Quick Take With James Patrick Stuart

I knew Valentin living at the Quartermaine mansion was going to be fun from the moment he asked, “What is the bidet situation in this house?” “Wasn’t that great? That came from the writers. I thought that was so out of left field; I thought, ‘Where did this come from? But why not!’ Also, Amanda [Setton, Brook Lynn] has done so many sitcoms that when the two of us are together on set, it’s really infectious. I feel like I’m back on Must- See TV, Thursday nights on NBC all over again. When that line came out, I felt like we were on an episode of MAD ABOUT YOU or something.”

I’m also loving the addition of Cyrus Hobbi as Yuri, the bodyguard Valentin hired for Brook Lynn. “Isn’t he wonderful? To me, he is the one performer, in recent memory, who has not overdone it right out of the gate. As soon as he arrived onstage, he was doing the perfect level. He didn’t do too much, he didn’t try to upstage me when the cameras were on — it was flawless! And I remember telling him, and I told Frank [Valentini, executive producer], too, ‘I don’t meet people this confident!’ This guy is a find. I don’t know what he’s doing, he might be practicing meditation eight days a week, I don’t know why he’s so calm, but it works!”

I noticed that Valentin really seemed to enjoy his front-row seat to the circus when Austin revealed that he’s a Quartermaine. “I’ve been waiting years to do scenes with Roger [Howarth, Austin]. I find him a fascinating person. The first time that Valentin met that character, he was not particularly consequential to what Valentin was doing at the moment. He didn’t find him particularly interesting [laughs]. But now, he’s become quite useful to Valentin [as a potential swing vote in ELQ board meetings] and that’s when things start to change.”

As viewers, we know that heartbreak is in store for Valentin, who has unwittingly fallen in love with a baby that he believes is his, but isn’t. What are your thoughts on this twist? “Playing uninformed is difficult because it’s just such a weak acting choice. That said, obviously in a soap situation, the idea is that the very thing that has been the catalyst for any change in Valentin’s life is his daughter, and the idea that he gets to have another one is just beyond wonderful for him. It’s going to be very tragic when he finds out the truth.”

In the meantime, you just get to rack up sympathy points and coo at that sweet little baby! “It’s true! A year-and-a-half ago, Valentin was arrogant and manipulative and he was borderline cruel and he just got taken out at the knees. I just find it so fascinating that he got a hefty dose of humiliation and instead of using that for more fuel to punish, he actually grabbed an opportunity to make a better man of himself. We’re shooting scenes all over the place where he gets the chance to surprise himself by how much he wants to make amends for certain situations. I did a scene with Josh [Swickard, Chase] like that, which was really fun — Josh and Chad [Duell, Michael] and I can rarely make it through a scene together without dying, falling into fits of laughter and giggling — but Valentin was alone in a room with Chase and he realized he didn’t want to pass on the opportunity to mention that he feels personally responsible for what happened to him [Peter poisoning him] and he needed to say something. And that’s my boy Valentin growing up a little bit. I’m looking forward to seeing whether that survives the betrayal [laughs]!”