It was the General Hospital news that no one was expecting. A report came out on Saturday that Michelle Stafford, who plays the role of the quirky Nina Reeves, is leaving the ABC soap and taking over her former role as Phyllis Summers on TheYoung & the Restless. Gina Tognoni is out of her Y&R role as Stafford is stepping in. There is no doubt that her GH co-stars will miss her, but James Patrick Stuart may just miss Stafford the most. He quickly broke his silence on social media.
Stuart and Stafford were paired up in 2016. They quickly became a fan-favorite couple on General Hospital and are very close friends off camera as well. They have always had much respect and love for each other. This shocking exit appears to be difficult for the actor, as Stuart took to Twitter to express his sadness over the news of her departure.
He retweeted an article from Soap Opera Digest about the casting shake up and then wrote, “I’ve never wanted so much to believe in ‘fake news.'”
Many fans thought at first that the original breaking story that came from Daytime Confidential could have possibly been an April Fool’s joke. However, that site is pretty reliable when it comes to casting news. They said that Michelle Stafford was unable to reach agreeable contract negotiations with ABC, so she is headed back to her former role on Young and the Restless that she left in 2013.
James Patrick Stuart also had one more thing to say. He said that their time together was “all fun and games…until you lose Michelle Stafford.”
It’s all fun and games…. Until you lose Michelle Stafford. pic.twitter.com/926fKoOObN
— James Patrick Stuart (@japastu) March 31, 2019
General Hospital fans all seem to have mixed feelings on losing Michelle Stafford. Many are also fans of The Young and the Restless and loved her as Phyllis Summers. However, she has been embraced on GH as well. It’s always hard to lose an actor or actress, especially on soaps where fans are so heavily involved with their favorite characters, and also fan-favorite couples such as Valentin and Nina.
Stafford’s character is currently involved with her long-lost daughter story line and is also gearing up to marry Valentin Cassadine again. This certainly puts a kink into the possibility of Willow Tait being her real daughter, as has been rumored for a while now. It will be interesting to see how they pursue this story line. There could always be a recast coming, which would keep the story flowing.
James Patrick Stuart and Michelle Stafford have such chemistry on screen that it would be hard to imagine him with anyone else. Stay tuned to see how General Hospital will handle Stafford’s departure.