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Bradford Anderson and Emily Wilson Exiting General Hospital!

Courtesy/ABC

The time has come to say goodbye to General Hospital’s Bradford Anderson, who had an amazing seven-year run as fan favorite Damian Spinelli, as well as Emily Wilson who joined the ABC soap in September 2012 as Ellie Trout.  In story, the duo leave Port Charles for Portland next week!  And with that, Bradford and Emily will be off the ABC soap opera.

The news broke exclusively in the latest issue of Soap Opera Digest on newsstands now, but confirmed today by Anderson himself via his Twitter account when he stated to all of his followers and legions of fans:  “Thanks everyone for the well wishes! I’m excited for what’s ahead but am so grateful for these amazing 7 yrs, and for all of you!”

Bradford had elected to exit the GH canvas, after earlier this year wanting to go to recurring status! As for Wilson, she had opted to be recurring as well.    According to SOD, Anderson decided to stay with the show until the Maxie/Spinelli/Dante/Lulu custody story of baby Connie has concluded.   Make sure to get this week’s Soap Opera Digest for GH’s head writer, Ron Carlivati’s thoughts on losing Bradford and Emily, as Spinelli and Ellie!

So, are you sad to hear Bradford and Emily are leaving General Hospital?  Comment below!

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MBmomof3
MBmomof3

I’ll miss you Spinelli:( & Ellie too.

Joshua
Joshua

I loved Emily Wilson! Will miss her a lot.

Sadly, I have a feeling Bradford Anderson will pop up again on “Young and the Restless” 🙁

mary
mary

Love Bradford and Spinelli, One of the most unique and delighful characters. I will miss himi Come back again. PLEASE do not go to Y&R. I think it is disrespectful to go to Y&R after appearing on GH for 7 years.

Elaine
Elaine

I can’t believe the characters I see on Y&R and B&B from the soaps I have watched over the years, OLTL, AMC, and GH. I have never watched either of the above soaps, but I am thinking if I want to see these actors again I may have to. I loved Spinelli.

heather
heather

It seems like all the favorites are leaving GH. Will really miss Spinelli and hope he comes back with Maxie. They are finally clicking. And my main reason for watching. All the mob stuff getting stupid. Still looking for the return of Jason!

Donna
Donna

I agree, I love Spinelli, loved his querkness and comedy. Getting tired of the mob stuff. Spinelli was like the character Diane, a breath of fresh air!

Lou Piikes
Lou Piikes

I so going to miss Ellie and Spinellie. I wish them the very best in their next career moves.

shelly
shelly

Damn this sucks.

Elaine
Elaine

I agree. I couldn’t have said it better.

Shelly
Shelly

Spinelli is the most unique character on daytime TV and certainly one of the most fun. This is a huge loss for GH.

kathydaws
kathydaws

Yes. Sorry to see them both leave.

Brian
Brian

I will most certainly miss Emily Wilson. She has been one of the best new characters in a long time. Hopefully they both reappear one day….

I Love GH
I Love GH

Yes. I liked them both. He served as a moral compass for Maxie. What’s she going to do?

David Evan Smith
David Evan Smith

I figured that was going to be the case, with them both being recurring. This will allow a destination for Maxie when Storms needs to exit on maternity leave.

Nikolas already replaced Spinelli in the opening credits on Wednesday anyway.

Loved and admired Bradford Anderson’s work, but the character has always been rather limited for the canvas.

lisa
lisa

Well ya !
Ellie Trout was okay – but Spinelli ……. 🙁

Geri Toth
Geri Toth

I willuss Spinelli. So sad to see him leave.

Spencer
Spencer

FINALLY! THANK YOU! Spinelli got on my last nerve.

SZima
SZima

I have to agree with you…Spin drove me crazy with all his gibberish and I FF’d many of his scenes.
Then they bring on Ellie, who was OK, but she used modified “spinelli-speak” too, so their scenes together made me twitchy.
This is a very fitting way to write them off and opens the door for the Kirsten maternity leave S/L.

Buffy
Buffy

I fast forwarded all Spinelli’s scenes also. Won’t miss him at all.

Chantel
Chantel

I LOVE SPINELLI!!! @ Spencer, SZima and Buffy the congratulator slayer you all didn’t understand Spinelli grammar because y’all not educated enough DUH!!! Y’all need to consider furthering your education. @ Buffy Just because a person or Character is more brighter than you don’t HATE congratulate you congratulator slayer!!!

janice
janice

I think the absence of Spinelli will be a huge hole in the storyline. I will truly miss Bradford. While I have respect for Ms Wilson as an actress, I never really got into her character. I surely hope somehow Maxie ends up with her baby….and I hope that Bradford considers coming back after he has a few adventures. I’ll actually miss him way more than I did Steve Burton/Jason.

jimh(leave it to beaver)!
jimh(leave it to beaver)!

Im sure at least Spinelli might eventually come back…the baby story really isnt finished…Maxi in 6 months is supposed to go back to court…Spin should be back for that! GH does need some trimming but these are the wrong two…but maybe they both will return!!! Characters have been off for long periods before!!!

su0000
su0000

Damian Spinelli/Bradford Anderson, , gone! 🙁
ohh no!! I love that guy, not replacable!
It was his choice to leave so I assume he has something new and exciting awaiting him!
I will miss Spin!!!!
Well, actors can not be just soap actors all their lives,
people need change, to explore and grow!

Best of everything for you, Bradford Anderson..

rebecca1
rebecca1

Hate it…Spinelli is the epitome of loyalty, laughter and love. The “jackal” of all good…comic relief yet poignant…and although an non realistic character somehow he was the most “real” person on the canvas. Another, albeit fictional….loss.

Elhu
Elhu

I totally agree rebecca1 !

Jamie
Jamie

Sad to hear this but have to wonder what if we’ll see him again in 6 months when the court ordered time is up and Maxie wants to see her baby!!

Sand
Sand

I am going to miss Spinelli so much. He has grown up so much in the last couple of years and I guess I won’t get my Spixie. 🙁

Jules
Jules

Spinelli lost so much of what made him that unique, special and interesting character back in 2007 when he was vying for fair Lulu’s attention. From 2006 until about March of 2007, listening to this spunky, quick witted, pop culture referencing, beanie wearing computer nerd was more fun than watching the show itself. Bradford is a great actor, but the character lost a lot of what made him entertaining for me very early on during his tenure. I know writers and producers in tv in general are usually very set on “evolving” and “maturing” characters, even though it’s a high risk when the character established is already so popular as it is. But it just didn’t work for me with Spinelli’s character. I never took him for the romantic, magnanimous, sensitive Cyrano type. I always preferred the incarnation they brought him on the show as.

I am unfamiliar with Emily’s work on the show as I’ve just started watching again.

Never cared for Spixie in all my time watching. People dubbed them a supercouple, but I never saw it. From what I remember in 2008-2009 when Spixie were together, or teasing to be together, I wanted to rip out my hair. Actually, I wanted to rip out Maxie’s hair, and not because of the style because if memory serves it wasn’t so bad then. It dumbed down her character so much, and again, was all trying to grow the character from selfish to selfless. No, I preferred my Maxie stirring up trouble and being a sassy truth-sayer. Spinelli’s character was changing more too as a result of the pairing, more in the direction I hated. And together, they lit as much fire as two wet matches. I see no more chemistry and have developed no more interest in them since my return to GH a few months ago. No loss for me whatsoever.

Frankly, Bradford can go far if he really goes for it. He has talent to spare. It’s a loss for the show, for sure, but I’m sure if there was a way to keep him, FV would have held onto him. I think this is a good decision for him, ultimately. Wishing him luck.

Shay
Shay

Well said, Jules! I also loved Spinelli’s intellect and unique perspectives on life….not to mention his fabulous vocabulary and spot-on monikers for everyone with whom he came into contact! His role as the ” strange outsider looking in” made him one of the most interesting and arcane soap characters ever, although the effort to “mainstream” him sadly served to homogenize his once very individualized manner. Sorry to see him go, but hope he will be back one day…I enjoyed him with Maxie because of the opposites-attract theme, but he and Ellie as “twin geeks” was always a bit much to take. While I applaud the effort to start thinning out the huge cast, there were certainly far more useless people who could have been disposed of first….need I even name the character at the top of my list???? (And after “her,” Scotty and Lucy…their shtick is so tiring I turned off the show the other day….)

Jules
Jules

My sister from another mister! I’m right there with you.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Shay, they didn’t get rid of Bradford. He wanted to leave…they even offered him recurring but he turned it down.

Shay
Shay

@rebecca1….Understood…I chose my words poorly in giving the impression that I thought BA had been let go. I do realize it was his decision to leave. I was speaking strictly from the perspective of numerous GH characters that should be shown the door, far more so deservedly than the awesome Spinelli, and yes, even Ellie. (I don’t believe EW necessarily asked to depart, although she, too, was on recurring status.) While I wasn’t her biggest fan, I thought she brought a unique personality to the show, did a fine job and certainly had more of a reason to exist in PC than many others who are just dragging down the show with their presence. That’s all I was saying, but thank you for the clarification!!!! As you pointed out, Spinelli’s very original qualities made him an endearing guy. He will be missed! I do hope we see him again one day…..

Shay
Shay

Hey there, “bro!” LOL….You are fast becoming one of my most favorite Canadians of all time (along with Rob Ford and Darwin the IKEA Monkey!) Not necessarily in that order though….you definitely top RF, but it’s a toss up between Darwin and you…that persnickety primate really could rock those fashions his “mama” bought him!!!!! Toooo cute! (However, he’s looking soooo “naked” these days….awww poor thing!) ; )

Jules
Jules

HAHA! I’m honoUred ;).

For what it’s worth, Darwin may not be rocking the latest in winter fashions anymore, but last I heard he was doing well. I’d have ranked him before me too :D.

Shay
Shay

So glad you considered that ranking an honoUr (in the best British sense!) Jules! Yes, sadly Darwin has been stripped of his high fashion wardrobe (literally…) Just read an update on him last week, and he now goes “au naturel” in his lonely cage for one. Since he was not brought up with own kind, he knows not how to mingle with them, hence he must be kept separate from the rest of the population. Alas, his only current “accessory” is his omnipresent stuffed “Curious George” as BFF…poor little guy! Of course, he never should have been out amongst the public in the first place, but he looked to have greatly enjoyed his brief taste of freedom bedecked in the latest finery…still roaring over that too-big sherpa coat he was wearing when he was initially apprehended. Certainly not one of the sights one would have expected to find at IKEA! LOL…..

mary
mary

Why “Ron Why!!! I love Spinelli. He is one of your best actors and a great character. Please bring him back in 6 months and have he and Maxie together. Met Bradford a few time. A very nice, talented guy. I will miss you. come back soon.

Kirsten
Kirsten

It was his choice to leave, so don’t blame Ron. There are plenty of things to blame him for but this is not one of them.

Karen
Karen

Is he ever going to come back?

Becky Maples
Becky Maples

Will miss you Spinelli, I have always loved watching you it won’t be the same without you and Maxi always there for each other but I wish you the best in whatever you do, I just hope you will make guest appearances after the 6 mos and bring the baby back to Maxi, Good Luck to you and Ellie, you will be missed

Laura
Laura

I’m sad to hear Bradford Anderson and Emily Wilson are leaving GH. I still don’t understand why a character so dull and useless like Elizabeth is still on the show while others are leaving. SMH.

LB
LB

AMEN!! I will never understand why Elizabeth (Becky) is still on the show. She is only used as a prop for the newbies. She hasn’t gotten a story in forever. I guess someone has to support her family.

Elhu
Elhu

Very sad to see Bradford Anderson leave, as I enjoyed his portrayal of Spinelli very muh. I also hoped that in six months, he and Maxie would be able to find their way back to each other, with their daughter. Together they were comedic, yet shared a special bond. I also enjoyed Spinelli’s interaction with all other characters. I respect an actor’s decision to do what is best for themselves, so I wish both he and Emily Wilson well in their future endeavors, but I will sorely miss Bradford/Spinelli.

Jen
Jen

First it was Steve, Julie, Brandon, Genie, Kelly S now Bradford and Emily. I am sad to see Bradford go. Loved his quirky portrayal of Spinelli. Spinelli had the best nicknames for the characters on the show. Bradford kicked butt in custody battle & reveal of baby. Bradford deserves an emmy for this yrs work. All of my fav actors from the show are leaving. I dont understand why the writers gave Spinelli custody of the baby when they knew Bradford was leaving the show. Why not just give custody to Maxie or let dante & lulu keep the baby. Maxie going to lose her one true love. Who are the writers going to pair Maxie with now. I hope Kirsten Storms stays on the show. But I have feeling in time Kirsten will leave too.

Wayne Lawless
Wayne Lawless

Bradford Anderson has been my reason for watching GH. He’s an amazing actor and man, and I believe his fans will follow him wherever.

heidi
heidi

About Bradford/Spinelli… abosulutely… I adore him and his character and wish it wasn’t so. If it’s best for Bradford and his family… I will be happy… incredibly disappointed… but happy for him. Best wishes Bradford… you and your character will be missed!!!

~TJ~
~TJ~

I am sad BA chose to leave~ GH will not be the same without him. They will have to revisit the baby story. Whatever happened to Spin and Sam’s PI business? Also Port Chuck ( Band ) is coming to an end. Wonder what BA will be up to. I hope I don’t see him on another soap ( YnR ). I know from reading that him and Steve Burton are doing a few things the first of the yr. Maybe he is going into a business owned by SB, they are great friends. Guess I will just have to wait and see.

ann
ann

i really to was really hate to see spinelli go i was really hoping he and maxie would eventually get back together and raise there daughter together.please dont leave our show

Marie DeSario
Marie DeSario

Spinelli……how can U do this to me………I love U and I love the role that U play. U keep General Hospital going. What are they going to do without U. I’M DEPRESSED RIGHT NOW and U will be MISSED. U made General Hospital enjoyable to watch

Debbie
Debbie

That is such sad news for GH 🙁 I have loved the character of Spinelli since day one and have recently enjoyed him being paired with Ellie. I hope they don’t try to replace his character with anyone even remotely close to resembling him because there is no one like Spinelli and Bradford has truly made him one of a kind.
I wish them both lots of luck in their future endeavors.
They will be missed. 🙁

Stacy
Stacy

Oh Spinelli will be back in 6 months so that Maxie can have the baby back and then spinelli will leave again.

LIZ CALL
LIZ CALL

Sorry to see Spinelli go. Hate the idea that Maxie is loosing her baby! They need to work on this issue more. Hopefully after her maternity leave “Maxie” will get custody somehow of her child.

Bev
Bev

Im so sorry to see these two great people leave the show,,they brought so much fun to their charactors,,they will sorely be missed by many,,thank you,Ellie n Spinelli.love you two!!!,,good luck n God Bless you both in whatever you do!

Sly
Sly

Congrats Bradford I wish you all the best. Just one thing, promise me you won’t end up on Y&R. You can do better. I want to see you in prime time or on the big screen or maybe even buy your first “solo” CD.
Keep on Rocking!!!

Mk
Mk

I hated spin-nerd for the longest, but in the last 2 years when he written like a doug sheehans Joe Kelly. I started to like him now I am sorry to see him go.

Mfarris70
Mfarris70

Will miss Bradford and Emily on GH! I loved their unusual (for soaps) characters and they were so cute together. Bradford especially blew me away during the Connie custody episodes, erasing any doubt about his versatility as an actor. Having Damian and Ellie move away plants a nice little seed for the future– maybe a young girl will come to town in later years looking for her real mother– Maxie!

robert
robert

I’m going to miss Bradford Anderson, but I wish him the best in his future endeavors.

Natalie
Natalie

Oh no! I am sad that Bradford and Emily are leaving! I love Spinelli and Ellie! I agree with other comments that Emily Wilson’s Ellie has been a great new character compared to others! Happy that it was Bradford’s choice, but hope they come back from Portland in near future! I had wondered since Jason left what that meant for Spinelli and him raising his daughter doesn’t allow for the most exciting storyline ! Bradford and Emily I hope Valentini asks you back!

Evette
Evette

I’m a huge fan of Damien Spinelli and would love to see him and Maxi reconnect. This saddens me that this may never happen or will it be with a Spinelli replacement.

Ces
Ces

Wishing Bradford Anderson the best. Will miss Spinelli but hopefully in 6 months when Maxie can see Connie again, he will return for a cameo or something :)) Sorry Spinelli & Maxie never made it together though.

Cindy
Cindy

Very sad they are off did not realize they were actually leaving

Danielle
Danielle

I can’t believe they are taking “baby Connie” to Portland. Send spinelli and Ellie and leave the child in Port Charles!

Dianne Banasz
Dianne Banasz

I am shocked. I like these two characters together. Perhaps they will come back. I wish them well in their future.

Rose
Rose

I will so miss Bradford and Spinelli ! I hope that he will be back on the G H canvas some time in the future ! I was really enjoying the twosome of he and Ellie. He is an excellent actor and I wish him the very best for his future. I know he will do well !

Debbie Hamilton
Debbie Hamilton

I am going to miss Spinelli more so then anyone that has played on there except for Jason. These two actors were tops in my book and there can never be a replacement actor for them. Bradford Anderson said he would stay on till the storyline with Maxie was concluded and then …boom he’s leaving immediately. That says he was fired.
What happened to the words Spinelli spoke to Maxie saying he loved her and Maxie returning that spoken word of love to Spinelli?? I totally hate how this is ending with them. How is this boggled up mess going to continue? My interest in the whole storyline has passed, am not interested in any of it now. How can you keep interested fans watching when you continue pulling the rug out from under our feet???

mehpine
mehpine

I can’t believe Bradford is leaving, his character is one of the best on the show, I never liked Emily Wilson’s character she was a nothing that just took up space. Her character should have been killed off after the accident. Now what will they do about the baby she should come back in six months to be with her mother hope the writers will make that happen and not forget all about her.

tHERESA
tHERESA

They’ll be back….no one dies, and no one really leaves forever….

Christy
Christy

I have really enjoyed watching the both of them and will really miss them! But we’ll always have “blinded me with science” the the nurses’ ball to enjoy in their absence. I have watched that over and over!

if they’re going away for at least 6 mos in the story… I hope we’ll see them again.

Jenny Stacey of Magnolia, De
Jenny Stacey of Magnolia, De

This is breaking my heart. To be honest, I am seriously, after thirty years of being a faithhful viewer cobnsidering ending my daily rityual of watching GH. They have killed off, or sent so many vital charecters away over the last year…im simply not happy with their choices to let solid charecters go. First Jason, now Spinelli…no, im done.

David Fournier
David Fournier

I will definitely miss Bradford Anderson as Spinelli. He was one of my favorites. I am glad to read that he chose to leave and it wasn’t the wrtiers writing him out for storyline reasons.

And you know he started out in a role that was only supposed to be on for 2 episodes and that turned into 7 yeras. What an amazing run. I wish him well in his future plans. And I am sure someday he will be back even if just for a short term stint.

mary
mary

Soaps need more characters like Spinelli. Who provide a moral compass for the show and also provide style, uniqueness and humor. such as Diane Miller and David Vickers. I hope he comes back soon. they cannot replace him with anyone else, I hope.

Omar
Omar

I hope Bradford all the best he is a very talented actor and made this character fun to watch..I must say Ms Wilson is a good actress and the character of Elie was really growing on me and I thought there was more story to tell about this character..All the best to both.

LLATWTFan
LLATWTFan

I will miss Spinelli and never give up on Spixie! Bradford is an amazing actor!

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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