Fiona Hutchison Says GoodbyeBy Posted: Oct 14, 2003
Fiona Hutchison (Gabrielle) showed up for this year's annual OLTL Fan Club Luncheon prepared for an afternoon of fun. What she got instead was bad news: her co-star and longtime TV love, James DePaiva (Max) announced that ABC had let him go.DePaiva got word that his option was not being picked up the day before the luncheon (on a Friday), and word leaked out at the set, but Hutchison wasn't at work that day. Some actors found out about his termination in the press room before the luncheon began, but Hutchison wasn't one of them. "When I got to the fan club luncheon I was busy talking to two fantastic fans, Beth and Fiona, who had won a raffle to come and be behind the scenes before the luncheon. So there I was chatting with them the whole time. And then that was that. Nobody told anybody anything. Then we get up there [to the dais during the luncheon] and he is talking to a fan, and I am hearing it. I looked at Woodsy (Robert S. Woods, Bo) and said, "Did you know?' and Woodsy said 'No.'"Hutchison looked visibly shocked and stood up to say something publically to DePaiva, causing him to question if this was some kind of a roast. "I felt compelled to say something," she explains. "I mean, I am going to sit there and not say anything when I worked with him for years? How could I? How would I face him after the luncheon if I just said 'Oh, gee, tough luck, kid.' I wish I could have sat down with him for an hour and said 'Jim, tell me, how, what, where, when' but at a time like that you don't [do that]. You just want to pay tribute because this is a huge history to my character. I know he had many, many other storylines with many other people, but as far as I am concerned, he was my motivating factor through all of the years that I was there. That is the only character Gabrielle was ever involved with, truthfully. And I do believe that it was the work that we did in the late 1980s that kept my character alive to come back 12 years later."On the up side, Hutchison and DePaiva have gotten to do some meaty work since the announcement of his termination. "We had some scenes today which were very touching scenes, obviously because there's another level now, the loss of our son. So that brings in real stuff. Good stuff comes when you least expect it. If there hadn't been these situations, you might not have gotten so much good story. It's been fun for me. I have enjoyed the work."