On today’s, August 21 episode of “General Hospital,” actress Teresa Castillo returns to the screen for the first time since her character, Sabrina Santiago, left Port Charles to get her head back on straight following the death of her son, Gabriel, with Patrick Drake (Jason Thompson).
Since she’s been gone, however, the town learned that Rafe Kovich, Jr. (Jimmy Deshler) was responsible for the car accident that led to Gabriel’s early birth and eventual death, but oddly Sabrina knows nothing about that. “I come back and I say hello to everyone, still dealing with the aftermath of what happened with Gabriel and trying to figure out who was behind the car accident,” revealed Castillo to Soap Opera Network when we spoke with her during the “GH” Fan Club Weekend earlier this month. How is that even possible considering there are several ways to communicate these days thanks to the advent of cell phones and social media? Did Patrick not even call or text her the news? “Nope! He sure didn’t, and neither did this one [referring to besty Felix Dubois, played by Marc Anthony Samuel, who was standing next to her during our interview].
“And I talked to them, several times. Nobody said a word! (laughs). No, they were a little concerned about Sabrina’s mental state, which [is] understandable.”
With Patrick getting a little too close for comfort with Sam McCall (Kelly Monaco) during Sabrina’s absence, one has to wonder where Patrick and Sabrina’s relationship is heading now that she’s back in town. “Honestly, I don’t know. There’s definitely that bond there that is going to be unbreakable now because of what they went through with their son. I honestly don’t know [the writer's] plan.” One thing you can count on is that Robin (Kimberly McCullough) isn’t expected to factor into Sabrina’s involvement with Patrick. When asked if she filmed any scenes with McCullough, or expected to have story with the character of Robin upon her return, Castillo said, “No, she came in while I was on maternity leave,” while noting their stories wouldn’t intermix.
Editor’s Note: Since our interview with Castillo was conducted, Soap Opera Network has learned that McCullough is expected back on screen in the coming weeks as she recently returned to the set filming scenes.
Outside of returning to her “GH” family, Castillo is really enjoying balancing motherhood and work. “I’m really lucky that I’m able to bring the baby to set with me and my husband [Shane Aaron] was able to come with me, and then my mom will be helping me out, so its just kind of like taking care of the baby in between scenes. Switching hats is definitely proving to be challenging, but I’m excited to be able to find the balance in that.”
As for whether she was disappointed in the fact that the show opted to kill off Gabriel, or if it was ever difficult for her learning of their decision to do so while she herself was pregnant in real-life at the time, Castillo shares, “Frank Valentini [executive producer] came and spoke to me about it. He let me know what their plans were, just to kind of prepare me for it all. As an actor you look for this type of material. You hope for stuff that you can relate to… to have some genuine fears. What really helped me through that, or I think it would have been a lot more difficult had my daughter [Victoria Milani] been in any kind of danger, but at all my appointments she was fantastic, so I was really able to separate the two worlds – my life and Sabrina’s life. But at the same time, it was tapping into genuine fears so I was able to kind of imagine what could happen if and then let it go at the end of the day. It was a real learning experience for me. I feel like I really grew as an actor to be able to not be affected personally by things, but still being able to do the story justice.”
Motherhood itself has been an amazing and challenging experience for Castillo, who gleefully states, “It’s everything! It’s more than what people tell you. I think there’s only so much that you can be told, and you really have to experience it for yourself. I love it though. I love it and she’s really sweet.”
What about how her husband is handling fatherhood? “He’s good! He’s with her right now, so I’m crossing my fingers that everything goes okay cause she starting to know the difference between us, and has a preference definitely for mom, so I hope that he can console her when she’s missing me.”