GENERAL HOSPITAL’s Max and Milo get a visit from their larger-than-life father, a retired godfather himself, played by Vincent Pastore beginning Oct. 8. Head writer Robert Guza Jr. hits us with info on the character’s creation and future.
Robert Guza Jr.: Vincent Pastore — late in every sense of the word from THE SOPRANOS — is going to play Maximus Giambetti, legendary mob kingpin, now retired and living in Sicily. He’s the father of Max Jr. — only Max Jr. got named some wussy name like Maxfield or something like that, and he hates it. It starts with Max going to Milo and saying, “We are in trouble.” Milo says, “What is it, a mob thing? Someone gunning for us?” Max says, “No, Dad is coming to town.”
Soap Opera Weekly: Why is that a problem?
Guza: Max says, “I told Dad I am the boss; I run the organization in Port Charles.” Milo goes, “You are right. We are in big trouble.”
Weekly: Will this affect anyone else?
Guza: One of the things about Mr. Maximus Giambetti is that he is very, very fond of women. He has married six of them, and he is looking for a seventh. Enter Diane.
Weekly: Sounds like a little father/son conflict there.
Guza: No kidding! I ask you to imagine what’s going to happen when Jason, for instance, has to play along with this cockeyed scenario. And what about Sonny?
Weekly: Are they actually going to pretend Max is in charge for the father’s sake?
Guza: Well, one is, one maybe isn’t. Obviously, much of this is going to play comedically, but it also has a very serious element, because Sonny is going to be in an extremely ragged place, and Maximus, the veteran godfather of all godfathers, counsels Sonny. And the warning that he gives Sonny, Sonny is going to act upon, and it’s going to play out for months.
Weekly: What made you cast the former Big Pussy?
Guza: Vincent Pastore is a genuine fan. He did this little [“Everybody’s Got Their Something”] promo thing for us that they are running on ABC and GH: NIGHT SHIFT, and it turns out he really likes the show. When he expressed interest, I just literally fell on the floor and fainted. By the time they revived me, it was like, “Oh, my God, we are getting Vincent Pastore.” We are going to play this to the hilt.
Weekly: So when you found out he was interested, you created something for him?
Guza: I have to give credit where credit is due. The idea that Vincent should play Derk and Drew Cheetwood‘s father came from [ABC Daytime boss] Brian Frons. The instant I heard that, I was like, “Brian, you are a genius.” I’m the one who came up with the idea of Max saying he is running the mob.
Weekly: How long will Pastore be on?
Guza: This run will be six episodes. I would very much like to seduce Mr. Pastore to come back at will — frequently. I think the chances are very good that there will be more down the line.