‘General Hospital’s‘ Robin and Stone had one of daytime’s most memorable love stories. Robin stood by Stone as he died of AIDS only to learn that she was HIV positive. Now the couple will briefly be together on screen again after thirteen years when a drugged Robin has a vision of Stone. Kimberly McCullough and Michael Sutton shared what it was like to revisit this classic storyline.
What was it like to work together again after all these years?
McCullough: It was a lot of fun. I was excited to see Michael and see that he hasn’t aged at all. It was a really fun experience. I actually liked watching Michael walk onto set sort of take it all in. He hadn’t been there in so long. A lot of it was exactly the same.
Sutton: I’m glad you caught that because it was surreal. I think we tapped right back in to the place that we needed to be and as we were being nostalgic in that moment we realized that the trust that we had in the work that we did back then, which was so emotional, really allowed us to get back in there like there was no time passed from fifteen years ago. It was special. It was nice.
Robin has a vision of Stone thanks to the drugs that Lisa gave her. What does he say to her?
McCullough: The conversation and the nature of it is very supportive, also loving. I think Stone encourages Robin to hold on. She’s not only drugged up. She has been in there overnight and she hasn’t been taking her meds and she’s just not feeling well. He gives her the courage to hang on [and] wait for help.
Michael, did this experience make you want to get back into acting again?
Sutton: I always loved acting. I enjoyed that day. Right now, I’m not looking to act, but I think that’s why it was so special to come back and do that day. What I alluded to earlier, when I was on the soundstage, I really took it all in. Being that I don’t do it every day anymore, it really was that much more special. I appreciated it.
Who do you think is the love of Robin’s life: Stone or Patrick?
Sutton: Isn’t it obvious?
McCullough: [Patrick] just cheated on her. What do you think?
Stone and Robin had such an innocent love. They were teenagers. Is that part of why Robin is thinking of him? It was a love that didn’t face these adult challenges, even though they faced great challenges.
McCullough: They faced the ultimate challenge, which was death. But I think that’s what made that story so special. They were so innocent but they had to deal with their mortality. How old was Stone? Was he 18?
Sutton: The first six months that I joined the show I think I had three birthdays.
McCullough: Too young to die, okay? Let’s just put it that way.
It was such an important storyline. It taught a generation of heterosexual teenage girls to practice safe sex. What has been the lasting legacy of the story for the two of you?
Sutton: Fortunately, back then we really took it to heart and dove into something that we knew had its significance and we wanted to portray it accurately. I think that because we did it to that degree we, at least for me and I’m pretty sure the way I saw you act with it on set the other day, it is with us for our lives.
McCullough: Absolutely. To take that even further, I was gone from the show for a long time. I would say the coolest thing about doing this story is that they’ve now made so much progress in treatment for AIDS. Robin was able to get married and have a healthy baby. That wouldn’t have happened back then. To be able to carry the story through over so many years is a special thing.
Soaps tend not to do as many socially responsible storylines anymore. Do you they should go back to doing them?
McCullough: I think we do though. We absolutely still do. The entire show can’t be that heavy subject matter. It would just be too much. But we’ve done a breast cancer story [and] rape.
Lisa is out of control, gaslighting Robin. How is it going to end? There’s a rumor Robin is going to end up getting framed for Lisa’s death.
McCullough: I don’t know anything about that. I have no idea how it will end up, but I like the way it’s going. It’s fun for me. I’ve already got to punch her and slap her once.
Lisa’s done a good job of making Robin look like the irrational one. Do you enjoy playing Robin, who is usually so levelheaded, getting a little unhinged?
McCullough: It’s fun. I get all my anger out. That’s for dang sure. I don’t have to yell at the people I’m actually angry with. I don’t like calling her all those names. I really have a problem with that. It’s very difficult for me to do that. But she deserves it.
If Stone could go back to Port Charles for one day and give advice to all the other people he interacted with, like Sonny, what would he say?
Sutton: I haven’t followed the show but I do know this much from doing the scenes that we did, just the fact that emotionally we had to go to those depths, I think the same kind of connection would happen with me and Maurice [Benard.] It was a special bond that I shared both with Maurice and Kimberly.