Ask non-soap watchers what daytime drama is all about and they might respond ‘sex!’ But true soap opera fans know that beloved serials like General Hospital are actually all about family as evidenced by Ned Quartermaine’s decision to adopt wife Olivia Falconeri Quartermaine’s, who is portrayed by Lisa LoCicero, son Leo.
Lisa LoCicero Talks Ned Adopting Leo
In upcoming episodes, Ned (Wally Kurth) will officially become Leo’s (Easton Rocket Sweda) dad. However, this might not be happening if Ned and Olivia weren’t able to get past his one-night stand with Alexis Davis (Nancy Lee Grahn). The forgiveness didn’t happen overnight. As fans recall, Olivia and Ned bonded earlier this year after Leo went missing during a Nat GEO presentation of Joel Sartore’s wildlife photographs at Ava Jerome Casssadine’s (Maura West) gallery. Soap Hub chatted with LoCicero about Ned’s adopting Leo, which will solidify their family.
Soap Hub: Olivia realized just how important Ned was to her after Leo went missing.
Lisa LoCicero: Yes. When Leo went missing after he left Ava’s gallery, Ned’s attention and devotion and presence were the things that made it all okay. He proved [his love] through actions. Words don’t mean anything. People can say a lot of stuff, but what do they do? How do they show up for you? He really showed who he is on a deep level by caring about what was most important. That’s where Olivia lives. She’s all about family and loyalty. Ned repaired a bridge there with her. She felt that on a visceral level and it moved them forward.
Soap Hub: Ned’s adopting Leo, but he’ll always be a Jerome, and Ava will always be his aunt.
Lisa LoCicero: [Maura and I] had that episode where Olivia is explaining to Ava about different scenarios with Leo’s autism. Maura and Wally have both been very open about their real-life circumstances with this issue. [Editor’s note: both West and Kurth have autistic sons]. For me to be schooling Ava [felt a bit odd as] Maura has a wealth of information. She explained to me that you would say this [term], but you wouldn’t say [this one]. I was grateful because this story is touching a lot of people’s lives. It’s important to all of us that we make it both relevant and realistic. Obviously, we can’t tell everyone’s story. I keep trying to add that the Quartermaines are billionaires! There may be other children more profoundly affected whose parents don’t have the same resources that Olivia does. I want people to know that she’s aware of that. She’s fortunate and she knows it.
Soap Hub: How will Leo’s life change being a Quartermaine — there will certainly be financial benefits.
Lisa LoCicero: Of course, there’s privilege. Down the line, there will be the issue of shares [in ELQ] that Leo’s going to get. Is there a downside? That’ll be for the writers to decide. What’s the downside of being super-rich?
Soap Hub: How would you describe Ned and Olivia’s relationship today?
Lisa LoCicero: I think that they’ve moved into that realm that every married couple hopes to move into where it’s not honeymoon, butterflies, and newness, but there’s safety, security, and trust. It’s a kind of love where they have each other’s backs. You can still have the romantic honeymoon stuff, but if you have a mature thinking mind, you know that doesn’t go on forever. It turns into a deeper love. Ned and Olivia have gotten past [their problems] and they’re stronger. I believe relationships need [obstacles] in order to get stronger.
Soap Hub: How is it working with Easton Rocket Sweda (Leo)?
Lisa LoCicero: He’s such a cool kid. His parents are cool, too. I see him having a great time and loving coming to work. He finds it energizing. Like all kid actors, he knows all the lines – both his and yours! He’s such a sweet kid and is so cute.
General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes. For more about what’s coming up in Port Charles, check out all the latest that’s been posted on GH spoilers, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.