After decades of relationship drama, mob wars, and general angst, General Hospital‘s Brenda and Sonny finally said their “I do’s” this week. And it couldn’t have come any sooner for Vanessa Marcil Giovinazzo, the Daytime Emmy Award winning actress who created the role of Brenda in 1992 and returned to it last summer after an 8-year absence. She recently sat down with us to talk about Brenda, Sonny, Carly, and Jason.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So it finally happened!
VANESSA MARCIL GIOVINAZZO: I know! Brenda’s like the female James Bond. Her weddings never happen. She’s just forever single. [Laughs] So it happens, they end up marrying, despite everything. It’s kind of cute. I do think they’re good for each other.
I think you love who you love and that’s who you should be with. I think that they are both so dysfunctional and damaged in a certain way that only each other could really accept the other person. But it’s what happens right after the wedding that is kind of an explosive shock that nobody is expecting. And no, it doesn’t have to do with the baby…
The wedding-day drama included an international crime lord (Daniel Benzali’s Balkan) trying to kidnap Brenda, some devilry from Carly (Laura Wright), and the revelation that Sonny’s son Dante (Dominic Zamprogna) helped you keep secret a baby you carried. You guys walked a fine line with the whole Dante/Brenda story line, teasing the possibility of a past affair.
There was a really good connection between them and we wanted to keep the audience guessing and wondering if they had an affair…i just really wanted to walk that line of did they or didn’t they. It’s always nice to be surprised as an audience. So there are a lot of surprises this week.
Why do you think people love Brenda and Sonny together?
I don’t watch my scenes on the show, so I don’t know what other people see but I know what I feel working with Maurice. It’s like listening to music. He makes me feel like a kid again, instantly. I think that’s an interesting dynamic. Someone who makes you feel like a kid. like your first love. No matter how old you get they still bring you back to that feeling, that first blush of love. That’s how I feel about Maurice in real life. He’s god-like to me, so that may be pumping through. I think it’s because of him but I think that also it may be because I feel so much for him that it comes through.
What do you think of the continued friction between Carly and Brenda?
I think that Laura Wright is sucha a professional and really has the funnest character to play ever. And she is just up for it. She’s up for anything. Carly and Brenda don’t actually have that many interactions. I think I’ve worked with Laura a total of 10 times. But there’s a lot of stuff that she does that Brenda’s at the core of. I kind of love that Brenda’s a little oblivious to just how dangerous she could be because it’s been such a long time since they really interacted. With the things that happen this week, it becomes clear to her that this woman is a serious threat to her life. That things are the same for this girl as they were when they were 20. Nothing’s changed. There’s some serious kind of Jersey Shore stuff between these two.
It does seem like they are fixed in a certain point in time for each other. While it may seem that Carly has evolved in some ways, particularly with regard to Michael, with Brenda she’s regresses.
I know many people like that. Just because you age in years, doesn’t mean you grow up in reality.
What are Brenda’s worst traits?
She’s incredibly immature and really impulsive and reactionary. I think she runs from things that scare her rather than kind of push through them. It was cute when she was 20. I think it gets a little more tragic as she gets older but it’s certainly fun to play a dysfunctional person. I don’t think evolved people are fun to watch.
This is true. Normal people are boring.
[Laughs] Yes, I’m very boring in my real life.
Fans really love Brenda and Jason (Steve Burton) together.
I love working with Steve. I love us together too. I would have an affair with him…they’ve never done that! I would love to do that. I would stay a second longer to do a Jason-Brenda-Sonny triangle. I’ve had a crush on Steve Burton since we went to high school together [on the show]. We went to the prom together on the show. He’s hot! I’m a New York girl and he’s… like a blond-haired blue-eyed Guido, don’t you think? [laughs] He’s so cute and sweet.
So you could see doing an arc with him?
Working with any of the people I worked with as kids back in the day is really nostalgic and fun. But I have to say that other than Maurice, who was the reason I came back for the visit, working with Steve’s been the most fun I’ve had. I’d do any kind of story with him. Which says a lot because I usually won’t do everything. He’s just really smart and really quick and sharp. Smart and funny – some of my favorite qualities.
Smart, funny and hot…
Yeah, which we know doesn’t happen very often.
Now that the wedding is done and the ensuing drama is about to play out, will you be staying on longer than the original planned year?
I always just came for a visit from the very start. It’s really up to Bob [Guza, GH head writer] and what’s good for the show. I just kind of humbly come in whenever they let me come in and out.