It was pretty clever of GENERAL HOSPITAL to cast ONE LIFE TO LIVE vet Ilene Kristen (Roxy) as Ava Jerome’s long-lost mother, and not just because she and Ava’s portrayer, Maura West, look like they’ve come from the same gene pool. But having Kristen appear as Delia Ryan, the character she played nearly 25 hears ago on RYAN’S HOPE, made it that much more special for long-time soap fans!
“When [executive producer] Frank Valentini called, he said, ‘Are you sitting down? We want you to play Delia,'” Kristen recalls. “My mouth dropped open. I knew they couldn’t call me about Roxy. I was kind of thinking that the call I would get would be, ‘Will you put that brown wig on that you wore in _My Big Gay Italian Wedding?’ _Maybe playing a Bensonhurst gal. I’m from Brooklyn, so I know I can do that. But I think Delia is a good idea.”
It’s been 24 long years since Kristen lived and breathed Delia, and although the character’s history had to change to make having an affair with Victor Jerome and delivering his baby possible, she’s okay with that! “It does change history. But, look, RYAN’S HOPE is not coming back. Am I right to assume that?” she laughs. “I didn’t snap back into Delia’s personality; I snapped into Ilene’s!”