Since Kimberly McCullough returned to the iconic role of Robin Scorpio on General Hospital after making sporadic appearances for the past two years, fans have wondered whether she was truly back for the long haul. At the ABC TCA party, McCullough acknowledged she will soon be departing again to focus on her career as a director.
She warned fans may not be pleased with the way Robin exits the canvas, shared her thoughts on the much-debated Patrick-Sabrina wedding and revealed why her latest directing opportunity will keep her close to home.
Daytime Confidential: It’s no longer a secret. You are going to be departing General Hospital at least temporarily sometime soon. Was your return always scheduled to be short term?
Kimberly McCullough: Yeah. It was always supposed to be this amount of time.
DC: Should fans be concerned that they’ll never see Robin again, or will she always be a part of the show?
KM: I certainly hope so! I guess it just depends on how much[executive producer] Frank [Valentini] liked working with me.
DC: GH’s ratings have risen since your return. How does it feel knowing that you have energized the fanbase?
KM: I don’t give myself that credit. The only thing I can say is I’m happy for the show and if I was a part of that at all, I’m so grateful.
DC: Have you filmed your final episode for this go around?
KM: No. I’ve got a couple weeks left.
DC: Is it going to be tough saying goodbye again?
KM: Of course! It always is. But it’s not goodbye. It’s just see you later.
DC: Can you give us a hint about how Robin will be leaving?
KM: Robin’s leaving because of her love for another character that is not Patrick on the canvas.
DC: There were a lot of rumors that you were coming back to give Scrubs a happy ending, but you have just quashed them.
KM: They’re not ready to let Jason Thompson go. So the happy ending is that [fans] still get to see Jason Thompson.
DC: Will Scrubs fans feel a sense of closure when Robin leaves?
KM: I don’t even know if I can comment on that. They’re going to be pissed. Really. They’re going to be pissed. I’m sorry.
DC: No one’s going to be mad at you.
KM: Oh, yes they will.
DC: I will admit while I was watching the wedding episodes, I wanted Robin to rush in and stop Patrick and Sabrina. How did you feel about the wedding and the way Robin treated Patrick afterward?
KM: I really liked it. I thought it was sort of like a typical soapy situation where you’re going to watch someone stop the wedding but that’s not what happened. They took something that you were expecting and they kind of turned it around, especially when Patrick came back and said, “I did talk to Sabrina but I didn’t break things off with her.” And Robin said, “I’m not going with you.” I thought that was really interesting. It gave both characters a lot of power. Patrick was like, “I have another wife and I can’t just shut it off like that.” And Robin was like, “I’m not going to pretend that everything’s cool,” so I really liked that part.
DC: Robin and Patrick basically had about 24 hours of happiness in Port Charles time before Sabrina found out she was pregnant. Do you wish there’d been maybe, say three days of being happy?
KM:I think so, especially with Emma. It would have been nice to have more family time. But I guess there wasn’t time for that.
DC: Robin already seems suspicious about Sabrina’s claim that Carlos is the father of her baby. How does that play out?
KM: Even if she did lie, Sabrina’s intentions are always good. I think that Robin’s are, too. Everyone’s take is justifiable. That makes it good story.
DC: Is there a chance that Carlos lied to Sabrina and they actually did have sex on what was supposed to be her wedding night?
KM: Totally. That’s what soaps are all about, rewriting history.
DC: You’re focusing on your directing career now. What are your next projects?
KM: Right now I’m working on my first feature film [Creve Couer, MO] and it looks like we’re going to be shooting in May. Bella Thorne is cast as the lead, which I’m very excited about. I directed her on an episode of Shake It Up. I just adore her. I think she has so much to offer. I’m really excited about getting to work with her. And Zack Knighton is also going to be in the film, who was on Happy Endings. It’s just cool. I didn’t really plan it that way but it’s sort of this Disney/ABC family in my movie as well. There will be other actors, of course, but the way that it’s starting out is that.
DC: Given the cast, maybe it will end up airing on ABC Family.
KM: Oh my gosh, that would be really funny. You never know.
DC: I know you self-financed a lot of it.
KM: We did Indie Go Go. Now we’re getting other financing.The world of indie film is totally crazy. It’s so much fun. I’m also shadowing on Grey’s Anatomy, one of my favorite shows, in February. I’m hoping, hoping, hoping, praying [I’ll get to direct an episode.] Shonda Rhimes is a huge fan of General Hospital, which is really cool, so I hope I get to meet her.
DC: General Hospital and Grey’s Anatomy film in the same place.
KM: All my friends at General Hospital are like, “We’re going to miss you.” I’m like, “Don’t worry. I can spit on you. I’ll be next door.”
DC: I’ve always wondered why more GH actors didn’t guest star on Grey’s since it would be so easy logistically. At least Chandra Wilson is appearing of GH. Are ABC’s hospitals finally colliding?
KM: I really like that. I feel like we are a family. I’ve been a part of ABC since I was seven-years-old and the Disney Channel gave me my first directing job ever. Not to be weird or anything, but I am very grateful to this company. This company has given me a career.
DC: Will we ever see you in the director’s booth on GH?
KM: I don’t know. I would love to do that. It doesn’t seem like right now that’s going to happen. But maybe if I’m not an actor on the show, maybe it would. But I think I’m more interested in comedy and it’s kind of obvious why. I’ve been doing [GH] my entire life. I would love to do it, but I’m into more comedic stuff.