Mary Beth Evans Rationalizes Her Character’s Actions:
Everything You Wanted to Know About General Hospital, March 1998
Even Mary Beth Evans is surprised by fans reaction to her role as Katherine, devious mistress of Stefan (Stephen Nichols) and conniving businesswoman! “When I first came to the show as a villain, I thought I would be so terrible at it and such a bad actress, so I put all of your magazine awards (Mary Beth won our Reader’s Poll Award for Best Actress year after year in the late 80s) up on the wall here to remind me that I was good….once!”
“I didn’t think I could play a villain because it was so unlike what I had played before. Then, it became more fun when I came to terms with it and knew I could say shut up to someone. That was hard in the beginning, but then it became fun. It was hard in the beginning to be a villain. I remember one scene when I had to tell Alan (Stuart Damon), who had just found out about her cancer, to shut up in front of the whole Quartermaine family. I remember saying to the producer, ‘Can’t I just tell him to be quiet?’ He said, ‘No, you’re crazy! Just say shut up!’ then I said it and it was so liberating and I thought, ‘This is great!’ Sometimes you can work through stuff like that.”
In the beginning of her tenure as Katherine Bell, Mary Beth played her as a woman who wouldn’t take any bull from anyone. Then, she became, well, kind of…nice! Now that it seems like the bull is sharpening her horns again against her adversaries, Mary Beth is gearing up for the exciting changes this new twist brings.
“You just can’t discount her history,” she revels. “I think of things changed her for life. The shooting, being in the hospital, being paralyzed and having a lot of time to think. I think she is still a woman and will always be a woman who is looking to get what she wants. I don’t think she’ll let Stefan continue to walk on her. I think the two of them have an incredible pull between them. They want each other, whether they can have each other or not. I think Katherine is a softer version of who she wants, but she’ll still be strong and up to her antics.”
In the most recent history of Port Charles, Katherine and Stefan have become the romantic couple of their time. The fact that they had a loving and caring relationship without ever even sleeping together show courage on the part of both the writers and the actors, in bringing this at times complicated and somewhat old fashioned love story to light. Mary Beth is quiet after the compliment, and then responded by saying. “Stephen and I have a history together and I think it transcends and carries over. We both know each other so well and as a couple, we can be very interesting together. We always liked working with each other, we always liked our styles together. We have a trust in each other what we think and know that we won’t get offended by each other’s comments. We work more as a team, which is really nice.”
The duo’s current incarnations of star-crossed lovers bears a striking resemblance, emotionally, to their tenure on Days of Our Lives as renegade Patch and sweet Kayla. While their characters are nothing like who they played previously, the comparisons continue. Mary Beth feels flattered that fans remember the work she and Stephen did on Days fondly, but wants to reiterate that they cannot play the same people they did before.
“Everyone is different now. We couldn’t go back and do that work again. Now, we’re playing adult characters doing adult things. I think it is more interesting.”
“They are coming together as a couple on very neutral territory, but I think they are both naughty at times and have done bad, conniving or illegal things. That’s there, that’s not gone. How far they go until they can get a common ground or an honest situation will be interesting.”
Until the inevitable happens, Mary Beth is content with her life and career at the moment, which also includes being a mommy to her three children, Danny, Matthew and Katie. She is thrilled that they are thriving, happy children and finds it “wild” that they are all growing up so fast.
“My oldest boy is almost ten, my daughter is seven and my little guy is four. My husband Michael and I, we were together six, seven years before we had kids, so we’re pretty into it. We really like them, you know? We all work hard and play hard, like most families who try and fit it all in.”
“We really don’t get into my being on television at home. They don’t watch the show. It’s very separate. They’ve been to the studio, but I don’t make a big deal out of it at all. Except for people recognizing me, I don’t really discuss it with them and don’t get involved with it outside of here.”