He's met his maker twice but you can't stop Cesar Faison from terrorizing General Hospital! The über-tressed supervillain — played by fan favorite Anders Hove — returned to the ABC soap Nov. 12 in a triple shockaroo. Not only is Faison still alive after supposedly being blown to bits in a boat explosion, he's also the brains behind the kidnapping of Robin Scorpio (Kimberly McCullough). Crazier still, it was also revealed that he's been running around Port Charles in a prosthetic mask pretending to be Duke Lavery (Ian Buchanan). Meanwhile, he's holding the real Duke hostage. TV Guide Magazine rang Hove at his home in Denmark to chat about Faison's freaky return and, of course, we asked him the question on everyone's mind: How the hell does Faison cram all that hair into his Duke mask?
TV Guide Magazine: Your return was a spectacular surprise! The fans are going nuts!
Hove: I'm so happy to hear that. Unfortunately, we don't have GH here in Denmark so I'm missing the reaction. And I'm not the kind of guy who's on Facebook. [Laughs] Maybe I should start! It was quite a surprise that they called at all and very sweet. My God, it's been 22 years since my first time at the show! It's scary how fast time goes. Yet you walk back onto the set after all this time and all the same crew people are there and they're standing in the same places. It's wonderful! And crazy!
TV Guide Magazine: Had you stayed in touch with any of the cast?
Hove: I'm in touch with Tony Geary [Luke] and I talk to Kin Shriner [Scotty] maybe once a month. He keeps me up on what's going on. Two or three months ago, he told me there were rumors on the set that I might be coming back, but I didn't really believe it. There are always rumors.
TV Guide Magazine: Word is, your return wasn't the easiest thing to coordinate.
Hove: I had maybe three or four weeks' notice but getting a visa and work permit wasn't easy at all. ABC helped me find a U.S. lawyer, stationed in London of all places, who helped me out. I was pretty lucky. So I came to Los Angeles and shot for two days and flew out again. It felt so nice and secure on the set, like coming home. But the schedule is so much harder! We used to shoot one episode in a day. I did seven in two days! Kassie DePaiva [Blair] told me she once did four shows in one day. It's incredible what the actors and crew can do now. It's a whole different game nowadays but I love it a lot.
TV Guide Magazine: Will you be back for another run when the truth about Faison emerges?
Hove: I don't know. At least this time around Faison won't be dead — though that's never stopped him before! They'll probably send him to jail but maybe there will be more down the line. If [exec producer] Frank Valentini needs me again, I'm there. I will never let that show down. I'm so excited working with Finola Hughes and love that Faison is so obsessed with Anna. He's genuinely in love with her but has unusual ways to show it. His ability to love so deeply is the only redeeming thing about him. It's a lot of fun to do a character like that. It gives you the liberty to behave horribly. I hadn't seen Finola for many years but we clicked again immediately. She's wonderful to work with and pretty damn demanding. But in a wonderful way. She is determined to squeeze absolutely everything out of a scene.
TV Guide Magazine: Isn't this your first time working with Ian?
Hove: It is! He was leaving the show when I first arrived, but I knew the legend. It feels like I've always known him. He's a true gentleman.
TV Guide Magazine: So how does Faison hide all that wild hair when he's in that mask pretending to be Duke?
Hove: [Laughs] There are some things it's best not to think about. Ian and I aren't even the same height. He's a few inches taller than I am. That Faison is really brilliant!
TV Guide Magazine: How, as an actor, do you find the reality in such a preposterous situation?
Hove: You must believe, otherwise you go nowhere. The first time I was around, we had some plot about a diamond that was in four pieces and if all the pieces were brought together Faison would have control of all the energy in the world. [Laughs] We also had a space alien named Casey! But we believed wholeheartedly in it. An actor must. There's no way around it. Otherwise it all falls apart.
TV Guide Magazine: Well, it's certainly working this go-round. Your performance is scaring the crap out of me!
Hove: Thank you very much! That's the goal! The fact that Faison is still alive proves anything is possible. You might think the soap audience would not accept this kind of thing but they do. And they do it with a lot of passion. You only find that kind of audience in America. I've never met it anywhere else. One minute they're angry, then happy, then frustrated. But they're always very faithful.
TV Guide Magazine: On top of your soap fame, you're also a big deal on the horror-film circuit. Ever attend a convention?
Hove: I just attended my very first last March, which is where I first met Kassie DePaiva. She was there for her Evil Dead movie and I was there for Subspecies. It was quite an experience. We were in a hotel somewhere out in New Jersey and it was filled with people in costume who remembered us from movies we did more than 20 years ago! It's unbelievable. [Laughs] Like I said, only in America!