Teen Violence Story Hits GH Hard

GENERAL HOSPITAL’s Kristina may be the one bearing the bruises, but her abuse at the hands of boyfriend Kiefer is also taking a toll on her parents — particularly mother Alexis. Nancy Lee Grahn and Lexi Ainsworth talk about the mother/daughter trauma.Soap Opera Weekly: This storyline may be tough to play, but it has a message.

Lexi Ainsworth: It’s a really important storyline that needs to be told. A lot of people can relate to it. I’m really excited about the storyline.

Nancy Lee Grahn: She’s been really, really good. She really has connected on a guttural level. It’s been very impressive.

Ainsworth: Everyone has helped me a lot.

Weekly: Has Nancy given you any pointers?

Ainsworth: Yeah. She’ll help me out in a scene if she sees I’m struggling or needing help on something.

Grahn: She doesn’t really need any help. She has learned how to hook in quickly to her emotional capacity. She’s become quite the Judith Light-like cryer. She can just kick in!

Ainsworth: This character is very vulnerable.

Grahn: This is a great part right now; an actress’s delight.

Weekly: Nancy, has this storyline prompted any conversations with your own daughter?

Grahn: What I’ve done, naturally, is research teen violence, because now it interests me, and also because I have a just-turned-12-year-old. We had a conversation. She saw me on the Internet, researching it, and said, “What are you doing?” She knows the general sense of what goes on [at GH]. I said this is an interesting topic of conversation, with what these kids are exposed to with the media and violence on television and all of that stuff. What young women are accepting from boys and young men right now is unthinkable to me! I’m talking about this with other parents and I’m saying, “What happened?” Where did the disconnect happen between my generation and this generation? What happened is that girls are feeling that they need to be so highly sexualized. And that violence is cool. It’s not just talking about safe sex with your kids now; you need to talk about respect, violence, verbal abuse.

Weekly: Lexi, have you gotten feedback on this from people your age?

Ainsworth: Yes. I’ve gotten tweets from people who have shared their stories about being abused. It’s scary that so many people can relate to this. I personally have never been in an abusive relationship. I don’t know [if] any of my friends have. It’s really interesting to me to find out that all these people have been through it.

Weekly: Nancy, what was it like seeing Lexi in the makeup after the beating?

Grahn: You can’t help but see your kid like that. I don’t use [my personal life] in acting. My background is, you don’t use your personal experience or try to relate to it. Also, I don’t want to imagine my daughter getting beat up. But you can’t help but have flashes of that; just thinking what would you do. The whole Rihanna/Chris Brown thing is classic. You forget how young Rihanna is. She falls right into that [teen] age range.