Josh Duhamel — in all of his Transformers-physiqued glory — returns to ABC’s All My Children this Thursday, nearly a decade after his Leo DuPres suffered a serious case of Presumed-Deadness. And while we’re happy to see that one half of our favorite Pine Valley couple is alive and kicking, it’s really the other party we’re more interested in. After all, what does Leo’s encore mean for soulmate Greenlee, who’s now happily married?
TVLine spoke exclusively about the big to-do with Rebecca Budig , who details the “overwhelming” Greenleo reunion, Esta TerBlanche’s upcoming encore as archenemy Princess Gillian, and hints that this certainly is not the end for Greens and Ryan.
TVLINE | No matter how thrilled longtime All My Children fans were to hear that Josh is returning, it was still pretty shocking news. What was your reaction to the news?
Josh actually sent me flowers when All My Children was cancelled, with a card that said “Leo and Greenlee Forever,” so I called to thank him and told him that it would be so amazing if he could come back and do something — and he said he would. I don’t know how it all transpired beyond that, but the show clearly did ask him back. I was just really excited.
TVLINE | How was it jumping back into shooting scenes with him after nearly 10 years? Was it like riding a bike? Or were there some initial jitters?
Oh gosh, we were both nervous. We didn’t know if we’d still have chemistry — I mean, I thought we would, but we had to pick off where we left off, only not really because his character had been “dead.” We wanted to recapture instantly what it was that we’d had before, and the minute we started rehearsing lines in the dressing room it was like, forget it! [Laughs] The floodgates opened for me and it was as if no time had passed.
TVLINE | How was the Pine Valley homecoming experience for Josh? I have to imagine a lot has changed since his heyday.
Obviously Josh doesn’t know everybody on the show today and it’s a different crew, so that was a little weird for him. But he got to see me and Cameron [Mathison] — who he keeps in touch with — and I think he was happy to do it.
TVLINE | Now, in as much detail as humanly possible, describe the exact moment Greenlee and Leo are reunited… please.
It’s overwhelming. They haven’t seen each other in so long — she thought he was dead, of course. Overwhelming is really the only word I can think of to describe it. [Laughs] How do you take it all in? What do you say in that moment when you find out the love of your life has returned?
TVLINE | We’ve seen in a few promos that the two share a kiss. How does all of this impact Greens’ relationship with her current husband, Ryan?
I think that ultimately this whole experience brings them closer. Not only was Leo the love of Greenlee’s life, but Gillian was Ryan’s, so he understands. Greenlee and Ryan have a love that’s unique. It’s on a different level.
TVLINE | Speaking of Gillian, what a mixed bag of emotions that revival is! On the one hand, we’re thrilled to see Esta TerBlanche back on AMC, but on the other, we did witness the Princess’ heart being passed on to someone else (Brooke English’s daughter, Laura). How did you feel about that storyline?
It could be a dream; it could be anything. Not everyone has to be alive! [Laughs] But I was excited she was returning, because the fans loved Cameron and Esta together the same way they loved me and Josh together. Listen, if we can make our fans happy and do something to thank them for sticking by us for so many years, I think we should.
TVLINE | Talk a little about David and Greenlee’s relationship moving forward. I have to imagine the you-know-what is going to hit the fan very soon, given that he’s kept Leo locked up all these years.
Look, David uses his dead, beloved brother and haunts her with it — I don’t think Greenlee can really get past that. It’s low. Very low.
TVLINE | Can I be honest? I think that after all of this back-from-the-dead insanity plays out, David needs to die. He’s officially irredeemable. Plus, how ironic would that be Hayward brought everyone back to life but couldn’t live to reap the rewards — or inevitable punishments — of his evil-ish ways?
This guy has done really despicable things. As for your theory, you never ever know. It’s good to have a villain on the show though, right? [Laughs]