Lisa LoCicero has portrayed the role of Olivia Falconeri on General Hospital for over ten years now. However, if things had gone in another direction on the soap opera, the actress could have portrayed a trio of other characters on the show instead.
Lisa LoCicero plays Olivia Falconeri
Olivia was introduced on the show as the cousin of Connie Falconeri aka Kate Howard. LoCicero first debuted in the role in 2008 and has been in the role ever since.
The character first came to town for Kate’s wedding to Sonny Corinthos. Olivia was also involved with Sonny when they were all teens in the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. She had a son with Sonny when she was 15, Dante Falconeri. However, she kept the secret from them both for years.
Olivia is known for her romantic relationships with Sonny, Johnny Zacchara, Steve Weber, and Ned Quartermaine. She is currently married to the latter. Aside from Dante, she also has another son, Leo Falconeri, who is the result of a one-night stand with Julian Jerome.
The Lois Cerullo and Kate Howard auditions
In a long-ranging interview with Soap Opera Digest, LoCicero talked about her journey in soaps. In 2004, LoCicero auditioned for the role of Lois Cerullo on General Hospital. The show was looking for someone to step in the role of Cerullo, which was originated by Rena Sofer, who portrays the character from 1993-1997. She said in part, “I knew the character of Lois very well and knew that it would have been hard shoes to step into, but I felt like they knew me and they liked me. I will say, when I saw Lesli Kay [who went on to book he role] at the test, I was like, “Oh, my God. She’s like a dead ringer for Rena. This might not go my way.”
After being cast on the role of Sonia Toledo on One Life to Live and then getting written out after a handful of episodes, she then auditioned for the character of Kate. Of course, the role ended up going to Megan Ward (and was later played by Kelly Sullivan), but things ended up working out when she was cast as Kate’s cousin, Olivia.
On auditioning for Kate, LoCicero said, “They said to my agent, ‘We’re going to go another way with this one but we swear we have something better for her coming up very shortly.'”
Brenda Barrett and ending up as Olivia
The actress revealed that the thought seemed to be to bring her back as an iconic character.
“I believe what they had in mind was maybe bringing me back as Brenda, which as we all know would have been literally the biggest disaster,” she said. “I think even as much as I wanted to be on the show I would have had to say, ‘That’s a bad idea. I won’t do it.’ Do you know what I mean? I mean, you would be an absolute idiot to take that on. No one is Vanessa [Marcil] and certainly, no one is Vanessa and Maurice [Benard]. But Bob [Guza, Jr.] created Olivia for me and wanted to do this “son of Sonny” thing, which I think is what Kate was going to be about originally. They wanted to see more of a rough Brooklyn presence to be the mother of Sonny’s son.”
General Hospital airs weekdays on ABC.