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Interview: Donna Mills talks playing Madeline on 'General Hospital'

Donna Mills of "General Hospital"
Donna Mills of "General Hospital"
Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

On “General Hospital,” you knew that Madeline was going to be a force to be reckoned with the minute she came to town, gunning for Silas (Michael Easton). She should be. Madeline is portrayed by Donna Mills, who as Abby Fairgate Ewing Sumner on the 80's hit primetime soap, “Knot's Landing,” helped propel the show to a ratings success.

The show was “must-see” television on Thursday nights. In fact, “Knot's Landing,” along with it's big sister soap.“Dallas,” were social media giants before it was tech savvy; when conversations about the characters on your favorite shows took place during coffee breaks at the office, during phone conversations (remember landlines anyone), and at the lockers outside of high school classrooms.

Now Madeline is becoming a much talked about character on “GH.” When last seen, she had a syringe in her designer handbag, looking to take out anyone who might get in the way of her protecting her daughter's “estate.”

Daytime TV Examiner had the pleasure of spending a few minutes with the TV diva to get her thoughts on coming to “GH” and on her thoughts on why people are addicted to the soap opera genre.

Check out our interview below:

Phyllis: It's good to see you on “General Hospital.”

Donna Mills: Thank You.

Phyllis: I loved “Knot's Landing” too. It was one of my favorite shows. What's the biggest difference for you between the two shows?

Donna Mills: It's so fast, Oh My Gosh. We used to do on Knot's Landing, on a busy day, maybe 10 pages. They do 150 in a day!!! It's insane. They're very good at rolling it out.

Phyllis: I know you can't share much, but what's going on with Madeline these days? The way she's acting, I'm getting the sense that maybe Nina's still alive?

Donna Mills: (Laughs) Hmmm...

Phyllis: I'm kind of thinking that.

Donna Mills: Well, you could be right...you should always follow your instincts, (laughs). But I can't say. I don't know, I have no idea. Actually, I bring some other information before them. I don't watch myself on it so I don't know what's been said and shown so far.

Phyllis: The current story is Silas, Sam and Nathan are working together and Nathan just found out that Madeline just told Silas that Nina was dead.

Donna Mills: Oh, okay. See I told you I didn't know, you didn't believe me did you?

Phyllis: No, I didn't actually. (Laughs) Tell me, what made you decide to come to GH in the first place?

Donna Mills: They begged (Laughs). No, they called me up and said "you're the only one who can play this role." And they told me about it and it sounded like fun and it sounded like it would be fun to do. They didn't tell me about the 150 pages though (Laughs) until I got there.

Phyllis: The primetime soap were the networks bread and butter back in the day and the genre is as popular as ever today in both primetime and in the daytime. What do you think makes these dramas so successful?

Donna Mills: Well, they're about people. You know, they're stories of people. People are always interested in that and they are infinite numbers of stories to be told, because every interaction is different, so it's an endless wealth of stories going on always. We're always interested in what's going on with other people.

Phyllis: What are your rules for a happy life?

Donna Mills: Well, for a happy relationship, I think you have to listen and be kind.

Want to find out what Madeline is going to do next? Catch Donna Mills on “General Hospital,” airing weekdays on ABC.

To read more articles with actors from your favorite shows and movies, check out LA Music Examiner, Daytime TV Examiner, Classic TV Examiner and Animation Examiner. For more video interviews, visit our page: LA Music and TV Examiner. Also, follow us on Twitter at @spotliteonENT, @Phyllis_Thomas and @belindasLAmusic