After several months of being away from General Hospital, Genie Francis is back in the role of Laura Spencer. And it's not just fans who are thrilled that the legendary actress finally has substantial storyline that allows her to flex her acting skills.
"Oh, it's so much better than not having a story, I can't tell you!" she expresses to Soap Central of being in the middle of the Ryan/Kevin evil twin switcheroo, as opposed to being a side character as Laura has been in recent years. "It's really painful to go to work when you have nothing to do, and it's hard to keep myself interested. And, of course, if I'm not interested, then nobody else is. If I'm going to do a show or if I'm going to do a soap, then I want to work! I want to have a story. If not, I don't really just want to hang around."
Being front and center in storyline comes with another fabulous benefit that Francis is thrilled about: "Laura has an apartment!" she enthuses. "It's great. I love the feeling."
The actress' first major front-burner storyline this go-around has seen Laura return to her husband, Kevin, having no idea that he's been replaced by his serial killer brother, Ryan Chamberlain. Francis is having a blast playing the story, especially as it gives her the opportunity to work with the twins' portrayer, Jon Lindstrom.
"I love Jon Lindstrom," she enthuses. "He's great. We have a good friendship. I can always talk to him about something if I'm uncomfortable with anything that we're doing. He's just an all-around great guy."
Hello October! I am back on @GeneralHospital today. Do you think Laura will be able to tell that Ryan is posing as Kevin? Reply below to share your guess! @thejonlindstrom @NicolasJBechtel #GH #fbf pic.twitter.com/LW2pf4NQK2- Genie Francis (@GenieFrancis) October 1, 2018
Viewers can't believe that Laura still hasn't figured out that the man she loves isn't really the man she loves -- and the reveal could still be a long time coming, with Ryan getting ample opportunity to go on a full-out killing spree.
Soap Central asked Francis how long she thinks it would take her to catch on if her real-life husband, Star Trek actor Jonathan Frakes, was swapped out with an evil twin.
"Well maybe a little quicker than Laura! She's very much bewildered," the actress says with a laugh. "Although, maybe not. Maybe not, because I don't believe my husband has a twin, so I might think that he was losing it a little bit or something was wrong -- maybe a little MRI of the brain, I don't know... With my husband, honestly, he's always in such a good mood and he's a very happy person, and he's got a huge sense of humor. So, if those things went away, it would scare me, because he's so positive all the time. It would be odd."
If Laura survives Ryan's rampage (spoiler alert: she will), then it would make sense for GH to bring back some of the character's family. Mainly, Laura's sons Nikolas (who's been played by Tyler Christopher and Stephen Martines) and Lucky (who's been played by Jonathan Jackson, Jacob Young, and Greg Vaughan).
"I would love it! I would love it," Francis says of the possibility. "I think the show is better every time they bring back the core players that people remember from more of the golden years. I think that people still miss them and still want to see them. I particularly would love to have those two boys back."
In the meantime, viewers can watch for Laura to continue coming into her own. Because, as Francis explains, in addition to fans remembering Laura as part of the Luke and Laura romance, she hopes there's something else that will always be a part of her legacy at GH.
"I'm hoping [the fans] will remember her heart, because I think that is the best thing that I have to bring to the show," she says. "And now, I really want to focus on her strength. I think, with the mayoral story, it gave me such a nice opportunity to express that passion in a greater way, and I actually really love doing that."
And something else Francis loves: the support of the fans who tirelessly crusaded to bring her back to the ABC soap opera.
"I would just like to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. I don't have the words to express the immense amount of gratitude that I have," she enthuses. "I get to go back to work now, and it wouldn't be without you. So, thank you!"
What do you think about our interview with Genie Francis? How do you feel about the actress' return to GH and the storyline connected to her return? Would you like to see Nikolas and/or Lucky return to Port Charles? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.