Interview: General Hospital’s Carolyn Hennesy talks upcoming movie roles

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 18: Carolyn Hennesy in a scene that airs the week of September 20, 2010 on ABC's GENERAL HOSPITAL (3PM ET/2PM CT and PT). (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for DATG)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 18: Carolyn Hennesy in a scene that airs the week of September 20, 2010 on ABC's GENERAL HOSPITAL (3PM ET/2PM CT and PT). (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for DATG) /

During a recent interview with Carolyn Hennesy, we sat down with the extremely talented actress to discuss her upcoming movie roles. Hennesy can next be seen in ION’s A Snow White Christmas.

Best known for her work on General Hospital, Carolyn Hennesy is one actress many people are familiar with. She’s portrayed various villain archetypes in movies and television shows, and it’s something that’s become synonymous with Hennesy’s name. Keep in mind that she doesn’t just play villains.

While Hennesy has become immersed in her villain roles, essentially becoming the characters themselves while filming, her talents extend beyond those types of roles. In fact, one of Hennesy’s upcoming movie roles will see her take on a slightly less villainous character. The project we’re referring to is A Snow White Christmas.

In that film, Hennesy is playing an evil stepmother intent on inheriting a large sum of money from her recently deceased husband. The movie itself is a new take on the classic Snow White tale, with a slight twist. And that twist is mainly attributed to Hennessy’s character, Victoria Snow.

The difference between Hennessy’s portrayal of the evil stepmother and past versions is that Victoria Snow isn’t much of a villain. Victoria possesses some ill-conceived notions but she’s not that bad of a person. She sees herself as the hero of her own story — and Hennesy isn’t wrong in that regard. Of course, that aspect of A Snow White Christmas is debatable.

Hidden Remote: Carolyn, for A Snow White Christmas, you’re playing the evil stepmother to Blanca White (Michelle Randolph)  — the movie’s co-lead. What are Victoria’s plans for the family?

Carolyn Hennesy: Victoria has big plans for the home and the business. It was so much fun because the mirror is Zane (Rich Barnes). He and I just tear it up. We had such a fun time and great chemistry. I’m hoping it translates on screen.

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HR: Your character is set up as an antagonist in this movie but does she possess any redeeming qualities?

Hennesy: Redeeming qualities? Hmm, Victoria and Zane are just misunderstood. She only wants to create beauty and grace, and fashion, these lovely, lovely things. But redeeming qualities…Victoria has great wit and style. Let me put it this way, if you go ask her, she’s perfect — she’s just lovely all around.

HR: As far as film-elements go, the evil step-parent trope has been used in various movies and television shows before but how does Victoria stand out from the rest?

Hennesy: She is hilarious. She’s really really funny. There’s an extreme amount of physical humor in the film, both highbrow and lowbrow humor. Traditional villains don’t laugh a lot and they’re not that fun to laugh with. But Victoria Snow and Zane, you just love to laugh at them because they’re so bumbling and get thwarted at every turn. They’re inept and Blanca is more ept.

HR: Slightly unrelated question but did your time on General Hospital in any way help craft Victoria’s ferocious persona?

Hennesy: Diane is smart and sassy and witty in the courtroom. Diane is a little more subtle in her ferocity. Victoria is not. Sometimes when Diane is being a snake in the courtroom, to opposing counsel, she is witty, but those qualities play into any good evil character. There’s a tremendous sense of what I’m doing is right and Victoria Snow believes what she is doing is justified. There’s no questioning her — what she’s doing is certainly justified. Or, at least Victoria likes to think so.

HR: Speaking of General Hospital, can you say anything about the upcoming episodes? Last we saw, Diane was coming to Karly’s defense. Can you tell us about what’s happening on that front?

Hennesy: Actually, I haven’t a clue. We used to get scripts before shoots and now we don’t. Now I get my lines. Diane just sort of has to remain ever vigilant while everything is going on around her.

HR: Could you ever see Diane leaving the mob life? Obviously, you can’t say anything about what’s happening on the show but what would your hope for Diane be after leaving the family behind?

Hennesy: The family — no. I don’t think Diane would ever leave the life behind but I could see Diane leaving her life as an attorney behind to open a jazz club with Max. I’m still hoping Spinelli turns out to be Diane’s long-lost son, but who knows what the writers have planned. It’s a mystery to me.

HR: Following A Snow White Christmas, you have a role in another movie coming up: St. Agatha. What character do you play in the film?

Hennesy: It’s a wonderful part. I play a Mother Superior at this shadowy convent for unwed mothers in the 1950s. A girl named Mary comes to us and she’s having a child on her own, which is not the way to go during that time. She immediately notices something is terribly wrong. The nightmare begins when she arrives.

HR: Carolyn, do you gravitate towards villain roles or are they pitched to you? 

Hennesy: I get pitched them a lot because I can express that demeanor with ease. Mother Superior — was completely different. Look at Diane, she’s very funny, high wit and high energy. This was completely out of my wheelhouse.

Usually, my villains are very funny. You love to watch them get their comeuppance, always failing at the eleventh hour. This time, you don’t know if she will or won’t and that’s the exciting bit.

HR: Is there anything else you’d like to add about the horror feature?

Hennesy: St. Agatha is more a psychological drama than a horror movie. It was directed by horror legend, Darren Lynn Bousman. He directed Saw 2, Saw 3, Saw IV and The Devil’s Carnival. Oh, and the cast was superb.

Marsha Fee Berger, Marilyn Light, and Candy Rachor were just wonderful to play with. My three henchmen were tremendous, tremendous! Without a doubt, it was the four most fun weeks I ever spent on set. I actually had to calm myself down at one point.

We also filmed in this wonderful home in Madison, Georgia. The building can’t be torn down because of historical significance and the house itself is decaying. It’s old and dilapidated but the house’s appearance is what gave the film its ominous tone.

HR: Were there any moments where you felt like the set location was crumbling around you?

Hennesy: No, but every day we noticed new cracks in the wall. It never got too bad but that decayed look added to the movie’s overall feel.

HR: Outside of the television and movie arena, you’re also in a short-film called Farmhouse. Can you tell us anything about that project?

Hennesy: I played the mother of a young girl who’s kept in a decrepit old farmhouse. She’s keeping her daughter safe from the post-apocalyptic world outside. And then out of nowhere, a wonderful young man brings news of the world. My young daughter becomes fascinated by him and he her.

This woman — my character is different from other villains. She’s a very complex woman, tired, and exhausted. She just wants to keep her daughter safe but her plans go awry.

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HR: Okay, I have one last question for you. Carolyn, you’re also billed in a movie called The Swing Of Things. What can you tell me about the film? 

Hennesy:  It’s a delightful romantic comedy starring Linda Purl, Luke Wilson, Adelaide Kane, Olivia Culpo, and Chord Overstreet. The romantic comedy tells the story of what happens when a destination wedding has to make an emergency landing in Jamaica during Hedonism II. It’s a funny and charming movie — very different from General Hospital.

A Snow White Christmas will premiere on December 9, 2018. St. Agatha will be released worldwide in early 2019. The Swing Of Things’ release date is TBA.