Diagnosing Olivia's Bedside Manner

GENERAL HOSPITAL’s Dante may have taken a bullet in the chest, but he was not the only one who suffered. Lisa LoCicero details what it was like to film Olivia’s personal nightmare at her son’s bedside.Soap Opera Weekly: Did shooting any particular segment stand out to you — for better or worse?

Lisa LoCicero: We did a few takes of one monologue, and there was one [version] I was really able to connect to, where Olivia is reminiscing about the moment that Dante was born. I think it’s a memory that’s so strong for so many mothers, the moment they put your baby in your arms. I think there was a lot of snot coming out of my nose [laughs]!

Weekly: Scenes like that, where an actor looks so natural, can be the most affecting.

LoCicero: I agree. I don’t think that’s a time that any woman is thinking about [her appearance]. I’m sure I looked like hell. That is one thing: Olivia does not look particularly great throughout this whole scenario. There were moments when they were, like, fixing the lights, and I would look at the lighting guys and say, “There’s no version of lighting that’s gonna look good, so let’s just go on.” I’m resigned to the fact that she looks like hell — like any person would under these circumstances.

Weekly: Were there any lighter moments?

LoCicero: Once, after they stopped rolling, Dom [Zamprogna, Dante] opened his eyes and was like, “Jeez,” and wiped the snot off the back of his hand! It’s hard for him, too! People think it’s such a walk in the park for an actor to be lying in a hospital bed all week long, but — especially for an actor as physical as Dom is, where so much of his honesty comes through physically — I think it really was a distinct challenge to him, too. He said it was the hardest week for him, because he didn’t get to move.

Weekly: Did the week boil down to one “big” moment for you?

LoCicero: There were a lot of big moments. It was one big moment after another, so it’s really hard to say in the context of the whole week what would be the biggest. It was a constant stream of having to swing for the bleachers.

Weekly: So you spent the duration of taping in a heightened state?

LoCicero: Honestly, yes. By the end of the first week, I was like, “Uuhh, no more!” But, in a way, it’s energizing as an actor. It’s physically and emotionally exhausting, but in a certain sense it’s energizing, because you’re doing what you do. There’s something more energizing about this than the days when you just bring Jax a stack of files.

But over the course of the week, from morning till night, to stay in that place is pretty draining. After two weeks, it’s really, really draining. I was coming home every day and my family was like, “Oh, boy!” I was like something the cat dragged in every night: puffy eyes and messed-up hair, flecks of stage blood on my pants…