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Quick Take With Charles Shaughnessy

Tell me about your reunion with Emma Samms (ex-Holly)! “Oh, that was such a nice surprise. I had heard rumors around the corridors that she was coming back and then one day, there she was, in the flesh! She knocked on my [dressing room] door and it was just like old times. I mean, it’s sort of a perfect circle, really, because that’s where it all started for me — my first TV job was here with her [playing Alistair, Holly’s cousin], and here I am, in the twilight [laughs], working with her again! She is so lovely, so delightful.”

Which are probably the last words Holly would ever use to describe Victor! “I mean, I knew I was bad to the bone, but the way Victor was around Holly was absolutely horrible! If he was irredeemable before, he’s really gone overboard now. He was truly awful to poor Holly.”

But Victor is such a good villain! I actually texted with Finola Hughes (Anna) about the A-plus smirk you flashed when Anna was denied bail. “I mean, he’s just making trouble for all of the fan favorites! He’s just making their lives miserable. He’s the guy who killed Luke Spencer. He’s the guy who put Anna in jail and tried to break up her relationship with Valentin. He’s just miserable to Holly. He’s just dreadful! But it’s such great fun! I mean, the more dreadful the better, really. He’s the villain you love to hate. The wonderful thing about playing Victor is that they seem to find ways to insinuate him into a lot of different stories, and so I’m working with a lot of different people — I had these little bits with Lucy, I have my little bits with Spencer and Nikolas and Ava, and crossing swords with Robert and with Laura. All of the relationships are different, but they are usually hostile and combative!”

Do you think he was genuinely into Lucy? “With Victor, you’re never quite sure whether he’s playing people or not. When I have my scenes with Maura [West, Ava] or with Lynn [Herring, Lucy], is he genuinely interested, is he genuinely finding them attractive, or is he just recruiting someone else to his team? You just never know with him!”

Victor and Valentin had quite the tense reunion upon Valentin’s return to Port Charles. What is your take on the state of their relationship? “It’s interesting. Valentin is obviously horrified that he’s Victor’s son and finds it very difficult to see him as a dad. Victor is anything but warm and fuzzy with him and has big expectations of him to basically just do his bidding. Victor, strangely enough, seems to have a much more warm and fuzzy relationship with Nikolas, his nephew — more like what you would expect a father/son relationship to be, very protective, admonishing at times, giving him a lot of advice, whereas Valentin, he’s just sort of blackmailing him and threatening him and his daughter!”

And it obviously burns Victor that Valentin is proving to be more loyal to Laura than he is to him. “Exactly, he’s more playing for the other team. Victor seems to be very willing to accept that and write him off. ‘Oh, well, you’re of no use to me.’ Rather than making any real efforts to bring Valentin over to his own side, he realizes that Valentin has had a long time developing himself [without Victor’s influence] and it’s just going to be too hard. He recognizes that the only reason Valentin would do anything Victor says is because he was being threatened. He wouldn’t do anything out of love or loyalty.”