INTERVIEW: Michelle Stafford on Nina — “She’s Definitely a Sociopath”

Michelle Stafford

Michelle Stafford shocked daytime fans last year when she left The Young and the Restless after a decade and a half of playing semi-reformed troublemaker Phyllis. She surprised fans again when she joined the cast of General Hospital as Nina, Silas’s unhinged wife who has awoken from her coma with a vengeance.

On the Daytime Emmys red carpet, Stafford revealed how Nina is different from Phyllis, what Nina wants and why it was easy to move from Genoa City to Port Charles.

Daytime Confidential: We got to see Nina have an epic freak out. What was it like to take Nina from calm to crazy?

Michelle Stafford: I knew that she was going to be psychotic.[Head writer] Ron [Carlivati] and I had a very long conversation about it and she’s a sociopath.  She’s definitely a sociopath.

DC: What is her ultimate agenda?

MS: You know what? She was completely screwed by everybody. So her agenda is that they feel the pain that she feels. Like, when a man breaks up with you, you want him to feel pain. You don’t want him to move on, like “Oh I’m just happy he’s happy.” You want him to fell pain.

DC: Nina reminds me of early Phyllis.

MS: She’s going to remind a lot of people of Phyllis circa 1995. I’m like, “Wow this is really bizarre.” Ron doesn’t know Y&R, but there are a lot of similarities. But the person is completely different. Nina is completely bonkers. Phyllis was more villainous, while Nina is just really disturbed.

DC: Did you research sociopaths to prepare to play her?

MS: I did. I watched other [portrayals.] Fatal Attraction and There Will Be Blood.

DC: Does Nina know that Jason is alive?

MS: I don’t know. I saw what everyone’s saying [about it] but I don’t know any of that.

DC: Nina and Jason were at the same medical facility at the same time.

MS: It could be. I don’t know. I really don’t.

DC: Nina’s love for her brother Nathan seems sincere?

MS: Yeah. It’s genuine. That’s her heart right there. That’s what she used to have.

DC: Everyone wants to see you and Donna Mills, who plays your mother, together. Will we?

MS: I think so. That’s what I’ve heard.

DC: What was it like creating a new character after playing Phyllis for so long?

MS: I did three other projects after [Y&R]. I did two independent films and I did The Stafford Project. I’m just an actress. I do different things all the time. That’s what I want to do. Every role I do is fun.

DC: How do you like your new co-workers at General Hospital?

MS: They’re assholes. I’m kidding. I was friends with all of them. I knew Kelly [Monaco]. I knew Laura [Wright]. I knew Nancy [Lee Grahn].  So it’s not totally new. I know them all.

19 Responses

  1. Profile photo of GHFan777

    LOL I think it is funny he is now recycling Y&R characters on GH. Don’t be so sure Michelle. I am sure RC knows all about Phyllis and her history. RC has said he grew up watching them. I would bet anything he did research on her and her character before she started on GH. He is creating Nina with her in mind.

  2. Profile photo of SwanQueen59

    Yup. Re-cycled, Phyllis circa ’95, pre-Phick. Whatever you want to call Nina, she’s stuff that some of us have seen before. And I’m not sure that her love for her little brother/cousin, Nathan, is going to be enough to build any sympathy for her. Should she end up going after Maxie (which, guessing here, is where RC will go since he’s putting them together, no surprise there), she won’t be winning any brownie points. This character may be interesting for some but I’m already tired of her and as before, if MS doesn’t find something that makes people “care” for what she’s gone/going through, she’ll just be one more to add to the list of cartoon type villians that end up adding little to the canvas beyond the fact that they have a biological tie to another cartoon type villian who’s been pasted in for plot point purposes…..

  3. Profile photo of soapjunkie88

    It’s Bill Bell’s Phyllis with a bit more crazy writing. I think we all can agree on that.

    I hated what they have done to Phyllis in those past years. Making her a heroine and all.

    However Michelle Stafford knows best how to play a whacko. I was a big fan of her Phyllis – pre-Phick. But with Phick she just started to bother me and her acting choices on Y&R in last couple of years showed that she seemed pretty bored too.

    So far I’m enjoying Nina. I just hope that Ron Carlivati doesn’t over do it with the crazy characters again. If you still have Dr. O, Heather Webber that could pop up every second and now Nina … it can too much. That’s how I felt when we had Connie, Heather and Dr. O on at the same time last year.

  4. Profile photo of MeltStuff

    Yawn. Why is she getting south screen time? Popular soap star or not, as a new character, we shod not see them so front and center as Nina has been.

  5. Profile photo of aph1976

    I’m glad that Michelle Stafford is on GH.As for Nina in a way i can understand her wanting revenge because i think when she went into her coma she never really dealt with her feelings regarding Silas’s affair with Ava.However as long as Nina doesn’t go too far and just wants to make people suffer i’m with it.However if she tries to kill someone then i might have a problem with her.As for Ron Carliviti maybe he’s writing towards Michelle Stafford’s strengths as an actress.However he should try to make Nina somewhat sympathetic.That way the fans can feel sorry for her even if they hate what she’s doing.

  6. Profile photo of

    “DC: How do you like your new co-workers at General Hospital?

    MS: They’re assholes. I’m kidding. I was friends with all of them.”

    LOL! Love her wicked sense of humor. I wonder if it’s going to turn out that Kiki is actually Nina’s daughter instead of Ava’s.

    • Profile photo of BrookeKKL

      Pretty funny indeed. I was thinking about that since she started talking about her lost child. and even before that I was thinking that Madeline gave the baby for adoption and somehow the baby ended up with Ava.

  7. Profile photo of Desertrose

    Honestly…I was relieved when MS left Y&R and I am not particularly thrilled she’s on GH.

    Absolutely. Phyllis 2.0 with all the same annoying acting tics she did before.

    Not enjoying watching her play a sociopath….not at all.

  8. Profile photo of cigo8179

    Nina had me rolling today “coke head” and “baby killer” toward a teenager isn’t really funny but, she (ms) delivered them with so much camp and fervor. I was on the floor. Just a hoot! I thought it was hilarious, fun, writing and soapy drama.

  9. Profile photo of cigo8179

    Nina had me rolling today “coke head” and “baby killer” toward a teenager isn’t really funny but, she (ms) delivered them with so much camp and fervor. I was on the floor. Just a hoot! I thought it was hilarious, fun, writing and soapy drama.

  10. Profile photo of jeremy in chicago
    jeremy in chicago

    She’s new to me since I eschew Y&R and B&B (I just CAN’T go there!).

    I have to say, she is probably the biggest ham next to Maurcie Bernard I’ve ever seen, but similarly, she sure isn’t boring.

    I like her. Not to mention she is ridiculously hot. She just exudes old school soap opera vixen and that’s why I started watching in the first place. I do wonder though, how Nina can have longevity if she’s patently “psychotic.”

  11. Profile photo of ChrisGa

    For the most part, I’m enjoying Nina, even if MS is chewing every inch of scenery within a twenty mile radius in order to bring the character to life(although saying she’s a sociopath may be putting it mildly). I will say that even with her backstory and how things went down I’m not finding myself sympathizing with her much but, that said, I am looking forward to seeing her demolish a character that I sympathize with even less i.e. Ava Jerome.

  12. Profile photo of jeremy in chicago
    jeremy in chicago

    I am LIVING for the upcoming Nina/Ava scenes. I may actually pass out.

    I totally get why some hate her, but Ava is by FAR my favorite character on GH. And that’s saying a lot because since Frank and Ron took over, my old favorite character, Carly, is the most boring on the entire show. Well I mean, next to McSilas and Slutty Sam. And the gays. And Maxie. And Nathan. And… oh, nevermind.

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