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Lisa: Our first guest came to fame on Days of Our Lives as the mysteries and sexy Patch. Now fans know him as the manipulative Stefan Cassadine on General Hospital. Take a look.

(Shows clip of Stefan.)

Lisa: Please welcome Stephen Nichols.

(Stephen comes out waving then does his own Power Ranger moves. Two Power Rangers had been on earlier)

Lisa: (Stephen hugs Lisa.) Whooo. Hi, honey. How are ya?

Ty: Hi and welcome. (Stephen hugs Ty.) Good to see you again.

Stephen: Thank you, thank you.

Ty.: The bearded ranger.

Stephen: (With a wacky accent.) Yes, the bearded ranger. You’ll never see a ranger with a beard, till now.

Lisa: You look great. You’re nice and thin and trim. You look like you’ve been working out. What’s the deal?

Stephen: (Moving his shoulders suggestively.) Sexy. Yeah, I’ve been working out. I go to Gold’s Gym in Venice. When I’m out of town I go to Gold’s. (To Ty) You work out.

Ty: I have like two memberships to Golds. I have like memberships everywhere. I have one in Venice and one in New York.

Stephen: Yeah, but you can go anywhere now. You just take your card and you can go to anyone of them.

Ty: Oh yeah?

Stephen: Anyway, you have hairier arms than I do. I didn’t know that.

Ty: That’s great. Well, you know I’ve actually been cultivating it, (Rubs hair on arms.) so I’m looking at trying to grow it and braid it.

Lisa: This is such a titillating interview so far.

Stephen: Isn’t it titillating?

Lisa: It’s very titillating.

Ty: I don’t know but I love it when you say titillating, I tell ya right now. You know that will be the word for the day.

Lisa: Titillating will be the word for the day. We have a word for the day now on Soap Talk.

Stephen: Are you?

Lisa: And yesterday it was delectable.

Ty: Yes.

Lisa: Today it will be titillating.

Ty: Okay, let’s get on with it.

Lisa: So the titillating Stephen Nichols is here.

Stephen: Oh.

Ty: Welcome back. GH.

Stephen: First time I’ve ever been….Yes GHGeneral Hospital. I’m back.

Lisa: After a 16-month absence?

Stephen: Something like that. Yeah, 16 months.

Lisa: Were you surprised when they called?

Stephen: A little. I thought they might call at some point because they didn’t kill me off. They just sent me off on my little self discovery journey.

Lisa: Oh, good.

Ty: But you’re working with Tyler Christopher again, right?

Stephen: Yeah. I’m back with my son. I call him my son because that’s just the relationship we have. We’re very close.

Ty: Tyler plays Nikolas.

Stephen: Tyler plays Nikolas, and that’s one of the reasons I wanted to come back and do it, because we have such a great connection.

Lisa: Do you know how long you’re going to be there?

Stephen: It looks like about 7 months (shrugs). Yeah.

Lisa: That’s a nice little….

Ty: Can you give us a little hint where you might…storyline. I know you can’t give anything away, but can you tease anything?

Stephen: Oh, God. I…I …all I can tell you is that I’m going to be seriously evil.

Ty: Oh.

Lisa: Great. We need that on daytime, don’t we?

Stephen: Yeah…yeah, and it’s a lot of fun. It’s good to come back with a lot of power and a lot of strength.

Ty: Now when you were on Days of Our Lives did you guys work at the same time? When you played Patch obviously on Days of Our Lives.

Lisa: No. I was actually a big fan of the show and of yours before I got on the show.

Stephen: That’s so sweet.

Lisa: It’s true.

(They show 2 Patch and Kayla photos.)

Stephen: You were not.

Lisa: I was.

Ty: Who was he? Patch and Kayla.

Lisa: Patch and Kayla, absolutely.

Stephen: You guys.

Lisa: Unfortunately we did not get to work together but I’ve always been a big fan.

Stephen: Thank you so much. That’s very sweet.

Lisa: Definitely, definitely . But it’s nice to have you back on daytime.

Stephen: Thanks.

Lisa: Do you like working with the boys over on GH? The writers. Charles, of course?

Stephen: Chuck and Bob?

Lisa: Chuck and Bob.

Stephen: The Chuck and Bob Show.

Lisa: Chuck and Bob Show.

Stephen: Yeah, they’re great.

Lisa: Chuck from Melrose.

Stephen: Yeah I saw… Actually, you know, I’ve not met Chuck yet.

Lisa: You haven’t?

Stephen: No, I haven’t. I’ve been too busy working just about everyday.

Lisa: Good.

Ty: Busy is good.

Stephen: Yeah, but Bob gave me a big welcome in the parking lot, big hugs. He had just won his Emmy so he was very happy.

Ty: Yeah, it’s always good to catch them then.

Stephen: Yeah, yeah.

Ty: I have to ask you this. You used to be a monk. Now I read that somewhere.

Stephen: (Looking around.) Ah, yes. I did, yes.

Ty: Now that is fascinating. I’m sure you’ve told the story a million times, but it’s probably an old story. Would you tell it to us?

Stephen: From monk to actor. No, when I was in my late teens I was really searching, as we all are at that time, and a friend of mine turned me on to meditation and then to Self Realization Fellowship in Los Angeles. I actually came to Los Angeles to be a monk and I lived the celebate life for 3 years — a very disciplined life — and I realized after some time that I really wanted to have a family, that I really had that strong desire to have a family.

Ty: The whole time you were a monk did you just figure that hey, if this monk thing doesn’t work out I’ll try soap operas?

Stephen: (Laughing) Noooo.

Ty: Like, how do you go from monk to soap operas?

Stephen: I don’t know. I went…I always loved all the musical variety shows on television and performing when I was a kid, and goofing off. You know, the class clown and all that stuff. It was always more of a dream. Then a friend of mine said ‘I’m going to go to City College and audition for the theater academy, would you like to come along?’ And I said. ‘Well okay, I’ll try it.’ And I did, and I got in, and I got the bug. I just…I just got on stage in front of that live audience and connected with them and I had the bug.

Ty: Cause you’re done a lot of live theater.

Stephen: Yeah.

Ty: Theater’s pretty much your first love, I guess?

Stephen: It really is, and the longer I’m in the business the more apparent it is to me that live theater…there’s nothing like it.

Ty: Who have been your role models? I know you’ve been, as Patch and Kayla, and just Stephen himself, has been a role model to many people. Who have been your role models?

Stephen: Well, I’ve had a couple in life. I think my grandfather more than anybody because I grew up with my grandparents mainly and some other people until I was 8 years old. And then I lived with my mother. She remarried. But my grandfather gave me a great work ethic. He had a great sense of humor, you know. He was just a…he gave me a good foundation for life. In this business my role model for a long time and mentor was Jon Voight, who helped me through a lot of difficult periods and certain projects that I was working on. He gave me some great advice and he’s a sweet guy. He’s very giving and he’s a big celebrity, a big movie star but he’s just right there for you.

Ty: And he’s got a hot daughter.

Stephen: (Laughs)

Ty: Well thank you very much for joining us.

Lisa: Thanks for coming back.

Stephen: Hey, thanks (Shakes Ty’s hand and kisses Lisa.)

Ty: Good Luck with GH.

Stephen on SOAPTalk - June 2003