With the Peter August (Wes Ramsey) storyline coming to a close last month on “General Hospital,” Brook Lynn Quartermaine decided soon afterward to leave town so that she could get her thoughts together after returning Bailey Louise to her biological mom, Maxie Jones (Kirsten Storms). Now, back in Port Charles starting with today’s episode, Brook Lynn’s portrayer, Amanda Setton, spoke with Soap Opera Network about where her character went, what’s going through her head now, and what’s next between Brook Lynn and Chase (Josh Swickard), among other hot button topics.
Joining the cast of “General Hospital” in 2019, Setton is no stranger to the soap world. She portrayed the recurring role of Penelope Shafai on The CW’s “Gossip Girl” from 2008-2012, while in between she portrayed Kimberly Andrews on “One Life to Live.” Since then, she’s starred in such primetime shows as “The Mindy Project” and “The Crazy Ones,” playing opposite the late Robin Williams and former “All My Children” actress Sarah Michelle Gellar. She’s also played a role in the original “Sex and the City” movie, and appeared in the films “That Thing with the Cat,” “Black Dog, Red Dog,” and “Birth of a Poet,” among others. However, her character on “General Hospital,” that’s who she calls the “spicy one.”
“I absolutely love playing Brook Lynn,” says an excited Setton. “It has been such a joy and a real gift, and she’s really fun. She’s dynamic. She’s intense. She’s a firecracker and that’s really fun to play.” While fun wouldn’t be the best word to use to describe recent events, Setton does enjoy playing the character’s comedic side. “Obviously the last couple of months it’s been pretty dire and serious, but I do think that [the writers] sort of picked up that I try to play the comedy. I try to bring that into Brook Lynn [because] there’s really heightened stakes and important stuff going on, so it’s good to bring some light-heartedness.”
It becomes easier to do play when you have a great scene partner, notes Setton of Kirsten Storms who plays Maxie. “I love the dynamic that they’ve created between Brook Lynn and Maxie,” Setton says, referring to the show’s writing team.
“I love working with Kirsten; she’s the best,” notes Setton of her off-screen friendship with Storms. “On set, they call us Lucy and Ethel, and we love it cause we’ve become really good friends off-camera as well and so we love spending time together and playing off each other, bringing that sort of spunky, funny, shenanigan energy to our scenes.”
In addition to Storms, Setton also has built behind-the-scenes friendships with much of the show’s cast, including on-screen father Wally Kurth (Ned Ashton Quartermaine), on-screen stepmom Lisa LoCicero (Olivia Quartermaine) and on-screen love interest Josh Swickard (Harrison Chase). “I’m so lucky I get to work with the best cast and the best people,” she says of her co-stars. “I just have gotten to work with the very best and I happen to be close to all of them off-camera as well. So, it’s just been a really fun environment.”
Previewing where Brook Lynn’s been and what’s to come upon her return, Setton tells us, “[Brook Lynn] goes to Bensonhurst to visit her mom. Basically, Brook Lynn’s got to get out of dodge. This really hit her hard and you’ll see when she returns just how hard it’s hit her. She’s really devastated at the loss of this baby.”
Breaking down Brook Lynn’s emotional state, she shares, “This baby really gave her a home, forced her to create a home, gave her a sense of purpose, and also opened up a side of Brook Lynn’s heart and kind nature that I don’t even think she really knew was there. And the vulnerability that I think has come out of Brook Lynn as a result of having Bailey has been quite powerful and really beautiful, and I think it shocked her. It was too much. She needed to go away for a minute, collect herself, go see her mom, go see her cousins, go back to the old neighborhood and she ultimately does return to Port Charles because she knows that’s really where she belongs, probably for more reasons than one. I’m sure Chase is a part of that, but there’s still a lot of confusion and angst, questioning it and all of that upon her return.”
Speaking of Chase, the couple shared their first kiss under the stairs at General Hospital. So we wondered where things might be going from there. “Josh and I are really good friends. We have a really great dynamic on screen that just works,” Setton explains of her chemistry between herself and Swickard. “There’s an angst that the writers have written that is really fun as an actor to play because you have to sort of harness all of this energy that’s just there and hold it in, hold it back, and all of the emotions come out of that force. I hope that’s what people are seeing.” As for Swickard himself, she says he’s an absolute professional. “He’s always prepared, really great energy. He’s a wonderful scene partner, a very generous actor and also really funny. So, we happen to have a lot of fun which is always great.”
When Chase stepped up, pretending to be Bailey’s father even though he knew he wasn’t, and kept Brook Lynn’s secret after learning Bailey’s true parentage, it became clear that the two might have a future together. So will they or won’t they go there? “Josh and I talk about how there are romantic comedy elements,” Setton says of their characters. “It’s just, again, like this push and this pull like they keep missing each other… our feelings keep missing each other. We have all these misunderstandings and this communication, and so, as a viewer, I’m sure it’s very frustrating because you’re like, ‘Just tell her. Just tell her!’ For us to play it, it’s just a lot of these pregnant pauses and these moments of energy that are building, which is again, really fun to play.”
While things seem to be moving along well for Chase and Brook Lynn, let’s not forget the elephant in the room: Brook Lynn’s lie to Valentin Cassadine (James Patrick Stuart) and where things stand between the two now that the real truth is out. Will Valentin ever forgive her? Is there a triangle brewing?
“I don’t think that is going to happen, but you never know,” Setton says of where things might go between Chase/Brook Lynn/Valentin. “That’s always possible and I’m always open to it because I love working with James. We have a ball!” She adds, “I will say that I think that Valentin has been so painfully hurt by Brook Lynn but now has come to see the truth and, you know, I think he, like everybody else, is just in awe of her courage and strength to do what she did by keeping that baby and pretending it hers to keep Bailey safe. Again, that’s unclear how things move forward. I think at this point, the gratitude is just, ‘Oh, great. Brook Lynn and Valentin are in a better place.’ He knows the truth. It’s out there now. Everybody sees the truth, and maybe on some level, maybe one day they’ll connect on the loss of Bailey because he had to lose her as his daughter and now she’s had to lose her as hers.”
Speaking of which, fans at one point were worried Brook Lynn’s attachment with Bailey would lead to her deciding not to give the baby back to Maxie. While that isn’t happening, Setton says, “That doesn’t seem organic… I know we’re talking about a soap opera, but I do feel like the direction of Brook Lynn is where everything’s been two feet on the ground. I think she cares… this sort of love and kindness that has come out of her, that’s shocked her, that’s shocked everybody around her for Bailey and for Maxie. I don’t think she would threaten that or damage that. I think she truly loves this baby and knows Bailey really deserves to be with her mother. I think Brook Lynn’s just mourning and grieving the fact that it’s not her.”
Circling back to Brook Lynn’s time, well, in Brooklyn, we wondered what the character’s mother has been up to since we last saw her. “That’s not really clear,” Settons laughs. “I can share with you what’s in my head. She’s my music manager, she’s in Brooklyn doing her own thing, still in the music business, but yeah, there’s no real information [on that].”
No conversation could end without at least learning some things about a person you previously didn’t know, so here are five favorite things about Amanda Setton.
- Favorite Color: Purple
- Favorite Actor: Meryl Streep
- Favorite Show: Seinfeld (but she really meant “General Hospital”)
- Favorite Thing to Do: “Spend time with my family, my husband and kids.”
- Favorite Place to Go: The beach
Check out a clip below of your first look at Brook Lynn back in Port Charles in a scene where she says to Michael Corinthos (Chad Duell), “Did Chase say he’s interested in me?”