General Hospital: The Antics of the Fiercely Driven Nina Clay

By Marlena De Lacroix a.k.a. Connie Passalacqua Hayman

Michelle Stafford: Her Nina has scores aplenty to settle (photo from michaelfairmansoaps.com)

For the last year, General Hospital has certainly been a place for strong women.  The free-wheeling and combative Carly Jacks (Laura Wright), who will take no lip from the bullying Sonny, is a longtime resident. She’s been joined of late by shoot-from-the-hip Ava Jerome (Maura West), who came to town and took no prisoners.

Even stronger is the town’s newest resident, the vengeful shrew Nina Clay (played by soap superstar Michelle Stafford, who originated the role of Phyllis Summers Newman on The Young and the Restless.)

The roots of her relentless quest for comeuppance run deep. Twenty years ago, she was carrying her husband Silas’ baby when she discovered that he was cheating on her with Ava.  Nina’s mother forced a miscarriage by tricking her into taking a big dose of antidepressants, putting Nina into a coma that lasted 20 years.  After waking up this year, her hunger for revenge has been insatiable. She demands nothing less than the return of everything that was hers, and tin the process exact justice on everyone who comes into her path.

Her first order of business was to separate Silas from his current love, private investigator Sam Morgan.  She did this by drugging Silas and having Sam see him making out with her on a couch in their apartment.  Later she managed to sleep with Silas.  All along, Sam has felt Nina is somehow misleading Silas and she’s right. Nina has been faking the paralysis that supposedly has relegated her to a wheelchair.  Only her loyal nurse Rosalie knows it is all a fake.

At the same time, Nina has worked at getting involved with other Port Charles residents.  She befriended art therapist Franco on her visits to General Hospital for physical therapy, all the better to tell Franco she overheard Carly and Sonny discussing a kiss he had bestowed on her.  Of course, Carly later cheated on Franco with Sonny but got away with it.

Nina is among the most determined characters ever to appear on soap opera.  What an agenda she has! She says she doesn’t know the meaning of the word “can’t.” Right now, she’s maintaining a list of people she’d like to harm or get back at.  On that list is the pregnant Ava (whose baby she would eventually like to kidnap) and also Ava and Silas’s daughter Kiki.  Recently, Nina made Rosalie vow that she would wrest Michael, Kiki’s fiancé away from Kiki.

Will Nina Clay get all she wants?  Most likely.

Stafford plays her with a fierce determination that veers close to but never crosses into the realm of camp.  As Nina, Stafford is a cinch for another Emmy, an award she has already won for playing Phyllis on Y&R.   All we have to do is sit back and enjoy the antics of Nina Clay, the strongest woman in Port Charles and perhaps all of daytime soap opera history.

Comments

  1. Mama says:

    Agree with your assessment of Nina 100%, Marlena.

    Michelle Stafford was becoming so boring on “Young and the Restless” and you could tell she just wasn’t into playing Phyllis anymore.

    Let’s hope “General Hospital” keeps Nina crazy and wacko for a long time to come.

  2. Beth CP says:

    MS may or may not (depending which poll you consult), be bringing in more eyes from her Phyllis fan base at Y&R. All I know is from where I’m sitting there is nothing about her work with this character that makes me care about what Nina has gone through. I fault the writing as well as the never ending drone of her name in the scripts waaaaay before we ever saw her on screen. maybe it’s Stafford herself who, like LW and her Carly, is so much an amazonian in the way she appears to approach her role that any subtlety is left in the dust. She may as well be a bulldozer let loose on a construction site with no one behind the steering wheel. In the end, I find both character and actress unappealing. And like TeCa and the recast L, I wish MS and her Nina would be written off the canvas…….

  3. anonymous says:

    “the list is everything and kiki is on the list” Well I thought Phyllis was crazy. And Sheila Carter. Ms. Stafford you have done it again. There will probably be more daytime emmys in your future. I don’t know why she has it in for kiki she didn’t even know silas was her father while she was growing up and your loyal nurse, who might be as crazy as you are, likes morgan not micheal. I see twenty something love quadrangle coming up am I right?

  4. Justin says:

    While I think Michelle Stafford is an amazing actress, I just don’t care about this character. I try. I honestly try to care about what she’s doing or feeling, but as I watch I struggle with, as a long time General Hospital fan, why I should care about her. She’s connected to the canvas through several new characters. I barely care about Silas, Kikki, and Ava. Please tell my why I should care about Nina.

  5. I was initially interested in the role of Nina Clay. When Michelle Stafford first appeared on the scene at Danny’s birthday party, there was a subtlety to her acting that has been missing, ever since she revealed to the audience her grand plan of making everyone pay for her pain. As Beth CP wrote, I blame the writing for my lack of sympathy for Nina. Stafford quickly went into chewing scenery mode in her scenes with Rosalie, she has absolutely no chemistry with Michael Easton, who still seems as he’s sleep walking through his scenes until the end of his contract. However, she does have chemistry with Roger Howarth’s Franco. Personally, I would prefer it if Nina, Franco, Rosalie, Jordan, TJ, Shawn, and Sabrina took a fast boat out of Port Charles.

  6. hi says:

    Horrible introduction. Terrible writing. No character development. Over the top acting. Nothing about Nina works or makes ANY sense on any level. It is a shame that Michelle left Phyllis for this crap.

  7. janet says:

    I FF Nina , I do not care if she ever gets out of her chair, and her jazzy hands and repeating herself has done it for me. Just another piece of WTH from TIIC. ? FrankenRon seem to want to make GH theirs screwing with all the old GH plots. I can’t be bothered. The show is a joke, just a bad joke. When will Sonny pay for committing first degree murder ?

    • Mama says:

      If it’s so awful, why do you watch?

      Life is short and fleeting and people are dying around us everyday … pets grow up in the blink of an eye as do our children. One minute, they’re 2 and the next minute they are grandparents.

      Why do you spend it watching a TV show five hours of the week that you HATE?

      ENJOY your life.

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