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Donnell Turner Says Starring on GENERAL HOSPITAL Is a Dream Come True! (EXCLUSIVE)


Forget cops and robbers. As a kid, Donnell Turner loved playing GENERAL HOSPITAL’s Luke and Robert with his big brother. Now he’s enjoying playing out his own adventures as Curtis. “I love how the writers have so proficiently woven him into the fabric of Port Charles,” he raved to Soaps In Depth. “He’s in major players’ lives. I’ve had scenes with Genie Francis (Laura), who is a legend. And recently, I did scenes with [Kin Shriner’s] Scotty Baldwin for the first time! To be working with people I watched as a kid, it cements the fact that I’m not just ‘a guy on the show.’ Curtis has a place, and I gotta tell you, I’m having a lot of fun!”

The boy who once dreamt of being what he called “the black Luke” has seen several full-circle moments come to pass since joining GH. But jumping out of an exploding cabin holding Francis’ hand earlier this year tops the list. “For her to look at me as we’re laying on a pad, covered with Hollywood dirt after doing these great stunts, and say, ‘I haven’t had this much fun since working with Anthony Geary (ex-Luke)’… “ Turner marveled. “I almost passed out.” Forget his Daytime Emmy reel, “that goes on my life reel!” he chuckled.

General Hospital Laura Curtis

“When someone like Genie Francis tells you, ‘Laura never smiles until she works with Curtis,’ that’s just… wow,” grinned Turner. “Those were her words!” (Photo Credit: ABC)

Like the GH characters Turner emulated decades ago, Curtis isn’t exactly a straight shooter. He did, after all, steal a kidney for his wife! And in the face of Jordan’s mounting medical bills, he played it fast and loose at Aurora… but thankfully, he drew the line at Valentin’s shady $5-million offer. “Curtis is an anti-hero,” Turner maintained. “And I really like the ambiguity of him. He did a good thing for his wife. But he did some crooked things to get there. It says a lot about me [that I can relate]. If someone I loved were in that situation, I probably wouldn’t sit by and just wait, either.”

In other words, Curtis is definitely the kind of guy you want in your corner. “That’s the special thing about him,” Turner said. “He’s shown that he’s down for his friends. He was down for Drew. Down for Nina. And he’s been down for Cupcake… but she’s hard to wrangle!”

Needless to say, Curtis is more than down for wife Jordan, whose portrayer, Briana Nicole Henry, celebrates a year in the role this month. “She is my kind of human being,” Turner gushed. “Therefore, it makes going to work and doing those scenes more enjoyable.”

As for their characters, “Jordan and Curtis are both very, very stubborn. That’s what they have in common,” he noted. “But I don’t want to always be [going head to head]. I want this to look like an authentic love, and I want people to invest in our love as well. So we try to show the love first… and then problem-solve.”

General Hospital Donnell Turner Briana Nicole Henry

Turner appreciates what Henry has pulled off. “A recast is always very difficult, and then it was, ‘Not only are you recast, but your love interest is an older man. Oh, and here’s 30 pages a day.'” he said. “But she’s just wonderful.” (Photo Credit: Jim Warren)

Since coming to Port Charles, Curtis has found a renewed sense of family, while earning quite the reputation as a fixer. The thing about playing the hero, however, is that the more villains you cross, the more bad guys you have gunning for you. While Cassandra’s sure to take issue with being caught, Valentin won’t be happy when he learns Curtis has teamed up with Hayden, Jax and Laura to steal his inheritance. Perhaps most frightening of all, psycho Ryan is still fuming over that stolen kidney. “It’s scary maybe to the average person,” Turner shrugged. “But we’ve shown that Curtis is here for the crazy! He’s former DEA, former Baltimore PD, doing what he’s doing in Port Charles. So you can come for him if you want to… but he ain’t scared of Ryan or no one.”

For more on your favorite GH stars, keep reading the ABC edition of Soaps In Depth magazine.

Additional reporting by Kelli M. Larson

This story originally appeared in our print magazine

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