The wait will soon be over in what has to be one of this year’s most buzzed-about casting announcements. On Monday, June 17, Cynthia Watros debuts as Nina Reeves on General Hospital, taking over from the departing Michelle Stafford (who’s returning to her role as Phyllis on Young and the Restless).
TV Insider spoke to Watros about what attracted her to the role, a hilarious must-see web series she shot a while back titled Cynthia Watros Gets Lost, where she keeps the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in A Drama Series that she won for her thrilling portrayal of neurotic Annie Dutton on Guiding Light and her SAG Award for playing fan favorite Libby on Lost.
Read on to get the scoop!
You look right at home at Crimson. How was it getting re-acclimated to the production schedule of daytime?
Cynthia Watros: I was nervous in my first couple of scenes. But after two scenes something happened and I know this is cliché, but it became like riding a bike. I remember how it was and how much fun I could have playing with the words that the writers give me, the direction the directors give me, and also making it my own. Very soon, I thought, ‘I remember this. I remember how to do this!’
What’s Nina’s wardrobe like? Pretty stylish?
Yes. I love it! I get to wear these beautiful dresses and heels. In my [off-screen] life, I’m not in clothes like that most of the time. I love it all. I feel well taken care of. Shawn [Reeves, costumer] who dresses me for GH does a wonderful job. You feel very special. The clothes all fit me perfectly. Also, I recently got my ears pierced, which I’ve been wanting to do for months. It wasn’t necessarily for this role, but I’d been thinking it’d be nice to do that and wear some fun earrings.
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We last saw you on daytime as Y&R’s Kelly, who was dealing with the death of her son, Sam. Were there other opportunities for you to come back to soaps?
I’d done Another World for a week [as Vicky in 1998]. I had a really good time. Outside of doing Y&R, I didn’t have another opportunity. I’d been immersed in primetime stuff. What made me want to play Nina is I looked into the character. Michelle [Stafford, ex-Nina] is brilliant in the way she portrays her. I fell in love with [Nina’s] vulnerabilities and her strengths. Deep underneath, she has these hidden, compressed, unresolved feelings from being in the coma. Things will bubble up as those secrets start to come out. That’s what I love to play. I said yes very quickly. Nina’s complex and everything I like to play in a character.
Were you and Maura [West, Ava] at Boston University at the same time?
Yes, we were. We knew each other. If memory serves, she was a class below me and graduated after me. We hung out and we would see each other at parties.
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You did a web series a while back, Cynthia Watros Gets Lost, which poked fun at your life after Lost, acting classes, and other things about Los Angeles. It is hilarious!
Thank you for watching! That was at a time when I wanted to produce and really have some fun. I love not taking myself or the industry too seriously. Finding a sense of humor in things makes my life more joyful. I did poke fun at myself, getting roles, my relationship with my agent, yoga and meditation, both of which I love doing. If you can’t laugh at yourself in life everything becomes too heavy and serious. That series was a very fun thing to do.
Where do you keep your Daytime Emmy for GL and your SAG Award for Lost?
My Emmy is up on my fireplace on a shelf and my SAG award is on my desk. I love them both.
It was such a sweet moment when you were all teary after you won your Emmy and presenter Joe Mascolo (ex-Stefano, Days of Our Lives) handed you his handkerchief.
I do remember that moment. It was very nice [of him]. I wish I could have composed myself a little bit more. So many people help you in your life. I thanked them off-camera. It was surreal. I didn’t expect to win. I’d read something before in a magazine or online and it said that it was Susan Lucci’s (Erica, All My Children) year. I thought I’ll get a dinner out of it and hang out with some of my favorite people. When they announced my name, I was truly shocked. I had no idea what I was going to say.
Nina has a lot of secrets yet to be revealed. The fun will be watching them come out. Are you looking forward to what’s to come?
Yes! I am really looking forward to all of it. Sometimes, we have to be patient for things to come out, but I can hardly wait. I can hardly wait!
General Hospital, Weekdays, ABC