Exclusive Interview: General Hospital’s Dominic Zamprogna

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dominic zamprogna general hospital interview

General Hospital’s William deVry (Julian Jerome), Dominic Zamprogna (Dante Falconeri) and Robert Palmer Watkins (Dillon Quartermaine) were in Toronto this past weekend to help raise money and awareness for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada.

Zamprogna and I caught up on whats coming up for Dante and Lulu, the story that earned him an Emmy nomination and his favourite storyline.

There are a lot of GH fans events, but this one in particular is for charity. Can you tell us a little more about this event?
It’s benefitting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada, which I’m pretty close to because my mother was diagnosed with leukaemia shortly before she passed away. I enjoy attending the events that are for charity because it’s nice to be part of something bigger. We’re also trying to raise awareness. A lot of people may not know much about the cause personally, so maybe through us, they can hear a bit more about it and see where the money is going and who its benefitting. The last event we did in Montreal raised money for a CPR dummy to train nurses in CPR. Gina Lesage (the organizer) is pretty hands on with who she’s doing business with and she knows exactly where things are helping. We know where the money is going. It feels good to be here for a good cause.

You’ve been in the role of Dante for 7 years now.
Yeah, it was my 7th anniversary on the show on June 22 and some fans sent me some clips. I thanked them on Twitter and it was cool to have been reminded of the anniversary.

dominic zamprogna general hospital interview

Being part of a super couple, you’ve got this huge following but it’s also a curse because if they split them up, there’s all this backlash like what happened with Dante, Lulu (Emme Rylan) and Valerie (Brytni Sarpy) last year.
There’s backlash but at the same time, some people really enjoyed getting into it. I think it woke everybody up. You can get lulled into a sense of security with a couple. They want that to be their rock. And this one might have been a little traumatic for everyone involved, the fans and the actors! But it was cool for us. We got to play around and explore some things. I think the fan reaction was great because it made us say “Oh hey, the fans still want us together.” I don’t think we knew what the fan reaction was going to be when it first happened. We thought, “Maybe they’ll be happy? Maybe they’re done with us?”

Dante changed those bedsheets right?
Yes — I did! Lulu goes, “Did you change the sheets?” And I said “Yes, I changed the sheets.” I made sure I said that.

Dante and Lulu are getting a new house thanks to Sonny (Maurice Benard).
Apparently. It hasn’t happened yet. We’ve talked bout it but it hasn’t come into fruition.

Oh, so it’ll be one of those things that they mention on day and then it’ll pick up three weeks from now?
[Laughs] Like a month after talking about it? It’ll come back onto the canvas as having happened or pick up where we left off?

There’s been a lot of that.
No follow up?

Yeah, there’s no follow through.
I guess only time will tell. I know that was the last discussion that we were going to do it [have the couple buy a new house]. I’ll be surprised if we don’t do it. I’m pretty sure we will do it. Whether or not we see that on camera is anyones guess.

Of course Sonny comes in and saves the day.
[Laughs] I think he’s always saving the day. Isn’t he? He’s just doing it in less illegal ways now. He’s flexing his muscles for the causes of good.

dominic zamprogna general hospital interview

Will Dante be involved in finding out what happened to Nikolas (Tyler Christopher — although the role is temporarily being played by Nick Stabile)?
Yes. We just show a whole bunch of stuff!  A lot of adventure coming with the Cassadines on Cassadine Island!

So Lulu’s coming on board for that?
Yes, for sure.

Will that tie in to the possibility of a new baby? There’s an embryo out there somewhere?
[Laughs] I don’t know, man… Maybe?

Dante and Lulu are fun when they’re off on an adventure. A lot of fans miss that.
I think that’s what’s cool about the stuff that we just filmed because there seem to be a lot of the unusual suspects and not the usual places… I don’t want to give too much away. I feel that we’re going on an adventure and it’s not just going to be the two of us. There will be other people that maybe you wouldn’t expect. It’s going to take on this kind of Gilligan’s Island vibe!

Will Dante also be on the case of the hospital killer and the missing kidneys?
I don’t know anything about that! No, I’m on Cassadine Island solving the mystery of what’s going on over there.

Is it just about Nikolas or is there something else?
There’s another mystery! It’s starting to unfold and it ties to Lulu.

Does it also have anything to do with Laura (Genie Francis)?
It does tie in to Laura!

dominic zamprogna general hospital interview

That’s amazing. It’s about time that you all got a story and not just scenes.
Yeah, it was slow there for a little while. I think that they were trying to figure out what to do with the couple. They say that the kiss of death in daytime is being happy. It’s kind of true. [Laughs] People don’t really want to watch happiness, which I get… Actually, maybe there are a few people who want to watch happiness?

I think soap couples can be happy but still have stories. It shouldn’t be whether or not there’s someone coming in between them all the time.
Which is what I think they’re going to start exploring… Some other things outside the marriage. There’s going to be some things within the marriage and some things outside of the marriage that are going to happen. I think there’s going to be a lot of stuff that’s coming up!

Lulu and Valerie patched things up rather quickly in that one episode.
[Laughs] You think so?

“Oh, hey cousin! You slept with my husband but we’re cool now. Happy graduation!”
Lulu’s just taking the high road.

I feel that the show misses a lot of beats with the characters.
Yeah, I think that we as actors would like to explore some more beats as well. But I think if you spoke to any actor on any show [no matter what the genre], you’d hear them say “Oh, we missed this opportunity.” When you’re writing for as many people as they’re writing for, it’s really challenging. You’re not just writing for actors but must also factor in other variables that come into play like contracts and episode guarantees. I think that every show suffers from that a little bit. We’ve got a big cast and there are a lot of people to write for.

Well, it’s refreshing that you’ve got a big story coming up this summer. When can we expect to start seeing it onscreen?
Probably in two or three weeks.

dominic zamprogna general hospital interview

Let’s do some rapid fire… What was your best on screen kiss?
Oh, that’s not fair! I’ve kissed many beautiful women. I don’t think it’s fair to choose.

Favourite storyline?
Sonny shooting Dante. That was the reason why Dante was brought on the show… So they could have that showdown. I don’t think anything can ever replace that. A close second is the storyline last year which led to an Emmy nomination for me. That felt really good. I enjoyed that storyline with Brytni and Emme.

If you could play another character on the show, even for just a day, who would you play?
Everyone wants to play a bad guy. Probably Sonny.

Last movie you watched in theatres?
Zootopia!

Last show you binged?
Peaky Blinders.

Most played song on your iPod?
A buddy of mine introduced me to them, they’re from Toronto. They’re called Holy F*ck. My favourite song is called “Xed Eyes.” That’s the one that’s been in heavy rotation.

General Hospital airs weekdays on ABC and City. Canadian fans can catch up on the City app, as well as citytv.com. For the latest soap news, click here. You can visit CH Elegant Entertainment to stay in the loop for more daytime events in Canada.  You can read the first part of our latest GH series of interviews, with William deVry, here. For the second part, with Robert Palmer Watkins, click here.

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About Author

Jeevan Brar is a digital content producer and freelance entertainment writer based in Toronto. Jeevan has managed The TV Watercooler since 2008, the Canadian blog has focused on daytime soaps, primetime hits and reality TV guilty pleasures. The blog has also connected Canadian soap fans with exclusive interviews with the cast of enduring daytime dramas The Young and the Restless, Days of our Lives, General Hospital and The Bold and the Beautiful. 'Like' The TV Watercooler on Facebook. You can also follow Jeevan on Twitter and Google+.

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