The GH actress discusses how she prepared for the iconic part.
Alley Mills made sure to do her research before taking on Robin Mattson’s iconic character as Heather Webber on General Hospital. As a result, she grew to be a huge fan of the daytime star.
Alley Mills Talks Heather Webber
Mills was questioned about her preparation for the part, whether she knew Robin Mattson, or at the very least, whether she knew why her predecessor wasn’t available to repeat the role, at a recent Coastal Entertainment fan Zoom event with co-star and on-screen daughter Avery Kristen Pohl (Esme). Mills admitted that she had only lately become aware of Mattson’s health issues. She also discussed the preparation she went through to play one of Port Charles’ most notorious evil females.
The only thing I know about [Robin Mattson] is that I’ve observed her and greatly respect her, said Mills. “I understand why she had such a large following because she is just a joke in public. Even then, she wasn’t yet murdering individuals. I felt terrible that she wasn’t able to return in time for General Hospital’s 60th jubilee because she’s been on for so long and it was due to surgery, knee surgery.
Mills chuckled, “I really did my research. “The first thing I did, since no one had told me anything, was to simply Google “Heather Webber,” and then I went back and watched every movie and read every article that had ever been written about the various Heathers who have existed since she first appeared in the 1970s. There were two other Heathers at the time before Robin Mattson. Georganne LaPiere, Cher’s younger half-sister, was initially chosen in the part in 1976. Later, in 1977, Mary O’Brien was chosen in the position. In 1980, Mattson took over the position.
“I tracked the narrative of Heather’s mother, a maid (Lieux Dressler’s portrayal of Alice Grant), and how [Heather] turned evil. Like her background and everything, you know. Then I began to observe Robin Mattson because there is so much video of her. I would enter “General Hospital, Heather Webber” into Safari.
The next question was whether Alley Mills had observed Mattson’s behaviors. “No, because I realized right away that I wasn’t going to be her. I believe she’s amazing and wonderful. Understand what I mean? It seems as though you could enter and immediately suit the bill as that individual because the fit is so good. I would imitate her in order to pass for her, say, if I had to take her place for a month or something similar.
Nevertheless, Mills continued, “when I saw what she was doing, I thought I had a little bit of a different perspective on it in that, for me, the basis of Heather is that things weren’t ideal for her when she was young. She therefore comes from a fairly injured area. And I wanted that, as well as for her to have a very optimistic outlook on everything and have managed to live in the world. Yes, she would murder for her daughter.
She chuckled, “But when I joined the program, [Heather] had like five people hooked before I even saw a screenplay. “They already had that [storyline] in place.” The performer acknowledged that when she first began, she was aware that she was the murderer.
“They considered turning Robin into the murderer Heather Webber to see if Robin could return, but Robin was unable to do so. And as luck would have it, [one of] the [GH] chief writers in the Catskills lives next door to a friend of mine who my husband [Orson Bean] had worked with on Broadway. This friend is a musical comedy professional. When he learned that I was there, they were all drinking martinis, and he asked, “Do you think Alley would do General Hospital?” after learning that he knew me. This is what took place. That’s life; it’s a wild, crazy existence. I believe everything happened by chance, you know.
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