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As GH Is On The Move Today, Maurice Benard Says Of Cartini: "They''ve Been Able To Make This Show Into An Ensemble!"

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

Today is an important day in this history of General Hospital as this afternoon it moves into its new timeslot, one hour earlier at 2PM EST/1PMCST and PST on ABC.   And as the series has been hyping. it hopes to deliver to its long time viewers, and new viewers, some action/adventure utilizing and focusing on many of the beloved character of Port Charles.

Series star (for almost 20 years now), Maurice Benard (Sonny Corinthos) spoke to EW.com about the difference in the long running soap opera,  with its new lease on life from ABC, and since head writer, Ron Carlivati and executive Producer, Frank Valentini came over from One Life to Live to General Hospital and have been evolving and tweaking the show.  For many years, it’s been the “Sonny Show” where Benard’s character dominated screen time, which has often been a criticism by fans of the legendary soap.  To that Benard stated about Cartini’s revitalization of GH:   “They’ve been able to make this show into an ensemble. Which it’s never been. If I had the old ego, I might be upset. But I love it. It just adds spice to life. To me, if the show’s better, that’s what matters.  Six months ago we were dead men walking. Now we’re on the team to go all the way to the Super Bowl.”

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Benard also shared although he doesn’t always have a say in the story direction,  he does have a wish: “I would like him to be with Kate (played by Kelly Sullivan) and happy, but not complacent. With her and I, it’s never going to be boring because Kate’s crazy. Sonny’s crazy. Crazy people put together, it’s nice.”

So soapers, do you see and feel the difference in the new GH?   Does it feel like more of an ensemble?  Many of you have commented in previous posts that you feel it is.   So does the show feel more balanced to you? Weigh-in!

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caroldee
caroldee

It’s because they are all working together to save their lives. Next month when it all dies down there will be the same divisions in characters as there was before. ANYTHING that brings more OLTL people into GH the better. ABC lost a loyal fan folllowing there and they know it. I like the on location drama very much and wish it was that way all the time. I do know that it’s way too expensive and difficult for them to do it all the time though. (I recall a lot of location work on OLTL and GH in the past though.) Hope the cast can keep the action going with great writing and acting and GH can move to the top!!

Brandy
Brandy

I think GH has enough OLTL characters we really
dont need anymore as we have amazing talent, I do welcome the adition but it has gone from the Sonny show to the Todd show so lets not make the same mistake twice! Keep it balanced and keep it GH! Sorry I also watched OLTL but it was sadly cancelled and thankfully GH wasnt and i think its time oltl fans accept it and not keep wanting gh to turn into oltl.

Osgood
Osgood

Oh, stuff and nonsense. It is not the Todd show, it’s just when he’s in a scene he chews up the scenery.

susan M.
susan M.

There are only three OLTL crossovers on GH …..And GH is far from turning into OLTL…..OLTL was my favorite soap…..I don’t think it’s the Todd show…I think it is balanced…..There is enough talent to go around……I don’t see making the same mistake twice at all…..Gh & OLTL are as different as night and day..I watched OLTL for a very long time…..GH is definetely on the right track….,

aria
aria

Well said Brandy, GH has a fully rich history, it doens’t need to rely on OLTL to survive, i’m happy with the few additions, but this is not Llanview stoping ground for the whole town, OLTL was cancelled and their fans need to be happy that at least GH was around and able to intergrate some of their characters to the canvas, but the whole cast thats just ridiculous, OLTL is gone, mourn, and move on.

Robert in Jersey City
Robert in Jersey City

Reality Check. These characters are working actors. There’s no where else to go. Actors used to move around all the time. I think it’s good that with the Jason character leaving that OLTL leads have the opportunity to work. Yes, GH has a rich history, all the ABC soaps did. To me, there’s nothing wrong in rolling all of it into the one soap left. I think the current cast proves only the best survive. I remember GH in 2005 had all these characters that were awful and one by one were killed off. GH is now the best of the best.

On the flip side, it doesn’t leave much room for new comers to break in. Survival of the fittest. Work is work.

susan M.
susan M.

Again there are only THREE OLTL characters on GH….Not the whole cast of OLTL..Just maybe a few more One or two more… Like Erika Slezak (Viki) Or Roxy…………………………………I miss my OLTL…Happy to see them on GH!!!!!!

Bruce
Bruce

Yes it does. I’m really enjoying it. Keep Florencia, and Kassie, and it would b perfection!!

Jan
Jan

not if natalie cant come. kassie maybe.

susan M.
susan M.

What about Erika Slezak Or Roxy…

Max
Max

Most definitely Erika Slezak. And Roxy, too – Port Chuck seems to be lacking a hair salon where people can regroup – Roxy’s such a riot, it would really add to the humor they try and work into the show.

And what has Erika Slezak been doing since OLTL. I can’t seem to dig up anything new on her. Can’t believe another soap hasn’t snatched her up yet. Such incredible talent and she has such a following. Where Erika goes, ratings will go up!

susan M.
susan M.

Erika Slezak has a soap fan club where you can write to her…I don’t think she is doing anything..Last time I read she was spending a lot of time w/her family…..Didn’t say anything about her working anywhere…HMMMMMMM!!!!!

Amanda
Amanda

I can surprisingly agree with MB regarding the “ensemble” remark. The last week of GH has been alright. I mean Carly, Tracy, Todd, Sonny, Johnny all in the same room, scene together? Wow and hilarious much? More of Alexis has been awesome along with reuniting her with Jax as BFF. The forthcoming action christening the new time slot is chops-licking. They just need to spice it a wee bit more for me by interacting other characters that are closely tied to each other. (Luke & Sonny’s kids, more sibling interaction as well between). The Quatermaines seriously need beefing up as well.
No more of the one person, two people take over storylines thank you :)

Flavia
Flavia

I think GH is better than it has been in years! It’s definitely “must watch tv”. I was never a OLTL fan, but LOVE the characters they have brought to GH. It mixes things up and makes it much more interesting! Cudos to ABC and GH for reviving GH and making it much more fun to watch!

susan M.
susan M.

I agree……….. I was a OLTL fan..

Tali
Tali

Welcome to 1:00 GH! Really impressed with the edit on todays extended intro. Super nice work, exciting and thrilling, and a good catchup for new and/or returning viewers. Wonderful to see the characters of Todd and John blending so seemlessly. They invigorate General Hospital and still give those of us who loved One Life to Live – a little more life to hold onto.

susan M.
susan M.

I agree with you 100%… Especially the last line of your comments..

boes
boes

Me too! I had decided to give GH another look when I first heard Ron C. and Frank V. were going to be working with the show. And this was after I had given up GH completely, for almost 10 years. I would check in every now and then, but the overwhelming Mob presence and the destruction of core families drove me away. And not only me. IMO, even the sad caricature that AMC became was better than GH these last 10 years.
Of the two, OLTL was head and shoulders better than GH in these past few years. And OLTL was ahead in the ratings. That’s the show that should have survived. And if it had, I would have welcomed characters from Port Charles to Llanview, as long as Llanview stayed Llanview. And I think that’s what has happened with the three – count ’em, three – crossover characters. The addition of these characters from my favorite show, along with the invigorated storytelling and more balanced cast has made me a faithful GH fan again.
If all those things hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t be watching. I hope that the GH-only fans can appreciate that we crossover fans from OLTL are contributing to hopefully helping save GH, and not resent the small but good OLTL infusion.

Remedy
Remedy

boes couldn’t have said it beter myself. I too was a GH fan since the 80’s and checked out when the mob became a dominate presence with MB leading the way. No offense to MB but he has about much energy as a sleeping dog and the show followed that lead. OLTL is the show that should have lived on butt at least GH fans are seeing only the tip of the iceberg OLTL had. I tune into GH now because of scenes like the docks as it reminds me of old GH and the crossovers have contributed to that energy as well as OLTLs EP of twenty plus years FV. I continue to hope that more crossovers come to PC namely Blair, Jack, Vicki, Clint, David and hopefully Dorian. It will only improve GH. Of course u would have to make room so some would have to go and one of the three i wish to be gone (can u guess) are gone.

Ann
Ann

I’ve been watching GH for 30 years. I think the show is fantastic right now. I didn’t think I would like the OLTL characters coming over but I was wrong. I love them! Mcbain and Todd are fantastic and I think it really does add to the show. I like Mcbain with Sam now that Jason is leaving and Todd and Carly are a good match. Keep up the great storytelling. I hope the show lasts another 30 years. Tell the network they have way too many talk shows. It’s ridiculous. GH is the only thing worth watching.

Christy
Christy

oh, 30 years… can you imagine! that would be great! I’d be a very happy octogenarian if my soap lasts that long! 🙂

susan M.
susan M.

I agree with comment on 9/10 at 11:52a.m………..

ethel
ethel

i haven’t been this excited about watching gh in years – gh is on fire thanks to the new regime!

susan M.
susan M.

I agree with you totally!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Christine
Christine

I have to agree as well. The last time I watched GH was with the last return of Brenda … and they blew it. It was so boring. I kept waiting and waiting for her and Sonny to run into each other in the courtyard of her hotel. The building up was wonderful, but then it flatlined. I couldn’t keep any interest.

I loved Megan Ward as Kate, but hated the character of Kate. I can enjoy her now because she finally has some back story and I feel for her.

When OLTL went black I decided to support GH as I have watched it for many years, though I left from time to time when I got bored. I decided to support this lone ABC soap and I am glad I did. It has been such a wonderful little daily cliffhanger. I DVR it and watch it after Y&R because I love the thrill it gives me after a long day with my little ones. I just love to escape. I shudder to think what I will do if the soaps disappear altogether. I guess it will be reruns of I LOVE LUCY and shows like that with primetime cable shows.

Beth
Beth

ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC…. The GH of today, is more like the heyday of Gloria Monty. I totally enjoy every aspect of the show . Love, love the OLTO characters that are under contract with GH. So glad the writers are still continuing the humor in the character of Todd. One of the greatest exchanges in conversation ever in daytime happened last week. Todd said very quietly to Sonny….I know you know where Jimmy Hoffa is buried. Sonny answered as he was walking away, I will tell you later. And this was done without a smile or a laugh from Maurice B. Twelve months ago, it seems like GH was on a quickly sinking ship; today, the ENTIRE GH family, looks happy and hopeful. All of us long time viewers are being awarded with sixty exciting minutes five days a week. Thank you to whoever at ABC had the smarts to work parts of OLTO into GH. And the show, could not have a better EP and HW. JMO

jp
jp

When I was a kid, I was an avid viewer of OLTL and GH. I have only recently come back to GH since OLTL ended. I am tired of hearing some, not all, GH fans they are sick of the OLTL characters on GH. You should be saying, thank you, to them and Ron C. and Frank V. for saving your show. What about when any new character is introduced to a show? You learn to love or hate them. So my advice to GH fans is: Embrace it! Be thankful that you can still tune in each day to see your favorite GH characters stories. Be accepting of the OLTL characters who have added spice and intrigue to as Maurice Bernard said, “six months ago, we were dead man walking. I wish I could have my soap, OLTL, back but I have moved on and accepted it. At least, I get to see some of my OLTL family and came back as a GH viewer. Isn’t that what matters? The more people who tune in, the better chance you get to keep the legacy of GH alive.

ac
ac

Show is better than ever. character development, cast integration, witty dialogue. i love it again

susan M.
susan M.

Me Too !!!!!!!!!!!!!

andrea
andrea

it is must see tv again luv McBain and Todd too

susan M.
susan M.

I especially like John ….I wish Natalie would join him….And Liam..It would ake it complete………

JustSaying
JustSaying

The fact that they brought Monica back for one episode doesn’t make up for lost time. Here we have a storyline with an epidemic and she’s nowhere to be found. How can a senior medical staff member not be involved in the hospital crisis? Why isn’t she involved in Tracy’s storyline? They’re just playing favorites again. This time with different characters.

kay/kay
kay/kay

Amen Leslie Charleson who plays Monica was very vocal on the direction GH took years ago making MB the star etc and the veterans treatment. They cleaned out Jackie Zemens dressing room and fired her with no warning and no one would talk to her cast members except Kin Shriner Kristian Wagner and the gal who played Lucy Coe. That is why I only watch this show when I am excited about a storyline I still say MB looks away half the time when he is saying his lines.

Osgood
Osgood

Too bad Steven Burton had to act like a petulant brat and leave the show in a huff because it no longer revolves around his pompous butt. He should take Maurice’s cue and be a class act.

Rodd
Rodd

Osgood, you’re totally off base on why Steve is leaving. Please see Michael’s story on Birton’s reasons for going.

Phil
Phil

Nothing is always as it appears…there actually may be some truth to what Osogood is saying. If Burton ends up on Y&R within the next few months it even sounds more plausible.

kay/kay
kay/kay

He probably is but you can commute to work my husband did it for years and it was a 5 hour flight of course he is a commercial airline Captain so you fly for free.

kay/kay
kay/kay

I was referring to Osgood stranger things have happened and deep down in his interview with Michael Fairman I got the feeling he was jealous of Michael Easton but I could be way off base. I do know he has been looking at Nashville for a long time.

Remedy
Remedy

Osgood is right on base. Steve B is leaving cause he had a hissy fit about airtime . Watch and see he will end up at Y&R with the EP who kissed his butt and let GH tank. Soooo glad he is gone no talent always looking constipated. He will be followed by the next one who not used a EP that wont kiss her butt. LW.

xaraxara
xaraxara

I have been so surprised by how much I have enjoyed GH lately. It is great to see the show return to an ensemble performance. So many talented actors are finally getting screen-time and storylines. I really enjoyed the recent “1%- er” scenes, it was so refreshing to have Tracy in the mix. I loved seeing Heather return after so many years, just hearing her say “Steven Lars” reminds me of the GH of long ago. I am really enjoying Todd, the wit and humor he brings to scenes, especially with Carly, is lots of fun. Great work and professional attitude from Maurice Benard. The combination of less screen-time (less time repeating the same speeches over and over)/better storylines has really helped make Sonny interesting and watchable again.

GeneRosa
GeneRosa

Out of all of the commentary I read, your by far mirrored mine best. I fell off of the GH wagon and now I’m riding it with popcorn in hand. I’m excited about the next day’s outcome and have been caught shocked on many more occasions then usual. What is most exciting is seeing so many of the veterans from long ago make a comeback and visit the show again. They visit looking so impeccable and adding depth, while reminding viewers of the show’s history. People keep mentioning OLTL stars, but I think Tea Delgado’s character plays her role at a superb level and is more worthy to be a recurring role. Keep up the ensemble work GH. We are all watching and wanting more…

susan M.
susan M.

GH is the only thing worth watching on daytime programing !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I watch nothing but GH on daytime programming & nothing else….There is nothing else worth watching on daytime programing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I like the direction GH is going in…Much better stories and intrigue………………………………..

Trisha
Trisha

I must disagree with MB about his vision for Sonny. I’ve watched Sonny since he first arrived in PC and I think the fact that he was a tortured and lonely soul for some time , it made Sonny that much more appealing. We loved to see him trying to walk the thin line between being good and bad and happy and miserable.

MB makes it sound as if he’d never been happy with any of his loves, Brenda or Carly, but that’s not true. Like any pairings they had happy time and bad times, but his idea that suddenly Kate is going to make him happy and because she’s ‘crazy’, they won’t be boring , really is OFF to me. I still find them boring, with or without her craziness because of Kate’s sudden “history” which was written in off screen and because she just doesn’t have what it takes.

Deborah McClendon
Deborah McClendon

I’ve been a fan of GH since 1980. It was the only Soap on American Forces Network (AFN) overseas in Germany on the base my husband was stationed at Sembach AB. Obviously, I became hooked and never looked back. I’m excited for GH, however I would love to see the old soap opera style back with rivalry, jealousy etc. I most especially would love to see Vanessa Marcel G. come back and cause a divide between Sonny and Kate. I absolutely love Todd, he has wonderful comic relief and I would love to see Sonny with some comic relief like I’ve seen him do with other characters on GH (He was fun to watch). Great seeing Jax and I would love to see Felicia and Mac as well as Alexis ans Shawn together more. More personal storyline less shoot em up!

Ronnie
Ronnie

Love how everyone is working towards the good of PORT CHARLES. You’ve got Sonny, Jax and Shawn who all used to work together trying to stop Jerry and trying to save Alexis who they all love. Then you’ve got Dante and McBain who are trying to save the city from a madman’s intent to see all of PC die of his lethal pathogen. Then you’ve got Johnny, Todd and Carly as part of the one percenters are focused on helping Todd come up with the cash needed to get the antiserum. Although Todd and Johnny still cannot put their differences aside even while deathly ill for the sake of Carly who they both have feelings for. All in all I really am glad to see all these people playing a pivotal part in trying to help one another and the citizens of PORT CHARLES. Really hope that this won’t be the last time a great cast like this is able to deliver great episodes for the future of General Hospital.

Jen
Jen

I’m really liking the show as an ensemble, the umbrella story lines, etc. I’m not a huge Sonny fan (though he has his moments) but I love how Maurice has been such a good sport and really seems to care if GH continues. He seems to have a really positive attitude.

susan M.
susan M.

More compassionate & understanding Sonny has become…..I like that a lot….

Rodd
Rodd

I love the ensemble! The show is at its best when we see bits and pieces of characters’ storylines throughout the week and not just the same six. I would like to see the Q’s beefed up. They are hilarious when they’re on together! Plus, they have such rich history on the show.

susan M.
susan M.

True !!!!!!!!

Tea
Tea

I Love Maurice! I’m so glad he’s happy. I agree totally with him. Sonny & Kate need to be happy. It’s about time Sonny had some real & lasting happiness. Well, as much as a soap will allow, anyway.

susan M.
susan M.

Didn’t Monica look terrible on GH today (tues.) …. She looks like she got a very bad face-lift…..Her nose , lips, chin…It looks so weird to me…..It doesn’t look normal….I know people get older.. It looks like she had her whole face re-arranged….

JustSaying
JustSaying

So did Edward. So I’m hoping it’s story related.

And I hate how they made it seem like Edward died. That was nasty.

kay/kay
kay/kay

From what I am hearing John Engle/Edward is very ill in real life so yes that might have been his last apperance. Very sad.

Christy
Christy

wow! today’s show was great! Very … shall I say it? Very explosive! Couldn’t resist.

I just couldn’t wait to watch it at home today so I watched it at work with captions on! and did I miss it, or were there no previews? I mean, it was another Tuesday cliff hanger for sure and previews usually mess up cliff hangers.

susan M.
susan M.

On today’s episode did John finally cut the right wire to the bomb???? I think he will in a matter of seconds…It will be real close !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Will Johnnie die???? That bad bullet wound…Todd would like him to die …. and we all know why !!!!!! Antidote just enough for on person hmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Will they get more in time???? And Jerry is sick and hasn’t got too much time left……………….GH is ROCKIN & ROLLING !!!!!

MBmomof3
MBmomof3

Great show & great interview. Thanks to MB for being a team player. I’ve seen and read more interviews with him in the last 6 months than I have in years. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK GH!

Jewell
Jewell

I have noticed a difference and I wasn’t never a fan until two months ago, I would watch it with a friend and could never get into it, because too much mob storyline. Now I’m hooked on GH. I hope they don’t make the same mistake and have Todd take over the show now. It would be nice to have a couple of All My Children characters on GH like Krystal and she can be best friends with Blair. Would love to see David Hayward too.

susan M.
susan M.

Ck. my message below about Vincent Irizarry(david) I found a movie from 1996 he was in………………LMN MOVIE….All info below!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

susan M.
susan M.

What do you think about this movie with Vincent Irizzary on LMN??? Did you ever see it???? Read my whole comment below………

susan M.
susan M.

If only the truth would come out about Sam’s baby being alive…She said of things were different!!!!! But they could be if the tuth will only come out…This should resolve this storyline next…..They found the antidote & everyone is out of danger of dying….Again the truth about Sam’s baby should be the nt. storyline ……That’s what I think…..

susan M.
susan M.

This is for all AMC soap fans..I saw a move on LMN today with Vincent Irizarry…It’s called : “Lying Eyes (1996) Suspense…Someone stalks and tries to kill a high-school senior(Cassidy Rae) who ended a secret affair with a powerful lawyer(Vincent Irizarry)…He plays Derek Bradshaw a handsome 33 year old lawyer…Who has a thing for high-school senior cheerleaders….It’s a really good movie..He looks great!!!!! If you are interested in purchasing it go to amazon.com ..It’s on dvd and the price is $9.98…It’s 97mins….It will be on LMN again on Oct. 7 at 8:00a.m. That’s with my cable provider in FL….You will have to ck. your own cable provider because times & dates will be different…Again it’s a LMN Movie…..ENJOY!!!!!!! I did….

susan M.
susan M.

The truth about Sam”s baby is out thanks to Spinelli ..He has some good news for Jason…..And Jason will surely tell Sam. And possibly get back together!!!!! I like Spinelli a lot….And Sam didn’t sighn the divorce papers….She went to tell him but she saw hi kissing Elizabeth Hmmmmmm !!!!!!!! Coming attractions jason said to Elizabeth I don’t want to hurt you !!!!!

Linda H. Quap
Linda H. Quap

I have loved GH since the early 80’s when I began watching as a early teenager. Starting in the early 90’s the show did become too revolved around the character of “Sonny” and the character had his fingers in too man pies. As a result of that GH lost way too many loyal viewers. Maurice Benard is a veritable genius when it comes to bringing a character like Sonny alive and add enough complexity that viewers can learn to love and want to see so much of a mobster is a testament to his very admirable talent of talent that is wasted on the small screen. He has talent that if his career is managed properly he could potentially become one of legendary stars like Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Morgan Freeman, Wesley Snipes, need I go on? Maurice really is that good…He should be a household name by now and he’s wasting his time on continuing with Sonny Corithinos whose story, less be honest, is not about to change much expect for his leading lady and how much more complex could he become? ) The writers need to bring back more of Robert Scorpio and alumni especially the Quartermaines!! Also, we never hear about Bobbi Spenser these days? What happened to the character, I don’t really recall? Let’s continue with the ensemble and also let’s see more of Roger Howarth (Todd Manny) and Laura Wright (Carly) since they could make a solid coupling and she brings out genuine feelings of love of wanting to be protective of a woman in Todd.. Wow!! Howarth was allowed to display his talent for comedic line’s during the storyline when Todd brought together the wealthiest people of Port Charles to pool resources to buy the toxin’s antidote from Jerry Jax. I loved the line when he said “Think of it “A Wonderful Life Meets Joe Pesci” to Sonny. I loved it, he said it perfectly. Mr. Howarth, could he have potential talent for delivering comedic lines that could someday land him a primetime sitcom role? So many people that I know do not realize the talent that soap opera stars possess and how many lines they need to study for every episode!!! Wow!! I’d loved to see many of the soap stars that have the talent needed for Holywood to make it to the big screen; if it is their desire to do so. This way, they’d be able to sit back and only take the roles that will showcase their abilities!! Constance Towers is awesome in her role as the scheming, conning “Helena Cassadine”, but talent of the caliber needs the chance to win an Oscar in a film that of the magnitude like the film currently at the box offices “Lincoln”. She, Ms. Towers, is nothing short of regal and is capable of playing any role to perfection – I could even seen her in a role where she portrays “royalty”!!! Awesome. General Hospital has always attracted the best… Read more »

General Hospital

GH’s Roger Howarth Chats On Shifting From Franco To Drew & The Stunning Story Twist

In one of the most intriguing plots of 2019, General Hospital’s Franco Baldwin was morphed into Navy SEAL Andrew Cain following a harrowing mind-mapping procedure. In all went down thanks to Shiloh (Coby Ryan McLaughlin) and Dr, Cabot (Time Winters), taking the life and memories of Drew (Billy Miller) from his flash drive and transferring them into Franco’s brain, wiping out his past and his present.  That followed the tearjerker moment, when Franco sacrificed himself to free his kidnapped stepson, Cameron (William Lipton) from the twisted procedure; that could have left the teenager with Drew’s memories or even in a vegetative state.

The recipient of this storyline – and who would be taking on another persona in his storied daytime drama career – is none other than Roger Howarth.  The Daytime Emmy- winning actor is no stranger to changing fictional identities on GH.  Howarth, played OLTL’s Todd Manning over in Port Charles, later switching to Franco (previously played by James Franco) following the legal dispute between ABC and Prospect Park.

Last week, viewers got their first glimpse of Howarth taking on the traits of Drew circa 2012, and in short order, it has caused emotional upheaval for Franco’s wife, Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst), Drew himself, Jason (Steve Burton), and Kim (Tamara Braun)… and that’s just for starters.

Michael Fairman TV chatted with Roger as he started his journey transforming his work from playing Franco to Drew and the challenges it presents, plus the ripple effect the change will have on the canvas for many of the characters.  In addition for One Life to Live fans, Roger chats about his appreciation for his time on that iconic series in a candid, self-effacing, and special conversation.  Here’s what Howarth shared:

Courtesy/ABC

When you were told that they were going to put Drew’s memories into Franco, what was your initial reaction to learning that news?  Did you think it was a great twist?

ROGER:  Yeah, I think it’s a great idea.  I really do.  Good story needs a lot of things, and this checks a lot of the boxes.  It brings people together; it provides obstacles.  There are a lot of places this could lead to.  I just think it’s really smart and interesting.  I look forward to it a lot, and I can already tell by what I have shot thus far that it’s going to be fun.

If this story is written well, what has happened to Franco will be life-altering and crucial to so many people’s lives in Port Charles.

ROGER:  What I like about it, and this isn’t lip service, is that it’s a great story because it affects a lot of people.  Those are the good stories.  Elizabeth has got to deal with this, the boys have to deal with this, Scotty’s (Kin Shriner) got to deal with it, Jason is confused by this information, and now this person in interacting with Drew, and Kim, and Shiloh.  All of the sudden, the canvas is interacting completely differently.  So, I think the writers are having fun with this as well.

Photo: ABC

Then, there is also the character of Kim played by Tamara Braun, who Drew shares a past with.  It will be interesting to see how that relationship plays out, we already witnessed Franco’s Drew instantly smitten and attracted to her.

ROGER:  Yes, the person in this body is running under a certain set of assumptions that no one else shares.  So, yes, it’s confusing to everybody, I am sure, including Kim.

Do you see Franco eventually flipping back and forth, and having personality traits of both he and Drew?

ROGER:  No.  One hundred percent, no, and that provides a real obstacle with a couple like Franco and Elizabeth.  They are always looking for obstacles to prove to the audience that these two people really do care about one another, and that’s the purpose of a story like this.  I’m guessing and hoping that it will provide the character of Elizabeth with a particular objective because it would be nice to see Becky be able to play all of those beats.

Right, and to have to fight for something…

ROGER:  Yes, it’s very tragic.  This is a character that is accustomed to tragedy, and to see Becky play the role of Elizabeth dusting herself off, trying to get what she wants is going to be really cool.

Courtesy/ABC

The tragic twist had Franco saving Cameron from winding up with Drew’s memories and being the vessel for Shiloh to use.  What did you think about how Franco sacrificed himself in order to protect Elizabeth’s son?  It was quite heroic.

ROGER:  I think the other beautiful part of this is that this was motivated by love.  I don’t see it as heroic.  I think as an actor, you’re always looking for the heart of the story, and the writers made it really simple.  He does this because he loves this kid.  Yeah, they’ve had their ups and downs, and they are struggling to figure out how they can get along, and they have a lot of things that they feel about one another, but push actually did come to shove, and I think that the character of Cameron is going to be deeply affected by that.

Courtesy/ABC

This now puts Franco deep within Shiloh’s storyline and past with Drew, because Shiloh desperately wants a key piece of information locked in Drew’s memories.  So, in theory, this kind of ranks among one of the better stories you’ve probably ever gotten to tell in your daytime career.  Everyone is hoping that it lives up to its expectations in the execution of it on-air.

ROGER:  It is certainly a high concept story.  It’s asking a lot of the audience.  So far, we’re all in.  It’s a good cast.  I work with really good actors, so I’m not worried.  It is asking the audience to suspend disbelief for sure.  The good stories do.  I think Erika Slezak (Viki) on One Life to Live, getting to play Dissociative Identity Disorder as Niki and Viki that was a large ask.  She never blinked.  She did everything that was asked.  I’m trying to follow her example.

Exactly, and she played more characters.  She had more alters after that.

ROGER:  (Laughs)  Yeah!  She’s better at this than I am.  I’m having trouble with the one. (Laughs)

Photo: ABC

What do you think about how Scott and Franco’s relationship will be affected, now that he is in essence “Drew”?

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ROGER:  There’s no part of that relationship that hasn’t changed because there is no Franco.  Franco is not around … Franco has left the building.

He is a completely new person for all intent and purposes.

ROGER:  For sure.  This soldier doesn’t appreciate being called by somebody else’s name.  He is not compassionate to the people who mistake him for this somewhat tortured art therapist that he no longer is.

Photo: ABC

What is also interesting is that this should put you right into conflict and scenes with Steve Burton, because now you are essentially playing Jason’s twin.

ROGER:  Yes.  For me, as an actor, to get a chance to work with Steve, and to play a like-minded person, is intimidating frankly, but it’s exciting.

Also, the audience knows how Franco and Jason are such enemies, and now, he is really in his mind his twin.  

ROGER:  Yeah, Franco sees in many shades of gray and other colors, and from what I can tell, Franco as Drew sees the world much simpler.  He thinks more clearly, he finishes his sentences, he thinks before he speaks, he knows what he is going to say.  His point of view does not waiver.  He is determined.

Courtesy/ABC

That’s got to be so exciting for you to get to play after all of Franco’s psychological baggage and issues.

ROGER:  I’ve got to say, it’s been a bit of a challenge for me to play someone with a different set of speech patterns and who stands differently.  Because Drew thinks and feels differently about everything; his body is the same, but his body is behaving differently, and it speaks differently, and he thinks at a different tempo.  They’ve been very patient on set giving me chances to do it badly, so far. (Laughs)  It’s not uncommon for me to get halfway through a scene and to have to start over.   I am essentially figuring it out as we go along.   I am very appreciative of the fact that they have been giving me a few extra takes to try and figure out how this guy stands.  He relates to people with a different set of space and time.  It’s cool.  It’s a cool set of puzzles.  It’s been really fun.  I’m a lucky guy.

When I first learned of the story twist, I was like, “Oh! Roger will be great in this.”  

ROGER:  I don’t know, man.  I could be stinking it up pretty badly. (Laughs)  I think there’s a trap as an actor who has been asked to play twins, and the trap is that this guy is only acting the way that he acts.  The trap is frankly to act too much because the audience is being told that he is a different person.  If I go too far to try to demonstrate that he is a different person, then it slips into parody or overacting.  Over the years, I have definitely been guilty of overacting, so, I’m a little frightened of it. (Laughs)  I don’t like the way it feels.  I know how it feels to go too far.  I have been getting notes like, “You could pull it back a little bit.”  (Laughs)  It’s pretty funny.

Courtesy/ABC

In the past, I have heard you say you’d rather go to work and feel unsettled about what you are asked to play.  Does that still hold true?

ROGER:  For sure!  I’d rather go to work and leave my job knowing that it was terrible and that I get to come back the next day and make it a little better.  The best thing about daytime is how much it will stretch you and pull you and ask as much of it as you are willing to put in.

Now speaking of Franco, what did you think about the wedding reception on the yacht with Elizabeth?  Did you think that was a nice payoff for Friz fans? 

ROGER:  Yes, for sure.  I thought it was a really sweet culmination to a sweet story about these two people finding one another.  I’m glad they incorporated a large part of the cast.  It was a really good idea.

Photo: ABC

What did you think of how all of Elizabeth’s boys (Cameron, Aiden and Jake) performed a song for Franco and their mom at the reception, and how Franco relates to all of them?

ROGER:  I think it was a really important story point, and it was nice, and it was easy to play.  They’re really good kids, and they’re also terrific people.

Franco really stepped up as a stepdad to Aiden, who had been bullied at school.  I loved the cooking scene, where Franco was baking with Aiden.  What do you think about their relationship?  I love that Franco is being very understanding.

ROGER:  I think he’s trying to be understanding.  I don’t think he’s really great at it.   I think he’s a human being just trying to figure out how to make the best use of his time here, just like the rest of us.

Photo” ABC

General Hospital needed a big jolt with an umbrella story like this that turns the canvas a bit upside down.  How does it feel to be at the epicenter of it?

ROGER:   I really don’t think I’m the center of the story.  I’m not even kidding.  The story is that this piece of information is worn on the shoulders of Franco, but the people who are most effected by that piece of information are Kim and Elizabeth.

It will be interesting to see what the reaction is like from the GH audience.  You’re not on social media.  Will you check out what they are saying … or the feedback?

ROGER:  I’m not on social media.  But, I believe there is a guy whose job it is to track that initial criticism/support.  I think it is kind of cool that we will get real-time reviews, you know what I mean?  I actually thought about that because with the character of Franco, it took us a while to figure out who the guy was.  There was a lot of blonde hair and some missed cues, and we weren’t sure which relationship would be featured, whether it would be Franco and Ava (Maura West), or whether he would wind up in Carly’s (Laura Wright) arena again.  It took a while to figure out the best way to put that guy in the canvas, and I imagine that it will happen again.  I didn’t dye my hair for this, but I did cut it. (Laughs)

Photo: ABC

How was working with Billy Miller in this storyline twist?  Were you there on his last day on set?

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ROGER:  Yes, I worked with Billy not on his last day, but on his last show.  He was remarkable with dignity and with class, and I wish him all the best.  He did a great job.  He is a good actor.  I’m sure he will find somewhere to go be an actor.

Throughout your soap career, has there been a story that you initially pooh-poohed, but when you did it, you thought, “Oh, this is great!”

ROGER:   There was a story when Carly and Franco were together, and they wrote a story where Franco gave Carly a gift that wound up being a camera…

Photo: ABC

The evil-eye necklace!

ROGER:  Yes, this small seeing rye.  I just thought, every time Franco would come in and say something like, “Oh, you’re wearing the necklace.  It’s so beautiful,” while we were doing it, I was like, “Wow.  The audience is really going to hate this.” (Laughs)  However, my real-time Twitter is the subway, and while it was airing, I got on the train and sat next to this really amazing fan, who just told me how much she loved that story, and I was honestly surprised and pleased.  I am often wrong, and it doesn’t surprise me now when I am wrong  … because I was really wrong then.

You mentioned Franco with Ava which was a potential pairing. I think you and Maura West have always had great chemistry together on screen.

ROGER:  Yes, she’s a pretty great actor.  She’s great with everybody.

She is.  You knew Maura’s work first when she was at As the World Turns, while you were there, also?

ROGER:  I didn’t know her well at As the World Turns, but I knew who she was.  She’s a hard worker, and Jack (Michael Park) and Carly always had a lot to do.  She was pretty focused when she was there, but I spoke to her.  I didn’t feel like I got to know her until I got to work with her on GH.

Photo: JPI

Last month on July 15th would have been the 51st anniversary of One Life to Live. I saw a lot of people commenting and remembering the show on social media that day. I put together four photos on a post I made about that show featuring some of the remarkable actors who were a part of it.  From there, I received hundreds of comments of how people were just missing the series, the characters, and actors they loved in it, including you.  When you look at the list of people from yourself to Judith Light, to Robin Strasser, Bob Woods, and of course Erika Slezak – it’s such an unbelievably talented group who spent time in Llanview.  Do you ever think about what an incredible experience that was, and how the fans still miss that show so much?

ROGER:  All the time.  I mean, I’m a lucky guy.  I think it really was a special building to work in, and the people who we are talking about: Erika (Viki), Bob (Bo), Robin (Dorian), and Phil Carey (Asa), and Clint Richie (Clint), and John Loprieno (Cord), the people who made it possible for me to work there set an environment and a tone that made it a really special place.  It was a really good cast, like you said, and there was a lot of opportunity for them to write a really cool story.  I wasn’t a part of the AIDS quilt storyline, but to realize that they told a story like that and incorporated that into our show was wonderful.

Photo: JPI

Such an amazing story and One Life was telling socially relevant and important issues of our time, always.

ROGER:  I can’t say for certain, but I do believe that the original concept of the Todd, Marty (Susan Haskell), and Powell (Sean Moynihan) storyline was kind of supposed to be initially an effort to bring awareness to a horrible, violent crime.  That was a long time before the #MeToo movement.  I think it was a show where the writers had a social conscious as well and really brought awareness to a lot of different things.  That’s a great legacy and something that show should be very proud of.

Once the character of  Todd Manning took off on One Life, and how they found ways to redeem him, and how it spoke to how much the network, the show, and the audience responded to your performances, did you ever feel you had a bit of a safety net as an actor, or were you like, “I’m going to be fired tomorrow?”

ROGER:  This is truth: I am so grateful to have a job, and I don’t take anything for granted.  I don’t think anybody is safe in this business.  I just don’t.  I just don’t think anybody gets to say that they’ve arrived.  I just did a roundtable, and I shared this with people who have a lot more clout and opportunity than I do – that actors are by nature, the good ones, are aware that every day that you get to go to work is a privilege, and don’t waste it.

Photo: JPI

In soaps, for the most part, when someone is stepping into someone else’s role as a recast, or actor who played one role is changing to another, there seems to be this reactionary period of adjustment, and then, there is acceptance from the audience over time … unless you really stink it up  … as you say. (Laughs)

ROGER:  Here’s the thing, and this is why I think this is such a great idea, it’s not about me playing this part, it’s about how Elizabeth, who has been on this show for twenty-something years gets to react to it, and giving her the ball.  It’s flashy that Franco is Drew, but it is really and Elizabeth/Kim story.  I may be the one overacting and stinking it up, but it’s theirs. Do you know what I mean?  It’s not my story.

Photo/ABC

What do you want to say to the fans about this new “role” you are taking on at General Hospital?

ROGER:  I want to say that I really do appreciate the fans.  Here is the thing, they’re down for everything.  I hope they’re down for this.  It’s a big ask, but I really hope that they like it.

So, what do you think of Roger as Andrew Cain thus far and how the storyline is beginning to take shape?  Are you excited to see how Franco becoming Drew (through the mind-mapping procedure) shakes up the canvas? Do you hope Drew returns to be Franco sooner than later? Share your thoughts and theories via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Franco Looks In The Mirror … And Believing He Is Drew Kisses Kim

This week on General Hospital, viewers have seen that when Franco (Roger Howarth) awoke from his mind-mapping implantation  (thanks to Shiloh and Dr Cabot) he woke up saying that he is “Drew Cain”.  Thus, as far we know, Franco now carries the life and memories of Drew from 2012 and back, and as of now, has no trace of Franco’s memories.

When Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst) and Drew (Billy Miller) try to make Franco understand in his confusion what transpired,  Liz brings a mirror to Franco to see his face, which makes this all the more terrifying for him.  Liz insists to him that she is wife, but he tells her that he is sorry but he does not recognize her.  Franco insists he is going to leave town and Drew asks him to please stay put, as Liz promises that they can reverse what happened to him.  But can Liz really promise that?

Later, Scorpio (Tristan Rogers) fills Sam (Kelly Monaco) and Jason (Steve Burton) in on what happened and how Franco now was implanted with Drew’s memories, which leaves them stunned.  That means Franco, who is one of the people Jason loathes most in the world – now believes he is Jason’t twin brother.

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Meanwhile, as Kim (Tamara Braun) and Julian (William deVry) prepare to leave Port Charles for Manhattan and start live anew, (so Kim can not be haunted by her life in Port Charles from the recent death of her son, Oscar) things are about to make a shocking turn … for her.

Back at GH, Liz is upset when Franco decides he must get out of his hospital room.  Liz is scared he will just skip town knowing he feels he has no ties there.  Drew reassures her that because he is a version of him, the pull will be way too strong for him to exit Port Charles.

Courtesy/ABC

Kim is now at the hospital getting ready to turn in her resignation letter and runs into Franco.  He recognizes her and calls her “Kim!” You can tell he is quite smitten with her.  Kim is not sure why Franco is acting that way.  She announces she is leaving Port Charles to which he says he is going to come with her. She sees he has a hospital ID bracelet on, so she thinks something has happened.  Just then, Franco tells her about the first time Drew Cain and her met up! This shocks Kim  … and the next thing you know … he moves in for a major kiss and lip-lock as Drew and Liz look on.

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So, what do you think of the story turn thus far that has Franco now with Drew’s memories and with no trace of Franco? Share your thoughts on the twist via the comment section below!

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Breaking News

Constance Towers Returns To GH As Helena Cassadine … But Just How Does She Appear?

Now, any General Hospital fan knows that if there is skullduggery and evil going down, Helena Cassadine (whether dead or alive) is usually somehow involved when it comes to the lives of certain people in Port Charles.

And … some major storyline news from TV Line reveals that on next Monday’s August 19th episode of the ABC soap opera, Constance Towers reprises her role as the evil one herself … Helena!

Apparently, look for Helena to appear in a flashback with none other than Shiloh (Coby Ryan McLaughlin) and about Drew Cain’s time in Afghanistan.  That scene might hold a key to just what Shiloh wants now that he has implanted Drew’s memories into Franco (Roget Howath), thanks to Dr. Cabot’s work.  But could what is revealed also relate to the story that will see Billy Miller (Drew) exit the canvas later this month? Stay tuned.

Viewers last saw Helena alive in story until November of 2016, but then she was part of Jake’s hallucinations that were a part of the chimera storyline that climaxed at the Nurses’ Ball back in May of 2017.

So what do you think Helena’s presence in a flashback will reveal? And, who is ultimately having that flashback? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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Recent Comments

  • Not too crazy about the storyline but I’ll keep wa: “Not too crazy about the storyline I think it’s kind of silly. I liked Franco’s character and that he and…
  • Lynda: “Waiting anxiously for storyline unfolding. Have loved Roger's acting since becoming familiar with him on General Hospital.…
  • Tam Taylor: “JI completely agree. Roger is Franco and Drew is Billy Miller. I also truly wish that Billy Miller weren't leaving…
  • Eileen: “I hope the Drew and Franco bit is just temporary although it is fun for a change. I myself I'm…
  • Becky: “I hate it because I’m afraid there will be as many Drew’s as there are Sonny and Carly weddings. And…
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