'General Hospital' actress and Texas native Tabyana Ali dishes on starring in legendary soap opera

Brittaney Wilmore Image
Tuesday, April 25, 2023
'General Hospital' actress and Texas native Tabyana Ali dishes on starring in legendary soap opera
"General Hospital" star Tabyana Ali stopped by ABC13 to share what life is like starring on the legendary soap, plus what she misses about Texas.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The stars aren't only big and bright at night in Texas. In fact, one Texas star is shining all the time.

San Antonio native Tabyana Ali is making her mark in Hollywood, playing the role of Trina Robinson on the long-running daytime soap, "General Hospital."

Ali, who stopped by ABC13 while on a short break from filming, has been in the role for over a year now and has quickly become a fan favorite.

Ali stars alongside on-screen love interest Nicholas Alexander Chavez, who plays Spencer Cassadine.

"He's my boo," Ali said, sharing in the video above a bit about their storyline (there were no spoilers!) and the cliffhanger to come.

The couple is popular on the show, with fan accounts on social media dedicated to their love story, so much so that the hashtag #Sprina exists.

Ali wasn't cast as Trina at first.

She explained that she auditioned when she was 16, but ultimately the part went to actress Sydney Mikayla.

"I understand now looking back at the situation that it wasn't the time. I needed to grow a little bit more, but three years later, I ended up auditioning for 'General Hospital' again, and I didn't know that it was for Trina. I auditioned for two different other people, and I thought it was going to be for Trina's sister or Trina's friend," Ali said. "I found out as soon as I booked the show and got the script, 'Oh, it was Trina Robinson.'"

Ali called it a full-circle moment, recalling that her journey to Tinseltown really began as a child who was already singing, dancing and making videos.

"I was about 7 years old and my mom actually heard the commercial, 'Hey, you want your kids to be part of Disney Channel? You want them to be like Zendaya from 'Shake it up'?'"

Now Ali is moving full-steam ahead on the legendary show, which is celebrating its 60th season.

"I never thought I would have an opportunity like this. It's amazing to be part of a generational show, a show that's been even part of my family for so many years. My great-grandmother, my grandmother, my mother, now myself, it just feels like a full circle moment," Ali said.

But Ali doesn't just share the set with her co-stars. She's also graced the cover of "People" magazine alongside legends Luke and Laura.

Fittingly, characters Spencer and Trina are labeled as part of the next generation.

"It's so cool to have people come up to me and be like, 'Oh, my gosh, I've watched the show since it first started' or 'I've watched the show since Luke and Laura. I'm really blessed to be part of this legacy," the star said, sharing that it all became real when she saw the magazine in stores.

"I was like, 'Wow, OK. I feel that I can be proud of myself in this moment,'" she said.

But serving up love and drama for 60 years takes hard work.

Even as a newcomer, Ali has dived right in, taking on a workload that keeps her busy, but is a challenge she happily rises to.

"I can get three, four, 60-page scripts that I have to learn by the next week and that can take some time, but once you learn your character really well, and you can pick up those lines easy, it becomes a breeze," said Ali, who has become close to her castmates, with the team going to dinner or hiking.

Still, you can take the girl out of the Lone Star State, but you can't take the Lone Star State out of the girl.

Ali also talked to ABC13 about what she misses about living in Texas, and when it comes to tacos, which city is her favorite for the fare.

You can watch it all in the interview in the video player above.

On top of playing Trina, Ali can add another milestone to her resume: author.

She wrote her first children's book, "My Flower Child," released on Kindle in 2020.

"This book is for mothers and daughters everywhere of all ages. It doesn't matter if you're 2 or 102. This book is about the bond between a mother and her daughter and the experiences shared together," Ali described.

See, we told you her star is bright!

Watch Ali in "General Hospital" on ABC13 weekdays at 2 p.m.