|General Hospital character|
|Portrayed by||Kelly Thiebaud|
|First appearance||September 19, 2012|
|Last appearance||May 1, 2015|
|Created by||Ron Carlivati|
|Introduced by||Frank Valentini|
Britta "Britt" Westbourne M.D. is a fictional character from the long-running ABC Daytime soap opera General Hospital, portrayed by Kelly Thiebaud. She was introduced by executive producer Frank Valentini on September 19, 2012, as the manipulative love interest for Dr. Patrick Drake.
Britt emerged as a potential romantic interest for Patrick months after the ″death″ of his wife Robin Scorpio, and is intent on being with him. However, the negative response from his daughter Emma Drake towards Britt as well as his feelings for nurse Sabrina Santiago ensure the end of the short-lived relationship. Britt becomes embroiled in a scheme that sees her become pregnant with another couple's embryo in an attempt to pass off the child as Patrick's. During her pregnancy, she fakes a maternity disorder and alters the results of a DNA paternity test. Britt also becomes romantically involved with Nikolas Cassadine, but the relationship ends due to her lies. When Thiebaud decided not to renew her contract, the character was written out in December 2014 after two years. She returned for a guest appearance in 2015.
Britt is known for her "bitchy" attitude, characterized as an "evil" villainess. The term "Britch" (A combination of Britt and Bitch) has become widely popular when referring to the character, either in the show's script or social media. The role was initially viewed as being pointless and short-term. However, Britt's unfolding storyline—which revealed her to be the daughter of super-villain parents Cesar Faison and Dr. Liesl Obrecht—has garnered Thiebaud praise for making her nastiness believable, with Daytime Confidential calling her a "natural". While enjoying the "nasty" sides of Britt, Thiebaud was pleased to portray the character's layers.
Casting and creation
Actress Kelly Thiebaud first auditioned for an unspecified contract role, but the producers of General Hospital felt that she wasn't right for the part. However, they were impressed by her and decided to give her the part of a recurring character that they were in the process of writing, who they characterized as a "bitchy" doctor. Thiebaud described the casting process as a "surprise". She debuted as Dr. Britt Westbourne on September 19, 2012. Thiebaud previously had minor acting credits on the NBC Daytime soap opera Days of Our Lives and primetime series Criminal Minds. Apart from her acting work, she also modeled and appeared in four music videos for French disc jockey David Guetta.
A month into filming, Thiebaud received news that she had been placed on contract. During an interview with Star Pulse, she confessed that she was shocked, because she felt that she wasn't doing well in the role due to nerves, in addition to the fast-paced nature of the genre. In February 2013, Soap Opera Digest confirmed that the actress had been upgraded to a contract status. In early 2013, Thiebaud fractured her femur and was forced to sport crutches. Instead of resting the character, head writer Ron Carlivati wrote it into the script as Britt suffering a fall in the hospital parking lot at the possible hands of Frisco Jones (Jack Wagner), the father of Maxie Jones, whom Britt blackmailed. Thiebaud thanked Carlivati and executive producer Frank Valentini for letting her "crutch on TV". On the set of General Hospital, Thiebaud met her real-life boyfriend Bryan Craig, who portrays Morgan Corinthos.
On November 10, 2014, it was reported that Thiebaud had been placed on recurring status following the conclusion of her two-year contract, in order to pursue other acting opportunities. However, it later appeared that Thiebaud would be exiting the series, and her last scenes aired on December 8, with Britt leaving town. Her departure was not confirmed until this date. Upon the airing of her final scenes, the actress revealed on Instagram, "I decided not to [re-sign] my contract because I would like to book other roles on prime time shows and film", and described her experience on the soap as "(sic) a fun and challenging adventure". The actress returned for a brief appearance in April 2015. She said that "It was just a case of getting used to that [taping] speed again", and is open to future appearances.
Characterization and family
Britt's manipulative untruthful personality has led her to be nicknamed the "Britch" or "Dr. Britch" in the show's dialogue and social media. Thiebaud has stated: "I love going to work and getting to play someone that I am not. It’s really fun to do." She has expressed her pleasure in playing a "bad" character. Although, despite the fact that she "loves playing a villain", she stated: "I would really love for my character to fall in love, [and] have a romance", wanting Britt to "redeem herself". Thiebaud also hoped that audiences would fall for the character and understand her more. Head writer Ron Carlivati characterized Britt during an interview with Soap Opera Digest as a "villainous", while On-Air On-Soaps refers to her as an "evil Britch". Luke Kerr of the entertainment website Zap2it described her as "Britchtastic", while also acknowledging her "human side".
Britt's "nefarious" behavior is attributed to her "manipulative mother and psycho father," being the daughter of Cesar Faison (Anders Hove) and Dr. Liesl Obrecht (Kathleen Gati); who was involved in the presumed death and kidnapping of Robin Scorpio (Kimberly McCullough). Upon the reveal that Dr. Obrecht was Britt's mother, Thiebaud stated: "Recently, my mother got revealed and that was probably something that I'd been waiting for since I got on a contract [...] I wanted to show the audience something other than this kind of bitchy, mean, selfish, conniving person and I'm really glad that slowly these layers are being shown." During an episode of the series, Britt ends up confiding in one of her enemies (and Sabrina's best friend) Felix DuBois (Marc Anthony Samuel), informing him that she is a caring person though has developed an "unlikable personality" due to her "super-villain parents", after he calls her a "Britch" to her face. Thiebaud did not "want to play this one layer of her just being a shark and a bitch" and was pleased that the character's back-story explained her "lack of love, and lack of empathy from other people, and kind of not knowing how to deal with and interact with people". She noted that "No one is just a bitch. There are always reasons behind that." Upon the character's exit in December 2014, On-Air On-Soaps wrote, "Britt was truly a bad girl, a very bad girl, only she ended up humanized along the way."
Relationships and schemes
Liesl and Britt scheme to ensure that Britt will have a relationship with Robin's husband Dr. Patrick Drake (Jason Thompson), though their short-lived romance ends and he began dating Sabrina Santiago (Teresa Castillo), Britt's archenemy. At the 2013 Nurses Ball, she reveals that she is pregnant with Patrick's child, and begins attempting to break up Patrick and Sabrina. Speaking of the brief relationship between Britt and Patrick, Jason Thompson told TV Buzz: "I think Patrick and Britt had some real moments in the beginning and he hasn't seen all the things that she's done. I'm not convinced he knows she's as conniving as everyone else says she is." Speaking of the direction for her character, Thiebaud hoped that Robin would return so that there could be "that whole showdown" that will "shake things up incredibly". In addition, she hoped that Britt's relationship with Nikolas Cassadine (Tyler Christopher) would "grow closer". Thiebaud was a fan of Christopher's and said she was "star-struck" when she first met him. She felt that Nikolas and Britt's friendship was "very special", saying: "It doesn’t make any sense why this person would continue to look past her flaws and mistakes, while everyone else want to stay away from Britt. But, Nikolas is continuing to be there for Britt, like no else before has."
Britt later moves in with Nikolas and when she goes into labor, Sabrina delivers her baby (after it was revealed that Patrick is not the child's father). She gives birth to a son, Ben. Thiebaud described the scenes where Britt confesses to Patrick that he isn't her baby's father as "anxiety-filled and emotion filled". Britt later develops a romantic relationship with Nikolas and the couple get engaged. At their engagement party, Elizabeth Webber (Rebecca Herbst), another one of Britt's rivals, exposes who Ben's real parents are: Lulu Spencer (Emme Rylan) and Dante Falconeri (Dominic Zamprogna); with Britt having stole their embryo. Nikolas breaks up with Britt. The couple rekindle their romance after Britt proves to be a "solid support system" for Nikolas when his son Spencer (Nicolas Bechtel) goes missing. However, Britt confesses to him that she played a role in Spencer's disappearance to get him back and they break up again. Nikolas presses charges against Britt and she flees town. Head writer Ron Carlivati explained: "It was sad, but we had the story set up such that Britt’s life would have to blow up if Nikolas found out her latest deception. So, we had this escape hatch already when Kelly decided she was not going to sign a new contract." Speaking of Britt's close bond with Spencer, Carlivati said that the relationship "is a loss, but it is allowing us to spin Nikolas in a new direction". Britt also has a friendship with Brad Cooper (Parry Shen) who had previously played a role in her baby scheme. Carlivati called this an "unexpected friendship" that the "audience really respond to", noting that "Here these characters started out as schemers, who were sort of using each other, and a real friendship was built."
Dr. Britt Westbourne first appears at General Hospital, where she develops a sudden attraction for fellow doctor, Patrick Drake (Jason Thompson), who is still grieving the death of his wife Robin Scorpio (who is actually alive and being held captive). She is intent on starting a serious relationship with him following a few dates, and appointed nurse Sabrina Santiago (Teresa Castillo) to look after his daughter Emma Drake (Brooklyn Rae Silzer). Britt notices that Sabrina has a crush on Patrick, though doesn't view her as a threat, and manages to have sex with Patrick in a hospital staff shower. Patrick and Sabrina develop feelings for each other, which strengthens once he dumps Britt (after she returned Emma's nasty attitude towards her). Britt manipulatively attempts to destroy Sabrina's career as a nurse by blackmailing one of her patients, Maxie Jones (Kirsten Storms), into sabotaging Sabrina at any turn. The effort fails when Maxie's father Frisco Jones (Jack Wagner) threatens Britt, freeing Maxie of Britt's blackmail. Britt later sets up Sabrina for it to appear that she cheated on a nursing test, though she is caught and Sabrina graduates as a nurse. It is later revealed that Britt is the daughter of Dr. Liesl Obrecht (Kathleen Gati), who was involved in the abduction of Robin, even attempting to kill her, before giving her to terrorist Jerry Jacks (Sebastian Roché). Dr. Obrecht is even more intent on Britt being with Patrick, threatening to kill her own daughter if she doesn't improve her tactics. To the shock of audiences, it is learned that Britt's father is Cesar Faison (Anders Hove), the mastermind behind Robin's abduction who wreaked havoc among the lives of Port Charles residents including Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard).
Britt and her mother's master plan is revealed when Britt takes the stage at the Nurse's Ball to inform Patrick, Sabrina, Emma and everybody else that she is pregnant with his child. Britt later, with the help of the sleazy lab technician Brad Cooper (Parry Shen), fakes hyperemesis gravidarum and moves in with Felix and Sabrina for her fake bed-rest, inflicting hell on them. Although, Britt becomes fast friends with Felix's sister Taylor DuBois (Samantha Logan). A DNA paternity test demanded by Sabrina and Felix seemingly proves that Patrick is the father of Britt's baby, though it is later revealed to be as a result of Dr. Obrecht's schemes, and the child isn't Patrick's. During the middle of this, Britt also befriends Nikolas Cassadine (Tyler Christopher), who she develops potential feelings for. When Patrick finds out who Britt's mother is, he tells Britt he's filing for sole custody of the baby. Britt finally admits that she isn't carrying Patrick's baby, and when Patrick presses, she tells him that Brad donated his sperm to her so she could get pregnant. Soon after, she goes into labor, and Sabrina and Nikolas end up delivering her son, whom she names Ben.
Obrecht ends up kidnapping Ben soon after he is born, and Nikolas and Britt go to Cassadine Island when they get a lead on her. There, she finds Faison with her son, and eventually gets Ben back. She also finds out about Robin being alive and held captive by her parents. Robin, Nikolas, Britt and Ben end up being held hostage on Wyndemere by her parents unless Robin finds a cure for Jerry's poisoning. Britt offers to help Robin with this, and finds out Patrick and Sabrina are engaged. Robin becomes desperate to find a cure in order to stop the wedding. Robin's parents eventually show up and rescue them. Britt and Nikolas eventually start a relationship after the ordeal. However, Britt's newfound happiness is put in jeopardy by her mother, who blackmails Britt into helping her get released from jail. It's revealed that Britt actually stole the embryos of Dante Falconeri (Dominic Zamprogna) and Lulu Spencer-Falconeri (Emme Rylan) in order to impregnate herself, and Ben is actually Dante and Lulu's son. Britt is afraid she'll lose Nikolas because Lulu is his sister. After meeting Nathan West (Ryan Paevey) at the Floating Rib, she was taken in to Maxie's apartment by Nathan himself, meets Maxie's boyfriend Levi Dunkleman (Zachary Garred) which they both become friends and was later revealed that she and Nathan are siblings and their mother Liesl has an older sister named Madeline Reeves (Donna Mills) as their aunt and they have a cousin named Nina Clay (Michelle Stafford).
On-Air On-Soaps wrote that the actress "won fans and critics alike over with her multi-dimensional performance as Dr. Britt Westbourne". Speaking of the character's progression, soap journalist Michael Fairman said she went from "the ultimate bitch, to being pregnant, to now actually having many fans rooting for her". Jamey Giddens of Daytime Confidential was receptive of the character, and upon news of Thiebaud being placed on contract with the series, wrote: "I couldn't be happier about this news. While I didn't see the point of Britt or Sabrina early on, the story has hooked me over the past few weeks. [Thiebaud] is a natural at playing a bitch-goddess-in-training." Brittany Frederick of Star Pulse said of Thiebaud: "With her positive energy and commitment to her craft, Kelly is well on her way to a long career. She might be playing a woman audiences love to hate, but there's plenty to love about her." Maria Ciaccia of About.com described the character as "nasty and horrible" as well as "the woman we love to hate" though stated that "Thiebaud deserves applause for convincing audiences of Britt's nastiness." Ciaccia had previously unfavorably described Britt as "Another manipulative woman after Patrick" who she would vote "off the island". In a poll conducted by About.com in regards to which General Hospital storyline viewers were most interested, the option of "How Robin's kidnapping ties in with Britt hooking up with Patrick" received the most votes, with 27%. Luke Kerr (also of Zap2it) was receptive of Britt's potential pairing with the character Nikolas Cassadine (Tyler Christopher) stating that "A Faison and Cassadine romantic pairing could be hot" and they "could become Port Charles’ next, great twisted power couple".
The humorous side of Britt's inability to get along with Patrick's daughter Emma was demonstrated when Britt accidentally throws Emma's wet doll (named Baby Ariel) into a grill, causing it to catch fire during a 4th of July barbecue. The scene was shown on the E! television series The Soup!, which recaps popular culture television moments of the week. Presenter Tim Jennings stated: "Not everyone is good with kids [...] In fact, if you don’t have one and aren’t used to interacting with them, a conversation with a random child can end up feeling awkward. If this ever happens to you, don’t despair. At the very least, it will never be as bad as what happened to Britt on ‘General Hospital’ this week". Jennings jokingly stated: "Don’t worry, Baby Ariel. Soaps always bring characters back from the dead." The scene has been described as an "instant classic". Later, Violette DeSantis of SheKnows Media compiled a poll of characters that have "been pulling at our heartstrings. Characters we like and dislike have shared their intimate thoughts. While watching a few confront their inner demons or confess their feelings to others we might have felt deeply moved to hug one or two of them", with Britt included."
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- "SPOILERS: Liz Learns The Truth About Ben on General Hospital!". Daytime Confidential. March 18, 2014. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
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- "SPOILERS: It's Trouble in Paradise for Britt and Nik on General Hospital!". Daytime Confidential. March 25, 2014. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
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