Interview

Emma Samms Says Good-Bye To GH

Emma Samms has wrapped her return stint as Holly and is back at her home in England. She describes her weeks of shooting on the GH set as “pure joy. I loved every minute of it. I loved the story, I loved working with all those fantastic people, all those familiar faces in front of and behind the camera. They were all so nice to me, so welcoming, and made me feel so comfortable. I sound like I’m gushing in a theatrical way, but I’m really not! It was truly pure joy, every part of it.”

Samms, who has been suffering from Long Covid since 2020, credits Executive Producer Frank Valentini for the efforts he made to accommodate her health issues and create a safe environment on set. “I think it’s really important that I say this out loud,” she begins, “and I say it very sincerely: One of the things that makes me a lucky person, even though I got Long Covid, is that I’ve got employers who are willing to say, ‘Your health is more important than anything,’ and that’s what I felt from Frank all along. I think that’s very unusual. Not many people would have a boss as good as he is, who genuinely made me feel that my health was more important than any show, even his show, and I’ll always be incredibly grateful for that. And that the Covid precautions are still so strong on set made me so much more relaxed. It’s a very tight ship, Covid-wise, and that’s another thing I’m grateful for, is that feeling of extra security, knowing that they are doing everything they possibly can to keep people safe. All the protocols put in place for the staff’s safety were massive, and hugely appreciated. I felt extremely lucky to be in an environment that was so professional and to know that Frank is looking after his people.”

Samms says she is touched by all the positive feedback her comeback garnered on social media. “I am so pleased that everybody seemed quite happy with it,” she beams. “That’s quite amazing, because the audience is very demanding, as they are well-entitled to be, and most of the response has been absolutely fantastic — which I anticipated it might, because [the writing] was the most true to Holly that I’ve had since leaving the first time, really [in 1985]. It was the most fun, most exciting, most well-written [story]. It had all the elements — the romance, the drama. As soon as I started working I knew that it was going to be good, but even I didn’t think it was going to be that good!”

And though the actress was tasked with committing some nefarious acts as Holly, she feels the writers scripted a worthy justification for those bad deeds. “They really showed how traumatized she is by what Victor has done to her,” she opines. “They showed the room that she has been [kept] in, they showed that he killed her sister, Paloma, right in front of her. When we see those scenes of what they did to Paloma and what threats Victor is making, I think the audience sees how that justifies what she has been doing. The ordeal she has put Anna through is horrendous, but I do believe, hopefully, the audience will understand why she has been doing such bad things.”

Samms also savored the moments of connection that were scripted between Holly and Robert. “I loved the scene where I was eating the croissant and wearing the pajamas. It was so sweet! We stepped away from the drama for a bit for those sequence of scenes and Tristan [Rogers, Robert] and I loved doing those scenes because it felt familiar — it was familiar and delightful territory. The last scene I had with Tristan was so poignant. It really touched my heart and I think it will the audience, too, and I want them to feel very content.”

Samms is thrilled that Holly and Robert part on such good terms. “She and Robert have great empathy for each other and great affection and great love, without a doubt. You see that connection between them is still really burning strong and if it wasn’t for these extreme circumstances, they would probably be right back to where they were, working together — not necessarily with his permission, but she would be joining him! I think they would be right back to that.”

The circumstances of Holly’s exit leave the door open for Samms to return. She points out, “Holly has the freedom to go off and rescue Ethan because [most people] think that she’s died in a fiery blaze. That gives her some time and space to be able to solve the problem, and my guess is that her plan is then to come back and sort out Victor [laughs]. But her priority is to rescue Ethan and get him into safety. I think they’ve left it in a perfectly positioned place for me to come back at some point. I have not had any confirmation from them as to when or if I would be coming back, but the good news is that even though I am still unwell, it’s been proven that I can do it. And for me, that is very, very heartwarming to know. All those factors and considerations that Frank organized, now we know it’s doable for me, bearing in mind my health issues, and coming back would definitely be something [I would be open to]. Not full- time, because my life is here in England, but certainly, if they’ll have me, I think that would be a marvelous thing! And it means a great deal to me that the fans would like to see that, as well.”

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