Is Julie Marie Berman LEAVING General Hospital?





An item in the Feb. 18-March 4 issue of ABC Soaps In Depth has Lante fans in a panic. According to the article, the recent General Hospital casting call for a "complicated blonde" was really for a Lulu recast! Is Julie Marie Berman set to exit the almost 50-year-old sudser?
From SID:

"An insider tells Soaps In Depth that Berman and her reps are having some serious discussions about whether or not she should take her two Daytime Emmy Awards and move on from the soap when her contract expires."

Wait, so Laura (Genie Francis) comes home, and her last remaining child in Port Charles bolts? Helena-to-the-No!

SID goes on to report Berman is said to be "on the fence" about remaining with the sudser. For more on Lulu-gate, pick up this week's ABC Soaps In Depth!

48 Responses

  1. Profile photo of soapjunkie88
    soapjunkie88

    I guess that Berman is out for driving more story. She hasn’t been in any big storyline in a while. Last year it seemed like the writers didn’t know what to do with Lulu anymore.

    And this surrogacy storyline has become Maxie’s after she got pregnant by Spinelli. CarTini should have a sit down with her & talk possibilities for a big story to keep her on the show.

    It would be a shame for Lulu to leave or for the character to get recasted.

  2. Profile photo of SteveHardy
    SteveHardy

    What makes you think it has anything to do with the story? I mean, it’s possible, but why is that the scenario you immediately jumped to? Just curious.

    I do know that she and her husband have been married a while now and she stated some time ago that they want to have children. So that’s a possibility. But there’s also the possibility that she’s ready to try something new and put all of her efforts into primetime or film.

  3. Profile photo of Yoryla
    Yoryla

    I don’t think this is true, at least not yet. I certainly hope not.

    Out of all the times, is THIS really the time to leave? Lulu’s mother just came back, is a GH legend and will surely bring lots of story with her to spare for Lulu aswell. Not to mention the festivities coming up. If this is happening, I hope she at least waits out until the summer.

    Of course, were she to have a significant offer from a primetime serial, I guess she would have no choice.

  4. Profile photo of snizzle
    snizzle

    If JMB wants to try her hand at something else this is probably a good time to do it before she gets pigeon holed as a daytime actress. If she leaves would prefer the character be written off instead of the recast. JMB is Lulu just like JJ is Lucky. Cartini could always bring back Laura’s other child, Nik.

    Is anyone else secretly hoping Luke and Laura ride off into the sunset together after the 50th anniversary? I know TG has issues with Luke and Laura but those two characters need to end up back together at some point, right? TG being gone months at a time plus Luke chasing after Anna does nothing good for the character.

  5. Profile photo of SwanQueen59
    SwanQueen59

    There have been some beautifully written and wonderfully acted sequences that started the build up to L and D’s “Journey to Parenthood” back in August 2012. Even though I know JMB and DZ will knock the genetic reveal scenes out of the park, the now faux surrogacy has been hijacked by a triangle that a fair amount of people don’t care for. (And I’m being polite, as I don’t blame those actors involved who are doing their roles as scripted.) I truly believe a lot of what is happening is a result of story lines having to be adjusted because of other cast members leaving, contract negotiations, and returning vets’ threads having to be woven in and around stories that may have already been worked out but then having to be altered or scrapped altogether. Any or all of these considerations have probably put a lot of stress on the patience of people who have maybe been promised certain things but now have to wait while other things/concerns have to be taken care of first.

    Having said that, and trying to be spoiler free, the return of GF’s Laura has signaled a previously voiced wish that RC has planned a revisit of the Ice Princess saga which is supposed to draw L, and to another extent, D, even more closely into the “solving mysteries”/Spencer aspect of her character.

    I am truly praying that Miss Berman will remain in the role as she has been, from the moment she appeared on screen, the main reason for my returning to being an everyday watcher of GH. Her partnership with Mr. Zamprogna has been the unexpected bonus that has caused me to invest in this pairing (and GH in general), beyond what I used to when watching a soap. I see some striking qualities in their pairing that remind me of Luke and Laura but their stories should be written to reflect a modern sensibility when it comes to “adventure”. These two actors are worth their weight in platinum and RC and FV would be foolish to let their talents slip away, especially at this time in GH’s history, when the series is crying out for romance rooted in realism. These two can and have delivered both. As actors they need to be nurtured with material that pushes them to be a touchstone couple that can be counted on to carry GH into the future. As I am want to say, we love who we love. I fully admit my bias. I love JMB. I love DZ. And that’s just me… 0:)

  6. Profile photo of Yoryla
    Yoryla

    [quote=snizzle]
    Is anyone else secretly hoping Luke and Laura ride off into the sunset together after the 50th anniversary? I know TG has issues with Luke and Laura but those two characters need to end up back together at some point, right? [/quote]

    If Genie isn’t staying – then yes I would love to see that happen! :)

  7. Profile photo of nysam
    nysam

    @snizzle JMB has been on GH 8 years. She has been pigeonholed as a soap actress. Not that being a soap actress is a bad thing. It’s good work and money. If a young actor wants to go beyond soaps they should stay no more than 2 or 3 years…..(i.e. John Stamos, Ryan Phillipe, Nathan Fillion, Julianne Moore, Meg Ryan, Eva Longoria). Very few who stay past their first contract expiration make it. If JMB wanted to do more in TV & film she should have jumped ship in 2008.

  8. Profile photo of AHeart4Fiction
    AHeart4Fiction

    I liked blonde baby Lulu & dark-haired Lulu but I never took to teen or adult Lulu. She had/has no family loyalty and I never saw any of the characteristics of Luke or Laura in her. I like JMB as an actress but if the character goes then so be it; no need to recast.

    It doesn’t help that Lulu never seemed to be used in any Spencer adventure or serve any real purpose for me.

  9. Profile photo of daisylover1
    daisylover1

    [quote=SwanQueen59]There have been some beautifully written and wonderfully acted sequences that started the build up to L and D’s “Journey to Parenthood” back in August 2012. Even though I know JMB and DZ will knock the genetic reveal scenes out of the park, the now faux surrogacy has been hijacked by a triangle that a fair amount of people don’t care for. (And I’m being polite, as I don’t blame those actors involved who are doing their roles as scripted.) I truly believe a lot of what is happening is a result of story lines having to be adjusted because of other cast members leaving, contract negotiations, and returning vets’ threads having to be woven in and around stories that may have already been worked out but then having to be altered or scrapped altogether. Any or all of these considerations have probably put a lot of stress on the patience of people who have maybe been promised certain things but now have to wait while other things/concerns have to be taken care of first.

    Having said that, and trying to be spoiler free, the return of GF’s Laura has signaled a previously voiced wish that RC has planned a revisit of the Ice Princess saga which is supposed to draw L, and to another extent, D, even more closely into the “solving mysteries”/Spencer aspect of her character.

    I am truly praying that Miss Berman will remain in the role as she has been, from the moment she appeared on screen, the main reason for my returning to being an everyday watcher of GH. Her partnership with Mr. Zamprogna has been the unexpected bonus that has caused me to invest in this pairing (and GH in general), beyond what I used to when watching a soap. I see some striking qualities in their pairing that remind me of Luke and Laura but their stories should be written to reflect a modern sensibility when it comes to “adventure”. These two actors are worth their weight in platinum and RC and FV would be foolish to let their talents slip away, especially at this time in GH’s history, when the series is crying out for romance rooted in realism. These two can and have delivered both. As actors they need to be nurtured with material that pushes them to be a touchstone couple that can be counted on to carry GH into the future. As I am want to say, we love who we love. I fully admit my bias. I love JMB. I love DZ. And that’s just me… 0:)[/quote]

    I couldn’t agree more. I love JMB as Lulu, always have, but when paired with Dominic Zamprogna as Dante a new super couple emerged. Never have I seen a couple with such magic on screen. When I watch them together, they seem to breathe for each other, they feed off each other, need each other to exist, yet separately they are still complete and total characters. I enjoy both separately and together. This couple has so much potential, and for quite awhile they were able to exhibit their talent with the story lines given them, but in the last months sadly that’s not been the case.
    No one could blame JMB for looking to greener pastures, especially with what little has been asked of her lately. My hope is that with the return of GF, the new story line involving the Ice Princess and Dante at her side, she’ll postpone her departure until she has been able to show all the fans exactly what she’s capable of and can deliver.

  10. Profile photo of Bourgeois Nerd
    Bourgeois Nerd

    “JMB wants to leave” has been a persistent and perennial rumor for several years. Which doesn’t mean it isn’t true this time, but I’m not inclined to take this one any more seriously than all the other ones.

  11. Profile photo of EastWest
    EastWest

    Before the direction Ron and Frank took her, I always felt that Kelly Sullivan would’ve made an excellent Lulu recast. She looks just like Genie and it would’ve gave her a chance to play a character in her actual age range w/slight SORASing. #ohwell and long time, no post.

  12. Profile photo of diremommy
    diremommy

    With the way SO many actors decide to leave for a bit, and find out that the grass is NOT greener on the other side, I think I’d rather they just put Lulu off the canvas for a bit. That way, if LB does decide to come back, it’s not a big issue, and if she doesn’t, it’ll be a bit easier to accept a recast.

    Her story has been so minor lately, it wouldn’t be that big a deal for Dante to refer to Lulu at home or at work. It just stinks that it’s happening now, as Laura is coming home, but really, JMB doesn’t have nearly the history with Genie that the Lucky and Nikolas characters and actors had.

  13. Profile photo of MotownKate4Soaps
    MotownKate4Soaps

    JMB has a business with her husband as well called Better Buddies. I don’t know how well they are doing but maybe she wants to focus on that in addition to possibly starting a family. For storyline possibilities, if Genie Francis is only around temporarily then maybe Lulu goes with Laura to help her with any medical problems, especially if the surrogacy secrets unravel, Lulu may want to get away from Maxie and loyal to the police Dante stays back.

  14. Profile photo of SwanQueen59
    SwanQueen59

    The sad fact of Guza decimating Laura’s character/relationship with Luke is a big reason why I believe JMB’s L has been robbed of the “history with Genie that the Lucky and Nikolas characters and actors had.” With that said, the way these two women have picked up the strands of their characters relationship is noteworthy for its warmth and their natural affinity with each other. How much more rich and layered could this mother/daughter connection have been had it not been so cruelly short circuited because the headwriter didn’t seem to have any use for her history, with and without Luke? In that respect, I feel robbed of the possibilities that were lost, but would love to see something new take root as a result of GF coming back into the fold. Of course, what we would like to see is not guaranteed… 0:)

  15. Profile photo of Daniel St. John
    Daniel St. John

    I hope she does leave because I have never liked her in the role and the Dante/Lulu coupling is dreadfully boring.
    Marcy Rylan isn’t on contract at YR and she’s short enough to not draw attention to how diminutive Dominic Zamprogna is.

  16. Profile photo of LoracNJ
    LoracNJ

    I like Julie and Lulu has always been one of my favorite characters. That said her recent storylines have been so boring. I am sick of her character constantly hovering over Maxie and I was over her and Dante a long time ago. Her and Brandon Barash have great chemistry together and Lulu and Johnny were never boring.

    What they should do since Scott Baldwin is coming back is revisit the whole Lulu killing Logan storyline because Dante still does not know about that (actually I don’t think alot of people know it was really her) and how Johnny took the blame. Actually if they could just get Johnny out of prison this would be a good time to push Lulu back into his life. Maybe even have Serena Baldwin come back to make Lulu’s life miserable as payback for her father (new generation of the Spencer/Baldwin feud). Dante could end up falling for Serena through all of that.

  17. Profile photo of JasamForever
    JasamForever

    @Swan-I know you will be heartbroken if Julie leaves GH. Gosh, do you guys like any actors on this site? Geez Louise. I am a fan of Julie Marie Berman and thinks she is a phenomenal actress. :crown: One thing that Cartini has done since taking the fold is make me like Lulu and Dante again, however, and a big HOWEVER, this surrogacy pregnancy storyline sucks!!! :Sp

    So I hope Julie stays.

  18. Profile photo of EricasEvilTwin
    EricasEvilTwin

    Amen JaSam….seriously some people are never happy. I for one enjoy JMB in the role and I think the role is important to the canvas. I feel for her – this lante story certainly doesnt seem to really be about lante at all but im looking forward to how they will play in to the laura story.

  19. Profile photo of iowaninmn
    iowaninmn

    I like Lulu, the character, and I think Julie is a great actress. I can’t imagine a recast. Don’t we call character’s like Lule “legacy” characters? Those seem to be really tough recasts.

    Lulu has great chemistry with some characters like Luke, Tracy, and Maxie, for example, but I agree that she and Dante are dull. Actually, Dante is dull.

    Totally, off topic, but Dante is a character I can’t imagine why anyone ever saw the need for — another son for Sonny, who looks Sonny’s age, who’s mother also looks the same age. I wasn’t paying attention to GH when Dante showed up, but I’ve never understood why he was around. I guess the show wasn’t enough about Sonny one day.

  20. Profile photo of SZima
    SZima

    I wouldn’t blame her if she does leave. CarTini has absolutely, totally and completely destroyed what should have been a really good storyline…the surrogacy. :angry: It has become nothing but a plot-point involving Spinelli, and now Britt, two extremely unlikable characters.

    As for the actress, sometimes I love her, sometimes I hate her, but the character is important to the show…especially since Laura is back. I like NERescuer’s suggestion that
    Stephanie Gatschet be hired to play Lulu, if Julie does leave. :) She really looks like she could be Laura’s daughter and she’s the same age as Julie.

  21. Profile photo of Transfigurationjc
    Transfigurationjc

    Boy that would be a belated Christmas gift for me! JLB has bored me to death for years now. The writing for her character has been lousy for years. And her performances lackluster.
    In the beginning she was good, but when the writing fell off so did her acting. The character became a one note, air headed bimbo unworthy of the Spencer name.
    The Lante thing has always left me cold. She and Zamprogna are boring enough to put me in a coma. Id be happy if she left. But Id rather see the character written off.
    The GH casting department has been way off its game for years now and considering the fact that Valentini is a budget Nazi who loves to hire dayplayers and give them story, I dont trust him to hire a suitable recast. (It would take and experienced, focus vet). So the best choice would be to send Lulu packing.

  22. Profile photo of sassysdreams
    sassysdreams

    I have always enjoyed JMB as Lulu and love both the actress and the character!! I hope this is only contract negotiations and that she chooses to stay on with GH! With GF back on contract there is bound to be plenty of story coming up involving all the Spencer family and I’m still hopeful that for the 50th anniversary we will learn that Lulu and Dante are having a baby of their very own!!!

  23. Profile photo of liason4real
    liason4real

    I was never a Lante fan until RC took over their writing and they became this really cute young married couple in love. However, that nasty miscarriage sex with Spixie and Lulu yammering at Maxiepad has me wanting Dante to fall into bed with Britt just for the heck of it. ;)

  24. Profile photo of mipeony
    mipeony

    Eh, if she leaves she leaves. It’s her decision. I haven’t been a fan of Lulu’s since Georgie got thrown under the bus for her during the previous writer’s regime, pretty much all her character’s done the last few years is shriek at everyone and think the world revolves around her and her father only, so eh… like I said, if she leaves she leaves. Bring Lucky and Nic back, even if it is for short periods of time and I’ll be happy with that.

  25. Profile photo of alstonboy4315
    alstonboy4315

    Julie Berman is the best actress under 30 on soaps! It would be an absolute shame for this show to lose her, but I must admit that I haven’t given a good kitty on Lulu Spencer for YEARS. And now that she’s a whiny, mealy-mouthed little housewife, I see little to no reason to care anymore. Ron has taken away the ONLY reason that I COULD have started to care again with this lame and predictable surrogacy story. If they had given Lulu and Dante a child and given us the opportunity to watch them deal with the struggles of parenthood, that might have endured me to the character again.

    But it’s just more shock value for Ron C.

    I will miss Julie, but after the big reveal happens where Lulu learns the truth, Lulu can kick rocks…………

  26. Profile photo of SwanQueen59
    SwanQueen59

    alstonboy-Good to see you (along with Miss Victoria Rowell! :)! ) Normally I agree with 99.8% of your ideas, but I would quibble with your characterization of L being a “whiney, mealy-mouthed little housewife” when she’s now been running the Haunted Star since July 2012, albeit now with a Llanview interloper who I’ve lately come to look at as not much more than a a parasite. (No offense to KA. It’s what she’s being written to do, via her “pet” status.) I’m totally in agreement with you about JMB being the best “under 30 actress” (I’d even go further saying best actress period, but that’s me! ;) ), as well as about RC going for the “shock value” aspect with regard to this faux surrogacy story. I’ve referred to it as his not being able to resist going for the grotesque in what I perceive as mocking what could have been a truly sensitive story that might have also been a celebration of female friendship that nowadays is all too rare on soaps. Lost opportunity to write something that could have been uplifting and inspiring. :~ Sigh… 0:)

  27. Profile photo of NAN
    NAN

    I adore JMB and don’t want her going anywhere. She and DZ are the best thing on this show IMO. They just need a good story and much more airtime.

  28. Profile photo of tori87dec
    tori87dec

    Do not want to see Luke/Laura ride into the sunset. Let AG leave who cares but I want GF to stay. Laura needs to make a life back in Port Charles,bring back Stefan Cassadine Stephen Nichols to romance her they had wonderful chemistry. Let Scott move on to someone else as well,whining over Laura like he doesn’t isn’t pretty anymore! AG looks old enough to be GF grandfather and any romance between them gross’s me out. Genie just said in interview that L&L wouldn’t be getting together romantically(yeah!!!)Laura deserves alot better then to always have to kiss Luke’s butt which the writers always seem to have her do. Let Genie finally move on!~

  29. Profile photo of pumpkin
    pumpkin

    I wouldn’t mind if LuLu and Dante left town together. Take Luke with them. The actor/character only annoys me at this point. Grow up. Last year when he won the Emmy and he came off humble, it was all an act. He has had a sweet deal for years. I just think there are times when characters just don’t mature or change and never will. There are guys in my small town who still hang out at the local bars like they did when they were 21. He would fit in with them.

    Some of the oldies of all the soaps get more intriguing with age and some should just go away gracefully.

  30. Profile photo of scrumptious
    scrumptious

    JMB wants to move on from soaps and pursue work in primetime before she’s 30. That’s completely understandable. JJ is certainly doing well on Nashville.

    Best of luck to JMB! If things don’t work out for her, she can always come back.

  31. Profile photo of GHvetfan
    GHvetfan

    I would be very sad to see her leave. I have always thought JMB was aperfect mix of Luke and Laura. Awesome casting! Lulu has at times been written a tad annoying. I cannot blame that on the actress. Love her!!!

  32. Profile photo of GHvetfan
    GHvetfan

    Jonathon Jackson was my Lucky and somehow the writers made him quite the tool when they brought him back. I cannot blame that on the actor. If they ever bring Lucky back, I hope they write him much better. I have never watched Nashville. Someone told me not to waste my time. Is it good?

  33. Profile photo of soapcrazy
    soapcrazy

    I like the character of Lulu before she got with Dante. She needs to be a Spencer again. Lulu and Dante as a couple is boring. I don’t want Lulu to leave but if she does, kill of Dante while you’re at it and make sure he does not come back from the dead

  34. Profile photo of SwanQueen59
    SwanQueen59

    GHvetfan-I’ve enjoyed Nashville, and JJ’s character is definitely a departure from what we were used to seeing him do. There’s a fair amount of the show that’s formulaic, but it’s managed to hold my attention and given me a new appreciation for country music. Claire Bowen who plays Scarlett has a beautiful voice that reminds me of Emmylou Harris or a young Dolly Parton… 0:)

  35. Profile photo of soapfan616
    soapfan616

    It would be sad to see her leave as I am just now starting to enjoy her and Dante. It took me a while but as soon as they took Dante’s head out of Sonny’s ***, I started to see what others saw in him.

    Re: Nashville, my two cents is that I love it. It’s so refreshing to see a soap written about women and telling women’s stories even when they are slightly formula and cliche. It started out slow as I had very high hopes for it but I can safely say now that I’m pretty hooked. JJ is definitely the best singer on the show. I’m thrilled that he’s getting to show a larger audience his talents.

  36. Profile photo of soapfan616
    soapfan616

    [quote=SZima]I wouldn’t blame her if she does leave. CarTini has absolutely, totally and completely destroyed what should have been a really good storyline…the surrogacy. :angry: It has become nothing but a plot-point involving Spinelli, and now Britt, two extremely unlikable characters.

    As for the actress, sometimes I love her, sometimes I hate her, but the character is important to the show…especially since Laura is back. I like NERescuer’s suggestion that
    Stephanie Gatschet be hired to play Lulu, if Julie does leave. :) She really looks like she could be Laura’s daughter and she’s the same age as Julie.[/quote]
    *****

    Agree! This surrogacy story should be soapy-delicious. But when it starts with a woman getting pregnant on the same day she miscarries, I just shake my head. I was SO looking forward to this one and now just disappointed. Also definitely agree that this role is totally re-castable. They’ll never find an actress who so resembles Genie F, but I’d go for a recast.

  37. Profile photo of days4ever
    days4ever

    I can’t see anyone else playing LuLu! I was thinking maybe Natalie Hall (Colby Chandler from AMC) but since she broke up with Brandon Barash I doubt she would want to join the show.

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