Times have changed since Stephen Nichols and Mary Beth Evans played DAYS OF OUR LIVES supercouple Patch and Kayla. Evans is now GENERAL HOSPITAL’s scheming Katherine, and Nichols hits Port Charles this month in a role that GH has asked him not to discuss yet.  But here’s the scoop: Nichols will play a member of the evil Cassadine family who shares a shocking past with Laura.  Here are excerpts from a recent chat on the set:

Digest: Have you two kept in touch?

Evans: “Always.  Every few months, we would call each other and check in and go to the kids’ birthday parties.”

Digest: How did you find out that Stephen was joining GH?

Evans: “I was kind of in on it.  I talked to him since the day I came on the show–that he’d be a great person to bring on.”

Digest: Will you get a chance to work with him?

Evans: “I don’t know.  I imagine.  Nobody’s said anything.”

Digest: Stephen, how do you feel about coming back to daytime, in general, and GENERAL HOSPITAL, in particular?

Nichols: “Because it’s GENERAL HOSPITAL, it really makes it easy to come back and get into this groove again.  I’ve been watching the show.  The writing is wonderful; the acting is wonderful.  There’s a sense that the people who produce the show really care about the quality, and that’s the most important thing.”

Digest: Is there anyone in particular you’d like to work with?

Nichols: “There’s not a weak link in the cast.  I’ll be honored to work with anybody.”

Digest: Do you ever miss Patch?

Nichols [laughs]: “I have a soft spot in my heart for the character and for the work that we [he and Evans] did.  But it’s something you can’t recreate…..I’ll always look back on it fondly.  But to say, ‘Do I miss Patch?’  It’s not in my plan….

Digest: You created one of daytime’s most memorable characters.

Nichols: “Yeah…..and what do you do with that?  How do you drag that out?  How do you continue to be as hot as that whole thing was?  How do you keep that going for 10, 15, 20 years?  I don’t know how you do it.”

Digest: Your kids [Vanessa and Aaron] are teenagers now.  Are they excited about you being on GH?

Nichols [laughs]: “They’re excited about the money.  They’re excited they won’t have to worry about their college tuition!”