Rebecca Herbst Opens Up About Her Decision to Remain on 'General Hospital'

Rebecca Herbst
Soap superstar Rebecca Herbst has signed a new contract to continue playing Elizabeth Webber on General Hospital, a role she originated in 1997. Herbst recently sat down with Soap Opera Digest to discuss her relief at staying with the show, the love she feels for her fans, the possibility that she may have joined another daytime soap, her close friendship with Kelly Monaco, and when she will start taping at General Hospital again.

Herbst tells Digest about her contract negotiations, "It was the most stressful negotiation I have probably ever been through. I feel totally relieved and I definitely feel like I've made the right decision, so I'm at peace with everything that's happened."

The actress wants her fans to know, "Those diehard, loyal fans that have been with this show as long as I have been or even longer, I really felt their genuine support, not only for Elizabeth, but for me, as well. It just made me feel really good that it wasn't all about, "Oh, Becky, we want you to stay on the show." It was, "You do what's best for your family, and if that means moving on, we'll click on another show to watch you." And that sort of support, you just don't find every day. It made me feel very loved."

She appreciates the interest that came from another soap, "Yeah, definitely. It feels really good to have somebody tell you that they would be thrilled to have you join their team. Everybody wants to be appreciated. Everybody wants to be wanted. And having options like that is a confidence-builder, I'd say! But when I weigh the two, between going out and finding a new job versus staying put with my GH family, being with your family is hard to pass up. And I really do love the people I work with."

Rebecca Herbst as Elizabeth
If she departed the soap, it wasn't because of her story, "I can tell you this, it wasn't about storyline. I know there's been a lot of speculation that I didn't like the story, that I didn't want to be part of "Liason" or I didn't want to work with Sam-- there's just been a whole bunch of speculation about me not liking the storyline and that is not true. I even read a tweet the other day that said, "Is it true you don't want to be part of "Liason" and you want Jake aged to a teenager?" Uh No! That's not true! The last thing I want is a teenaged kid, that's for sure! And that whole "Liason" thing is awesome and I hope they keep the storyline going. So, it wasn't about story. It just came down to the business side of it, which can be nasty. It's hard when you fight with your family, and of course, ABC wants what's best for them and I want what's best for my family, and that doesn't always mean the same thing."

Herbst hasn't started taping again at GH "No, I have not. I left [March 8];that was my last day because my contract was up. They had not written me out; there were no scenes that suggested that Elizabeth was going away and not coming back because nobody thought that it would get to this point of me almost leaving. I was with Nikolas one day and I said, "Oh, the hospital's calling, I gotta run." And that was it [laughs]!"

Kelly Monaco as Sam with Rebecca Herbst as Elizabeth
She has heard from many of her friends from the show, "Oh, yeah. The only people that I texted from the cast were Kelly Monaco (Sam)-- because believe it or not, we are actually friends-- and Jane Elliot (Tracy), because she's like a mom to me. I just adore those two girls and they have literally been with me every step of the way for this contract negotiation. They've seen me cry, they've seen me get mad, and they've been through it with me, so I wanted to let them know right away that a deal had been reached. Kelly texted me back with a picture of a little cartoon girl that looks like herself holding a sign that says, "Team Awesome."

Elizabeth may be off screen for a bit, while she is written back into the story, "I actually have a couple of weeks off. We're dark for one of the weeks, but because this negotiation went right up to the last minute, they did have to stop writing for me for a little bit. I might not even be back [taping] until the second week of April, so Elizabeth is going to disappear for a little bit on your screens. They are going to try to sprinkle me in, but outlines have already been written, so I don't know how much they can actually put me in."

You can read the complete interview in the April 4, 2016 issue of Soap Opera Digest, on sale now.

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