Former Carly Tamara Braun opens up about her return to GENERAL HOSPITAL… as Kim!

Where’s It “At”?: Follow the Emmy winner on Twitter @TamaraBraun.
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Having made her daytime debut on GENERAL HOSPITAL as Carly, Tamara Braun is thrilled to be back in Port Charles as the mysterious Dr.Kim Nero. “It’s been like going back to camp,” she says. “Some of the counselors and kids are still there, and some have moved on. So everything’s a little different but still familiar. It’s been great to see those familiar faces and make new friends.”

Having already played Carly on the soap, Braun admits she had a little bit of hesitation about returning to the same show 12 years later. “I’ve actually been asked to come back before, and it didn’t seem like the right time, story or character,” she reveals.

But this time around, executive producer Frank Valentini got to the veteran of ALL MY CHILDREN (as Reese) and DAYS OF OUR LIVES (as Ava and Taylor). “He talked to me about this new character and storyline, and things just lined up. The character tickled me.

“I was curious and intrigued,” she adds. “It felt like a good fit!”

The Second Time Around

Still, the Emmy winner turned to the experts before making her final decision. “I got to play Carly for four years and loved her with all my heart, so I asked my friend who loves soaps for her thoughts on actors returning as different characters,” Braun shares. “She said, ‘If they’ve become a character I love,then I just want to see them — regardless of who they play. You fall in love with the actor.’ And I’ve been getting [on-line] comments from fans saying, ‘Come back as anything!’ So I thought, ‘What the heck? Let’s see how this goes!’”

Seems Like Old Times

When whispers of Braun’s return first started circulating, fans quickly responded… and began guessing at the character she might be playing. “They all had their theories,” the actress re
calls with a laugh. “Some were right… and some were not.

“But it’s always fun to see people involved and excited — so much so that they start the guessing games!” she adds. “It made me feel good about coming back.”

When she finally hit the set as Oscar’s mother, she jumped right into the action — and right into scenes with Carly! “Laura Wright was so nice,” Braun raves of her successor in that role. “Our first lines to each other made me giggle. It was a cute little wink.” As for playing that awkward Thanksgiving dinner with her old cohorts, Steve Burton (Patient 6) and Maurice Benard (Sonny), “it was a very different energy, just based on the characters not having any history,” Braun shares with a happy grin. “So that was fun.”

A Surprising Connection

Well… Kim actually did seem to know someone at the table! “That run-in with Patient 6 rocked her world a bit,” Braun admits. “She’s been reminded of someone from her past who obviously had quite an impact on her life.”

No doubt that’s going to be Drew, but for those jumping right to the paternity conclusion like Oscar and Josslyn did, Braun warns us not to get ahead of ourselves. “You know what they say about assuming, right?” she winks.

What’s Up With This Doc?

The actress still can’t reveal much about her new role or the secrets surrounding Kim’s past… but she will confi rm that the character is no Carly. “They’re from very different backgrounds,” she shares. “Carly went to the school of hard knocks. That was her education.

“Kim’s a doctor, who spent a lot of time being educated and specializing,” she continues. “That’s a pretty big difference right there. They also have very different energies, but you just have to watch to see how else they’re different… or the same!”

Naughty or Nice?

“Naughty is always more fun sugests Braun with a laugh.“And when you play ‘bad,’if you give that character a heart, it can be so great. But even if you’re playing a ‘good’ character, it doesn’t mean they’re not complex, with their quirks. I’ve been able to deal with some pretty important subjects playing somebody who’s not the bad guy but just a real person who has issues that needed to be explored in an honest way and helped bring social issues to the table.” Who ever does she mean? “I’m of course talking about Reese from AMC!” The actress adds she doesn’t actually affi x labels of “good” or “bad” to people or characters. “I don’t think most people in life are just one of those,” Braun insists. “And with some characters and people, it also takes a little more time to get to know them, because certain characters and people don’t let it all hang out. There’s just a little more mystery to them.” Hmm… could she possibly be talking about Kim?