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Tabyana Ali Talks ‘General Hospital’ and Whether Trina & Spencer Are the Next Luke & Laura

As Spencer and Trina prepare for Paris, ‘GH’ star previews “crazy insane” story!


General Hospital (GH) star Tabyana Ali didn’t see too many soap opera heroines who looked like her character, Trina, when she was growing up – and she certainly didn’t see couples like Trina and Spencer, aka “Sprina,” headed for super couple status.

FIRST for Women caught up with the young actress, writer and activist to dish the Sprina phenomenon, playing hero in Port Charles and working with General Hospital legend Genie Francis (a.k.a. the Laura of Luke and Laura).

MUST-READ: Jon Lindstrom Talks ‘General Hospital’ Turning 61 and His Crime Novel Becoming a Bestseller

Plus, with costar Nicholas Alexander Chavez currently shooting Ryan Murphy’s Netflix anthology, Monsters: The Lyle and Erik Menendez Story, could Trina and Spencer’s Parisian semester abroad be the beginning of the (short-term) end?

Tabyana Ali talks flying into Spencer’s arms on ‘GH’

Nicholas Chavez as Spencer Cassadine and Tabyana Ali as Trina Robinson, 2023
Nicholas Chavez as Spencer Cassadine and Tabyana Ali as Trina Robinson, 2023ABC/Eric McCandless

Since signing on to play smart, respectful college kid Trina Robinson, San Antonio native Tabyana Ali has been loving life in the fabled town of Port Charles.

“It’s been amazing, and it’s such a full circle moment for me because my grandmother, my mother and myself all watch General Hospital – and now I’m on it!” cheers the actress, who turns 22 this month. “It’s such a big blessing. I don’t know how anybody can look at this and not be grateful. It’s incredible.”

Ali’s General Hospital’s character Trina is a determined little powerhouse who literally helped save the world last year, but that wasn’t always the case. First introduced as a teen scene troublemaker played by Tiana Le from 2017 to 2018, Trina shifted gears in 2019 when Sydney Mikayla took over.

During Mikayla’s run, she grew the character to a Port Charles heroine in her own right – and perhaps as importantly, helped set the groundwork for the Trina/Spencer pairing.

By the time Ali assumed the role in 2022, Trina was knee deep in a wild story in which Spencer Cassadine’s vindictive girlfriend, Esme, had framed her for posting revenge porn. The good girl was looking down the barrel at expulsion and jail, with Spencer seemingly siding against her.

Taking over a role is never easy for an actor, and it’s even harder to step into a love triangle that rests on the weight of undeniable, at-first-site chemistry. Undeterred, Ali hit the ground running to win over the Sprina army – and we’re not just referring to that time she literally ran flying into Spencer’s arms!

“That was such a was an unplanned moment,” Ali says of the epic reunion scene in the clip above. “I didn’t know that that’s what I was gonna do. I literally started running and I was like, ‘I can’t stop. If I don’t stop, I’m running straight through him.’ So I jumped!”

That storyline saw Trina sneak onto the notorious Haunted Star and put herself in untold danger to protect her Cassadine prince and his baby brother from their fanatical Uncle Victor. With no fear for herself, the stowaway scurried around the yacht and helped foil Victor’s crazy plan to save the planet by taking out most of humanity.

“That was such a Trina move,” Ali says proudly. “She’s such a pacifist, and yet the type to be like, ‘Let me stand by my friends and family. Let me do right by them. And let me take care of that!’ She’s such a fighter. That’s just her nature.”

It turns out, that’s also Ali’s nature.

Tabyana Ali in General Hospital, 2023
Tabyana Ali in General Hospital, 2023Disney/Christine Bartolucci

“Trina is me: I am her,” says Ali – who already has two children’s books, My Super B and My Flower Child, to her name and gives her time to Keke Palmer’s Cinderella Program. “Trina and I are very much alike, in a lot of ways. The biggest one is that we both care a lot. We want the best for people. We see potential in people, and we want to fight for them.”

That said, Ali wouldn’t go quite as far as Trina has been known to go. “There’s a point where I’m like, ‘Okay, if you don’t want the help, I’m gonna go and you figure it out yourself,’” Ali explains.

Case in point, she felt Trina overstepped when she convinced Spencer to give up the paternal role he’d been playing to his brother – who happens to also be his ex-girlfriend Esme’s baby.

“Trina got her wish, but I would feel guilty telling somebody to let go of their family member,” Ali admits. “Regardless if it’s a brother or not, I just don’t want to be in the middle of that or have a say in that.”

Could Sprina be this Generation’s Luke & Laura on ‘GH’?

Spencer and Trina are their generation’s super couple, 2023
Spencer and Trina are their generation’s super couple, 2023ABC/Eric McCandless

Since Ali joined General Hospital, Trina has learned Curtis, not legacy player Taggert, is her bio-dad and like both of her fathers, she’s proven to be a consummate Port Charles hero. The level-headed college kid with an eye for art will jump at the drop of a hat for friends and family. In a very un-soapy move, however, she did not jump right into bed with Spencer!

In their slow-boil romance, Spencer and Trina saw so many roadblocks that they didn’t make love until last September – and along the way, every move the couple makes has had fans chirping about it on social media.

“It’s insane in the best way possible,” Ali says of the attention. “As a young girl, I never got to see myself in other actors or actresses that were in a love story like this. So to have myself be a hero to myself, and maybe even others? It’s amazing. And I love it. I’m enjoying it and soaking up every moment.”

Tabyana Ali and Nicholas Chaves in General Hospital, 2023
Tabyana Ali and Nicholas Chaves in General Hospital, 2023ABC/Craig Sjodin

With Spencer and Trina being touted as their generation’s super couple, some have even compared them to legendary Luke and Laura – who had 30 million viewers and Liz Taylor attend their 1981 wedding. That romance started decades before Ali was born, but thanks to YouTube and her family of General Hospital fans, she understands the significance of the comparison.

“It’s such an honor,” says Ali. “I’ll take it! And I can kind of see it going in that direction. I know… that’s such a big thing to say. Because anywhere you go, if you say, ‘General Hospital,’ the next thing that the person will say is, ‘Luke and Laura.’ I don’t want to sound that cocky… but I’ve been told that [our pairing] gives the essence.”

Scene from General Hospital with Tabyana Ali, Genie Francis and Nicholas Chavez, 2023
Scene from General Hospital with Tabyana Ali, Genie Francis and Nicholas Chavez, 2023ABC/Christine Bartolucci

While Ali has high hopes for Sprina and her own career, she remains in awe of Laura’s portrayer, Genie Francis – with whom she now gets to share the screen.

“Ms. Ma’am is such a regal and classy woman,” Ali says of Francis, who first joined General Hospital as a teenager in 1977. “Just to be around her energy and her essence. You can feel the wisdom and the knowledge on her. She’s told me about how life was back in the ’70s, and how fast they used to work. I commend her so much for being able to hold that at such a young age. She’s absolutely amazing.”

‘GH’ star Tabyana Ali Teases ‘Crazy’ Drama for Trina!

Spencer and Trina are ready for their semester abroad, 2023
Spencer and Trina are ready for their semester abroad, 2023ABC/Christine Bartolucci

This week on General Hospital, Trina and Spencer say their goodbyes to family and friends before heading off to Paris for what they expect to be a romantic semester abroad. As longtime viewers know, however, an international trip usually turns into unexpected adventure and danger for Port Charles locals.

“There’s some crazy insane stuff about to happen,” Tabyana Ali promises. “I cannot wait for fans to see!”

Meanwhile, as the Trina and Spencer set off on their newest escapade onscreen, production has begun on Monsters: The Lyle and Erik Menendez Story and General Hospital star Nicholas Alexander Chavez is taking a temporary leave to play Lyle Menendez.

If FIRST for Women didn’t know better, we’d be worried for Sprina’s future. Instead, we’re excited to see what kind of drama this could bring for Trina.

After all, if something were to happen to Spencer in the coming weeks, Ali is sure to make the most of the turn. Plus, whatever fate Spencer meets, this is General Hospital – and as Steve Burton’s run as Jason Morgan reflects, not even death can stop a beloved character from returning!

General Hospital airs weekday on ABC (check local listings) and streams on Hulu.

Find more General Hospital stories below!

‘General Hospital’ Star Eden McCoy Talks Growing Up in Port Charles

Finola Hughes Talks Daytime Emmy Awards and What Drama Is Next for Her Character, Anna

‘General Hospital’ Actor Tyler Christopher Dies at Age 50: “A Sweet Soul and Wonderful Friend”

Maurice Benard Talks Sonny and ‘General Hospital: 60 Years of Stars and Storytelling’

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