Temple of Vanessa
The Tin Man Cometh - SOD Aug 97
Is This The End For GH's Brenda And Sonny?
The murder of hated Dr. Pierce Dorman kicked off a whodunit throughout which every single clue has led to Brenda Barrett. Clearly, Brenda did not kill Dorman. And the more likely suspects - Emily and Monica - do not have the motive or skills to frame Brenda. So, who does? Sonny has already figured out that the strange origami animals created by the even stranger Tin Man have something to do with Brenda's setup. Sonny and Brenda have tracked him to Tiger Key, Florida, where this mystery is about to explode. Will Sonny figure it out in time to save Brenda? Have his mob ties risked Brenda's life again? And, if so, will this mean the end for Sonny and Brenda?
"Sonny is smart enough to know that the little origami animals are clues," begins GH executive producer Wendy Riche. "Somebody framed Brenda really well. They had a double wardrobe and the murder weapon. It was very, very well-handled. Sonny -- with his expertise -- knows that this is something bigger than Port Charles. Sonny knows how well professionals are trained, and he knows how they can set somebody up. Sonny and Brenda are on the run so that they can figure out who is setting her up to go to jail. They have got to clear that up before they can return to Port Charles."
It wont be easy. Prevailing wisdom on the GH set is that Lily's mobster father, Rivera, is behind all this turmoil. If that's the case, it means Rivera didnt die by his own hand, as Sonny originally thought. "The stakes are high because there is history with Rivera," Maurice Benard (Sonny) points out. "If he didnt really die, then the stakes are going to be really high for Sonny and Brenda." Maurice likes his new adversary for personal reasons. "I've got a friend playing the Tin Man, John Carlos," he reveals. "We went to acting class together. I've got scenes coming up with him where I'm in his face."
With good reason. If Rivera did hire the Tin Man to frame Brenda for the murder, that means, once again, that Brenda's life has been threatened by Sonny's connections to the underworld. "I think Brenda finally realizes the extent of who Sonny is, and what he's involved in," muses Vanessa Marcil (Brenda). "Sonny has a million enemies, and they all know that the best way to get to him is through Brenda. I dont think she thinks it has anything to do with her personally at all. It's part of being in love with someone who's in the mob. If you count how many times Brenda has almost died since she fell in love with Sonny, the list goes on and on. That's just part of being with him."
If the search does lead to the ruthless Rivera, will Brenda accept her own arrest as just part of loving Sonny? "I do believe that Sonny is the love of her life," responds Vanessa. "So, I think she tries to make herself okay with the danger because she loves him so much. What's not okay with her is not being able to ask what's going on. She'll never be the kind of girl who's like, 'Okay, whatever.' It's so funny because people have been saying, 'Brenda's just a puppy dog now, following Sonny around.' And I was watching the air show the other day and he's saying, 'You cant know about this,' and she's like, 'Grrr.' It pisses her off! She said, 'I'll never get used to that. I'll never get used to you saying I cant know about stuff.'"
Interestingly, Sonny will go to great lengths this week to protect two other people very close to him. After a discussion in a seedy Florida motel room about the people they miss most, Sonny risks police detection and phones Robin. The angry young girl relays details of Jason's shooting and begs Sonny to fire Jason -- to save his life. "They wrote great scenes of me and Kimberly (McCullough, Robin) on the phone," praises Maurice. "There are three or four big scenes. Unfortunately, they're on the phone, but that's because we're on the run." For Robin's sake, Sonny agrees to fire Jason. "On the phone," continues Maurice, "I'm playing it like Maurice is telling Steve (Burton, Jason), 'I dont want to be friends with you anymore.' It's deep and emotional."
With Jason and Robin safely out of the way, Sonny and Brenda are free to follow the clues to what turns out to be a creepy, old mansion in Tiger Key. "They are shocked to see who is behind all this," previews Riche. "Well, we dont know whether Sonny is shocked, but Brenda is quite surprised to see who is behind all this." A violent encounter follows. "This is probably going to be one of the biggest confrontations of Sonny's life," hints Riche. "Afterward, they will feel safe and return to Port Charles, only for Sonny to realize that he is never going to be really safe. And what he does about that is going to surprise you."
"Sonny will always be involved in danger," sighs Vanessa. "If she wants to be with him, she's going to have to conform to his lifestyle. I dont know if she can do that."
Does Brenda Miss Jax? - SOD Aug 97
Brenda spent valuable time alone this year, kicking her drug addiction and weighing her feelings for the two terrific men in her life. She chose Sonny. Jax took the rejection like a man, but that doesnt mean his feelings for Brenda have lessened. As a matter of fact, Jax will head to Florida this week armed with information that could help save Brenda.
How does Brenda feel about Jax now? "I think she misses Jax a lot," theorizes Vanessa Marcil, "because what really ended up happening out of this whole thing was that Jax became her best friend. Brenda grew up with no parents and no father figure, so she doesnt know how to differentiate between a best friend and a boyfriend. I think she misses Jax on a daily basis, but I dont think she's really quite clear on why."
A Contract Hit... And Miss - SOD Aug 97
Regular readers of this magazine know that Maurice Benard will leave GH later this summer, while Vanessa Marcil has re-signed her contract for another year. This means that whatever happens in Tiger Key will spell some sort of end for Sonny and Brenda. "They're leaving the door wide open for me," confides Maurice. "Which makes it... put it this way: If these doors were closed, I dont know if I'd have the balls to leave."
"I am not closing the door on the possibility Maurice might come back," Vanessa chimes in. She adds, though, that in his absence, she is looking forward to working with Ingo Rademacher (Jax) again. "I really love working with Ingo, too," she smiles. "So, whether or not they put us back together, I know we'll be working together - no matter what - as friends."
As for her own contract, Vanessa reports that she re-signed for one, simple reason. "I love it here," she explains. "I love the show. I think I'm probably staying more for emotional reasons than professional. A lot of people think I should go, but it's really hard for me because there is still stuff I want to do." It helped that Vanessa recently became engaged to co-star Tyler Christopher (Nikolas). "That's part of the reason," she allows, "because we probably would never get to see each other if I left. When I was gone doing a movie, we never saw each other, ever."
Vanessa stresses, too, that her fans had a lot to do with her decision. "For them to be so worried about whether I was staying or going was so touching to me, because everyone wants to feel wanted." A few issues ago, Digest ran a cover photo of Vanessa while she was making her decision, with the cover line "Relax!."
"I want to make sure that they all know that I meant, 'Relax, because I promise I'll let you guys know as soon as I definitely make a decision.' It means so much to me that they care about me."
The 50 Most Beautiful People
SOU - Sept 97
If her life had taken a different turn Vanessa Marcil may have ended up a lawyer -- and she could have had any jury wrapped around her finger. Instead, she's got us hooked on her performance as Brenda on GH. Her exotic and sensual looks have made her one of the most desirable faces on television and in film. She's starred in numerous music videos by The Artist Formerly Known as Prince and on the big screen as Nicolas Cage's girlfriend in "The Rock." Although her recent ABC pilot LA Med didnt get picked up for this fall season, Vanessa is still poised to be a breakout primetime success. And she's set for personal success as well: she's engaged to marry GH co-star Tyler Christopher on Dec 14th.
Daytime's Greatest Love Stories
The Mobster and The Supermodel
Before privileged Brenda ever got mixed up with smooth criminal Sonny, she knew he was bad news. (He'd turned her high school classmate, Karen, into a pill-popping stripper, for pete's sake.) But the nymphet never had been one to listen to her head. She was looking for trouble, and when the godfather of Port Charles baited her with his eyes -- and tempted her with his lips -- she knew that she had found it. Over the course of their affair, passion made their hearts skip a beat. And when desire alone didnt give them palpitations, the murder attempts of his "business" rivals did. Finally, for the sake of the life of the love of his life, Sonny tried to sever his ties to the underworld. But upon realizing that the Mob would never stop sucking him back in -- and thus, Brenda would never be safe -- he left her at the altar, and left behind his one chance at happiness.
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