Ava Jerome

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Ava Jerome
Maura West as Ava Jerome (2013).jpg
General Hospital character
Portrayed byMaura West
Duration2013–
First appearanceMay 8, 2013 (2013-05-08)
Created byRon Carlivati
Introduced byFrank Valentini
ClassificationPresent, regular
Profile
Occupation
Residence
 
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Ava Jerome
Maura West as Ava Jerome (2013).jpg
General Hospital character
Portrayed byMaura West
Duration2013–
First appearanceMay 8, 2013 (2013-05-08)
Created byRon Carlivati
Introduced byFrank Valentini
ClassificationPresent, regular
Profile
Occupation
Residence

Ava Jerome is a fictional character from the ABC daytime soap opera General Hospital. The role is portrayed by two-time Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series winner Maura West, who made her on-screen debut on May 8, 2013.

Ava is part of the Jerome crime family; she is the only daughter of Victor Jerome (Jack Axelrod) and Ryan's Hope's Delia Ryan (Ilene Kristen), and the younger half-sister of Evan Jerome, Olivia St. John (Tonja Walker) and Julian Jerome (Jason Culp, William deVry). Introduced by executive producer Frank Valentini and created by head writer Ron Carlivati, Ava is introduced as the ex-lover of Robert "Franco" Frank (James Franco, Roger Howarth), and mother of his presumed daughter Lauren Katherine "Kiki" Jerome (Kristen Alderson), the missing heiress to the Quartermaine family fortune. An art dealer by day, in July 2013, Ava is revealed to be the previously unmentioned youngest child of the infamous Jerome crime family, introduced to the series in the late 1980s. Ava's attempt to use her daughter's faked paternity to get power at ELQ Industries is a part of her scheme with big brother, Julian Jerome to reclaim their family's territory from resident mob boss, Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard).

Casting and creation[edit]

West (left), previously known for her portrayal of Carly Tenney Snyder on As the World Turns, was cast in the newly created role of Ava in April 2013.

In early April, Jamey Giddens and Jillian Bowe of Daytime Confidential reported a rumor that the Daytime Emmy Award winner Maura West, best known for her role as Carly Snyder on As the World Turns was set to join the cast in a top secret role.[1] On April 24, nearly two weeks after Confidential's original report, Soap Opera Digest and other soap opera media confirmed the news and revealed that West had joined the cast in the newly created role of Ava Jerome, and was slated to appear sometime in May.[2] ABC Soaps In Depth editor Richard M. Simms immediately speculated that the character shared a connection to the infamous '80s crime family, the Jerome family.[3][4][5][6][7] West made her debut on May 8, 2013.[8][9]

In an interview with Soap Opera Digest, West revealed that her agent, Mamie Sparer was contacted by General Hospital casting director, Mark Teschner who had her come in to meet with executive producer, Frank Valentini and that the meeting prompted her to sign on to appear as Ava.[10] Of her role, West admitted the part was only scheduled as a five-day stint, however, was offered a contract before she even began work on the soap.[11] In an interview with TV Guide's Michael Logan, West was asked what made her take on the role of Ava. She admitted, "Next to nothing. You have to put your faith in people, which was hard because I'd never met [executive producer] Frank Valentini and [head writer] Ron Carlivati, but they are so fun, so infectious! But, then, Ava was not intended to hang around all that long."[12]

When asked about the casting of West in the role, Valentini and Carlivati admitted they both felt West was perfect the role. "When Ron and I had talked about this character, there were several actresses we had in mind initially, and a couple of things didn't work out. Then I thought about Maura, and when I said it to Ron, we both said, 'Absolutely!' So we both kind of stumbled upon it at the same time, because we are both not physically in the same city, we are often on the phone," Valentini revealed in an interview in December 2013.[13] Valentini also admitted that he knew there might be some on West's part when it came to accepting the role. He explained, "I understood she wasn't necessarily into the idea of doing another soap, because she had not the best experience on another show. But, I thought let's do it and let's see what happens." Carlivati also mentioned being a fan of West's from her time on World Turns, stating, "I was a fan of hers from As the World Turns. And when you first see Maura, she is so classically beautiful. I was not that familiar with As the World Turns, but when you would turn it on, you would see this beautiful woman who just seems to be appropriate as a soap actress."[13]

Character development[edit]

According to West, Ava has a lot going on; "She's mysterious and strong and just has all of the characteristics of a great character."[14] West explained that Ava is very reminiscent of her earlier portrayal of Carly on As the World Turns. However, she argued that Ava is a bit more "sophisticated." The characters are not the same, "but there are certain colors that are similar" West continued.[10] In an interview with Boston Herald, West said of Ava, "There's a ton of mystery to Ava. [...] She's full of strength and has undertones of vulnerability." She also said she didn't originally know that Ava was part of the infamous Jerome crime family, but in fact played her as if she possibly could be. She remarked, "am certainly playing her and making an early assumption that she is. This woman isn't all poise and ladylike. There's grit under there."[11]

"It's awesome! And it makes Ava even cooler. She's like, 'So what if I'm not a guy? I'm an heir!' She didn't marry into the mob. She is the mob. When you grow up watching your father come home and wash blood off his hands, you don't give it much mind. There are no rules when you've been raised in a world like that — and that's very freeing as an actor. I loooove Ava! I love that she is so poised — almost hyper-poised — as she struts around town yet she's also gritty, angry, really abrasive. I love that she's hiding things."

— West, on playing a female gangster (2013).[12]

If Ava's connection to the notorious Jerome crime family panned out, not only would West's arrival cause trouble for Port Charles's local kingpin, Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard), but there was also great storyline potential for Ian Buchanan and Finola Hughes's Duke Lavery and Anna Devane who shared a quite volatile history with the Jerome family.[7][15] Critics began speculating that the character would be the long lost daughter of Tonja Walker's Olivia St. John (née Jerome) despite the relatively small age difference between the actresses; however Matt Webb Motivich of TV Line also suggested that Ava could be a previously unknown child of Olivia's crime lord father, Victor Jerome (Jack Axelrod).[5] The character is immediately thrown into a major storyline as it is revealed that she is helping hide Morgan and that she Lauren's mother.[16] According to series head writer, Ron Carlivati, "This is [a] woman who conceived a child with Franco, so you have to worry about that right there." Though Ava initially comes off as a "devoted mother," there is much more behind to her.[17]

Storyline[edit]

Luke Spencer (Anthony Geary) tracks down art dealer Ava Jerome at her home in New York City. Luke gets Ava to confess that she was once involved[a] with the crazed artist Robert "Franco" Frank (Roger Howarth) and that he fathered her daughter, Lauren Katherine "Kiki" Jerome (Kristen Alderson).[18] Ava is shocked to learn from Luke that Franco is an heir to the wealthy and powerful Quartermaine family and that Lauren is entitled to a share of the family fortune. After Luke's visit, it is revealed that Morgan Corinthos (Bryan Craig), the missing son of mob boss, Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) is hiding out in Ava's apartment. Before leaving for work, Ava convinces Morgan to call home. Ava follows her daughter to Port Charles and has an impromptu meeting with Tracy Quartermaine (Jane Elliot) over Kiki's shares, and manages to work out a deal that would endow her with a large money sum.[19] Ava then confronts her daughter about the latest revelations and confesses that her father is in fact alive, leaving Kiki in a state of anger against her mother. Whilst in town, Ava runs Dr. Silas Clay (Michael Easton), with whom she previously had a fling. When Silas begins to question whether or not Kiki is his, Morgan confronts Ava about the truth to which she reveals that Kiki is not Franco's, but in fact is Silas' daughter. When Ava's older brother, the presumed dead Julian Jerome (William deVry) arrives in town under the alias "Derek Wells", the two reveal how their gambling ring involvement with Morgan was all in a hoax to work their way into the Corinthos family crime organization.[20] Ava also confesses to Julian her involvement in the shooting of Olivia Falconeri (Lisa LoCicero). While on a discovery to find out about her birth father, Sam Morgan (Kelly Monaco) and Silas travel to New York and discover that Delia Ryan (Ilene Kristen), who had an affair with Victor, was Ava's birth mother.

Reception[edit]

Jamey Giddens referred to West's potential casting as a "bombshell."[1]TV Source discussed the storyline potential that could come with West's character if she shared was related to the Jerome family.[15] West debut as Ava was highly anticipated by fans and critics alike. "[i]t was as amazing as we'd hoped" said Omar Nobles of West's May 8 debut.[16] In naming his Top 5 Bad-Ass Women of Summer TV, Luke Kerr of Daytime Confidential listed West and her portrayal of Ava as an honorable mention, citing: "Maura West has been bringing the heat this summer as General Hospital's mad art dealer. She has sizzling chemistry with Michael Easton's Silas."[21] In the June 10, 2013 issue of ABC Soaps In Depth magazine, editor and chief Richard M. Simms named West and her character were listed as one of the top five enjoyable things about the series at that time.[22] In a Soapoperadigest.com online poll, fans were asked who they believed to be the most enjoyable new additions to the cast. West's portrayal of Ava Jerome was voted the best, winning 42% of the vote with 5,200 votes.[23][24] Based on her portrayal of Ava Jerome, Michael Logan of TV Guide, called West "the soap sensation of the decade".[12] Highlight Hollywood editor Tommy Lightfoot Garrett called West's acting talents as "definitely one of Hollywood's top five most talented women today."[25] He went on to call her "lightning in a bottle" and that "she can do anything" proving that "just when you think her talent is contained, she breaks out of that mold, and proves she's unstoppable."[25] Jamey Giddens remarked of Ava and her brother Julian, "If loving Ava and Julian is wrong, I don't wanna be right!"[26] West's portrayal of Ava in her relationship with Bryan Craig's Morgan Corinthos was listed on TV Guide's 2013 Hot List under the category of "Hot Bed". Michael Logan writes, "He is a marvelous muddle of puppy awkwardness and testy testosterone. It's the scandal of Port Charles, but this was no one-night mistake."[27][28] For her portrayal of Ava, West placed at number thirty-four, down four positions, on Daytime Confidential's Hot 100 list for 2013.[29] West also made Logan's list of "The Best in Soaps 2013", as Best Actress. He praised West saying: "Her performance as high-strung, power-mad mob spawn Ava Jerome is a noirish marvel — deadly, campy and defiantly sexual. There is nothing like a dame."[30] Daytime Confidential also listed West's arrival of Ava and the return of the Jerome crime family as number nine on their "10 Best Soap Opera Storylines of 2013". They said, "When sultry gallery owner Ava Jerome (Maura West) was first introduced, fans and Port Charles citizens alike took notice of her infamous surname."[31] Hollywood Highlight also listed West as one of their top five female performers in 2013. The website praised, "Can anyone be so good, so grand, so sublime with every single man and woman on her talented cast? She can, she is. From beautiful wife, to busy mother, who knows where this woman finds the time to be the best in Daytime TV, but whatever she is doing, we should bottle it and force-feed it to every actress in this town."[32]

Michael Fairman of On Air On Soaps named West's debut as Ava Jerome as "Best New Character, Female" as part of his Best and Worst of 2013 list!. "This savvy soap veteran made Ava Jerome must-see soap TV whenever she walked into a room, and delivered her lines with such lethal undertones! We loved it … and Ava's red-hot fling with the much younger Morgan Corinthos (Bryan Craig)! You go, Ava!," Fairman raved in his year-end review.[33] Daytime Confidential also listed West at number three on their list of 10 Best Female Soap Opera Entertainers of 2013, for her role as Ava Jerome. The site praised West's talent, praising, "Maura West recalled the brassy broads of Old Hollywood as mob queen Ava Jerome on General Hospital in 2013. We didn't think it was possible to love a character played by the actress more than we adored As The World Turns' Carly Snyder, but boy-oh-boy were we wrong!"[34] Head writer Ron Carlivati also praised West's portrayal of Ava, praising, "Now to see what she has brought to the character of Ava, it has just been amazing. It is so different than the character she played before, and what that shows me is … she can pretty much do anything."[13]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Giddens, Jamey (April 13, 2013). "RUMOR REPORT: Is Soap Superstar Maura West Headed For General Hospital?". Daytime Confidential. Retrieved April 24, 2013. 
  2. ^ SOD (April 24, 2013). "EXCLUSIVE: Maura West To GH!". Soap Opera Digest. Retrieved April 24, 2013. 
  3. ^ Simms, Richard M. (April 24, 2013). "Maura West Joins GH!". ABC Soaps In Depth. Retrieved April 24, 2013. 
  4. ^ Fairman, Michael (April 24, 2013). "Maura West Confirmed In New Role on General Hospital!". On Air, On Soaps. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Motivich, Matt (April 24, 2013). "General Hospital Casts ATWT Vet Maura West — As a Member of the Jerome Crime Family?". TVLine. Retrieved April 25, 2013. 
  6. ^ Newcomb, Roger (April 24, 2013). "Maura West Joins GENERAL HOSPITAL". We Love Soaps. Retrieved September 13, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Kroll, Dan J. (April 25, 2013). "Maura West joins General Hospital". Soap Central. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  8. ^ Lewis, Errol (May 6, 2013). "THIS WEEK: General Hospital Puts New Style on Old Faces". Soap Opera Network. Retrieved May 7, 2013. 
  9. ^ SOD (May 8, 2013). "Maura West Makes GH Debut". Soap Opera Digest. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Levinsky, Mara (May 20, 2013). "How The West Was Won". Soap Opera Digest (American Media, Inc.): pgs.30–33. 
  11. ^ a b Perigard, Mark (June 23, 2013). "Springfield native is making waves on ABC's 'General Hospital'". Boston Herald. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c Logan, Michael (September 13, 2013). "Maura West Takes General Hospital By Storm". TV Guide. Retrieved September 13, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b c Fairman, Michael (December 26, 2013). "The Frank Valentini and Ron Carlivati Interview – General Hospital – Soapmakers of 2013". On Air, On Soaps. Retrieved January 1, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Maura West Makes GH Debut". Soap Opera Digest. May 8, 2013. Retrieved May 21, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b Durrell, Angel (April 25, 2013). "Emmy Winner Maura West Joins 'General Hospital'". TVSource Magazine. Retrieved April 25, 2013. 
  16. ^ a b Noble-White, Omar (May 9, 2013). "12 Awesome GIFS from Maura West's 'General Hospital' Debut". TVSource Magazine. Retrieved May 9, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Ins&Outs: Who Is Ava?". ABC Soaps In Depth (Bauer Media Group): pg.11. May 27, 2013. 
  18. ^ Ron Carlivati (May 8, 2013). "Episode 12782". American Broadcasting Company. Retrieved September 14, 2013. 
  19. ^ Ron Carlivati (May 22, 2013). "Episode 12812". American Broadcasting Company. Retrieved September 14, 2013. 
  20. ^ Ron Carlivati (August 2, 2013). "Episode 12862". American Broadcasting Company. Retrieved September 14, 2013. 
  21. ^ Kerr, Luke (July 18, 2013). "Top 5 Bad-Ass Women of Summer TV". Daytime Confidential. Retrieved August 30, 2013. 
  22. ^ Simms, Richard M. (June 10, 2013). "5 Things We're Loving About GENERAL HOSPITAL Right Now...". Soaps In Depth (Bauer Media Group): pgs.30–31. 
  23. ^ SOD (2013). "Which of GH's recent cast additions have you most been enjoying?". Soap Opera Digest. Retrieved September 6, 2013. 
  24. ^ Levinsky, Mara (September 23, 2013). "Extra Extra: Snap Poll". Soap Opera Digest (American Media, Inc.): pg.14. 
  25. ^ a b Lightfoot Garrett, Tommy (July 6, 2013). "Highlight Hollywood's Leading Ladies Gold Standard, Maura West, Heather Tom And Anna Paquin: The Best Of The Best". Highlight Hollywood. Retrieved September 13, 2013. 
  26. ^ Giddens, Jamey (October 23, 2013). "Can Ava Jerome Stay One Step Ahead of Her Enemies on General Hospital?". Daytime Confidential. Retrieved October 24, 2013. 
  27. ^ Fairman, Michael (November 7, 2013). "TV Guide's HOT LIST: GH's Ava and Morgan HOT BED & The Stafford Project HOT MESS!". On Air, On Soaps. Retrieved November 8, 2013. 
  28. ^ Newcomb, Roger (November 7, 2013). "TV Guide Magazine Unveils The 2013 Hot List". We Love Soaps. Retrieved November 8, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Daytime Confidential Hot 100, 2013". Daytime Confidental. December 6, 2013. Retrieved December 12, 2013. 
  30. ^ Logan, Michael (December 17, 2013). "The Best in Soaps 2013". TV Guide. Retrieved December 17, 2013. 
  31. ^ "10 Best Soap Opera Storylines of 2013". Daytime Confidental. December 23, 2013. Retrieved December 27, 2013. 
  32. ^ Lightfoot Garrett, Tommy (December 27, 2013). "Highlight Hollywood Chooses FIVE BEST TV Actresses 2013: Clarke, Sagal, West, Lang, Cohan". Hollywood Highlight. Retrieved December 31, 2013. 
  33. ^ Fairman, Michael (December 29, 2013). "On-Air On-Soaps Names The Best and Worst of 2013!". On Air, On Soaps. Retrieved December 31, 2013. 
  34. ^ "10 Best Female Soap Opera Entertainers of 2013". Daytime Confidential. December 31, 2013. Retrieved December 31, 2013. 
  1. ^ The relationship between Ava and Robert "Franco" Frank was originally stated as a marriage in the December 21, 2009 episode of General Hospital. However, in 2013 the story was retconned to being just a relationship.

External links[edit]