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Dante Falconeri
GHZamprogna-Dante
Dominic Zamprogna as Dante Falconeri
General Hospital
Portrayed by Dominic Zamprogna
Created by Robert Guza, Jr.
Introduced by Jill Farren Phelps
First appearance June 22, 2009[1]
Classification Current; contract
Profile
Family Corinthos/Falconeri
Gender Male
Date of birth 1984 (age 32–33)[2]
Occupation Police detective
Residence Current
Falconeri Loft, Apt. 4B
Port Charles
Former
324 Wharf Street[3]
Port Charles



Dante Angelo Falconeri[2] is a fictional character on on the popular daytime soap opera General Hospital. He has been portrayed by Dominic Zamprogna since June 22, 2009.

Conception

Backstory

Dante was born in Bensonhurst around 1984 to a teenager Olivia Falconeri.[2] Olivia dated Sonny Corinthos in high school and after the relationship ended, Sonny began dating Olivia's cousin Connie (now known as Kate Howard). After Sonny leaves Bensonhurst, Olivia learns she was pregnant. The only other person who knew Sonny was Dante's father is Kate. Olivia swears her to secrecy to protect Dante from Sonny's dangerous lifestyle as a mobster.

Characterization

"He's a smart, intelligent, loving kind of thug. They've written him to be witty and charming. It's just interesting to play a character like that when there's a lot of tough guys on the canvas. I think this is a new, fresh take on this ... he's funny, he's not scared of anything. He's putting himself in front of people that could pull out a gun and shoot him right there. He earns respect for having the balls to do that. He's gutsy. But at the same time, he's not your prototypical tough guy. "

—Zamprogna Interiew with SoapNET[5]
In the casting call for the role, Dante is described as "charming and flirtatious with an abundance of arrogance" much like Sonny (Maurice Benard).[6] One of the character's most significant characteristics is Dante's morality. Dante was raised by a very devout Catholic mother, Olivia (Lisa LoCicero) and he has a very clear understanding of "right and wrong".[7] When asked if Dante would ever end up working for the mob, Zamprogna explains that Dante's principles and values are very strong and it would take something "very" drastic for him to suddenly change.[8]

Since the character's debut, Dante's morality comes into question initially when Dante covers for Sonny after Sonny shoots him in January 2010.[9] Many of Dante's actions began to change leaving some viewers and critics wondering if Dante would begin to fall into the "Corinthos web".[10] One critic said, "He is no longer the man he claims to be, the die hard cop, complete with the unbendable moral compass." The writer explains that Dante began to rationalize the bad choices he made, as being for the greater good, much like Sonny.[10] The character's use of morality also comes into question again when Dante tricks Morgan (Aaron Refvem) into reveling Michael (Chad Duell) whereabouts during Sonny's murder trial, even causing Sonny to question his actions. [11]

The controversial story in which Dante brings Michael back to Port Charles to testify against Sonny also garners attention. Sara Bibel disagrees with how Dante is made to be the bad guy for wanting the truth to come out.[12] However, Bibel criticizes Dante's huge lapse of judgment for allowing Michael to believe that he [Michael] would only get a "slap on the wrist" for committing murder and participating in the cover up and Michael is instead sent to prison. Bibel recalls Dante covering for Sonny when he shot him and accuses him of having a "God complex".[12] Xfinity listed Dante's covering for Sonny as one the most worse things the writers could have done, claiming that it had tarnished the viewers' initial perception of Dante, "turning him from a strong counterpoint to all the other characters to just another mob apologist."[13] According to Bibel, not only did the writers damage Dante's character, but they also "squandered the opportunity to restore the balance between good and evil to Port Charles."[13]

In an interview with TV Guide, Nelson Branco questions whether Dante's strong stance on morality had begun to waver now that Sonny he had gotten to know Sonny a bit. Zamprogna reveals that while Dante's views haven't changes, he wanted to develop the character by getting Dante to look past his hatred for Sonny.[14] The current storyline involved Sonny shooting Johnny Zacchara (Brandon Barash) in self-defense, and Zamprogna points out that for the first time, Dante actually believed Sonny.[14] Originally, morality for Dante was very "Black and White" and though dealing with Sonny, character was beginning to realize that it was not.[14]

Casting

In the fall of 2008, General Hospital put out a for the role of Dante. Nathan Parsons auditioned for the role but was instead cast as Ethan Lovett.[15][16] GH initially considered Tom Pelphrey for the role. He had just relocated to California leading fans to believe he was joining the cast. Pelphrey later released a statement saying he wanted to seek work outside of daytime.[17] Then in October 2008, it was announced that David Lago had reportedly been cast as Dante. All seemed to be going well except for the fact that Lago had never actually signed a contract and the deal fell apart.[17] Lago instead returned to his former job as Raul Guittierez on The Young and the Restless. The series abandons the casting call soon after. Lago later admitted that he'd never actually been contacted by the show.[1] In April 2009, the casting call was officially relaunched.[6] In late May 2009, it was announced that Canada's Zamprogna had been cast in the role of Dominic, and he first appeared on June 22, 2009.[18] Soap Central's Dan J. Kroll confirmed that Dominic was in fact Dante just days before viewers actually learned his true identity on-screen.[1] On July 8, 2009, Dominic is confirmed to be Dante.[1]

Despite ditching the big names for an actor barely known in the soap world for such a critical role, Zamprogna was well received by fans and critics. Zamprogna ranked at #1 on Daytime Confidential's list of "Top 10 Soap Newcomers of 2009".[19] The scene in which Dante finally confronts Sonny, and gets shot received critical acclaim for the acting on the part of both Benard and Zamprogna.[20][9]

Storylines

2009–2010

Dominic Pirelli first appears in June 2009 after his shot during his boss, Claudia Corinthos's attempt to kill, Jason Morgan, the right hand man of her husband, mob kingpin, Sonny Corinthos.[18] A wounded Dominic meets Morgan and Carly in the woods and pulls a gun on them. He eventually makes his way to the Corinthos estate where, Sonny's daughter, Kristina Davis helps him recover.[18] On July 8, 2009, viewers learn that Dominic is actually Dante when he shows up at Olivia's apartment.[1] Meanwhile, "Dominic" becomes smitten with Lulu Spencer, much to the dismay of her brothers, Lucky and Ethan who get into a bar fight with "Dominic" and put him in the hospital. Sonny sends "Dominic" and Olivia's boyfriend, Johnny Zacchara to destroy a drug shipment being sent by his father, Anthony's followers. When the police ambush them, "Dominic" allows Johnny to escape while he gets out of being arrested by telling Police commissioner Mac Scorpio that he is undercover. After "Dominic" protects Morgan from being bullied by Kristina's boyfriend, Kiefer Bauer, Sonny hires him as Morgan and Michael's new bodyguard. Olivia tries to convince Dante to abandon his assignment while "Dominic" gets closer to Lulu and they share a kiss on August 26, 2009. In September 2009, while hanging out with Morgan at the General Hospital carnival, "Dominic" is hit by a car. Olivia is forced to watch her son suffer in silence and contemplates telling Sonny and Dante that they are father and son. Fortunately, Dante recovers and gets back to being "Dominic" when he lies to Lulu about stealing a police badge, which is actually his. Carly's husband, Jasper Jacks discovers Dante's true identity and pushes Dante to arrest Sonny sooner, rather than later. In October 2009, at Claudia's birthday party, when her Sonny reveals her schemes to everyone in attendance, she takes a pregnant Carly hostage. Johnny, "Dominic" and Lulu searching for the two women at the abandoned Zacchara mansion, where Lulu falls through the floor boards and gets trapped in the flooded basement. "Dominic" gets in the water with Lulu to keep her warm and just before she passes out, he confesses to being Dante. Dante later discovers evidence linking Sonny to Claudia's alleged murder. Meanwhile, Dante is furious to learn that his longtime friend, and fellow police officer, Ronnie Domestico had released the serial killer artist Franco after Dante arrested him. "Dominic" saves Sonny's life when they are ambushed before a meeting and Sonny is so grateful that he considers choosing "Dominic" as his successor when he retires; this puts Michael at odds with "Dominic". Meanwhile, Dante and Lulu continue to bond as she keeps his secret and they go on their first official date in December 2009.

Lulu and Jason's girlfriend Sam McCall are kidnapped by Franco. Dante rescues Lulu just before a bomb goes off. Dante soon realizes that once he arrest Sonny, they can't be together and he begins pushing her away. Michael discovers that Dante is an undercover cop when he eavesdrops on Dante and Johnny's conversation. Initially, Jason and Sonny don't believe Michael believing he is jealous of how close Sonny and Dante have gotten. On January 29, 2010 as Lulu is standing up as the godmother of Josslyn Jacks, Dante arrests Sonny who promptly shoots him. Olivia then reveals to Sonny that Dante is actually his son and rush him to the hospital. Lulu disapproves of Dante's decicision to cover for Sonny when he is questioned by the police about the shooting and he loses his job. Fortunately, he is hired by Mac Scorpio for a position at the PCPC. Dante is furious with Olivia for keeping the secret about Sonny, but he embraces his new siblings, and cousin Molly. In March 2010, after Michael disappears to keep him from being forced to testify against Sonny when he is tried for Claudia's murder, Kristina accuses Ethan Lovett of beating her up and Dante stops Sonny from killing him. Dante and Lucky investigate Kristina's story and realize it was actually her boyfriend, Kiefer Bauer who was abusing her. Dante blames Sonny for Kristina covering for Kiefer because she believed he would kill him. Dante's angery gets the best of him when Sonny blames Olivia for Dante's hatred of him and punches him. In April 2010, Dante forces Michael to testify against Sonny and is shocked when Michael admits to killing Claudia and is sentenced to 5 years in Statesville Prison. With everyone against them, Dante and Lulu grow closer and make love for the first time on May 5, 2010.[21]

A vengeful Carly brings Dante's childhood friend, Brook Lynn Ashton back to town and pays her to seduce Dante. Michael is sent to prison but after much pleading, Dante manages to get his sentence reduced to probation and Michael must move with Dante while he is on probation. Brook drugs Dante and makes it appear that she and Dante were about to have sex. Fortunately, Lulus sees through her schemes and kicks her out. In October 2010, Dante is reunited with Brenda Barrett, Sonny's long time love and the woman he once guarded as a rookie cop in 2007. Dante and Brenda were keeping many secret from their loved ones besides him being her bodyguard.

2011—

Through a series of flashbacks and conversations, it is revealed that Dante helped Brenda cover up the murder of her ex-boyfriend, Aleksander Janáček, the son of international crime figure, Theo "The Balkan" Hoffman. Dante's secrets leads to Lulu breaking up with him. Meanwhile, Michael shocks his family by admitting that he was raped in prison and Dante blames himself; Michael assures him that it isn't his fault. In February 2011, at Sonny and Brenda's wedding, with Dante serving as the best man, Carly shocks everyone by revealing that Brenda and Dante had a child together. Dante that he only pretended to be the father to keep The Balkan from finding out about the child. The Balkan plants a bomb on Sonny and Brenda car and she disappears after it explodes sending the town into chaos. Though Brenda is eventually rescued, Dante's fellow police officers aren't happy with how he cooperated with Sonny and Jason to find her.

Dante and Lulu reconcile after he promises never to lie to her again. Luke leaves town, refusing to face the fact that his drinking caused him to run down his grandson Jake and Lulu goes after him. Dante tracks her to a bordello in Florida where Lulu works undercover as a waitress. The owner discovers Dante is a cop, and attempts to rape Lulu before she and Dante escape. The couple then travels to Helena Cassadine's island in Greece looking for Luke. Lulu's brother Nikolas convinces her to return home. In August 2011, Dante asks Lulu to move into his apartment and she is hesitant. In September 2011, Dante asks Lulu to marry him and she hesitates but eventually decides to accept his proposal over dinner. Meanwhile, Lucky decides to step down from a drug investigation and Dante goes to Sonny's warehouse to investigate and is shot by Anthony Zacchara. Though Dante recovers, Lulu is terrified to marry him fearing he leave her as a widow.

Lulu eventually comes to terms with her fear and accepts Dante's proposal. While on a trip to New York, Dante and Lulu are married by his cousin Tommy in a private ceremony, with only Olivia in attendance. Sonny wants to Dante and Lulu a wedding gift but he turns the check Sonny offers. Meanwhile, Lulu begins at the PCPD as the evidence room clerk. Dante, Ronnie and the new female cop are investigating someone beating up strippers. In February 2012 Dante attends Sonny's charity benefit in his honor for General Hospital's pulmonary wing. Dante and Johnny get into an argument in which Sonny reveals that Claudia was his mother, not his sister. When Dante and Sonny argue in the parking lot, Sonny pushes Dante out the way of a bullet and Dante begins to understand just how much Sonny loves him. Dante and Michael find Starr Manning whose car is hanging off a cliff after a car accident with Anthony. It is soon learned that Sonny allegedly shot out Anthony's tires and Dante must arrest him. In May 2012, Dante is shocked when Ronnie is revealed to be the man beating up the strippers and he kidnaps Lulu when she figures it out. Fortunately with the help of John McBain, he rescues Lulu.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Dominic is Dante!. Soaps She Knows (2009-07-08). Retrieved on 2012-03-14.
  2. ^ a b c Who's Who in Port Charles: Dante Falconeri. Soap Central. Retrieved on 2012-03-16.
  3. ^ Dante rents a room from Mike Corbin in July 2009.
  4. ^ Stated by Dante on Sep. 30th, 2010
  5. ^ Dante on "General Hospital" Speaks!. ABC SoapNet (2009). Retrieved on 2012-02-26.
  6. ^ a b General Hospital Still Looking for Dante.. Soaps She Knows (2009-04-23). Retrieved on 2012-03-16.
  7. ^ Sara Bibel (2010-12-27). Daytime TV’s Biggest Blunders of 2010. Xfinity Comcast. Retrieved on 2012-03-16.
  8. ^ Michael Fairman (2010-01-29). The Dominic Zamprogna Interview. Michael Fairman On Air On Soaps. Retrieved on 2012-03-16.
  9. ^ a b Abby West (2010-01-28). 'General Hospital' sneak peek: Sonny and Dante face off. Enteraintment Weekly. Retrieved on 2012-03-16.
  10. ^ a b The Great Debate- GH. Eyes on Soaps (2010-09-22). Retrieved on 2012-03-16.
  11. ^ Jamey Giddens (2010-04-17). Dante USES Morgan to Get to Michael on General Hospital!. Daytime Confidential. Retrieved on 2012-03-16.
  12. ^ a b Sara Bibel (2010-05-21). Deep Soap: ‘General Hospital’ Explores Tragedy of Guilty Person in Jail. Xfinity Comcast. Retrieved on 2012-03-16.
  13. ^ a b Sara Bibel (2010-12-27). Daytime TV’s Biggest Blunders of 2010. Xfinity Comcast. Retrieved on 2012-03-16.
  14. ^ a b c Nelson Branco (2010-09-13). The Soap Geist "Meet the Falconeris (and Friend)". TV Guide!.
  15. ^ Stacy, Tom (June 2, 2009). "Port Charles Newcomer Nathan Parsons: Man of Mystery". Soap Opera Digest. pp. 48–51 (Vol. 34, No. 22). 
  16. ^ Rossi, Rosemary A.. "In Fate's Hands", Soaps In Depth, June 1, 2009, pp. 62–65. 
  17. ^ a b Dan. J. Kroll (2009-01-04). General Hospital set to decide on its Dante this month. Soap Central. Retrieved on 2012-02-26.
  18. ^ a b c Dominic Zamprogna Joins 'General Hospital'. Kris De Leon (2009-06-10). Retrieved on 2012-02-26.
  19. ^ Daytime Confidential's Top 10 Soap Newcomers of 2009. Daytime Confidential (2010-01-26). Retrieved on 2012-03-16.
  20. ^ Jamey Giddens (2010-01-28). OMG, THIS is Why General Hospital's Dominic Zamprogna is TOPS on Our List!. Daytime Confidential. Retrieved on 2012-03-16.
  21. ^ 'General Hospitals Dante and Lulu Make Love For the First Time. Enteraintment Tonight (2010-05-03). Retrieved on 2012-03-15.

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