Wishful Casting: General Hospital Superstar Vanessa Marcil as Y&R’s Victoria Newman




Inspired by Babs and Chris Goutman’s recent casting coup, I got to thinking about what the next ultimate casting power move should be for the best soap not currently airing on television —As The Executives Turn. Since I don’t see Eric Braeden leaving The Young and the Restless to play a new German mob boss, or Mikkos Cassadine on General Hospital anytime soon, I came up with the next best thing. What if Babs, Auntie Ri Ri and Uncle Paul convinced Bob Guza‘s muse herself, Vanessa Marcil (ex-Brenda) to join daytime’s hottest show in the role of Victoria Newman McNeil Howard Carlton Hellstrom?

I’m sorry, licensing fees be damned, I can count six people right off the top of my head who could be shown the door in order for Ms. Marcil to make her way to Genoa City. When she last returned to GH, 800,000 viewers returned with her. Name another soap star who can spike numbers like that? Y&R should get Marcil’s people on the horn ASAP!

Just imagine Marcil playing Victor Newman’s daughter the way God and the late Bill Bell intended—as a chip off the old billionaire block. She definitely looks the part, with her dark, sexy features, Marcil could easily pass as Braeden’s daughter and Joshua Morrow’s sister. 

Victoria, as played by Heather Tom, was a snobby, businesswoman/occasional Lolita (after she got over that pesky teenage frigidity problem of course!) who wore her heart on her designer sleeves one minute, then froze up, refusing to show weakness the next. Victoria gave as good as she got ,and along with Katherine Chancellor (Jeanne Cooper), was one of the few people Victor would allow to give him a good dressing down when he needed it.
 
I still get chills when I think of Victoria’s final scenes before leaving town a few years ago, as she told her father through gritted teeth, and with twin streams of tears running down her face, how ashamed she was of him for damaging the Newman brand by allowing himself to be caught up in a product placement scandal. Victoria left town shortly after that scene, and in my opinion, she hasn’t been seen or heard from since.

No offense to the lovely and just above adequate in the part Amelia Heinle, but this iconic role deserves an iconic actress, and that actress is Vanessa Marcil. Fans of General Hospital, the original Beverly Hills, 90210 and Las Vegas know all-to-well Marcil’s penchant for creating love-to-hate antiheroines who have you rooting for them one minute and wishing someone would bitch slap the tar out of them the next! That’s what Y&R needs in terms of a viable Victoria Newman, not a wilting, little flower, complete with half smiles and a perennial deer-in-headlights look.

A lot of Y&R fans have been speaking out about the lack of strong, viable female characters—a couple of them on my Facebook page— and while I am admittedly and unashamedly loving this show right now, I have to concede the detractors are beginning to make a strong case. With Phyllis (Michelle Stafford), Sharon (Sharon Case), Chloe (Elizabeth Hendrickson) and Ashley (Eileen Davidson) all existing as some form of victim or another, Y&R needs a strong, rootable female lead who actually drives story and makes things happen, as opposed to standing back and letting men torment them by a.) by proving to be more fickle than Archie Andrews in trying to pick between Betty and Veronica or b.) dressing up in drag and scaring the bejesus out of them while preggars.

Again, don’t misunderstand me, I am literally RIVETED by the aforementioned stories, but I understand why the lack of in-control women in Genoa City bothers some fans. Soaps definitely need tragic, tormented heroines and borderline psychotic vixens (although one or two per capita is generally quite enough!), but they also need strong, determined women to balance things out. Right now the only woman in Genoa City fitting that bill is Katherine Chancellor.

I am not saying recasting Victoria Newman with Vanessa Marcil will magically solve Y&R’s lack of a Ms. Magazine quality heroine, of course it won’t, but if written well (and let’s face it, this is Y&R so it would be written well) it could be the biggest thing daytime’s seen, since, well, the last big thing Y&R did! 

As for the rest of what could be done with the women of my favorite soap town— i.e. Phyllis telling Nick to kick rocks and meaning it, before taking him to court for custody of Summer and his half of the magazine in a "I am Woman" fit of rage; Sharon finding a modicum of self esteem (perhaps at the bottom of a Forrester clutch she steals from Fenmore’s?) and deciding to raise her tot on her own, instead of depending one man, or the other to rescue her; Chloe hooking up with Adam or JT or Raul, or all of the above, to show Billy (Billy Miller) two can play his game; Lily (Christel Khalil) ho checking that tramp Tyra (Eva Marcille) for tearing up her family, and starting to catch a clue about her man lying to her; Ashley beginning to slowly sense what is happening to her and turning the tables on Adam (Chris Engen), as opposed to Victor predictably playing the eventual hero thus securing Eric Braeden his 18,000th SOD cover—those are all discussions for another blog post.

36 Responses

  1. Profile photo of ad-girl
    ad-girl

    I would rather see Heather Tom as Victoria and Vanessa Marcil as a “newly sane” Isabella Brana. That way she can play opposite against any man on the show.

  2. Profile photo of Jillian Bowe
    Jillian Bowe

    CHURCH BABY!!! OH MAN!!! You have me wanting to hop a flight to LA and tell La Dvia Marcil to take her ass on over to Bell studios and drop kick Heinle out the door!!! I don’t know what happened with the strong women on Y&R these days, the only ones seems to be Jill and Kay. Ashley has her moments when its Jabot business and going up against Glo-ho. Nikki had it but just lost it and don’t get me started on Phyllis….

  3. Profile photo of kiyote72
    kiyote72

    not sure why u like her so…it isnt just VM showing up on GH that spikes the ratings – it is the possible triangle with her/jax/sonny that drove those spikes. even though i detest sonny…i will admit that is probably the most successful triangles in GH history.

  4. Profile photo of YRFan90
    YRFan90

    Admitedly I’m not overly familiar with Vanessa Marcil. Has the actress voiced an interest in returning to daytime? Is there potential for her reprise her role as Brenda on GH?. I’m not familiar with the fate of the character of Brenda.

    Also I couldn’t agree with you (Jamey) more on the lack of strong women on Y&R. Nina in her own way is a powerhouse though she’s not a routine character.
    While everyone else is fawning over Cane/Ethan, she actually makes him squerm.

    Aside from the occasional snippy scene between Victoria and Adam or Victoria and Colleen (where is Colleen anyway? She needs to snatch JT away from Victoria), Amelia seems to sleep walk in the role of Victoria. I was in love with Heather Tom’s portrayal back in the day and in general a fan of Victoria. Unfortunately as of late I find myself disinterested in Victoria. I’m not completely sure she actually ever awoke from that coma.

  5. Profile photo of Smitty
    Smitty

    I didn’t watch GH and never so VM on there, but I did watch Beverly Hills 90210 and I loved how she used to mess with that goody too shoes Kelly. I think she could definitely add some spunk and fire to the role of Victoria. Victoria has lacked that since AH’s version of Victoria came back on screen. Gosh what I would do to get a strong willed Victoria Newman back. She is the Victor Jr. She used to be so Bada$$! There are two major casting things Y&R needs to do to really have this show at a 100% instead of a 95%.

    1. Victoria Newman
    2. Drucilla Barber Winters

    I think every fan of Y&R has been begging for these two casting coups since VR and HT left the shows.

  6. Profile photo of arielade
    arielade

    YES YES YES!! That would be so awesome!! It would be great for Y&R and as a cherry on top it would give a big middle finger to Bob Guza!!

    I LOVE it Jamey!!

  7. Profile photo of arielade
    arielade

    You are right Smitty. Drucilla needs to come back in a HUGE way. The Winters SL is a complete snoozefest right now, and Neil has turned into a jackass. Dru needs to come back and whoop his ass into shape!

  8. Profile photo of Lola29
    Lola29

    Jamey, you’re awesome :) I would had never thought of Vanessa in the role of Victoria but she would be great. I love Heather Tom and still wished that she would come back but Vanessa is definitely a great choice :) I just want to see her on daytime again…(I hate GH after what they did to her storyline the last time and would rather her not go back to that show)

  9. Profile photo of Luke Kerr
    Luke Kerr

    I say go for it Y&R! VM as Victoria would be hell on wheels. At this point I’d rather see her up Y&R’s butt than GH…oh just the thought of VM on Y&R has me in a happy place.

  10. Profile photo of hunterforrester
    hunterforrester

    I agree but you know if Brian nixed Finola they’d probably bomb the Y&R studios if they dared steal Marcil. But great casting suggestion. Heck — I’d be a better Victoria.

  11. Profile photo of Jillian Bowe
    Jillian Bowe

    Luke here here! Vanessa can always call GH’s bluff. Shit what can they bargain with her? Killing off Brenda for good? Hell they’d be in the GL ratings if they did that mess..

  12. Profile photo of east.west
    east.west

    Poor Amelia! Yall are going to everything in yalls power to get that girl fired lol!

    But in all seriousness this Wishful Casting is interesting, but I wouldn’t be able to buy Vanessa as Victoria. And I would hope that if they do decide to get rid of Amelia (who is not bad), they would do it around the time Heather is up for contract negotiations at B&B and they get her back as Victoria.

  13. Profile photo of Jillian Bowe
    Jillian Bowe

    East.West you better quit! *LOL* We call a spade a spade on DC even if its not with the masses. Amelia is just not bringing it with being Victor’s daughter. The way Bill Bell had her was being a female version of Victor in business and with family if you got on her bad side. Heather brought that to the table. Amelia doesn’t.

  14. Profile photo of east.west
    east.west

    I totally see where long time fans are coming from and fans who saw Heather in the role, I am just saying that Amelia isn’t that bad and that they are worse recast than her. I mean on the recent POW podcast yall brought up the two gold standards of bad recast Christina Chambers & Charity Rahmer and to add another one Jamie Luner.

  15. Profile photo of ad-girl
    ad-girl

    AH isn’t that bad but she’s not Victoria. Someone once suggested having AH and HT switch roles. That would be great. AH is far more suited to play Brooke’s drippy sister.

  16. Profile photo of east.west
    east.west

    Wow that is just crazy and now knowing that maybe I can get use to Amelia or another actress in the role knowing that Heather would rather stay at B&B.

  17. Profile photo of Jillian Bowe
    Jillian Bowe

    ad-girl that was me. I wanted B&B and Y&R to trade. East.West she’s not like some folks on that show and elsewhere but, she’s a legacy character’s child. Bill Bell had her as a female Victor when it came to family and business and AH has NOT brought that to the table.

  18. Profile photo of Mrs Adam Carrington
    Mrs Adam Carrington

    I would have liked Sarah Brown as Victoria before Robert Guza ruined her career. SJB has the fierceness needed to resurrect the real Victoria but ideally Gina Tognoni would be the best recast.

  19. Profile photo of gush900
    gush900

    Im an avid gh watcher and ive read vanessa marcil’s interviews.Jamey i remember the days when Brenda and robin had sleepovers.Any way i truly believe if vanessa marcil did decide to come back to soaps gh would be her first and only choice.If she did join y/r she wouldnt wanna play an established characther as she said before if they ever recasted brenda she would never play her again.Theyd have to create a new characther for her to play.By the way jamey your doing wishful castings wouldnt of isabella been more realistic

  20. Profile photo of Smitty
    Smitty

    Heather Tom doesnt want to leave B&B. I’ve heard Y&R wanted her back, but she is happy at B&B.

    ***

    Damn Heather Tom…WHY???!!!…but if I remember correctly when she left it was because they wanted to decrease her gurantee of episodes. Which from my understanding results in a decrease in pay. Kay Alden/Jack Smith were crazy for letting her get away. Even knowing HT doesn’t want to come back I still think they need to recast Victoria Newman. I have watched AH since she took over the role in 2005 and she isn’t working. I’m sorry. IF HT isn’t coming back then they need to cast a stronger actress in the part. I mean there are many other people out there that can play the role of Victoria Newman. Gina Tognoni, Sarah Brown, Wendy Moniz, I mean come on.

  21. Profile photo of ad-girl
    ad-girl

    Now I am curious/confused. WHY doesn’t HT want to come back to Y&R? Is it the money? Are there personal issues that made her unhappy at Y&R? I am honestly confused as to why anyone would rather play Katie over Victoria.

  22. Profile photo of Jamey Giddens
    Jamey Giddens

    Now I am curious/confused. WHY doesn’t HT want to come back to Y&R? Is it the money? Are there personal issues that made her unhappy at Y&R? I am honestly confused as to why anyone would rather play Katie over Victoria.
    ***
    Heather left Y&R because they wanted to reduce her guarantee.

  23. Profile photo of josser
    josser

    Do you think that AH is just acting based on the scripts she’s given? Where is Victoria written as a tigress?

    I’m a fan of Heather Tom’s and miss her as Victoria. However, look at how B&B’s Katie is written. She’s written as drippy just as Victoria is. Both actresses perform as directed.

    Most people on this site agree that Chris Engen was BORING as a brick before this story line. Once he was given better material, people on DC became more receptive to him.

  24. Profile photo of uofmichgrad99
    uofmichgrad99

    I must admit…Vanessa Marcil and Megan Tuck were my two fav’s! And I’ll do anything to get them back on daytime. But for some reason, I can’t picture VM as Victoria. Heather Tom has put such a stamp on that role, it’s impossible for anyone to compare….Kinda like Gina Tognoni put her stamp on Kelly Cramer (God knows I also love Heather Tom, but she didn’t cut it for me as Kelly).
    I don’t think VM’s ego would allow her to play a recast and I’ll go into cardiac arrest if I see VM play any other daytime role other than Brenda….
    Urghhhhhh just to image her playing opposite Laura W., Sarah B and Kelly M would force me (and a million other people) to watch GH EVERYDAY.

  25. Profile photo of Jillian Bowe
    Jillian Bowe

    josstheguy, HT is playing a character that is a drip on B&B so no you wouldn’t see her acting as some tigress like she was on Y&R. Amelia was given things to be a hellcat when she went up against Adam and also Jack and Brad earlier on in the year. She came off weak. The same when she’d go head to head with Sabrina and Sabrina was to be the weaker link. So no its not the writing or directing in her case.

  26. Profile photo of EricasEvilTwin
    EricasEvilTwin

    VM needs to come back to GH. PERIOD. Sonny doesnt really work with Claudia or Olivia. Bringing back VM’s Brenda would be ideal. Then let NL choose teethan only to remember she is emily. Nik cant forgive her chosing someone else and distraught she decides to leave town and take her bff Lizard with her. (which frees up 2 salaries to hire VM) Nik goes all dark and decides to start a torrid affair with Claudia.

  27. Profile photo of siomonstuart2003
    siomonstuart2003

    Vanessa would be great as Victoria Newman. I think Vanessa would come back to daytime if they let her do outside projects and do soaps too. If Tony Geary can get long outs and Ingo can get long vacation time and Maurice and Steve run the roast, why not Vanessa? I think it is sexism involve that they want her full time and not let her have outs. But I do agree that Amelia H. is not working as Victoria and its time for recast, stat. I hope that the show would get over their pride and get Victoria Rowell back. She is needed for the Winters s/l.

  28. Profile photo of soapjunkie88
    soapjunkie88

    Vanessa would be great as Victoria, even though Heather will always be the best choice for the role. Amelia … sorry, but she is playing the role for four years now and she’s still not working. Specially now that her role is in a story line again, you can see that she just isn’t the Victoria Newman we all know and love and who is missed since December 17, 2003.

  29. Profile photo of josser
    josser

    Marcil is an interesting choice. Wouldn’t she make more money just continuing with her other work? Given how soap salaries are being sliced, Marcil would probably make as much in two quick project than she would doing a year of Y&R.

    On the other hand, I’d love to see a Victoria and Neal pairing. Marcil would look hot with Mr. Winters.

    BTW, does any one else notice that the Winters only appear every other week on Y&R. It’s a week (or two) off and then they reappear for a couple of days.

    Yep, this show definitely needs a big heap of Dru. I do miss a Dru/Phyllis smackdown.

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