It's been whispered about for nearly a year: Emmy winner Michelle Stafford (ex-Phyllis Summers, The Young and the Restless) would be joining General Hospital. But with each passing week, fans began to question if the rumors were just that: rumors. The speculation was put to rest in a dramatic cliffhanger at the end of the May 1 episode.
In an interview with Daytime Confidential, General Hospital head writer Ron Carlivati admits that the rumors of Stafford's addition to the GH cast were floating around long before anything was set in stone.
"[W]hen you hear that an actress of Michelle's caliber and popularity might potentially be available, of course you can't help but think, 'What if?'" Carlivati explained.
Stafford became available when she exited Y&R last summer. Reportedly, every soap made an effort to snag Stafford -- including Y&R.
How did General Hospital manage to tape Stafford's big reveal without the news being spoiled by a leak?
"GH has been on hiatus for the past two weeks and Michelle doesn't really start taping until we resume. But we realized that as soon as she did, the news would be out there long before her episodes began airing," Carlivati noted. "It was actually Frank's idea to try to slip her into an earlier show that had already been written and shot, so we could take everyone by surprise. So he snuck her into the studio recently, at the end of the day, to tape the one scene you just saw. That was inserted after the fact. We've been sweating it out ever since that it would stay under wraps!"
So what's ahead for Nina? Romance? Confrontation? Carlivati offers up those details in the Daytime Confidential interview, which you can read here.
Stafford joined The Young and the Restless in 1994, but exited the show three years later. She returned in July 2000 and remained with the show through August 2013. Stafford also briefly played the role of Sheila Carter in late 2006 and early 2007.
Stafford's work on Y&R earned her ten Daytime Emmy nominations and two Emmy wins -- 2004's Lead Actress and 1997's Supporting Actress trophies.
Because Stafford's first appearance was worked in as a surprise, she will not next appear on-screen until Tuesday, June 3 episode.
What are your thoughts on Michelle Stafford joining General Hospital? Who are you most looking forward to seeing her share scenes with? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.