be sad,” she remarked. If she’s alive somewhere… anywhere, where is Hayden?

“She’s unable to return because her life is threatened or her kid’s life is threatened or something,” Budig speculated. “And no one’s officially dead in daytime. I mean, we know this. Listen, I went off a cliff and came back.” Truer words were never spoken — there’s always hope for a Hayden return!

If we didn’t give you enough reasons for a Hayden return above, check out our gallery below with five more reasons why Budig should return to General Hospital