Interviews

GH’s Emma Samms on Holly’s Exit: ‘It Left the Door Open’

Emma Samms looks back on a fabulous return as Holly Sutton on GH.

Emma Samms General Hospital

Holly Sutton may have walked off into the night air on General Hospital, but Emma Samms says that she may someday bring her character back to the ABC soap opera. The actress chatted with Soap Hub from across the pond to reflect on her most recent visit to Port Charles.

Emma Samms — Holly Rose Like a Phoenix

Viewers may have feared that Holly’s future literally went up in flames after they saw her flee from the cabin all ablaze, but the show quickly revealed that it was a hoax to get her out from under Victor Cassadine’s (Charles Shaughnessy) clutches.

“It was the perfect ending in as much that it wasn’t really an ending,” Samms says of how Holly left the canvas, free to search for her son Ethan Lovett (Nathan Parsons). “It left the door open for so much more for Holly and Robert [Scorpio, Tristan Rogers].”

In 1983, Samms and Rogers emerged as the show’s top duo after Holly’s beau Luke Spencer (Anthony Geary), was presumed dead in an avalanche. Robert gallantly offered to wed a pregnant Holly so that she shouldn’t be deported back to England, where she had no support system. Later, Holly miscarried Luke’s baby, and she and Robert fell in love for real. “Forty years is a long time to have worked with someone in any job!” Samms remarks. “Hopefully, the audience could see just how much I enjoyed working with Tristan again.”

Welcome Home, Holly

Response to Samms’s return was enthusiastic, to say the least. In November, she and Rogers took part in a well-attended Coastal Entertainment Zoom event which was attended by GH fans of all eras. “It means the world to me that the audiences are so supportive and enthusiastic about Holly and Robert,” Samms says. “I’m quite certain I wouldn’t have been invited back without their relentless cheerleading!”

As veteran fans recall, Holly originally started out as a bit of a con artist — so her aligning herself with Victor was a callback to that (even though this time, she had far more altruistic reasons for being duplicitous). “I’m over the moon that the [viewers], with all their knowledge of the history of the show, approved of this story,” Samms gratefully says. [The show’s producers and writers] with all their knowledge of the history of the show approved…this story,” Samms says. “We’d have soon heard about if they weren’t! I’m also thrilled that some of the audience who had never seen Robert and Holly before enjoyed it, too. That was very important to me.”

Ironically, Shaughnessy’s first stint on GH was back in 1984 when he played Alistair Durbin, Holly’s cousin. “I was so looking forward to seeing Charles again,” Samms says. “I had never forgotten what a pleasure it had been working with him before all those years ago, and I’m happy to report that even with such a serious story and him playing such a nasty villain, it was just as much fun this time around.”

Soaps shoot at a much quicker pace, and Samms has been battling long-term COVID, but she says that executive producer Frank Valentini and his team made her experience as easy as possible. “By the last day, which was exceptionally long, I found myself really struggling,” she shares. “I was happy to get home! In truth, I’m still recovering from the effort it took to work those few weeks.”

Emma Samms — Holly, Jolly Christmas

Now, Samms plans on taking it easy for the holidays. “My Christmas will have to be a quiet one,” the actress says. “My niece will be bravely cooking for family this year!”

The door has been left open for Holly’s return, and it’s one that Emma Samms hopes to walk through — eventually. “I’d love to come back to General Hospital again, to see all my lovely friends there and continue Holly’s adventures — especially now [that] I’ve seen how well these writers know the characters and can tell such a good story,” Samms says. “Fingers crossed that it will be possible.”

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.

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