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GH’s Maura West Talks Ava And Nina’s Friendship

The Daytime Emmy award-winning actress shares how she makes an odd pairing work.

maura west general hospitalMaura West as Ava Cassadine.

The land of soap operas is riddled with unlikely friendships but none as dubious as the pairing of General Hospital’s Ava Jerome and Nina Reeves, played by Maura West and Cynthia Watros, respectively. After all, it was Nina who forced a very pregnant Ava into labor in order to steal her baby. But, somehow it works and West recently addressed this interesting friendship.

Maura West Weighs In On Awkward Pairing

With three Daytime Emmys on her mantle, West knows how to make a scene work even if, on the surface, it doesn’t make sense. Take the friendship of Ava and Nina. By all rights, the two should be arch-enemies but the actresses, who are real-life friends, make it work. West took a question from a fan on a recent Coastal Entertainment Zoom event about the questionable pairing of Port Charles’s unlikely besties. 

“It certainly helps that this is a new and different incarnation of Nina,” West explained. “I think it would be more difficult if it were still Michelle Stafford playing her. It’s the same character. Of course, it is the same character but it is a different person and she [Watros] brings an entirely different energy to the character than Michelle had.”

The actress described the rationale behind her portrayal. “I believe that they could be friends, personally. Maura West believes in forgiveness. I believe in second chances, I believe in open-heartedness. And so, I’d like to think that even though Ava is a badass bitch, she also is capable of great compassion and empathy, and forgiveness.”

A deeper look at their backstory shows more common ground to build from. “And, these two women are, and have been sort of outcasts, right?”  West mused. “So, they have that in common that they’re always frightened. They’re always scraping to get by. And so, that’s a good friend to have someone who shares that experience with you.”

The actresses also share a common background. The two attended Boston University together. “Did you know that we both, Cynthia and I, went to Boston University together?” she queried the fans during the Zoom chat. “Well, not together. I was a couple of years under her. She was an upperclassman, getting her bachelor’s, getting her acting degree and I was this kid. So, she was a goddess to me when I was 20 years old and she still is a goddess to me now, decades later.”

Soap operas are also well known for the lasting friendships built by the actors that clock in daily to create the fictional worlds that fans so love. Maura West is more than happy to breathe life into the complicated relationship the two characters share. “Just to have the chance to work with her makes me happy. So, if it means I have to suck it up and believe this somewhat implausible friendship, I will do it.”

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