Sans Diego

After his arrival in Port Charles as Courtney’s rebellious foster child (remember that!), GH viewers were shocked to learn that Diego was actually the son of mob kingpin Lorenzo Alcazar. The men bonded and Diego took his rightful place in the family business, but it cost them dearly when Diego found himself on the wrong end of a bullet. Here, Ignacio Serricchio discusses his final GH bow.Soap Opera Digest: How did this all come about?
Ignacio Serricchio: First of all, I was not fired and I didn’t quit. It was very amicable. I had turned down a couple of jobs outside of GENERAL HOSPITAL because GH is my main priority. Basically, I had a talk with [Executive Producer] Jill Phelps, who’s an incredible woman. We’re such good friends. She’s so honest with me and I’m so honest with her. I said I loved being here, but I feel that I’m young. I have energy. I’m turning all this work down. I understand that it’s a contract role and I asked her what she thought I should do. She said, “You’re right. This might be holding you back. I’ll bring it up.” She brought it up to Brian Frons [president, Daytime, Disney-ABC Television Group]. He agreed. They were understanding and kind to say, “Okay, let him go on to other things.” It’s a win-win for everybody.Digest: That seems like the best way to handle it.
Serricchio: Absolutely. That’s something that Jill and I agree on. What really matters is that everybody enjoys their time while it’s happening. Something we said together is that in the end, it’s a job and the last thing I want to do is have enemies. I’ve never had any enemies. That’s why I can be honest with her. I didn’t go in mad. I didn’t go, “I want to quit.” Not at all. I voiced what I’d been feeling and she was extremely understanding. She’s always been supportive of my career and always thought about me and not the show first. That’s why she is the person she is and that’s why everybody succeeds who goes through her.Digest: How was your last day?
Serricchio: It was a very long day, in fact, it was the longest day I’ve ever been on the set. It was a long, long day.Digest: What will you miss most?
Serricchio: To be honest, the saddest thing for me was leaving Ted King [Alcazar]. He is one of my favorite people in the whole world. He knows that I love him like a father, like a brother. Throughout the whole day, he was amazing. He got me a cake. He got me a card. He got me a tequila bottle. We exchanged a lot of words, and that is something that I’m going to miss a lot. But I’m not worried because I know I’ll work with him in the future. He’s one of the main reasons I would have wanted to stay on GENERAL HOSPITAL. I loved working with him and I looked up to him. I still do.Digest: Are you happy with Diego’s exit?
Serricchio: I love it. When I went to talk to Jill, I went, “Jill, you guys better be killing me,” and she goes, “Oh, yeah.” I said I didn’t want to leave in a bus or something. I wanted to get shot. I asked if we could do a beheading, but she said that daytime doesn’t really do that.Digest: Were you surprised that Diego’s shooter was Sam?
Serricchio: I saw her that day and I said, “I cannot believe I’m getting shot by this girl who looks so fantastic while she’s shooting me.” Her hair was impeccable when she was shooting me. She was wearing pumps. The gun weighed more than her. The last scene, after she shot me, I looked at her and I yelled out, “I voted for you [on DANCING WITH THE STARS].” And then I fell to the floor. We had to tape it again. It’s so wrong. I might as well have been shot by Kristina.Digest: So, what’s next?
Serricchio: The film I did [earlier this year, Keith] should be out early next year. The day after I left GH, I got a role on WILDFIRE playing Genevieve Cortese’s half brother. It’s a phenomenal character. The character is like me — goofy, playful with his sister, rebellious, very much like Diego on GH. It could turn into recurring, which would be great. Digest: Is there anything you want to say to the fans?
Serricchio: I’m still going to see them. I absolutely love hanging out with these people. They give me so much energy. When I did the last GH Fan Club Weekend, I spent the entire weekend there and we got very close. What I love about it is, for one weekend, it’s a lot of people gathered together with a positive attitude, having fun and just being happy. Things like that don’t come every day. I love moments like that. It’s really special when you can touch someone with your work or when you’re hanging out with them. And that works both ways. I’ve met so many people who give me such motivation. There’s a girl I met through the Kurth & Taylor Foundation [co-founded by Wally Kurth, Ned, GH] named Alexandra Newsome, who suffers from cystic fibrosis who I see a lot and we talk all the time. She’s 15 years old and she’s unbelievable. She has so much drive. She makes these beautiful bracelets. So, I love these people. I’ll still be attending events. I’ll be doing things with my band and keep doing stand-up and raising some money for charities, so keep watching for what I do. I want to make these people proud of me.Digest: You’ve joked in the past that your mother would sometimes get you and Diego mixed up. What does she think of your character being killed off?
Serricchio: The episode where [Diego] died aired on her birthday. She thanked me for the nice birthday present. To keep tabs on what the actor is up to in the future, check out his official Web site at www.ignacio-serricchio.com.

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