The no-nonsense police commissioner on "General Hospital," Jordan Ashford, is a role that Vinessa Antoine takes seriously. After all, she is representing women in high-powered positions, and the actress feels that is important.
“Having a woman in this job ... Right now I think is the perfect time for it,” says Antoine. “It’s a pleasure and a great honor to be in this position.”
For the most part, portraying the authoritative cop is “fun,” states Antoine. “But it is tough to play sometimes, because a lot of it is just business, business and business.”
Antoine, who inherited the post from Finola Hughes’ character, Anna DeVane, didn’t get any tips from Hughes about how to handle the tough-gal assignment.
“She just let me kind of swim in there,” recounts Antoine with a chuckle. “I remember asking her, ‘Are you sure you don’t want to be the police commissioner anymore?’ And she said, ‘No. It’s all you now.'”
It’s not a job Antoine would choose in real life, calling it “a total stretch. I could never imagine myself doing anything to do with police work or law enforcement of any kind.”
When she’s not fighting Port Charles crime, Antoine is usually doing verbal battle with her “GH” nemesis, Stella, played by “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” vet Vernee Watson.
“Vernee is amazing,” raves Antoine. “She’s been such fun to work with and, obviously, she’s a TV icon. I remember that face from way, way back when. She’s awesome and such a professional. I love her.”
Although Antoine recognized Watson immediately when she arrived on the set, she resisted the temptation to tell her she’d watched her growing up.
“I didn’t say that, because I’m sure she’s heard it a thousand times. And I didn’t want her to feel old,” she adds.
The onscreen animosity between Jordan and Stella adds plenty of fire to Jordan’s relationship with Curtis, Stella’s nephew. Yet the couple has managed to survive in spite of her.
“Curtis and Jordan are strong characters,” says Antoine, who believes the two share common goals and are actually quite similar. “The only way they’re opposite is Curtis tends to err on the other side of the law, while Jordan is all about being good. It works for the two of them, but, then again, they’re family. Jordan and Curtis have been family for many years.”
There was a time when the duo both served on the police force together far away from Port Charles, but that’s not something Antoine wants to revisit.
“I think it would ruin things between them,” she says. “Things are fine the way they are.”