General Hospital viewers were thrilled to death when Helena Cassadine made a return from the grave in flashback scenes earlier this summer, and her name has been mentioned a few times since that point, leading some fans to believe that Constance Towers may reprise the role of the over-the-top evil villainess. While GH itself is remaining mum, the actress teases that anything is possible when it comes to Helena.
In a recent interview with Classic Film & TV Café, Towers reveals, "She's coming back and they always talk about her. One time, my grandson Nikolas [Tyler Christopher] pushed me off a cliff and killed me. I came back and one of the characters said, 'How did you survive?' And Helena said, 'Just one mighty burst of adrenaline.' Then, she walked away. The audience just accepted that she was alive."
The actress continues, "As Helena, I once killed my son Stefan [Stephen Nichols] and had him thrown off the back of a yacht. He was totally drunk, having consumed poison and a lot of wine. About three weeks later, he walked in on me. The first line I had after seeing him was, 'I knew I shouldn't have taught you how to swim.' So, other characters come back just like Helena. Who knows what they have in store for her?"
In 1997, Towers took on the role of Helena (who was originated by Elizabeth Taylor in 1981) and has played the villainess on-again, off-again since that time. As for why the character continues to remain so popular despite not being on the canvas the majority of the time, Towers has a pretty good guess: it's just too much fun to hate her!
"When I first took the role, I thought, 'Oh, what have I just done?' This is the villain of all villainesses and people hate the villain," she recalls. "I always played characters who were as pure as driven snow. Maybe they ended up on Perry Mason as the one who did it, but the least suspected of all characters. Suddenly, here was a character who was a magic marker villainess, over-the-top evil, and the richest woman in the world. Other actors didn't want to have a scene with me, because when I left their office, they were dead! So, I thought, 'What am I doing to myself?' But the character proved to be popular. People walk up to me wherever I go and say, 'I just love to hate you!' And I say, 'You don't mind that I'm so evil?' And they say, 'No. Do more. We love it.'"
She goes on to explain, "We found the vulnerability in Helena Cassadine, which makes people feel a little sorry for her. She loved her grandson, Prince Nikolas, and he was her Achilles heel. She made mistakes because of him. That made her human and people loved that. Now, even though I've died four times on the show and managed to come back, I'm appearing in everyone's nightmares. They wake up and think, 'Oh god, I thought she was really here!' The writers keep the character alive that way, which is a very clever device. I just love playing Helena and however they write her, it's great to go back and play the character."
As for what Towers has going on outside of GH, she is thrilled to share that she is being featured in an upcoming documentary about Hollywood screen siren Rita Hayworth. To learn more about that, check out her full interview with Classic Film & TV Café.
What do you think about Constance Towers' teases about Helena coming back from the dead? Would you love to see the powers that be at GH find a way to bring Helena back permanently? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.