James DePaiva is back on the soap scene after years away, creating a brand-new character in Dr. David Bensch on General Hospital (GH).
So far, Dr. Bensch seems worlds away from Max Holden, his iconic One Life to Live character who was a bit of a scoundrel at first, but then with the love of a few good women–and some not-so-good–turned himself around.
DePaiva now also admits to having a bad streak during his first daytime go-around, and then turning his own life around.
“I’ll be honest: at One Life to Live, I was a s&*t,” DePaiva said in the October 16 issue of Soap Opera Digest.
“Frank [Valentini, now GH executive producer, then-OLTL EP] was on the bad end of my misbehavior several times…I’m waiting for a chance to sit down with him and apologize for what a bad person I was, for what a hard person I was to work with for a long time.”
DePaiva credits a self-help program for getting him back on the right track. In 2008, former OLTL pal Nathan Purdee (Hank Gannon) introduced him to Tracy Goss, a corporate transformational expert. That’s when he made the changes in his life he’s still proud of today.
“I was angry and shut-down and enraged for a long time,” he told Digest. “I wasn’t just hostile at work. I was hostile everywhere. Part of [the program] is understanding what manipulates you in the world, which is something you don’t have control of until you’re aware of it.”
“As soon as I became aware of it and was working on it, I was able to get perspective. It turned my life around. It’s been good for my relationship with my children, my wife [Days of our Lives’ Kassie DePaiva, Eve], everybody.”
We still don’t know much about Dr. Bensch and whether he’s a good guy or bad guy, but we’re glad DePaiva has made it back to soaps and can’t wait to see what he brings this time around.