Lisa LoCicero is one of the most integral members of the General Hospital cast. She joined the soap in 2008 and has guided Olivia Falconeri in and out of practically everybody’s business in Port Charles – especially the iconic Quartermaine and Corinthos dynasties. An actress, an amazing mom, outspoken and funny, too – we get it all in this exclusive interview.
How have you been dealing with this crazy coronavirus year?
Lisa: Well… I’ve gotten back into working out after a two decade vacation from it. And mentioning only silver linings – we’ve started eating in the dining room, I’ve realized I’m as good at manicure/pedicure as the professionals, I’m spending more time with kids, and I’ve given up on keeping my house perpetually in order, not that it ever really was.
Have you found any new hobbies or projects to work on during this time?
Lisa: I’ve spent a little time getting back to playing the piano while we’ve been shut in. It’s hard to get back to where I was as a teenager but I take it slow, and just enjoy making mistakes! I also started working out for the first time in two decades, so that’s kind of…fun?
Has it been a bit of a relief going to the set at General Hospital or is it just more stress?
Lisa: Going back to GH has been a godsend. I really needed some human contact outside the home, and getting to do such great content, both emotional and fun, has been tremendous. Cathartic. Healing…
It was great seeing you return front and center with Olivia getting caught up in drama with Tristan Rogers and eventually Nathan Parsons, did you like that heavy schedule?
Lisa: I love to work, so the heavy schedule was great while it lasted. Stressful yes, but good stress. And working with Tristan and Nathan was just icing on a gourmet cake!
Had you shared your youthful thoughts to Tristan over the years?
Lisa: I’m sure he’s pretty sick of hearing about it! He is every bit as delightful and charming as I assumed he would be when I was a 12 year old. Tristan is a joy to work with and we had a ton of fun on that European escapade. It was really nice to flex so many different stylistic muscles over those episodes. Melodrama, regular drama, adventure, light comedy – I had a ball!
How was working with Nathan Parsons upon his brief return?
Lisa: It was so great to see Nathan back on the set! I forgot what a powerful and nuanced performer he is. We were asking each other if our characters had ever met and at the same moment went. ‘AH! YES!’ I believe I gave him mouth to mouth resuscitation on the floor of the GH hub many years ago – only on a soap set do two people have that conversation!
Wasn’t Tony Geary’s dressing room next to yours over the years?
Lisa: Tony Geary did have the dressing room next to mine – Steve Burton has it now. I was lucky enough to get to spend time chatting with him over the years. I especially remember him coming to my Halloween party the first year I was on General Hospital, he was dressed as a vampire. I was Ursa from Superman 2 – ha! Those were fun times. Tony is a wise and wonderful presence, and always missed.
What former co-star do you miss the most?
Lisa: It’s really hard to say, it would have certainly been Dominic Zamprogna a few months ago. But, Jane Elliot and Kelly Sullivan certainly were great to have around. I love those ladies.
Who is your hero?
Lisa: My teenage son Luke. He’s definitely had the worst of it. His senior year of high school and freshman year at USC have definitely been wrecked. Luke is pretty stoic, but I can see that spending his teenage years in the house with his mom and dad and little sister is getting pretty old. He’s amazing. He lost his senior year, saying goodbye to friends and effectively his freshman year of college. And has not complained once. He just does the next right thing and keeps his chin up and is grateful. On a bigger scale, of course, the frontline workers and scientists who risk their lives every day through this, to save lives and make people comfortable, and find a cure. I think we aren’t making a continued effort to appreciate them the way they deserve.
When fans meet you, do they ask if you named your son after Luke on GH – and did you?
Lisa: We did not actually name him after Luke Spencer. Though fans frequently ask. It’s more like Cool Hand Luke. Hopefully he doesn’t get incarcerated.
What is the greatest gift you’ve allow yourself?
Lisa: Lately it has been mental and emotional self care. Slowing down when I need to, making time to meditate and start working out again, journaling, talking to a good therapist when I need to. It’s not indulgent! It’s necessary to live a quality life and be there for the people in you love.
Who is the most famous person you’ve met?
Lisa: I guess I’ve met a lot of famous people in my line of work. But what just came to mind was meeting Joe Biden in Israel many years ago. He was having breakfast at the hotel in Jerusalem where I was staying.
OK, well who is the last famous person you’ve met?
Lisa: More recently I had a lovely chat with Olivia Newton-John, who was such an inspiration when I was a kid and is a truly beautiful human being. I have a painting that was hers from her recent charity auction hanging in my GH dressing room! Oh, and I recently sat within earshot of James Woods and Jon Voight having lunch which was… entertaining?
What’s the last song you caught yourself singing………in the shower?
Lisa: Sadly the last song that was stuck in my head was Seven Days a Week from Scooby Doo. That Scooby Doo very big in my house right now – the thing will just never die.
Best advice your or mother ever gave you?
Lisa: I’ve had a lot of great advice from both of my parents, but one that sprang to mind, was on my way to my first audition – for the church production of The Sound of Music – I said to my mom ‘It feels like I have caterpillars in my stomach!’ and instead of trying to talk me out of being nervous she said ‘isn’t that great – that’s why actors love to do what they do!’ She reframed nervous as excitement and i’ve always tried to remember that.
Most people consider it a job they couldn’t or wouldn’t do, but you’d like it?
Lisa: I think another job I’d really enjoy and some people would hate is a therapist. I love to listen and I’m good at letting people have their feelings, and not judging. I was about to finish a masters program in Spiritual Psychology when I moved to New York City for One Life to Life.
What movie should definitely have a sequel – starring you?
Lisa: Definitely Godfather 4. Or a Star Trek sequel where my Klingon blood saves the world.
What movie star would you love to star opposite of right now – what kind of movie would it be?
Lisa: Maybe a thriller with Michael Caine. Or – I’d have to get in excellent shape and learn to fight – an action movie! So, maybe…Keanu Reeves? I never got him when I was young, but now that I’m old, he seems charming. And if you write a headline that says “Lisa LoCicero dying to work with Keanu Reeves” with a photo I’ll never speak to you again.
You mean something like this?
So, you’re having a dinner party – and there is only room for six celebrities for you to invite, who is on that list?
Lisa: This is a weird question… I’m inviting six celebrities to a dinner party? On it’s face its already a little star f**ky – can their non-famous spouses attend? Are these people I actually know? Like Finola, Dom, Jane, Nancy, Tristan etc.? Or like… Paul, Ringo, Obama, Bob Dylan, Joan Didion, and Meryl Streep? It won’t be James Woods and Jon Voight, I already overheard that conversation.
And you have to do the cooking, so what’s on the menu?
Lisa: Vegetarian food obviously, so they’re getting my famous Esalen Kale salad and truffled mushroom risotto … and chocolate soufflé.