What was your approach to the scenes where Nina first stumbled upon Sonny living as “Mike” and made the decision to conceal his survival from Carly? “Well, first of all, the first time that Nina sees Sonny — in my body as Cynthia playing Nina — I, like, exploded. But it was funny; I watched that scene, and it seemed like she was kind of cool! You think you’re playing something one way and it kind of reads on camera like, ‘Oh, she looks kind of calm about it.’ But I think she just had a meltdown. I mean, she didn’t believe it. She thought she was kind of losing her mind or something. It just didn’t make sense to her. She was thinking, ‘Maybe he’s not Sonny, he’s just a guy who completely looks like Sonny and talks like Sonny.’ That went away quickly, and then she was concerned about his mental health. Like, ‘If I just blurt out to him, “You’re this guy, you’re the head of this mob and you have a wife and kids,” is that too much information? Would that be a harm to him?’ So she was grappling with that and she did try to call Carly, and Carly was mean to her — rightfully so, because they’re in a bit of a rough patch right now. I think it kind of broke open Nina’s vulnerabilities and hurt.”
How is she justifying keeping the secret from Carly and from Sonny’s kids? “She’s not thinking about Carly and the kids! You could talk to the writers and they could say, ‘Cynthia is totally wrong about this,’ but I feel that she sees ‘Mike’ and thinks, ‘Maybe being here is like a gift for him.’ Plus, in Nixon Falls, she’s also settling in within herself, finding a happiness within herself that she hasn’t felt in a long time. She’s been upset and sad for a bit, so for both of them, there is a carefree joy that they both kind of struggle [to find] in their normal lives. But I don’t think this is coming out of any sort of hatred for Carly. We all make bad choices in our life, and I think she just gets carried away, almost like a kid: ‘I don’t know how to deal with this!’ So, she just digs her hole a little deeper. But she’s not a bad person. She’s not trying to hurt anyone. Now, you can make the argument that she is hurting Carly and the family, yes, but I think if she had a conversation with Carly and she was in tears saying, ‘Nina, I miss him so much and I’m in trouble here in Port Charles,’ I’m sure Nina would tell her the truth. But she’s not thinking about the family part of it and she’s away from Port Charles so she doesn’t know what’s going on there and the trouble Carly is having.”
How are you enjoying your character’s stay in Nixon Falls? “I just love this town. I feel like it could be its own little sitcom — or dramedy, maybe. Working with Joyce [Guy, Phyllis] and Rif [Hutton, Lenny] is so great, a totally new energy. They’re so professional and they show up prepared and they’re enormously kind, talented people. It’s fun to hang out in the green room with them and it’s also fun to work with them. They’re fantastic, and so is Maurice [Benard, Sonny]. I’m just so grateful to Frank [Valentini, executive producer] for putting me in this situation. Nina’s had a lot of tears, and I am so thankful as Cynthia to have Nina laugh a little bit and dance a little bit and sort of be happy and carefree. It’s really fun to play. I know that we can’t stay in Nixon Falls forever, but I’m really enjoying it for as long as we’re going to be there.